How to Care for Bromeliad Pineapple?

Bromeliad Pineapple
Bromeliad Pineapple (Source: Pexels)

Did you know you could grow a Pineapple tree as a houseplant?

Not precisely a tree, but you can grow one inside your home with minimum effort. The popular Bromeliad species can be grown indoors as decorative or for fruits.

Bromeliad Pineapples are low-maintenance plants that thrive in warm weather with 40-60% humidity and minimal watering. Use a well-drained potting mix, pruning yearly, and fertilize 6-8 weeks.

Mature pineapple's top
Mature pineapple’s top (source: Pixabay.com)

Voila! You will have a beautiful Bromeliad Pineapple as your exotic houseplant!

However, before growing one indoors, consider looking at this complete guide to know every tip about growing, caring, conditioning, propagating, and harvesting Bromeliad pineapple.

Does Bromeliad Pineapple Need a Lot of Looking After?

Not really! Pineapple as houseplants is one of the low-maintenance plants because they manage to grow with minimal care.

According to a study conducted by New Mexico State University,

The pineapple should be easy to grow if you treat it like a regular houseplant that needs bright light, temperature, watering, and care.

Provide a few basic things to ensure a good yield: weekly watering, six hours of sunlight, occasional fertilizing, well-drained potting mix, and warm and humid conditions.

Here is the table describing its basic needs.

RequirementsOptimum Condition
Potting mix1. They enjoy a well-draining potting mix that holds water well but has enough sand to drain excess water and allow sufficient oxygen into the soil.

2. A potting mix of sand, peat moss, and bark will suffice.
Watering1. They hold water in their leaves as succulents and even survive droughts, but they will grow slowly when severely underwatered.

2. Water enough to make the soil moist. Replenish both the soil and leaves when the soil surface dries up.
Humidity1. Pineapples thrive in warm conditions with high humidity, between 40 to 60%.

2. Keep the relative humidity over 40% at all times by installing other houseplants, placing the pot on a wet pebbles tray, or using a humidifier.
Lighting1. A tropical plant, they enjoy living in a sunny and well-lit area.

2. Place them in a south-facing location that receives at least six hours of sunlight each day.
Temperature1. They thrive in warm temperatures and may die quickly in freezing conditions.

2. Temperatures between 65°F and 95°F (18°C to 35°C) are ideal.
Fertilization1. Pineapple bromeliads must be fertilized every two months with 10-10-10 NPK and 4-6% magnesium until flowers form.

2. Fertilizer every two weeks afterward amount between month four to six and double it after six months.

As long as you provide for them, they will take care of themselves.

Taking Care of Bromeliad Pineapple

As mentioned before, Bromeliad Pineapple will manage well with minimal upkeep and bear fruits to add to the decoration.

However, severe over or underwatering, wrong temperature, shade, and low humidity levels may kill the plant.

Here are some essential tips to help you take care of your exotic plant.

1. Watering Requirement

The most crucial factor in determining if your Bromeliad will live long enough to bear fruit or die sooner.

Succulent plants require less watering; once a week should be enough unless the potting mix does not hold water well.

They generally need about one inch of water per week.

The potting mix contains sand that will relatively drain water quickly, so you must check whether the soil around the plant is dry to touch. If it already feels drier, then it is time to water again.

Here are two watering techniques for Bromeliad Pineapple.

a. Soak and Dry Method

It is a more traditional method of watering where you pour the water directly onto the soil and let it dry naturally.

When watering, ensure you use a measuring cup to prevent soggy soil. Bromeliads ideally thrive in slightly moist soil.

Watering the plant
Watering the plant (Source: Unsplash.com)

b. Funnel Neck Watering

It is a more natural method where you install a long funnel neck watering can with its spout precisely aiming for the scoop of the leaf blade.

The leaf will gradually accumulate water that pools up at the base of the leaves or drip down into the soil, keeping it humid and moisturized all the time.

Quick Tip: When it is hotter outside, you can supplement frequent watering by misting the leaves twice or thrice a day.

2. Ideal Temperature

Bromeliad Pineapples prefer warm temperatures with humid conditions to grow and bear fruiting.

These succulents enjoy warm temperatures ideally found in tropical areas with a lot of humidity.

Similarly, your houseplant will thrive in temperatures ideally between 65 to 95 degrees.

Here is a short table highlighting how different temperatures may affect your beloved plant.

TemperatureCondition
Below 50°F (10°C)The plant can briefly survive the freezing temperature but will eventually die when exposed to continuous low temperature.
Below 65°F (18°C)It indicates a cool temperature. Although not ideal for plant growth, it will induce fruit growth, producing a smaller yield.
65-95°F (18°C to 35°C)An ideal temperature for growing both plants and fruits.
Above 95°F (35°F)The plant can briefly survive the hot temperature, but the continuous exposure may stall the plant and fruit growth.

Although the cool temperature is vital to induce flowering in your pineapple, constant exposure to cold may kill the plant, especially during winter.

How to Protect Pineapples from Cold?

  • They are sensitive to cold drafts and freezing conditions, so you must be careful about placing them on the patio or near the window when the temperature drops.
  • When the temperature drops, you should move them indoors. While the plant goes dormant, the fruit will continue to grow.
  • Despite protecting from the cold, if you notice red or white burn spots on the leaves or the fruit starts rotting, it may indicate that the plant is exposed to freezing temperatures.
  • As a solution, you can trim the brown and dead parts from the plant and keep it in the direct sun for at least six hours.
  • Alternatively, you can cover it with a black plastic bag and keep it away from windows or doors.

3. Soil Mix

Although pineapple does manage to grow in any soil condition, the growth and yield may drastically differ.

Bromeliad Pineapples grow best in a well-draining potting mix with sandy loam soil of neutral to mildly acidic pH (4.7-7.0).

It prefers soil that holds water well but has enough sand to drain excess water to allow sufficient oxygen to the roots.

Unless you plan to grow your pineapple outdoors, you can use a potting mix ideal for indoor succulents.

Note: When preparing a potting mix, consider mixing both heavy and porous elements such as sand, peat moss, vermiculite, and bark into the pot.

It will keep the pot well-aerated and avoid restricting the plant roots from growing.

Potting soil

Here is how you prepare a potting mix at home.

  • Determine a container size (5-10 gallons) before preparing the mix.
  • Mix sand (1/2 part of the container)
  • Mix perlite (1/4 part)
  • Mix pine bark (1/4 part).
  • Add Sphagnum peat moss (1/4 part) into the mix to make it slightly acidic.

Perlite will keep the soil well aerated, and sand will retain the required moisture for the plant.

In contrast, sphagnum moss will make the mix slightly acidic appropriate for pineapples.

You can use the same formula to prepare a repotting mix later.

4. Humidity Requirement

Maintaining a relative humidity level of 40% is ideal for the Pineapple bromeliad plant.

The pineapple bromeliad is native to a tropical climate, which means it grew up in an area with a lot of humidity in the air.

As a result, the plant prefers a medium to high level of humidity in its surroundings.

You may always arrange for a humidity enhancing system if the relative humidity falls below the 40% threshold.

5. Container for Bromeliad Pinapple

Growing Bromeliad Pineapples in a container is ideal for growing indoors because you can control the water intake, temperature, and lighting at all times.

For growing a young plant, choose a moderate-sized pot measuring 8 inches or a 3-7 gallon (11-26 liter) container with drainage holes.

As the plant further grows, you would need to continue transplanting it to a larger pot. You can transplant it to a larger pot with each new growing season, at least 4 inches wider than the previous one.

Alternatively, choose a 12 x 12-inches container should be appropriate for growing a young plant without the need for immediate repotting.

Here are a few recommendations for you to make it easy to choose a suitable container

ContainerMaterialSpecificationImage
LA JOLIE MUSE Planter Pots Large-14.2"D x 10.6"H, Medium-11.3"D x 8.7"H, Small-8.6"D x 6.7"HIron, stone, and plasticThe rustic design offers a modern touch, and four built-in drainage holes provide well-drainage features.
8.6" or 14.2" Plant Pot with Drain HolePlastic and natural stoneIt is an ideal, sturdy pot for growing Bromeliads. The pre-built drainage holes keep the plant well-drained.
8” Clay Pot for Plant with SaucerTerracotta, clayIt is ideal for growing young plants. The 8" in height and outer diameter provide ample space for root growth.
Large 10” Terracotta Plant PotTerracotta, ceramicThe 40-B-L-1 earthenware pot is best for growing Bromeliads. The Terracotta/ceramic pots provide drainage and aeration to the potting mix.

How to choose the suitable container?

Many ornamental pineapples can grow as tall as two or four feet in height, so choose a container wisely.

  • Remember, the larger the container, the greater the potential for getting a larger plant.
  • Small containers may restrict the size of the plant, which is only suitable for miniature pineapples.
  • Another essential thing to consider is the container material and drainage.
  • Choosing terracotta, clay, ceramic, or earthen materials for a container should be ideal for growing pineapples.
  • The appropriate containers allow the moisture to escape from the sides by aerating the entire potting soil.

Learn more about Container Types for Indoor Herbs

6. Fertilizer Requirements

Bromeliads Pineapples are succulents that enjoy regular feeding in the growing season but cut back on fertilizing in winter as the plant goes dormant.

As a rule of thumb, ornamental pineapples must be fertilized every two months with organic, 10-10-10 NPK, and 4-6% magnesium and iron plant food.

The mild plant food will provide the required Nitrogen, Potash, and Phosphorus content to the Pineapple.

In contrast, rich magnesium and iron content will give trace minerals for better yield.

How to Fertilize Bromeliad Pineapple?

  • Once the flower starts blossoming, switch to fertilizing the plant once in two weeks.
  • The increased frequency will boost the yield and provide quick nutrients to the plant.
  • Liquid mix application is a popular choice as a fertilization method. Dilute the mix with water before applying it to the soil.
  • Beware of foliar spraying the leaves to avoid leaf burn.
  • Young plants should not be fertilized with more than 2-3 ounces (29-30g) plant food. Once the plant starts flowering, increase the amount from 3-6 ounces (56 to 100g).

Here are a few recommendations for you.

FertilizerSpecificationImage
John and Bob's Organic Fertilizer (Granules)Organic plant food contains concentrated humus, calcium, and iron and boosts moisture retention in the plant.
Dyna-Gro Foliage Pro (Liquid)The 9-6-6 plant food contains rich nitrogen formula with essential trace minerals, with Urea-free contents.
General Hydroponics GH1663 Flora Nectar (Liquid)An organic nutrient supplement perfect for fruits and flowers is made from organic sugar from the natural raw cane.
Southern Ag All Purpose Granular Fertilizer (Liquid)Unifrom homogenous granular formulation with 10-10-10 NPK contents and minor elements

7. Sunlight and Ideal Location

They are a tropical plant that thrives in bright conditions and requires at least six hours of sunlight every day during the growing season to produce leaves and flowers.

To imitate the tropical environment, you should place them in a sunny and well-lit home area such as on the patio or close to the window.

Only after the flower blossoms will it continue to grow throughout fall and winter to produce a good yield.

Fact: As a rule of thumb, place them in a south-facing location that receives four to six hours of sunlight each day.

The lack of sunlight may slow down foliage and flowering growth; hence, stalling the fruit growth.

However, if you wish to grow pineapple primarily for the foliage, the plant can tolerate light afternoon shade.

8. Flowering

If you are growing pineapple for its fruits, you must take care of its flowering because these flowers only produce a single fruit.

However, do not expect a fruiting overnight. It may take well over 18 to 20 months before a young bromeliad can bear flowers.

A succulent, as well as a perennial, the pineapple plant only bears flowers once a year.

The plants will start producing a bright red cone covered with flowers only after 12 to 14 months.

The plant typically produces up to two hundred flowers that resemble small pineapples. They contain tiny purple tubes that may turn into violet, brown, or pink colors throughout the development.

Pineapple flower
Pineapple flower turning into a fruit (Source: Pixabay.com)

How to Take Care of Flowering?

  • Ensure to provide an ideal condition for flowering on pineapples.
  • Provide enough watering, 6 hours of sunlight, ideal warmth, and fertilizing every two months to bear flowers at the end of the growing season.
  • Once the flower starts blossoming, switch to fertilizing once in two weeks to boost the flower development.

Suppose your area does not have ample sunlight or warmth. In that case, you can try an alternative method of inducing flowering at home.

  • Place the plant in a bag with a ripening apple, which produces ethylene gas, and exfoliate the flowering in the pineapple.
  • However, you must continue this treatment for few months and replace the apple several times from the bag.

9. Control Pests and Insects

Your exotic plant could even attract insects like thrips, fruit borers, bud moths, midgets, fruit flies, white grubs, beetles, and weevils.

However, most of these pests are only found in outdoor pineapple plants.

The common enemies of Indoor Bromeliad Pineapples are scales, mites, ants, and mealy bugs.

Mealybug Damage (Source: Flickr)

Here is the list of common pests that may be found in your indoor Bromeliad Pineapple.

PestsSpecification/ProblemsSolutions
MealybugMealybug is a tiny, cottony, pink insect mainly infecting the roots, leaves, and fruits.

They suck the sap from the leaves, leaving them wilted.

They excrete honeydew that attracts ants, and too much accumulation will lead to sooty mold, a fungal infestation.

A single mealybug can produce up to 1000 crawlers if left untreated.
1. Rinse the plant with a soapy water solution.

2. Spray the plant with insecticidal soap.

3. Apply Neem Oil on the plant.
AntsAnts may only attack pineapples when the mealybugs leave honeydew on the plant.

These sugar-feeding pests will reproduce and frequent your pineapple plant when left untreated.

Although they are harmless, they can become a nuisance.
1. Removing the mealybug will prevent future ant infestation.

2. Spray the plant with undiluted insecticidal soap mixed with water.

3. As an organic treatment, use poisoned bait on your plant that is carried back to the ant colony.
Scaly InsectsScaly insects are tiny, waxy pests that infest on pineapple leaves and fruits.

Yellow or rust-colored spots will start developing on the leaves, and the sap will begin drying up.

The crawlers will later develop into adult insects.
1. Apply insecticidal oil or soap on the infected part to immediately kill the crawling pests.

2. Apply systemic insecticides as a foliar spray to control adult scale insects
Pineapple ThripsThrips are small, brown insects with yellow hind wings that mainly feed on flowers, leaves, and crowns of fruits.

They mainly infect overwatered plants or those placed in damp locations.

They also transmit many fungal and viral diseases in plants.
1. Use a homemade spray of water mixed with mild garlic and chili pepper.

2. Use an insecticidal soap mixed with water and foliar spray on the plant twice a week.

3. Remove weeds and follow crop rotation to prevent thrip infestation

If the infection is more recent, you can wash off the plant leaves and stem with mild soap and water to avoid possible infestation.

For a more significant infestation, use recommended insecticides.

10. Control the Infestation of Fungal Diseases

Similar to pest infestation, Bromeliad Pineapples may become prey to different horticultural diseases.

Overwatering the plant is a significant concern because most diseases come from waterlogging and excess moisture.

Here is the list of common diseases found in pineapple houseplants.

DiseaseSpecification/ProblemsSolutions
Top rot and root rotThese are common fungal diseases that appear on an overwatered Bromeliads.

Top rot may show up like dead leaves, while root rot gives drooping leaves.

Phytophthora root rot is common in Pineapples that cause the leaves to turn green or yellow and slowly destroy the feeder roots.
1. As an immediate solution, change the watering practices and repot the plant in new soil.

2. Prune the infected root with sterilized scissors.

3. When repotting, wash the pot with bleach water to kill any remaining fungus or bacteria.

4. For a mild infection, leave the plant in the sun longer and cut back on watering.
CrookneckCrookneck is a disease caused by zinc deficiency in pineapple potting soil.

It mainly occurs in young plants that are 12-15 months old.

You would notice curled and twisted heart leaves that will turn waxy and brittle.

It will also create small blisters that develop into gray-brown sunken spots.
1. As a treatment, add zinc sulfate with your regular fertilizer the next time you feed your plant.

2. Zinc sulfate helps to boost root growth, mainly when grown in sandy soil with low organic matter.
Yellow spotYellow spot virus causes young pineapple leaves to turn bronze in color and tip death.

The growth of infestation may affect fruitings, developing ring posts, or raised bumps.

It is mainly transmitted by Onion thrips (Thrips tabacii).
1. Control yellow spots caused by Onion thrips by applying insecticidal soap containing pyrethroids, carbamates, and organophosphates.

2. If the infestation is severe, you should better throw away your plant.

11. Propagation

Propagate your adult pineapple to produce a lot of new plants.

When propagating pineapple, you can only propagate from a new vegetative growth from the mother plant.

Here are two popular methods to propagate your pineapple.

a. Using the Crown of the Fruit

It is one of the easiest propagating methods.

  • The crown usually consists of leaves and 1/2 – 3/4 inches of the fruit top. Take a fresh Pineapple and cut off the crown with a sharp knife.
  • Throw away the rind and remaining fruit to prevent rotting, and then slice the crown until you see a ring of brownish dots.
  • Plop it into a glass of water and leave it in a warm and bright location for 2-5 weeks.
  • Once the root starts appearing, plant it in a well-draining potting mix preferable for pineapple.
  • Water the mix once or twice a week until the next two to three months, the continue watering once a week and fertilize every six weeks.

Ensure to place them in a warm location with bright sunlight and water frequently to keep the soil lightly moist.

Pineapple crown
Pineapple crown (Source: Unsplash.com)

b. Using Slips of the Fruit

Growing from tops will usually take at least 24 months while increasing from slips yields quickly.

Slips are tiny plantlets that grow as the base of fruitings.

Here is how you can propagate from slips.

  • Start with carefully pulling off slips from the developing fruit.
  • Let the slips sit for at least 2-3 days in a dry
  • Prepare a well-draining potting mix in a 6-8 inches container and plant your slip just about two inches deep in the soil.
  • Water your potting mix once or twice a week to keep it slightly moist until the next two to three months. Then, continue watering once a week and fertilize every six weeks.

They are slow growers. They take about a year to mature enough to form a flower for fruit when grown from slips.

Related Article: How to Separate Bromeliad Pups from Mother Plant

12. Repotting

Bromeliad Pineapple may benefit from the change of soil once a year.

Changing soil mix becomes essential to give your plant fresh soil. Here are few reasons why you should consider repotting your pineapple plant.

When your plant has outgrown its potIt is suitable for a plant that becomes root-bound.

Pineapples do not enjoy root-bound conditions; hence, transplanting to fresh soil in a new pot.
When the soil is not retaining enough moistureThe sandy soil mix fails to retain the required moisture after a while.

Instead of conditioning the soil, you should repot your plant in a fresh soil mix.
When your plant is affected by root rotRepotting becomes essential when your plant is suffering from root rot.

Changing the soil and sanitizing the pot will prevent possible root rot problems.

However, be careful about repotting your plant in new soil. Ensure you are using a similar potting mix that you have used before.

They prefer well-aerated, sandy soil with low organic content. When transplanting to a larger pot, choose a pot size that is no larger than 1/3 of the plant’s root system.

Young pineapple
Young pineapple (Source: Unsplash.com)

How to Effectively Repot Your Pineapple?

  • Prepare and water the fresh mix of sand, vermiculite, sphagnum peat, and perlite.
  • Choose an appropriately sized container with drainage holes.
  • Fill the pot halfway and position your plant, so all the leaves stay above the soil.
  • Ensure the root ball is positioned about 1-inch below the pot’s rim to make space to store water.
  • Lastly, thoroughly water the plant.

13. Grooming your Plant

Trim or prune your plant once a year to control its overgrowing sprawl that may take up necessary energy from the plant and will look unappealing.

You can trim off the leaves to remove dead foliage and cut off the ground suckers that will likely produce small fruits.

Items Required

Step-by-step Instructions

  • Pick a time: Choose one to two months after the harvesting season, late summer or spring, when actively growing.
  • Start with identifying the leaves and stems that have to go. Dead leaves around the base and short shoots should go.
  • Cut the dead leaf, beige,  brown and wilting foliage where it meets the stalk. Be careful not to trim the stem.
  • Try cutting leaves only from the bottom.
  • Identify the ground sucker and cut it off close to the ground.

Continue the same process every year during the growing season and fertilize afterward to provide the necessary nutrient boost.

14. Harvesting Pinapple

Remember, once you harvest the fruit, your plant will die off.

Growing ornamental Bromeliad for foliage is excellent for keeping the plant alive for a long time, but be prepared to bid goodbye to your plant if you decide to harvest the fruit.

Do not worry about losing the plant because you can quickly propagate it using the crown or slips from the fruit.

They are ready to harvest when the outer skin starts developing a yellowish color, turns orange, and starts smelling like a pineapple fruit.

It indicates that the fruit has ripened!

Grab the fruit near the top and twist it sideways to snap it off.

Ripened Pineapple Fruit
Ripened Pineapple Fruit (Source: Unsplash.com)

Conclusion

Your homegrown pineapples will easily fall prey to pests and diseases if uncared for a long time.

One of the major causes of problems with the pineapple plant is overwatering. These succulents are sensitive to excess watering, so avoid overwatering at all costs.

Ensure to provide six hours of full sunlight, watering once a week, a warm temperature with 40-60% humidity and feed plant food every six to eight weeks to get a healthy and beautiful decorative Bromeliad.

Refer to this guide whenever you have concerns about your exotic houseplant.

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