Caring for Your Pineapple Plant
Growing your own pineapple plant may seem like an exotic dream, but with a little care you can grow a beautiful, fruitful plant. The pineapple is a tropical plant, so, depending on your location, it may need to spend quite a bit of its life indoors.
Starting Your Plant
A pineapple plant can be started using the top of a pineapple fruit. The top should be cleaned of all flesh and placed in the soil. When it is small, the plant can be kept in a small, 8 inch pot. However, as it grows it will need to be moved to a larger pot. There should be gravel placed in the bottom of the pot. The gravel should be covered with a light soil mix with 30 percent composed of composted organics. These organics will give the plant plenty of nutrients. The gravel will help the soil drain. Be sure to place the pot in some sort of dish to catch any extra liquid.
Water and Fertilization
A pineapple plant does not need much water. You will only need to wet the plant about once a week. The water needs to drain properly for the pineapple plant to be happy. Do not allow the soil to become soggy. Fertilize the plant every few months.
Because the pineapple is a tropical plant, it cannot handle frost. If you live in a cool area, bring the pineapple inside well before the first frost. A comfortable room temperature will help the plant to thrive.
Pineapple plants need a lot of light. Keep them in the sun as much as possible. If you keep the plant inside, place it near a window. If it will frost, take the plant out of the window at night. You can still keep your pineapple plant if you do not have much light, but you will need to compensate with a fluorescent lamp designed for plants. The plant will need to be exposed to this lamp for 12 to 14 hours a day, unless it is ready to bloom. When it is ready to bloom the plant will only need 10-11 hours of light a day.
It may take several years for the plant to become mature enough to bloom. There are ways of forcing it to bloom, placing it in a bag with cut apples in one such method. But it is very important that the plant consistently receives fertilizer and water. It will not grow without proper nutrients.
A plant grown indoors is not as susceptible to diseases as a plant grown outside. If you find insects or fungi on your plant, invest in an insecticide or fungicide to help eliminate the problem.
Having a pineapple in your home will add to the ambience and character of the room. Just care for the plant properly and you will have a wonderful plant for many years to come.