Question: I’d like to grow a pineapple plant. I understand I may even be able to bring it into flower and fruit. How do I do all that?Answer:
Select a fresh pineapple with a vigorous looking top at the grocery. Cut the top off and set it aside, then consume the fruit. Let the cut surface of the top dry for a couple of days, then pot it into an 8-inch clay flower pot, using the portion of the top of the fruit which you have left attached to it as an anchor, almost as roots would serve. Use a loose, highly organic potting soil. Place the new plant in bright light, and keep it moist. It will start to form roots and then new leaves. Within a few months, the leaves will take on an entirely different look as they elongate and develop spines. After 12 to 18 months, the plant will be 24 to 36 inches tall and wide, and you’ll be able to try your hand at bringing it into flower. Place an apple core in the center of the plant, and cover it with dry cleaner’s plastic to make it air-tight. The apple core will give off ethylene gas as it decays, and that gas will trigger the flowering process in the pineapple. Leave it covered, in bright light, but out of direct sunlight, for 4 to 6 weeks. You may want to open it up halfway through the process and place a fresh apple core in the center of the plant, then reseal it. You should see the flower starting to form after a month or two, and the fruit will then follow. The fruit will be much smaller than pineapples from the grocery store, but it will be edible if you wish.