starting a pineapple from a top

heatherraeJuly 6, 2006

Hi, I just moved to Central Florida and am enjoying having all the beautiful tropical stuff that grows down here. I already have established and fruiting limes, oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines. I want to add bananas and pineapples.

How do I plant a pineapple top? When is the best time? Do you plant the entire fruit under the soil or cut away the fruit and just sort of stick the top only in the soil? Any and all help is greatly appreciated. =-)

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bob740(zone 6 ,NY)

I just twisted off the top growth from the pineapple fruit,trimmed off a few bottom leaves,added some rooting compound,let set for a few days and then set it on top of a 6" pot of damp,not wet, potting soil.Then kept it in part sun/shade,lightly water at first,until rooted.Its two feet wide now,in about two years. There's probably a better way,but this worked for me. Bob

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 4:47PM
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scaldude(Sunset Z23 SouthOC)

No two people seem to do this the same way. I sliced, not pulled, the top off mine. I sliced the top inch or so off the pineapple and let the top sit out two days for the flesh to crust-over (rubbery) so it wouldnt rot in the moist soil. I just planted it in potting soil at the base of the leafs without hormone or anything.

Selecting the pineapple to use is important, make sure the leafs do not pull-out when tugged-on. Do not over dry the top before planting. Adding perlite to the potting soil is recommended and keep out of full sun until new leafs are growing in.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 1:57AM
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bob740(zone 6 ,NY)

heatherrae, Here is a photo of the pineapple that I described on 7/6 above. I might add that the pineapple was obtained as part of a bouquet of hawaiian flowers that included heleconias,bird of paradise,some ferns and gnarled wood branches,and the pineapple bromeliad scape.Being a varigated plant,I thought it worth trying to root and grow,and it sure did. Bob

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 11:39PM
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scaldude(Sunset Z23 SouthOC)

Yeah, I know what you mean...

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 7:27PM
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mikevanecek(Zone 8 TX)

What has worked for me nearly 100% of the time - both for crowns and slips:

(for crowns) twist off of pine.

(for all) pull lower leaves off to expose a decent section of stem. Don't worry about pulling off too much - for a crown I'll pull until I have an inch or so of stem, for slips it depends on size but a good percentage of stem is showing. If there are any blemished leaves while you're pulling, I tend to pull up to the last blemished leaf and pull that off as well.

Let sit overnight in an area that has a little bit of air-flow to callus.

Stick in a glass of water. A glass because I can see the development.

(Important) Change water daily! I use regular tap and I make sure it's bubbling really good going in to the glass. Good cool aerated water. I also rinse the stem and roots good during this time too.

Put under grow-lights set on a 16 hour on 8 hour off timing.

Time to rooting can be from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. I've had some - both Golds and Sugarloafs - display root development the next day! Others took a while. No rhyme or reason tho.

Using this method - I don't think I ever lost a crown! You just gotta keep up with it - changing the water is important.

Once you've got a good collection of roots, plant into a container of at least 3 gallons. Press a hole in the center of the moist soil, place in the rooted slip/crown and press the soil back in over the roots and exposed stem. Water around it to settle the soil around the roots.

Keep out of direct sunlight (tho I've had mine in limited morning sun) until you see new leaves growing out and/or the existing newer leaves elongating significantly. Then gradually harden it off - move it into an area that gets morning sun, then morning/early-afternoon sun then finally full sun.

Don't over-water it - let the top of the soil dry out some before watering. Pines are pretty drought hardy. Nevertheless, avoid bone-dry conditions as well. This will require you braving the spines (I can't seem to bring myself to de-clawing my pines) and stick a finger into the soil periodically. Also - provide protection for the container too from the sun or it'll get pretty hot, which isn't all that healthy for any containerized plant - shade it. I also mulch the top too. Out in full sun in the Texas heat, it cooks and dries out lickitysplit!

Most of my losses are in culture. Not many tho. I mix red lava-sand in with the good organic soil to provide iron, which pines love, and feed them when I feed the rest of my plants.

When it's fruiting, keep it above 70F at all times. Cooler temps will result in less sweetness. During the rest of the time, protect it from freezing and frost.

You can get multiple crops from your pine. The first one will be from the main stem and will be the largest. After that, a ratoon crop can be had from the largest offshoot that grows from between one of the leaves. Pull/cut the others off (good time to repeat these steps and plant them). When that fruits, do the same again, or compost the pine - by then you'll probably have half a dozen more on their way to their crop.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 2:54PM
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scaldude(Sunset Z23 SouthOC)

As I stated above, no two people use the same method...but your technique seems way too much work for me.

I just stuck it in rooting daily water...

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 3:20PM
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