Grow a taste of the tropics with your own pineapple plant. You can raise a pineapple plant as either a potted houseplant or directly in the ground. After months of care, the plant will produce a flower and a juicy tropical fruit. Know exactly when and how to harvest the fruit to ensure the best flavor and the optimal reward for your patience.
Wait for your pineapple plant to produce a flower. A pineapple plant takes approximately two years to produce a flower after it's been planted, according to Texas A&M University. The flower will emerge from the center of the pineapple crown.
Pound a 3-foot stake into the ground adjacent to the pineapple plant once the plant produces a flower. Insert the stake 12 inches into the soil, so that 2 feet are above the ground. Use garden twine to loosely tie the pineapple flower stalk to the stake to support the developing fruit.
Inspect the fruit. For the best results, the University of Florida recommends letting the fruit turn yellow while still connected to the plant. The yellowing process starts at the base of the fruit. A pineapple that's ready for harvesting will be yellow almost to the top of the fruit. The maturation process may take up to six months from the appearance of the flower, according to Texas A&M University.
Harvest the pineapple. Grab the pineapple fruit in one hand, and cut it off of its stalk with the opposite hand. Suitable cutting implements include a knife or pruning shears.