Whether you like to munch on it by the slice or put it on pizza (divisively, I may add), you have plenty of reasons to grow a pineapple tree indoors. This guide will tell you how long it takes before the fruits of your labor are harvestable.
How long does it take to grow a pineapple tree indoors? Pineapple trees grown indoors are considered mature and thus fruit-bearing between two and three years old. From there on out, the pineapple tree will continue producing fruit in two-year bursts for a few years.
I’m sure you have plenty more questions about growing pineapple trees indoors, and I’ve got the answers. Ahead, I’ll explore how long you’ll wait for that lovely pineapple tree to sprout in your home or office. I’ll also discuss the size of indoor pineapple trees and how many fruits you should expect from yours.
Growing a Pineapple Tree Indoors? Here’s How Long It Will Take
Fruit trees may require more space than windowsill or terrarium plants, but they can be grown indoors, nevertheless. That said, since these plants produce fruits, you could be in for a long wait to see them sprout.
With the right care, it will take upwards of 24 months for a pineapple plant to reach maturity.
It’s only in maturity that the plant can bear fruit. In most instances though, expect to wait quite a deal longer, like two, sometimes even three years.
You can grow a pineapple tree indoors from seeds or propagated from other pineapple tops. You can also simply buy a pineapple tree from your favorite gardening supply store.
What most indoor gardeners agree on is that regardless of how you grow a pineapple tree, it’s not going to produce fruit any faster than using the other methods. You will have to be patient.
More importantly, you’ll have to carry out your pineapple tree’s care routine without fail for years even though you’re not seeing any fruit. I’ll talk more about this plant’s care later, so make sure you check that out.
A Note on Forcing Your Indoor Pineapple Tree to Grow
Can you speed things along at all so you can have some delicious pineapple sooner?
Some indoor gardeners will expose their growing pineapple trees to calcium carbide or ethephon to hasten the growing process. Allow me to explain what these substances are and how viable of an option this is.
Calcium carbide or calcium acetylide is a type of chemical compound that produces acetylene gas when you add water.
Acetylene gas can encourage an indoor pineapple tree to flower or produce fruit.
However, the gas is not safe for human (and probably animal) exposure. Acetylene gas can irritate your lungs, throat, nose, skin, and eyes. Further, the gas is highly flammable.
Then there’s ethephon. This is considered a growth regulator for plants. It may sound safer than calcium carbide, but don’t be fooled. Ethephon is technically a pesticide.
My recommendation? Wait it out and grow your indoor pineapple tree naturally.
When that first pineapple sprouts from your plant, it will be such an exciting, rewarding moment. Don’t cheat yourself out of that!
How Many Pineapples Do You Get From One Plant?
Although it would be cool if they were, pineapple trees are not infinitely renewable. That doesn’t matter if you grow them indoors or outdoors. The plant will produce X number of pineapples over its lifetime, and then it’s done.
How many pineapples can you expect from one indoor tree? Well, after those initial two or three years, you’ll have your first pineapple.
Then, about two years later, you’ll receive another harvestable pineapple.
If you’re lucky, your pineapple tree might produce yet another pineapple, but that’s not guaranteed.
Overall, then, you can expect an indoor pineapple tree to grow roughly three fruits in total. It can take about six years for this to happen.
How Tall Do Pineapple Trees Get?
Pineapple trees are incredibly majestic once they achieve maturity. At that point, the tree will grow six feet tall and six feet wide.
Is that too big for your home or office? For a lot of people, the answer is yes.
Unfortunately, if you want full-sized pineapples from your plant, then the tree must be allowed to reach that size.
If your pineapple tree is confined to a smaller area and still receives the proper care, then it will produce pineapples. However, they’ll be smaller than the norm. Plus, they might not taste as good.
Pineapple Tree Indoor Care Tips
Throughout this entire guide, I’ve talked about the importance of proper care for your indoor pineapple tree. Now, as promised, I want to delve deeper into the care facets that should become a part of your regular routine.
Allow the Soil to Dry Out Between Waterings
The pineapple tree, despite that it’s a tropical plant, does not need as much water as you might assume. You must allow the soil to dry out well between waterings.
You don’t want soggy soil, and certainly not wet soil either.
As always, I recommend using the fingertip test to gauge how dry or moist the soil feels. If an inch of soil is a bit damp, then it’s too soon to water.
When several inches of soil feel very dry, then now you want to water the pineapple tree.
Overwatering your pineapple tree is a huge detriment to its health. The plant is sensitive to standing water, which can cause root rot. This is a deadly plant disease that kills your plant from the roots to the leaves.
If you’re hoping to someday harvest pineapples from your tropical plant, overwatering is one of the most surefire ways to ensure it doesn’t happen.
The pineapple tree is rather drought-resistant, but don’t push your luck. If your plant is starved for water, you will again delay how long it takes for it to produce fruit.
You can tell that your pineapple plant needs more H2O when the leaf tips get dried out and even die. Its long leaves will sag as well.
Provide Bright, Direct Sunlight
Many indoor plants, even tropical species, must not receive direct sunlight or it will scorch them. Since the pineapple tree is bigger, it’s okay to give it plenty of bright, direct sun.
A southerly-facing window should meet this plant’s lighting requirements. The sun that comes from a window at this angle is the most intense.
It’s not a bad idea to inspect your plant every now and again and look for signs of too much sun. The foliage might look brownish and feel drier than normal. In some cases, the leaves can even begin sagging.
Yes, these symptoms are a lot like what happens to a plant when it’s underwatered. You’ll have to use the process of elimination to determine what’s going on with your pineapple tree.
Set Your Thermostat at 68 to 86 Degrees Fahrenheit
The pineapple tree doesn’t require anything special in the temperature department.
The higher-end of the room temperature range is preferable for this plant, so if your temps are in the high 60s to mid-70s, that’s a-okay.
Don’t be afraid to let it get a bit hotter if you can stand it. Pineapple trees like temps up to 86 degrees, which is certainly balmy.
Just watch how high the temperatures go. Once the mercury pushes past 90 degrees, your pineapple tree is no longer happy. The hot temps can stress out your plant and slow down its growth.
The same goes for cold temperatures. To a pineapple plant, anything under 60 degrees is cold.
Those temps will feel chilly but not downright cold to you. In the meantime, your plant is experiencing symptoms of cold stress.
What kinds of symptoms are those? Well, your pineapple tree could have yellowed leaves, wilting, and necrosis or tissue death.
As if all that’s not serious enough, the growth of your plant will also stop.
Maintain Average Relative Humidity of 45 Percent
Average relative humidity is all around us in every room we enter. The standard range is 30 to 50 percent.
The pineapple tree, in the meantime, likes humidity at about 45 percent.
What does this mean for you, the indoor gardener? You don’t have to go out and buy a humidifier for your pineapple tree to thrive. Just ensure the humidity stays at about 45 percent and you’ll be in the money.
Earlier, I discussed some rather unnatural means of encouraging pineapple tree growth. What you can do instead that’s a lot better for the plant (provided you don’t overdo it) is fertilize it.
Fertilizer is plant food. When your pineapple tree receives the balanced nutrients and minerals it needs, it can grow healthy and strong.
So what do you use as pineapple plant fertilizer? You want a balanced formula that contains the same amounts of the macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The formula will read 10-10-10 or something similar.
The fertilizer formula should contain at least four percent magnesium but ideally six percent.
Feed your pineapple tree the fertilizer in two-month intervals. When the plant finally begins producing fruit, increase fertilizer application to two weeks rather than two months.