Growing your own pineapple plant from a pineapple top is a fun and interesting project for all ages. Watching an entirely new plant grow from the top stalk can be rewarding as well. Be patient with your pineapple plant, however, because it can take two years or longer for the plant to bear a pineapple. When your pineapple plant does bear fruit, you'll get just one pineapple. You shouldn't expect to produce a bumper crop of pineapples, but you will get to enjoy your very own homegrown pineapple regardless of whether or not you live in the tropics.
Getting Your Pineapple Plant Started
Slice off the leafy top part of the pineapple, or the "crown," with a sharp knife. Remove any fruit from the top and cut off 1 to 1 ½ inches of the bottom leaves.
Place the pineapple top upside-down on a clean paper towel in a well-ventilated area that's away from direct sunlight. Allow the severed end of the pineapple top, mainly the stalk, to dry out and harden for about 7 days.
Prepare an 8-inch clay planter pot by filling it with a mixture of two-thirds lightweight potting or garden soil and one-third organic compost.
Insert the pineapple top's stalk into the potting mix so that the leaves are above the surface. Feed the pineapple top a dose of all-purpose houseplant fertilizer according to the directions on the label.
Place the planter pot outdoors in full sunlight during the warm months, from late spring through late summer. Bring the pineapple plant indoors during the fall and winter, and place it beside a sunny window.
Feed your pineapple plant with the houseplant fertilizer once every two to three months to ensure healthy growth.
Water the plant once each week to dampen the potting mix. You can simply mist the pineapple plant's leaves and the potting mix lightly using a water spray bottle.
Getting the Plant to Grow a Pineapple
Force the plant to fruit if your pineapple plant is two years old or older and still hasn't flowered or produced a fruit. Place the plant in its pot into a plastic bag with a ripe apple.
Place the bag in the shade for up to two weeks. As the apple rots, it will release ethylene gas, which will induce flowering of the pineapple plant. Remove the plant from the bag and place it back into the sunlight.
Look for the flower spike to grow on the plant during the next two or three months. The pineapple will develop from the stem after the flower dries out.