Members of the bromeliad plant family, which includes many exotic flowering houseplants, pineapples grow as the flower of the spiny plant called Ananus comosus. They are native to South America, where the indigenous Indian tribes gave them a name meaning "fragrant excellent fruit." Today, pineapples are grown in many tropical regions. If you live in USDA climate zone 10 or higher (Miami to Honolulu), you can grow pineapples in your garden.
Twist or cut off the crown of a ripe pineapple. Then trim off any flesh that the fruit has left on the stump with a small, sharp knife. Cut the stem, or bottom, of the crown, to expose the root buds, or "spots" around the outside edge of the stem. Be careful not to cut into the stem tissue. If you want, you can trim off some of the lower leaves, which will make it easier to plant the pineapple: Just leave ¾ inch of the crown's base.
Set your prepared crown upside down in a shady, protected spot that gets no sun for one week---this helps the scars that your cuts caused to seal and will prevent rotting after you plant your pineapple.
Plant your pineapple top in a nursery pot with a drainage hole. If you mix about 1/3 of the volume of your potting soil with compost, it will give the pineapple more nutrients than potting soil alone. Water it well and keep it in a sunny location until it has formed a good root system. This can take three to six months. Be sure not to overwater your forming pineapple.
Transplant your pineapple to its permanent place in your garden after it has developed roots and shows signs of new growth. Dig compost into your planting area in the same ratio you used for your potted pineapple top: 1/3 compost to the total volume of soil. Dig a hole a bit larger than the pineapple's root system and then set your plant into the hole, taking care not to allow any soil or compost to fill the center of the crown. Fill in the planting hole with the soil/compost you dug out and then firm it around the base of the plant.
Fertilize your newly planted pineapple with a balanced fertilizer, either granular or liquid, after you plant it and then repeat this application every two to three months.
Water your pineapple sparingly: this plant needs only about 20 inches of rain or irrigation per year. If rains do not do the job, water your pineapple once each week.
Control mealybugs, scale and mites with insecticidal soap if these insects should take a liking to your pineapple.