Pineapples (Ananas comosus) are tropical plants that do best in warmer temperatures between 65 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. In Mediterranean-type climates where the winters often dip close to freezing, pineapple plants do best if brought inside during the winter season. They grow well in containers which are at least 3 gallons, making moving them inside a feasible choice. If you would rather plant your pineapples in the soil outside, take steps in the winter to maintain your plants warm and healthy.
Water the pineapple every two to three times, even if the weather is chilly. Deficiency of moisture can cause the soil to release heat more quickly and cause the plant to be dried. Dehydrated plants get rid of moisture from their leaves more quickly, often resulting in internal tissue damage. Pineapples are a member of the bromeliad family, and although many bromeliads absorb water through the stiff-leaf “cup” in the middle of the plant, pineapples use their roots. Water the area at least 12 inches around the plant thoroughly each time.
Spread mulch around the ground around the plant at least 12 to 24 inches in all directions from the plant base, maintaining it 2 to 4 inches deep. Organic mulches, such as wood chips, can help the soil retain moisture and heat. Rock and gravel mulches can also help reflect heat up toward the base of the plant, particularly white or light-colored rock. The rocks have a tendency to retain heat more than organic mulches, making them a great selection for winter. In summer, the stone can reflect too much heat and burn the bottom leaves of the plant, so pull it off from the foundation in the latest months.
Drive four wooden stakes in the ground around the pineapple plant and then put a sheet or blanket over the bets. The stakes should be tall enough so that the blanket does not touch the leaves. Tie string between the stakes in a crisscross pattern if required to prevent the blanket from sagging in the center. On nights when you anticipate cold weather, use a blanket big enough to touch the ground on all sides of the plant, and chew over the edges down with rocks or landscaping staples. Just when the plant is completely covered does the blanket help hold in heat. Eliminate the blanket in the daytime when the sun pops up.
String exterior holiday lights across the base of the plant, but don’t let the lights touch the plant. This produces some heat in the blanketed area. Or, use a 100-watt light bulb attached to an outdoor light fixture or about a mild extension cord. These should also be situated near the base of the plant and turned off each morning.