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How to grow pineapple at home

When first introduced Pineapples were a sign of wealth and status – costing $8000 per fruit (in today’s dollars).  The fruit evoked such jealousy, that a rental market emerged where you could pay to have a pineapple for the night.

Timing

Harvest from Year 3+ on.

Part sun

Equivalent of 5+ hours of direct sun [DLI of 15+ mol/m²/day].

Care

Intermediate. You’ll transplant, prune, and harvest.

Can you Grow Pineapple Indoors? Best Pineapple varieties to grow inside.

To answer your question if you can grow pineapple indoors, yes, pineapples can be grown indoors, too. Here are some of the varieties that we recommend:

Smooth Cayenne

 

Most commonly grown pineapple variety. Its sweet flavor is hard to beat.

 

Patio Plants

Queen Victoria

 

It’s a smaller variety that produces fruit in the 2 to 3-pound range. This fruit stores well after being harvested

 

John Vena Produce

Sugarloaf

 

It is a unique pineapple variety with an exceptionally sweet flavor. Its overall nutritional content provides digestive and immune support, as well as anti-inflammatory benefits.

 

Amazon

Red Spanish

 

It’s not just known for its fiber but people also love eating its fruit.

 

Daleys Fruit

Best Setup for Pineapple Plants

You’ll need:

Planter: 

A pot that is at least 10″ / 3 gal, though there is some flexibility. The plant will grow in proportion to its planter – so size is based on how tall you want your plant to grow.

Soil: 

Free-Draining Mix

Plant Food:

Balanced Blend. This should be equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (with NPK numbers like 10-10-10).

Grow Light:

A strong grow light that can give the equivalent of 5+ hours of direct sun [DLI of 15+ mol/m²/day].

Jump to: Our product recommendations

Growing Pineapple Indoors: Seed vs Propagate

Growing pineapple indoors for eating is always started with a live plant or cutting. This is because plants grown from seeds will grow as “wild types” – meaning they won’t produce the same fruit they came from (think of crab apples!).

Why you shouldn’t start Pineapple from seed

If you grow a Pineapple from seed, it won’t grow “true to type” meaning the fruit you will get will be a weird cross between the many different varieties – and chances are it won’t taste very good. This is why Coffee seeds arent really available

How to Transplant Pineapple

How to transplant pineapple

Live starter plants give you a big jump start on your first harvest. When you’re in a garden center – pick the bushiest plant available (tall and lanky ones will be weak growers) and give it a good inspection for pests. Leaves should be dark green without holes, spots, or curled edges. A best practice is to actually “quarantine” your plant for about a week after bringing it home to make sure it’s free and clear of ride-on pests. 

Ensuring it’s pest and disease-free it’s time to transplant your seedling into its final home.

  1. Remove some soil from its final planter – leaving enough space for the bottom of the seedling to be just higher than the soil surface.
  2. Hold on to the base of the stem with one hand, and turn the pot over while gently pulling the seedling. Giving the pot a few squeezes can help dislodge it.  
  3. Place in its final container and fill around it with soil so that it’s tight, but not compacted.  

Where to grow your Pineapple plants: inside or outside your home?

Like all edible plants, Pineapple plants need lots of light to grow and develop good flavor. Sunlight is excellent for plant growth (and free!) and you might be lucky enough to have a spot that’s got the 5+ hours of direct sun they need. When growing pineapple indoors, even with a bright window, it’s unlikely that you’ll have enough natural light in the winter so we recommend a grow light for anyone who wants a constant supply of flavorful produce. For an introduction to grow lights, head over to our post on grow lights for indoor gardeners. We’ve also got a buying guide for screw in types, but to keep things simple in this guide, we’ll just provide directions for the 24W Screw in Bulb by Sansi, which we think is a good middle-of-the-road option.

how bright should your avocado light be for pineapple plants

How bright should your grow light be? 

Pineapple plants need the equivalent of 5+ hours of direct sunlight [DLI of 15+ mol/m²/day] to grow their best. In order to provide an equivalent amount with a grow light, it needs to be pretty bright! The 24W Sansi bulb should be placed 6 inches away from the top of the plant. This will give your PPFD (the standard measure of brightness) of 500 μmol/m²/s.

How many hours per day do your Pineapple plants need under a grow light?

Pineapple plants are known as “short-day,” meaning they’ll develop faster if they sense over 12 hours of darkness. We want them to progress into flowering as soon as possible, so we recommend setting up a timer to leave it on for only 10 hours per day.

Pineapple Plants Grow Faster in Warmer Temps

Pineapple plants are native to tropical regions and like lots of heat, classifying them as “warm weather crops”. Sunnier and south-facing windows help keep things warmer – ideally 80°F but anything between 60 and 90°F is fine.

Year 2+: Don’t Pollinate Your Pineapple Flowers

Pineapple plants will flower about 2 years after they’ve been planted. They don’t need to be pollinated to form fruit (and if they are pollinated they get seeds and are less nice to eat). After the flowers form, it generally takes 6 months for pineapples to reach their full, ripe size.

Year 3+: How to Harvest Pineapples

Pineapples are ready to pick when the entire outer skin turns yellow and the fruit has a strong pineapple smell. Pineapples won’t ripen after they are harvested, so you’ll want to wait until they’re perfectly ripe on the plant. 

Year 3: End of Life

Pineapple plant can produce 2 or 3 pineapples in their lifetime (the first will be the biggest), but will also produce side shoots that you can use to grow new pineapple plants. 

Shop This Blog

The right supplies can take the guesswork out of caring for your plants – and turn care from a daily to weekly routine. Through our grow tests, we’ve found these products to produce the best indoor Pineapple (and also have simple maintenance).  Plants are adaptable and can grow in many different conditions, so they are by no means necessary if you already have other supplies.

Best Containers for Pineapple: Ceramic Self Watering Planters

Plants thrive on consistent moisture but can suffer if they’re waterlogged. A semi-porous ceramic self regulates ideal conditions. Our favorite is the COSWIP planter. Runner up is XS Self Watering Planter by Wet Pot.

Best Soil for Pineapple: Free Draining Mix

Pineapple needs a drier environment – so you are better off using a free-draining cactus potting mix – we like this Organic Mix by Espoma

Best Nutrients for Pineapple: Balanced Blend

Pineapple likes nutrients that are equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (with NPK numbers like 10-10-10). For a Balanced Blend we recommend: Dr Earth All Purpose

Best Light for Pineapple: DIY or Soltech

There is a very small chance that you have the bright windows needed to grow these without a grow light. If you are looking for a higher-end option – we love the Aspect Light by Soltech. For a more affordable option, a DIY setup using a 24W Screw-in Bulb by Sansi with a Clamp Light and Mechanical Timer works well too.  Check out our complete guide on a DIY setup for less than $40 or our buying guide for screw in bulbs.

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