When whole, fresh pineapple is available at the produce department bring one home so you can start your own live pineapple plant. You can still enjoy the sweet fresh fruit, but instead of throwing away the green topped crown, it can be used to start a new pineapple plant. When selecting your pineapple inspect the base of the crown leaves for small gray spots, which indicates scale insects. Choose a pineapple without those spots.
Cut off the top crown (the leafy section) leaving about 1 to 2 inches of pineapple attached.
Set the top crown on a plate or paper plate and place in an area out of the direct sun or heat. Leave for three to four days.
Remove the pineapple rind from the top crown. The pineapple rind is the scale-like outer coating of the pineapple. Use your fingers to pull this part off.
Pull off the outer two to three layers of leaves.
Set the top crown on a plate or paper plate and place in an area out of the direct sun or heat. Leave for one day.
Fill the 4-inch pot with coarse sand or damp perlite.
Set the crown in the pot between 1 to 2 inches deep.
Water daily and keep in a sunny location. The rooting should take about four weeks.
Repot the pineapple in an 8-inch pot filled with 2/3 potting soil mix and 1/3 peat moss.
Water the plant. Do not over-water or allow the soil to become soggy. In the winter allow the soil to completely dry before each watering. Water more frequently in the summer.
Keep the plant in a temperature between 65 to 75 degrees F with plenty of sunshine. The plant can be fertilized using houseplant food, following the instructions on the manufacturer’s label.