Despite its tropical origins, pineapple is easy to grow indoors A fresh pineapple fruit brings a bit of the tropics into your home. And the plant will keep it there long after you’ve taken your last bite of the fruit.
Despite its tropical origins, pineapple is easy to grow indoors. It is a bromeliad, a plant family that well adapted to the parched conditions of most homes in winter.
Start your plant from the leafy crown capping the fruit. Give it a twist, peel off a few lower leaves to bare the base of the central stem, then set it aside to dry out and heal over.
Pineapple thrives in very porous soil.
Make whatever potting soil you use for your other plants more porous by mixing it with equal parts of perlite or coarse sand.
Or concoct your own mix using three parts of perlite or sand to one part of peat, with a little garden soil thrown in. Also add some sulfur or coffee grounds to make any potting soil more acidic.
When you’re ready to plant, cover the drainage hole of a flowerpot with a square of window screen, then fill the pot with the potting soil. A clay pot is better for a pineapple than a plastic pot because clay pots “breathe” through their pores and they’re heavier, and thus less likely to topple with a leaf-heavy pineapple plant.
Stick the base of the leafy crown into the potting soil just deep enough to hold it upright. Top the soil with a thin layer of gravel to prevent the soil from washing around as you water, and to provide a decorative backdrop for those bluish leaves.
Water thoroughly, but don’t do it again until the soil is bone dry.
Roots eventually will start to grow. Then fill the pot.
Treat your plant well and it can bring a taste of the tropics to you again — by eventually bearing fruit.
Good treatment means, in part, periodic fertilization. Splash some diluted fertilizer solution on the leaves also; pineapple plants love to “eat” with their leaves.
Also keep the plant in bright light: a sunny window indoors in winter, and dappled shade outdoors in summer.
And be careful not to over-water.
Sometimes a healthy plant needs to be coaxed into bearing fruit.
Do this by putting the plant into a bag with a ripe apple or banana for a week.
Ethylene gas released by the ripening fruit induces flowers which can eventually ripen into delectable fruits.