The pineapple used to grace the table of only the very wealthy in the 17th century, but today is freely available due to the commercial canning process that preserves the fragrant fruit. The fruit is propagated by slips or by crowns. The crown is simply the top of the fresh pineapple-just like the ones we can pick up at our local grocery store. The fruit can take a couple of years to mature, but in the mean time, it makes a handsome house plant.
Remove the crown of a fresh pineapple by grasping the top bunch of leaves without crunching them and twisting as you pull it away from the pineapple. It should pull away leaving a minimal amount of fruit matter still attached. Pull off the bottom two or three leaves and set aside the crown to dry for a day.
Prepare a rooting mixture of peat moss, sand and perlite. Moisten the peat moss and mix it together with equal parts of sand and perlite. This will create a mix that will hold the moisture but still drain well. Place this mixture in a normal plant pot with bottom drainage or any similar container.
Dig a hole in the pot's soil and set your pineapple crown into it. The bottom leaves should be level with the soil. Firm the soil in around the core, and water the soil until it runs from the bottom of the pot. Set it in a bright sunny spot to grow. You can expect it to root within 6 to 8 weeks.
Transplant the plant into a large container or into your garden. It will grow best in direct sunlight and might even fruit within 18 months if you give it enough heat and light. The leaves can grow to 3 feet in length so give it plenty of space. If you live in an area where winter temperatures drop below 30 degrees F, you will need to bring it indoors until spring.