Do Pineapples Grow on Trees? Growing Pineapple Indoors is possible? Can you grow it in a pot? Learn everything in this article.
Most people think that it was the Hawaiians who first grew the fruit, but that’s not the case. Pineapples belong to the bromeliad family, which mainly originated in South America and were brought to Spain by the famous discoverer–Christopher Columbus in the year 1493, though pineapples were grown in Africa as well.
A Little History Of Pineapples
Before we dive deeper into Growing Pineapple Indoors, let’s know a bit about the history of this juicy tropical fruit.
Europeans started growing pineapples in greenhouses in large numbers, back in the 17th Century. At that time, it was considered a costly fruit that only the rich and elite savored. It was the industrialist Mr. James Dole, who thought of taking pineapples mainstream and started the Hawaiian Pineapple Company in 1901, which was later known as the Dole Food Company. He made pineapples very successful, and for seven long decades, his company was producing more than 75 percent of the whole pineapples in the world! Today, everyone enjoys pineapples and they are readily available to the masses!
Do Pineapples Grow On Trees?
Well, a straight answer to this question is–No! Because a pineapple’s plant is not a tree! It is a short “plant” and is generally about a foot or two from the ground. A commercial pineapple plant bears only one pineapple, meaning that once it has grown the fruit, it will no longer produce more.
Can You Grow Pineapple Indoors?
Growing pineapple indoors is possible. It’s easy! This tropical plant will even fruit in your home if you’ve got a South or West window that receives full sun. If you’re planting it in a hot climate, it wouldn’t mind partial shade as well. However, waiting for a pineapple to fruit is a long affair, until then you can enjoy it as a houseplant.
Also Read: Best Fruit Plants To Grow Indoors In Pots
How To Grow Pineapples?
There are easy ways to grow pineapples, but the easiest in all of them is growing pineapples from tops. You can start this process from your kitchen, the steps below will help you:
1. Get A Fresh Pineapple
The first step in growing pineapples is to get fresh and evenly ripe fruit, having healthy and green leaves at its top. Avoid picking a pineapple that’s overly ripe with dull leaves.
2. Cut The Crown Of Pineapple
Slice away the top part of the fruit (Crown), using a sharp knife. Then cut the ‘rind’ to remove the remaining fleshy part of the pulp of the fruit, as it might rot later.
Make fine slices of the pineapple stalk till you reach the middle that has brown spots as shown in the above picture. This dotted part is the “Root primordia” of the fruit, which you will be planting later.
3. Remove Lower Leaves
Once you have carefully sliced the stalk, remove the lower leaves of the fruit, exposing the bare root primordia.
4. Drying The Stalk
Allow the stalk of the fruit to dry for 4-6 days. Pineapples can rot quickly, so make sure it is completely dry before you plant it.
5. Planting The Pineapple Stalk
Dip the root primordia in a rooting hormone and put it in a pot filled with fast-draining potting soil. Don’t forget to provide drainage holes at the end of the pot to drain the excess water.
Pineapple Plant Care
A 12 inches deep and 12-18 inches wide pot should be fine for growing a pineapple plant. You can use a smaller, 6-8 inches deep pot for a starter plant and later transplant that into a much bigger pot.
If growing indoors, put the pineapple pot near a sunny window as a houseplant. It won’t mind partial sunlight as well. Another best option would be placing it outside, in your balcony. If you’ve got a garden, then you can grow it on the ground too. But the pineapple plant doesn’t enjoy winters, so you’ll have to bring it back indoors.
After planting the crown securely, water it from time to time and never allow the soil to become dry. A spray bottle is best for this purpose! Once it becomes a plant, water diligently, when the topsoil is slightly dry. Never overwater the plant or allow it to dry completely.
Use a regular houseplant fertilizer like 20-20-20 to feed your indoor pineapple plant, once every 6-8 weeks from April to September in a cold climate. If you see the signs of overfertilization, start feeding with a liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength.
Pineapples generally produce fruit in 2 years. If you want to speed up the process, you can expose the plant to ethylene gas. To do this, enclose the plant in plastic with overripe apples for 2-3 weeks. The apples will eventually decompose, releasing ethylene gas, which will stimulate the flowering/growth process of the plant.
You will have to wait for some time until the plant bears fruit. Once the fruit attains a golden yellow color, smell the fruit and when you get the signature pineapple smell, it’s time to pick it up!