Pineapples are thought of as mysterious, exotic, tropical fruit, loaded with vitamins and minerals that benefit health. While they are nutritious and tropical, they don't have to remain mysterious. The fact is, no matter where you live, you can grow a pineapple plant in a pot in your home. With a few supplies and a little direction, you can partake in the mystery of growing a pineapple plant, and down the road you can enjoy the taste of its fruit.
Select a healthy pineapple, which is one that smells sweet at the base of the stem and has no bruises or soft spots. A healthy, fresh pineapple should also feel heavy for its size.
Twist the top stem off the pineapple fruit, and gently slice off the bottom of the stem until you see small structures that outline the perimeter of the stem's base. These are the root buds. Only shave off a little at a time, as you don't want to cut off too much of the healthy stem.
Peel off the bottom layer of leaves at the base of the stem, exposing 3/4 inch of the stem.
Turn the pineapple stem upside down in a large, wide-mouthed vase or jar. The container is empty, and it simply holds the stem in an upright position. Leave the stem in a dry, dark area for seven days. The University of Hawaii explains that if the stem is wet and moist when planted, you increase the chance of it developing root rot when planted. Allowing it to dry out before planting eliminates this risk.
Purchase a 12-inch-wide by 12-inch-deep clay pot and make sure it has adequate drainage in the bottom, which means that along with the pot, you will need a bottom watering tray. Clay pots are the preferred type of pot for pineapples, as they absorb moisture from the soil that helps prevent an excess for the plant. However, plastic pots can also be used if you make sure there is adequate drainage for the pineapple plant.
Line the bottom of the pot, clay or plastic, with 1 to 2 inches of gravel or stone.
Fill the pot with a commercial potting soil mix. Alternatively, you can use garden soil mixed with compost at a ratio of 2 to 1. Use two parts garden soil to 1 part compost mix, available at lawn and garden centers. Lightly water the soil so that it is moist, but not wet.
Insert the crown of the pineapple into the soil, and pack the soil firmly around the base. Do not get any soil into the area between the leaves.
Fertilize the soil with a basic, liquid household plant food, found at department stores or nurseries. Follow the package directions regarding the amount to use for the size of your container. Fertilize every other month after planting.
Water your pineapple plant once per week, just enough to moisten the soil.
Things You Will Need
- Fresh pineapple
- Wide-mouthed jar or vase
- 12-inch clay or plastic pot
- Stone or gravel
- Commercial potting soil mix or garden soil with commercial compost
- It can take up to two years for a pineapple plant to produce fruit. To force it to fruit, when it is a year old, place it in a 30-gallon plastic bag with two apples, and leave it undisturbed for a week. The University of Hawaii explains that the ethylene gas from the apple will speed the flowering and fruiting process. Once the fruit begins to develop, it can take over six months before it is ready to eat.
- Over-watering or insufficient drainage can cause the pineapple plant to rot.
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