Why do the leaves on my pineapple plant turn brown?

Updated July 19, 2017

Sweet, juicy pineapple tastes scrumptious with festive meats, in desserts or freshly cut as a healthy snack. And with just a little gardening savvy, pineapple plants can serve as a delicious, decorative addition to your home or garden.


This tropical plant needs water, but overwatering and poor drainage can result in root damage, leaf damage, slow growth and scrawny fruit.


Like all tropical plants, pineapple plants flourish in natural sunlight in warm locations. They can succeed inside if placed in a sunny window and are rotated periodically.

Container vs. garden

The pineapple plant, a member of the bromeliad family, can thrive indoors in a large container, but expect the fruit from indoor plants to be more sour and tart than those grown in the ground. Pineapple plants do well outdoors in warm climates only, as frost can damage or kill them.

Healthy leaves

The leaves of a healthy pineapple plant are pointed, waxy and some are spiny. They vary in length from 2 to 6 feet depending upon their variety, age and environment. Leaves may be solid or variegated in colour.

Leaf damage

Pineapple leaves turn yellow or brown if the growing conditions are not exactly right. They require warm temperatures. If the plant is deprived of water or is watered too heavily without adequate drainage, the leaves will weaken, turn brown and may drop off. Mealy bugs are the primary pests drawn to pineapple plants, and these will damage the leaves as well.

Other problems

Other conditions that can damage the pineapple plant include Crookneck, copper deficiency, yellow spot virus and blackheart. Contact your local extension centre for answers to specific problems you may encounter with your pineapple plant.

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About the Author

Susan Steen graduated from the University of New Orleans, where she earned a B.A. in sociology and a certification in social work. She has been a freelance and contract writer for 22 years. Her work has been published in “Evidence Technology Magazine,” “Louisiana Bar Journal,” the Cobblestone children’s educational publications “Faces” and “Appleseeds,” the Waterford Literacy Program, and a variety of websites.