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How Long does it Take to Grow a Pineapple?

Pineapples can live for 7 years and yield fruits 1-3 times during their lifespan. But have you wondered how long does it take to grow a Pineapple?

Generally, Pineapples take 10-24 months to grow outdoors and 2-3 years indoors, respectively. They are available to harvest fruits from March to August when the hue of the outer peel turns yellow to greenish-yellow.

Growing Pineapple plants is sometimes enduring. If you want to learn the ins and outs of growing Pineapple plants, read on!

What are the Pineapple Growing Stages?

Pineapple or Ananas comosus is a biennial or perennial plant with a lifespan of 2 years or more.

They are neither pines nor apples, but it’s fascinating that they resemble pine cones in form but belong to the plant family Bromeliaceae.

Additionally, each Pineapple plant undergoes 3 growth phases, a peculiar feature of this family.

1. Vegetative Phase

This stage starts from planting to the flowering or setting of inflorescence on the plant.

Generally, it takes about 6-8 months for a Pineapple plant to complete its vegetative phase and enter the fruiting stage.

You can induce the vegetative phase by planting seeds, crown tops, or suckers of Pineapples, but each may take different times.

You are fortunate if you live in zones 10-12, as the climate in these regions is suitable for growing Pineapples outdoors!

Regardless of the method, the plant soon matures to develop flower clusters. The flowers combine to form a single fruit, initiating the fruiting phase.

2. Fruiting Phase

This stage runs from flowering to harvesting fruits, taking around 5 months. As the plant grows, a tall stalk elongates from the center of the plant.

Later, the stalk’s tip slowly transforms and enlarges into a bulbous head, surrounded by whorls of short and stiff leaves, known as crown or top.

Each plant may produce 2 or 3 heads, but some Pineapples produce up to 12. The head slowly enlarges into fleshy and scaly fruit.

Image represents developing fruit of Pineapple
Pineapple plants grow a fruit at the top of a tall stalk.

3. Harvesting Phase

This phase, also called the sucker-growth phase, starts with fruit harvesting and ends with the plant’s demolition. The harvesting is available from late April to August.

You can identify the ripe fruits by checking for signs from the table below!

Indicator Identity
Skin ColorGreen-gray to yellow-orange or golden-yellow
Weight2-10 pounds
Tapping SoundSolid sound signifies ripe fruit

Hollow sound signifies unripe fruit
SmellSweet and tangy
Size6-12 inches long

Since a Pineapple plant produces a single fruit, the mother plant will die after the harvest but forbear suckers or offsets between the leaf axils.

You can detach these suckers and place them in the soil to grow more Pineapple plants.  

How Long Does it Take to Grow a Pineapple?

Some Pineapple varieties enter the fruiting stage only after 2-3 years, as 100-200 flowers combine to form a single Pineapple fruit.

The fusion of flowers is a tedious process and depends on the amount of light or temperature requirements, along with the choice of propagation method.

1. How to Grow a Pineapple from Crowns?

Crowns are the leafy top of the fruit, so you will need a healthy fruit to grow a new plant using this method.

It would normally take around 1.5-2.5 years to grow a mature Pineapple plant from crowns and harvest the fruits.

  • Select a healthy fruit that has a yellow or greenish-yellow peel. Twist the crown manually from the top.
  • Expose the lower stem from the crown by removing the lower leaves using sterilized pruners.
  • Let it dry for a week so that the exposed end of the crown hardens.
  • Place the exposed portion of the crown dipped in a jar filled with rooting hormone solution.
  • Place the set-up in an area that receives bright, indirect sunlight for 3 weeks and change the water every 3 days to discourage rotting.
  • Afterward, plant the crown about 3-4 inches deep in well-draining, acidic soil when the roots are 2-3 inches long.
Image represents crown propagation method to grow a Pineapple plant
Crown propagation is a method to grow a new Pineapple plant, where the top leafy part of the plant is detached and grown in the soil.   

2. How to Grow a Pineapple from Seeds?

Seeds of several Pineapple varieties are improbable and are difficult to germinate even if they are viable. In most cases, Pineapple fruits may not even set the seeds.

If they do, seeds are tiny, dark brown to black, and a few millimeters long, embedded in the fleshy fruit. Immature seeds are white in color and lack embryos, so they don’t germinate.

Pineapples growing from seeds may take 2-3 years for the plant to bear its first fruit. If you want to ensure successful germination from the viable Pineapple seeds, follow these steps.

  • First, collect the seeds by cutting the Pineapple flesh into half to inch-thick slices.
  • Press the slices between the thumb and index finger of both hands and bend them back to reveal the seeds.
  • Place the seeds in a paper towel at room temperature (21°C) with low humidity for several weeks to dry them.
  • Soak the seeds in warm water (around 25°C) for 8 hours.
  • Spread the seeds on a wet paper towel, fold them, and place them air-tight inside a zip-lock bag.
  • Give gentle sprays of water occasionally to keep the seeds moist.
  • Keep the bag over a heating mat maintained at a temperature around 21°C-25°C.
  • Seeds may take anywhere around 1-6 months to germinate.
  • After germination, plant Pineapple seedlings in a well-draining, organic potting mix.

If you start seeds directly in the soil, wait until the seedlings grow out of their current container before repotting them.

You can also check this informational video on the detailed process of germinating Pineapple seeds!

3. How to Grow a Pineapple from Suckers?

Suckers or offsets, also called “ratoons,” are baby Pineapple plants sprouting from the leaf axils when the mother plant steps into the flowering and fruiting stage.

Although the suckers grow faster than crowns and seeds, it can take 1.5-2 years to see the first Pineapple fruit using this method.

Plant the suckers in early spring if you want speedy growth. Follow these steps to learn about the process of planting suckers.

  • Gently twist out the suckers when they reach 4-6 inches long.
  • Remove the lower leaves from the suckers to expose the lower stem.
  • Air-dry the suckers for a week to harden the bare portion to prevent the growth of molds.
  • Plant the suckers about 2 inches deep in a well-draining potting mix.
  • Water to keep the soil moist until new growth emerges.

Tips to Care for Pineapples to Grow Faster

Pineapples show quick growth when the climate is tropical-warm, allowing you to harvest 2-3 fruits from a single plant.

If you desire swift growth of Pineapples, follow these steps to give it sound care.

  • Offer the Pineapples at least 6-8 hours of daily direct sunlight by keeping them close to a south-facing window.
  • Provide Pineapples with well-draining, sandy, loamy soil rich in organic matter with pH levels around 4.5-6.5.
  • Confer an inch of water per cubic meter weekly when the top 3 inches of the potting soil feel dry.
  • Sustain the humidity levels around 60%-70% and warm surrounding temperature between 20°C and 30°C.
  • Use dilute organic liquid fertilizer once during spring and summer.
  • Trim to remove the dead or damaged leaves every spring and keep the plant in the best shape.
  • Repot in a 10 to 12-inch wide container when the newly planted Pineapples develop a set of leaves. The following year, transplant them into individual 5-gallon pots.
  • Use insecticidal sprays to cast away mites, mealybugs, thrips, or fruitflies and apply fungicides to deter common diseases such as butt rot, black rot, and white leaf spots following infestation. 

Growing Pineapples: Do’s and Don’ts

There are a few precautions that you must learn before growing Pineapples. Take help from the chart below.

Image illustrates some careful tips for growing Pineapple plants
Pineapple plants like to grow under full sun with well-draining soil, require pruning to remove the dead or damaged leaves, and a proper distance between the plants while growing in the field.

Frequently Asked Questions to Grow Pineapples

Let’s answer some questions about growing Pineapple plants.

What is the Proper Soil to Grow a Pineapple Plant?

Pineapples need soil containing 30% organic matter (compost) or worm-casting manure, coco fiber, and perlite to supply them with a drainable potting environment.

Can You Grow Multiple Pineapple Plants in Containers?

You can definitely grow multiple Pineapple plants in a wide container but maintain a distance of 3-5 feet between the plants.

Do Pineapples Need to be Replanted Every Year?

When a Pineapple plant outgrows its current container, you can transplant it to a new large container with drainage holes to offer it some legroom.

From the Editorial Team

Choose the Correct Propagation Method to Grow Pineapples
Growing a Pineapple requires strong patience due to its prolonged maturation. Although most varieties are difficult to grow, you must aim for suckers to grow a Pineapple plant quickly.

Summer is the best time to enjoy juicy fruits like cantaloupes and honeydews. Learn about the methods of harvesting and growing them to relish their taste.

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