Pineapple plants are easy to grow and will thrive in pots, which means they can be grown indoors in cool climates. Because pineapples take so long to grow--they can take two years to produce fruit--and require a minimum of care, they make attractive "pets" for children who will learn patience as the plants slowly develop.
Pick a ripe pineapple. The skin of a ripe pineapple is brown and its leaves are firm and green. To check if your pineapple is overripe, pull on a leaf. If it comes off easily, then it is too ripe and you should look for another.
Remove the crown. Grab the top set of leaves and twist the crown off the pineapple fruit. If there is any fruit attached to the stalk, remove it or it will rot and kill the plant in the process. Remove several of the smaller, lower leaves to reveal the stem of the pineapple.
Let the crown dry for one week.
Fill a 12-inch pot with a 2-inch layer of stones followed by a mixture of 70 percent fast-draining potting soil (like that used for cacti) and 30 percent slow-release fertilizer and perlite. Let the mixture sit for one week while the pineapple cutting is drying.
Plant the pineapple cutting up to the base of the leaves. Press the soil firmly around its stem so that the pineapple crown stands straight. Water the soil so that it is moist but not saturated.
Place your potted pineapple plant outside in full sun or dappled shade if the weather is warm. If not, place it near a window. It needs a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day.
Water the soil when needed so that it is neither wet nor dry, but no more than once a week. When watering the plant outside, spray the leaves and wet the soil so that the cups at the bottom of the plant can be filled.
Wait for the cutting to take root. This usually takes from six to eight weeks. Two months after planting your pineapple cutting, gently pull on the crown. If it resists, then it has taken root. If it comes right up, replace it and wait another month. If the roots are rotten, discard it.
Remove the dead leaves. Once your pineapple plant has taken root, the original leaves will turn brown and die and new leaves will grow in the center. Removing them will encourage new leaves to grow.
Wait. It will take about two years for your pineapple to bear fruit, or longer if you're growing it in a colder climate. It will flower in about 18 months and fruit six months after that.
If the leaves develop a reddish-purple tinge, give your plant a diluted dose of a liquid fertilizer like fish emulsion or seaweed extract. Otherwise, it only needs to be fertilized once a month during the growing season. Do not to get any fertilizer on the leaves, as it will burn them.
Pick your pineapple. The fruit is ready when it turns completely yellow.