How Long Does It Take To Grow a Pineapple Plant 

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How to grow a pineapple from a store-bought pineapple and how long does it take?

If you throw away the pineapple top after buying one from the store you are losing an incredible opportunity to grow your own pineapple plant. Pineapples are easy to grow and they are low-maintenance plants. See how to grow a pineapple from a store-bought pineapple and how long it takes to grow this delicious sweet fruit.

pineapple ready to harvest

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Growing Pineapple Plants

Commercial growers start pineapples from the pup or offshoots and it can take up tp 2-3 years from planting to harvesting. If you decide to plant the pineapple tops you can expect to wait about 18 months before you will harvest the first pineapple.

Pineapples are very hardy plants. They love the full sun but can also do well in partially shaded gardens or even indoors. This article shows you the step-by-step process of growing these juicy, tropical fruits from grocery store pineapples.

How to Grow a New Pineapple From Store-Bought Pineapple

The first step in growing a pineapple from a store-bought pineapple is make sure to choose a healthy pineapple. This will be the parent plant.

Choose one that is healthy and green. There should be ample foliage on top that is dark green and healthy. Make sure the center leaves are all present and do not fall out easily when you tug on them. The best pineapple should be ripe or slightly under-ripe. Select one that is firm to the touch without being rock-hard.

fresh pineapples

There are simple methods to determine whether your pineapple is ripe. First, the color of the pineapple. If your pineapple leaves have turned brown and started to crinkle then I think it’s safe to say that it is no longer a ripe fruit. Grab a leaf from the crown of the fruit and give it a gentle tug. If the stem easily pulls out then your pineapple is ripe. If the leaf does not easily come out it is not quite ripe. The leaf should come out easily, but not fall out.

test for ripeness

What You Need to Plant a Pineapple from a Store Bought Pineapple

To grow your own pineapple plant you will to need start with one or two store-bought pineapples, 6-inch pots, a gardening shovel, and potting mix.

plant with potting soil, garden, pineapple crown

How to Cut a Pineapple for Planting

Use a sharp knife to cut off the pineapple crown at least half an inch below the lower leaves. Cut off the remaining parts of the pineapple fruit to ensure you leave just the foliage.

cut pineapple top

You can also remove the top of the pineapple by firmly twisting it until it comes off the fruit. Do this by holding the leaves in one hand, and the fruit in the other, and twisting until the top comes off.

pineapple plant stages

Next, remove several layers of the lower leaves to expose about one inch of the stem of the pineapple.

how to plant a pineapple and how long to grow a new plant

After removing the leaves you should see some of the stem shoots. New roots will begin to grow from these shoots to create a new plant.

peel away pineapple leaves

Planting a Pineapple Top

Take the top of the pineapple after trimming and make sure that there is a clean exposed stem.

pineapple crown trimmed to plant

Fill a 6-inch flower pot with loamy soil.  

potting soil in pots

Next, insert the prepared stem into the soil leaving the base of the leaves flush with the soil surface.

plant pineapple stems

Firmly press the soil in around the base of the plant.

how to grow pineapple from store-bought pineapple

Water thoroughly and be sure to keep the soil moist. This is especially important for the next several weeks as the plant begins to establish new roots.

watering pineapple plants

Rooting Pineapple Plants in Water

Alternatively, you can start your plant by submerging the crown of the pineapple in a glass of water. Make sure only the lower exposed part of the stem is submerged to prevent the leaves from rotting. Place the glass on a windowsill or in a place that receives plenty of indirect light. After about three days the water will oxidize and turn a reddish-brown color. Keep the water clean and change it weekly.

After about 2-4 weeks the pineapple tops start to grow little white root nodules on the side of the stem. Once it has established a good set of roots, the pineapple is ready to be potted in soil.

Place the potted pineapple in a sunny window or outdoors in an area that gets partial shade. Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight as the young plant begins to grow on its own.

potted pineapple plants

Growing a Pineapple Takes Patience

After several weeks of proper care, you will begin to notice new leaf growth emerging from the center of the crown. The new pineapple plant is now established. At this stage, you may notice the edges of the original leaves turning brown. This is nothing to worry about and you can trim the ends of the dried leaves. Trimming these dead edges is not necessary for the health of the plant, but more for cosmetic reasons. 

brown leaves on fruit plant

Choose a sunny location next to the window to place the pineapple plant. Ensure that the soil inside the pot has good drainage and is not soggy. Soggy soils will cause root rot.  

Pineapples are tropical plants that love the sun. They need warmth to establish their root system effectively. Pineapples thrive in temperatures in the range of 65-85F. Pineapples do not do well in regions with extreme climatic conditions (too hot or too cold). However, you can still enjoy pineapples in these regions by growing them indoors. Pineapples make very unique and attractive low-maintenance plants. Place them in a Southern facing window that gets a few hours of direct sunlight each day.

Transferring Pineapple Plants to the Ground

After approximately a month in the small pots your pineapple plants should have an established root system and can be transferred from the small pots into the ground or into larger pots.

pineapple plant in ground

Pineapple Plant Maintenance

Pineapples are easy-to-maintain plants. They do not need a lot of fertilizer and if you start them off well in a good quality potting mix, they will thrive. Pineapple plants are also drought tolerant and forgiving if you miss a watering. The only maintenance you may have to do (especially if you are growing them in containers) is pruning them to tidy them up.

Pineapples do well in slightly acidic soil. If you do decide to apply fertilizer to your pineapple plants go with an NPK fertilizer with a 10-10-10 mix. Apply the solid fertilizer in the second and fourth months after planting. Pineapples should not be fertilized more than 6 times a year. Always water your pineapple plants well after applying fertilizer. We find the best way to fertilize our pineapples is to work in a few handfuls of our homemade compost into the top layer of soil around the plant. We do this once every couple of months.

Mulching with pine straw will help maintain moisture in the soil especially in the harsh Florida climate, or other areas of extreme heat. Additionally, as the pine straw mulch breaks down, it will increase the acidity of the soil.

pine mulch in florida

How to Grow Pineapple – Pineapple Growing Stages

After about 12 months of growth, the plant will enter the flowering stage and you will begin to notice the flower beginning to emerge from the center of the crown. This flower will develop slowly over the next 3-4 months and be bold purple in color.

purple pineapple flowering stage

The purple pineapple flower will slowly evolve into the fruiting stage and a new pineapple fruit will form.  

When the pineapple begins ripening you will notice that the color at the base starts changing from green to yellow-orange. The fruits will also produce a strong pineapple scent.

If you are growing outdoors, now is the time that raccoons and other outdoor creatures will want to steal the fruits of your labor. It is a good idea to cover the developing pineapple with a plastic bag. You can also deter these pineapple thieves with a sleeve made out of a plastic soda bottle. Simply cut the top and bottom off of a clean 2-liter soda bottle and place them over the top of the fruit. The plastic barrier will protect the pineapple.  

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Harvesting New Pineapple Fruit

Do not harvest until the yellow-orange color covers over two-thirds of the pineapple. Wear gloves when harvesting the mature fruit to prevent the leaves from pricking your hands. Hold the top of the pineapple with one hand and use a sharp knife to cut the fruit from the stem at the base. 

how long does it take to grow a pineapple plant

Wash the fruit with fresh cool water to to remove any bugs and dirt. Pat the pineapple dry and store it on the counter until you are ready to eat it.  You may want to slice the pineapple immediately and store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator to increase the shelf life. You can also juice the pineapple for delicious fresh pineapple juice to drink or add to your favorite drink.

Your mature pineapple plant will continue to grow and will produce another pineapple about 12-13 months later. You will also notice the mother plant will begin to produce new shoots off of the central stem. These are referred to as “pups” and will become new pineapple plants. Remove this new growth and repeat this pineapple planting process to produce additional plants.

Pineapples are delicious fruits you can regrow easily and produce a self-sustaining, endless supply of pineapples. The next time you buy a store-bought fruit consider growing new pineapples at home.

how to grow pineapple

Happy gardening!

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