Q: I have heard that to make a pineapple produce you have to put a rotten apple in the middle of it. Can you give me the information we need to make our pineapples have fruit?
A: Once a pineapple plant has thirty leaves on it, it can be forced into bloom by surrounding it with ethylene gas, a potent plant hormone. The easiest way to apply the gas is just as you’ve heard: put a rotten apple in the center of the pineapple and cover both with a plastic bag. Do not keep the plant in direct sunlight while the bag is on it. Remove the bag after a week and resume your normal care. If the plant is healthy, a flower spike should begin forming in two months. Once the flower spike has completed its development, a fruit will form on top of it. Three months later, when the bottom half of the fruit is golden, it’s ready to pick.