Most people think of Pineapple as a fruit that is only grown in Hawaii and other tropical locations. Not true. Gardeners, experimental souls that they are, constantly seek new challenges……… Enter the pineapple plant. If you are not in a tropical region, you can grow it indoors as a unique houseplant. Or, try growing it in a large container on your patio or deck. Then, when the weather gets cold, bring it indoors.
Pineapple is a neat plant, and a challenge, for houseplants lovers. It is best started in the Fall and kept indoors in a sunny window. As it grows, it will become a conversation piece for visitors to your home.
Did You Know? When we think about pineapples, most people think about Hawaii. But, pineapples did not originate in Hawaii. They are native to South America. Pineapples were introduced to Hawaii in the 1800s, where the climate is perfect for growing them.
Plant Hardiness Zones: This tropical plant only grows in zones 11 – 12. However, you can grow it as a houseplant.
When we think of pineapples, we usually think about Hawaii. as where they are grown. But, Hawaii and the U.S. in total do not make the top ten list of pineapple producers. As a matter of fact, Hawaii is not among the top twenty producers. The top ten countries are:
Take a whole pineapple and cut off the top. Remove any excess fruit and skin from around the leaves. Put the top in a small bowl containing water and a little Epsom salt. Keep the water level just 1/8 to 1/4 inch above the bottom of the leaves. Check frequently, and add water as needed. Put the plant and bowl in a sunny window for two weeks.
Transplant the pineapple into a pot filled with potting soil. A sandy mixture is best as they like dry, well drained soil. The soil should be kept moist to allow the new roots to develop and grow.
As your Pineapple begins to grow, new leaves will come out from the center of the plant. Remove unsightly old leaves as they die off to provide more light and air to the new leaves. Once your plant is established, the soil should be allowed to dry out a bit between watering. Water plants from the top, including the leaves. Kept in a warm sunny window, it will grow all winter long.
In the spring, your pineapple plant can be brought outside. Set it out in a container, or plant it directly into your garden after all risk of frost has passed. Pineapples need warmth and plenty of sunshine.
Ideal Soil pH: 5.0 – 6.0.
Mature plants can be forced to bloom. Place your plant and a couple of apples or other fruit in a plastic bag for a couple of days. Unfortunately, you won’t know right away if it worked. Then, if it is successful, the bloom will appear a couple of months later.
As pineapples have a long growing cycle, home gardeners and houseplant lovers often grow them for the fun of it. Getting fruit from your pineapple plant is a pleasant, but unexpected benefit!