The pineapple is a tropical plant that cannot stand the chilly outdoor temperatures experienced by the majority of the United States. However, they thrive in the same indoor temperatures that we enjoy and grow well in pots, making them a good indoor plant. However, when grown indoors, pineapples are unlikely to reach their full height of 6 feet, which means that while they may produce fruit in two to three years, it will likely be smaller than the one you started with in the grocery store.
Buy a pineapple from the grocery store (buy organic if possible). Look for a pineapple that is ripe, with brownish yellow skin and firm, green leaves. Stay away from unripe pineapples whose skin has not browned all the way to the crown and overripe pineapples whose leaves come off with a gentle tug.
Grasp the leaves near the top of the pineapple and pull that part of the pineapple off with a twisting motion. Remove a few of the smaller leaves at the bottom of the crown, revealing an inch or so of stalk. If there is any pineapple fruit attached to the stalk, remove it with a clean knife. Put the stalk and leaves somewhere cool and dark to dry for a week.
Prepare an 8-inch clay pot by filling it with a 2-inch layer of stones, followed by a mixture that is 2/3 quick-draining potting soil and the rest a mix of perlite (70 percent) and slow release fertilizer (30 percent). Allow the mixture to mature for one week while the pineapple stalk dries.
Plant the stalk into your soil mixture up to the bottom leaves. Press the soil firmly around the stalk so that the crown of leaves stands upright. If you cannot get it to stand, remove a few more of the leaves at the bottom of the crown and push the stalk in more deeply.
Water the soil until it is moist.
Place the pineapple plant near a window where it can receive a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day.
Water your pineapple plant as it needs it, but don't exceed one watering per week. The soil should remain moist (neither soggy nor dry) to the touch.
Wait for your pineapple cutting to take root. Two months after planting your pineapple, pull gently on the crown of leaves. If it resists, it is beginning to form a root system. If it comes right up, inspect the stalk. If it looks healthy, then place it back into the soil and check on it again in another month. If it has rotted, throw it away and repeat steps 1 through 7.
Remove the leaves of the crown as they turn brown and die.
Water and care for your pineapple plant for one year. Then, re-pot it into a 12-inch clay pot, filling it with the same materials used in step 3.
Continue to wait and water your pineapple plant. Every year, remove it from its pot and examine its roots to see if it has become root bound. If it has, transfer it to a larger pot, if not it can be re-housed in its original one. In both instances, fill the pot with a fresh batch of soil mixture.
It will take around two years for your pineapple to bear fruit.
Harvest the pineapple. When your pineapple fruit has yellowed all the way to the crown, it is ready to be harvested.