What Is the Life Cycle of a Pineapple Plant?


Symbol of hospitality and a succulent treat, the pineapple differs from most of the bromeliad family. The only bromeliad with an edible fruit, this perennial grows in soil rather than on another plant.


Grow pineapple plants from slips taken from mature pineapple plants, a process known as cloning or vegetative reproduction.


Once planted, the plant grows for slightly less than a year before beginning to flower.

The pineapple

A pineapple develops from a cluster of from 100 to 200 flowers around a central stem. The resulting berries fuse together to resemble a single fruit with a foliage crown, according to Dr. T. Ombrello of Union Community College.

Fruit development

Expect to see the first developing fruit at about 14 months and be prepared to harvest at approximately 18 months.

Additional crops

Following harvest of the first crop, the stem develops a sucker which will mature into a new stem and fruit by about the end of the second year after initial planting.

Life expectancy

Commercial plants are cleared after harvest of a second sucker crop. The plants can survive and produce for decades as houseplants with care.


  • Dr. T. Ombrello: The Pineapple
  • Duane P. Bartholomew, Kenneth G. Rohrbach, and Dale O. Evans: Pineapple Cultivation in Hawaii

Who Can Help

  • Purdue University: Growing a Pineapple at Home
Keywords: terrestrial bromeliad, pineapple development, vegetative propagation, ratoon crop

About this Author

First published more than 40 years ago in the "N.O. Times-Picayune," Mary Beth has not stopped writing since. Her B.S. in Psychology (Elmhurst College) focused on adult learning. She has been published in both local and national media, including "Real Estate Today" and "Just Praising God."

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