You can grow a pineapple, and you can do it now. Pineapples can be planted at any time of year indoors in virtually any climate. They are easy to grow but require a good deal of patience; a plant can take up to three years to bear fruit.
Pineapple plants are well adapted to growing in containers, in which they can be planted at any time of year. In fact, container growing is the only viable option for cultivating pineapples in temperate climates. The plants do not tolerate freezing temperatures and perform poorly in prolonged temperatures under 60 degrees. In tropical environments, such as Hawaii, pineapples can be planted outdoors. The ideal time for planting is the summer, although cultivation can occur year round.
Starting a Pineapple
The first step to growing a pineapple plant is purchasing a ripe fruit at the grocery store. Cut off the crown of the pineapple and trim any excess flesh away. You should see brownish root buds at the base of the leaves. Put the crown upside down in a dry and shaded spot for about a week before planting. When it's time to plant, place the crown in potting soil, either in a terra cotta pot or in the ground. If you're using a pot, make sure to place a large stone over the hole in the bottom to facilitate drainage.
Once your pineapple is planted, maintaining it will be relatively easy. If your plant is in a container, you will need to move it based on the weather. During the summer, leave the plant outside in a sunny area. As soon as it gets cool in the fall, bring the plant inside. Fertilize your plant with commercial plant food every two to three months. Water it sparingly once a week; excess water can lead to root rot, which will kill the plant.
Even in ideal growing climates, pineapple plants take at least 18 months to produce ripe fruits. It could take up to 36 months to produce fruit in temperate areas. Your plant should form a small bud in the center of its leaves when it is about a year old. Most plants begin to flower in the winter months. About two months later, a red cone will develop. This cone will produce blue flowers, which will bloom in rows over several weeks. The fruit will develop after all the flowers have bloomed. Your pineapple fruit will take about four months to ripen. You can pick it when most of the fruit has turned gold.