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I have this big pineapple that was sold as "White Hawaiian" (now in 10gal grow bag) that I can't keep overwintering inside. I've tried various rotten apple tricks this year to try to use ethylene to induce fruiting, but without success. The plant is massive and is now forming offsets. I keep it well watered and fertilized during the growing season. It sits in almost full sun during the summer. I'm in zone 8a so I get plenty of season too. I'm burying the bag and covering it for this winter but I'd really like to do something with it next year!

I appreciate any advice or tips on getting it to form fruit.

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  • I would really like to see a picture of this pineapple. I only get to see them in pint-sizes
    – kevinskio
    Nov 20, 2023 at 18:06
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    If the plant fruited in the past, it may be done, and only the offsets will carry on. I'd repot from the oversized pot to 1 gallon so the plant dries out much quicker. Most bromeliads are after all air plants, though pineapples grow in sandy fields. Even in 8a, you will get frost and your tropical plant will not like it. Nov 20, 2023 at 18:37
  • Seldom I got pineapple, planting the top of a pineapple, but I never had a massive plant and never offspring (and it took several years). Nov 21, 2023 at 12:54
  • @kevinskio I added some pics. This one is a little less than 4' tall and a little over 4' wide. Nov 22, 2023 at 14:30
  • @YosefBaskin Maybe downsizing is a good idea. The soil is well draining but with lots of perlite not sand. It's been in this bag for a few years now. I originally received it as planted offset in a 1gal so it's hasn't fruited yet. Nov 22, 2023 at 14:39

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How long have you had it? It can take 2-3 years to go from a small plant to start fruiting. If it's about 3ft tall from base leaf to crown, it should be ready to flower. Base leaf is the leaf closest to the soil, crown is the center point where the leaves come out.

I never needed to do ethylene to get fruiting on my pineapples when I was growing them. It'll flower when it's ready. It needs to store a certain amount of resources before it fruits. Once it has enough, you can't stop it.

Here are some ideas:

In late spring, start giving it some flower fertilizer--by which I mean something marketed for flowers. In the NPK numbers, you want something with a low first number and high middle number, eg 5-50-17, or 5-30-12, or 1-10-4. Numbers will vary depending on what's available to you.

If you find something water soluble, even better. You can dilute to 15-20% recommended dosage and pour down the crown leaves. Let it flow down. Be careful not to let the center become water logged...if you water in the evening, it should be warm enough that the water evaporates out at the end of the next day.

And then mid-summer, cut down on watering. Enough so the top 2-3 inches are dry, but still slightly moist under that. This will stress it out and it'll trigger flowering. It needs a consistent minimum day temperature somewhere in the mid-80s F and plenty of sun.

If you get lucky, you'll see the center grow its special flower stalk.

I don't grow pineapples anymore. 2 years of growing only to get one pineapple per plant uses up more time and space than it's worth for me. It is unique though, and very few people outside of the growing regions can claim to have seen pineapple flowers up close.

Good luck!

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