How to Plant Pineapples
Pineapples are exotic, easy to grow and delicious. They are native to South America but have since been spread around the globe by ships and traders. Pineapples grow best in warm tropical and sub tropical climates. The only areas in the continental United States that are suitable for producing pineapples is in Florida and select areas of Southern California. Hawaii, with its tropical climate, is of course a prime area for growing pineapples. Pineapples make fun and interesting houseplants. They produce long, spiky leaves that will grow to be 4 to 5 feet around. From the center, a tiny pineapple appears and slowly grows bigger, perched in the center of this spiny leaf set.
Take the leaves of a mature pineapple in one hand while supporting the fruit in the other and twist hard. The leaves and core will come loose from the top of the fruit. This is the part you are going to plant. An alternate method is to cut the leaves just below where the fruit begins and plant this section of the pineapple.
Before filling your planting pot with soil make sure it has several drainage holes in the bottom. Placing small pieces of pottery over the holes helps to keep soil in while allowing water to drain through.
Fill the pot with a well-draining potting soil mix. If the soil does not drain well in between watering, the plant will rot and no roots will form. A cactus mix works well for growing pineapples because it is designed to drain well.
Make a small indentation in the top of the potting soil the size of your pineapple top. Place the plant in the pot and cover it up to just below the leaves. Loosely tamp down the soil to secure the pineapple top.
Water the freshly planted pineapple well to encourage the roots to begin to form. After the initial watering only water occasionally, letting the soil dry out completely in between. Test the soil by pressing on the dirt gently; it should feel dry to the touch.
If you live in a cool climate you will need to grow your pineapple indoors in a greenhouse or as a houseplant. Make sure you have plenty of space because the plant will grow up to 5 feet around and it may be 2 to 3 years before it produces fruit.