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TheWaterbug
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Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

On a whim I bought pineapples from Ralphs, 2/$3. Following some instructions on the Infallible Internet, I twisted off the crown, peeled off leaves until I saw root primordia, and then gave the bottom of the crown a slice.

Various online articles were divided on the necessity of drying the crown first, and I'm impatient, so I put it directly in a jar of water:

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/PineappleCrown1.jpg[/img]

At the bottom you can see the little root primordia:

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/PineappleCrownRootlets.jpg[/img]

And after all that, I still got to eat the pineapple! It was really good; I haven't had fresh pineapple in years, and I'd forgotten how good it can taste. And when I'm finished with that one, I still have the second one to eat.

I do have some rooting compound lying around; if I were to daub some on my second crown with a Q-tip, would the water just wash it away? Or should I daub it on and it sit for a few days before putting in water? Or is this a perfect opportunity for a semi-controlled experiment?

Side-note: I'm flabbergasted that I can buy a big fruit like this for $1.50/each when it takes them _2_years_ to grow, and you get one fruit per ginormous plant. I can't believe anyone makes any money growing these.
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applestar
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I had better luck growing thm in 1/3 sandy soil. They are prone to crown rot and stay healthier when treated like succulents.

They start growing pups in their second year or later in the same season so you get multiple plants from one top.

I really have to try concentrating on growing my 6 (or was that 7?) plants (from two pineapple tops).... I'm going to try planting them in the ground this summer to see if I can get them to really grow. I seem to stunt anything I try to grow in containers.... :oops:

There's a really good thread about this topic somewhere... No time to look right now.

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I finished eating my first pineapple yesterday, so I'm ready to start on the second one, now.

I think I'm going to try drying this one out for a day or two, with some rooting compound slathered on, and then plant it in sandy soil like you're suggested. Then I'll compare growth for the next two years :)

I did do a quick search of the forum for "pineapple" but I get a ton of results back for pineapple tomatoes and pineapple sage.

I wish the forum supported Boolean searches like "pineapple -tomato -sage"
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Still don't have enough time to look through them but got bunch of hits using "pineapple top" and applestar as author. :wink:

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TheWaterbug wrote:I did do a quick search of the forum for "pineapple" but I get a ton of results back for pineapple tomatoes and pineapple sage.

I wish the forum supported Boolean searches like "pineapple -tomato -sage"
I believe it does. I put "pineapple AND tomato AND sage" in the Search box and got ten matches.
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rainbowgardener wrote:
TheWaterbug wrote:I did do a quick search of the forum for "pineapple" but I get a ton of results back for pineapple tomatoes and pineapple sage.

I wish the forum supported Boolean searches like "pineapple -tomato -sage"
I believe it does. I put "pineapple AND tomato AND sage" in the Search box and got ten matches.
Ah. Searching for "pineapple NOT tomato NOT sage" returns almost what I want, but it doesn't quite filter exactly right.
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Pineapples can absorb water at the base of their leaves so they can survive when planted in dry sand with just an occasional misting to get them by until they sprout roots. Too much water on either the top or bottom will cause them to rot.
Rooting hormone is not necessary because the root buds have already begun to form.

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Here's a follow-up on this:

Image

The first two crowns rotted without rooting, but I got a third from my Mom's store-bought fruit that rooted right without rotting. So I potted :D

That was mid-July. Now it's sitting outside near my sweet potatoes and growing pretty well.
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I've got several growing in pots now. The oldest was taken off the pineapple sometime in April I believe. I twisted the crown off the fruit, sliced the bottom of the crown until I saw the little round root nodules, placed it in a cocktail glass with enough water to cover the bottom to start sending roots. Once I saw about 1/2 inch of roots, I potted them in a potting soil mix. They get watered every other day along with the rest of the plants on the back porch.

The oldest one is about 30 inches tall now and they go down in size from there to a few I just put in pots a few weeks ago. I also placed one in the new flower bed I put in for my wife just to see how it will do.

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wow that actually looks like a wonderful plant for a perennial bed. I live in the perfect climate for these so I may have to try it....

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I have one thats about a year old now and has finaly started showing some major growth. I thought it was dieing because the lower leafs were dieing but man the thing has taken off.

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Ohio Tiller wrote:I have one thats about a year old now and has finaly started showing some major growth. I thought it was dieing because the lower leafs were dieing but man the thing has taken off.
That's great OT, but you have to bring yours in for the winter, right?

How long does it take for them to produce a fruit? I've never started avocados from the seeds (even though it does seem like such a shame to throw them out), because I'm not willing to drag an avocado tree in and out for ten year before it produces anything.
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I was thinking that gumbo has the right idea to start the crowns in spring and grow them all season in sun, humidity, and warmth. If his is already 30", then from what I've been reading, this one can potentially bloom this winter and form fruit.
If your pineapple plant is at least 24 inches tall and has not flowered by the time it is twenty to twenty-four months old, you can "force" it with a few different techniques that trick the plant into putting its energy into flowering
From https://www.rickswoodshopcreations.com/pineapple/pineapple.htm -- this website has pretty comprehensive growing tips -- sounds like someone who has actually tried this more than once.8)

You can try to force them to bloom in winter -- lower temp, cut down on water, lay on side between waterings, and/or put a piece of Something carbide used for welding in the center cup.

The usual time period until blooming size mentioned is 12 months to 24 months.

My crowns were started in winter (Holiday pineapple display) and were neglected over the next summer -- never managed to move them to full sun and stayed in semi-shady location, got waterlogged, etc. so the original crowns died and I'm growing the pups that resulted from the initial experiment. I think I'll try to give them better care over the next year and see what happens.

I was advised to plant them in the ground during the summer months for better growth. since its getting colder, I dug up the two pups from the original crowns that I did plant in the ground as an experiment. Those two grew a pup each and all 4 plants look much better shape than the two other pups that I had left in their pots but in sunnier locations.

What's neat about pineapple is that they grow suckers, etc. (other names depending on where the offshoot grows that I don't remember) so once you start, you will always have offspring clones to keep growing. I really want to succeed 8)

I'm growing a banana plant now and am hoping for similar perpetuity from pups. So far from what I have been reading, bananas are more cold tolerant and -- with winter dormant storage options -- may prove to be easier than initiall thought.
Last edited by applestar on Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Applestar, be careful if you put that banana plant in the ground. They grow very easily,are notoriously invasive and will send up new shoots very frequently.

I had some that were about 12 ft. tall when I moved into my house that the previous owner didn't do anything with. They came from a house adjacent to this property and spread into this yard. I let them alone except to trim off the dead stuff in the spring and within a couple years they multiplied several times over.

When I decided to put in my vegetable garden, they had to go. Instead of digging them up----which is extremely labor intensive, I decided to cut them down at ground level and kept them cut every time a shoot appeared. It took the better part of a year, but they finally died since they weren't getting any photosynthesis process to continue their growth.

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RBG, be careful if you put that banana plant in the ground. They grow very easily,are notoriously invasive and will send up new shoots very frequently.

I had some that were about 12 ft. tall when I moved into my house that the previous owner didn't do anything with. They came from a house adjacent to this property and spread into this yard. I let them alone except to trim off the dead stuff in the spring and within a couple years they multiplied several times over.

When I decided to put in my vegetable garden, they had to go. Instead of digging them up----which is extremely labor intensive, I decided to cut them down at ground level and kept them cut every time a shoot appeared. It took the better part of a year, but they finally died since they weren't getting any photosynthesis process to continue their growth.

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rainbowgardener wrote:
Ohio Tiller wrote:I have one thats about a year old now and has finaly started showing some major growth. I thought it was dieing because the lower leafs were dieing but man the thing has taken off.
That's great OT, but you have to bring yours in for the winter, right?

How long does it take for them to produce a fruit? I've never started avocados from the seeds (even though it does seem like such a shame to throw them out), because I'm not willing to drag an avocado tree in and out for ten year before it produces anything.


Yes I have it inside already it sits near a window pouting untill spring time rolls around. And under normal conditions it is 2 years before the fruit.

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So a few weeks ago I decided my pineapple needed a bigger pot. I bought this beauty for $50, then added about $5 worth of Super Premium Magic Cactus OMGAmazing Soil and put in my pineapple plant:

Image

Over the next year I will probably add a few more dollars' worth of water and fertilizer. And if I'm lucky, I'll harvest a pineapple and save $1.88!

Image

Please contact me for other free investing tips :D
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:lol: Looks great! My 6 are hanging in there. The 4 inside the bottom of the "greenhouse" shelves that I call "Winter Paradise" have visibly grown and are looking fresh compared to the two upstairs. I think the extra light and humidity are the added factors.

Right now, with the seed starting going on, I've pushed them all to the back of the shelf so I don't get snagged on the jagged leaves (some of them developed spines) and the stiff leaves are actually helping to keep some of the smaller seedling trays from falling off their pedestals that are keeping them closer to the lights. :P

I'm planning to plant some or all of them in the ground along with the super dwarf banana plants during the growing season to see if I can beef them up a bit. It'll be my "Tropical Paradise" bed. 8)

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I root pineapples by cutting off the top and letting it dry a day or two.
It is a bromeliad, so it does not really like to be water rooted. Treat it more like a succulent.

Plant it in well drained soil. It is actually fine not planted at all if you can keep it upright. Water and fertilize in the cups (between the leaves). It takes 18 months to fruit. It will then have off sets which will produce next years' pineapple. The mother plant will only bloom once. After the offsets mature and establish themselves the mother plant can be culled.
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

Wow, I haven't been around here in ages, and had forgotten what a useful resource this place is. I am trying to grow my first pineapple top - wish me luck!

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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

Pineapple is a bromeliad. I have always cut the top of the pineapple and just let it dry a day or two and potted it up. It is important to water and feed bromeliads in their cups or leaves. I have some bromeliads that do fine not planted at all just propped upright.

One of my pineapples is planted in a six inch pot. It does have some fibrous roots but most of its stem is lying on the ground. The first pineapple was small, successive pineapple from the off sets are bigger.

Pineapple fields take 18 to 24 months to mature and are harvested three times because not all of the pineapples will ripen at the same time. Each mother plant only blooms once, but will produce offsets. Bromeliads don't mind being packed tightly, so there can be many plants packed into a smaller space.

Most of the world's pineapple production has moved to countries with cheap labor and land costs, that is what keeps the prices down.
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

imafan26 wrote:Pineapple is a bromeliad. I have always cut the top of the pineapple and just let it dry a day or two and potted it up.
I've had a few rot and a few root, and I'm starting to believe that the drying for a day or two is quite important. Dole recommends it, too, though they suggest a full week! I'm too impatient for that.

Dole also discusses its commercial planting operations, which is pretty interesting. I'd love to visit their plantation, all in the name of science, of course.

I've been eating a lot of pineapple lately, so I've got three in pots right now (including my larger one, pictured above), one in a jar of water, one crown drying for a few more days, and one fresh fruit that's just about ripe enough to eat.

I find that their still a little green when I buy them from the store, but 3-4 days on my counter really sweetens them up.

I also just dug out my heat mat, and put the jarred one on it; we'll see if that stimulates any faster growth. It's got roots about 1/4" long right now already, but they seem to be growing slowly.
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

I tried a like 6 and not a single one rooted. :( This just gave me the inspiration to try again so I will report back if I get any luck :)

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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

TheWaterbug wrote:Dole also discusses its commercial planting operations, which is pretty interesting. I'd love to visit their plantation, all in the name of science, of course.
I'm here! I'm on a week's vacation on Oahu, so we took an afternoon to visit the plantation. We did the pineapple maze and ate Dole Whip (pineapple soft-serve sorbet) and it's all a tremendous tourist trap :D, but it's still fun.

There's a pineapple garden showing lots of different varieties at different stages of growth:
image.jpg
image.jpg (54.49 KiB) Viewed 1470 times
I'll post more when I get back to my computer. Right now I'm waiting for the Pineapple Express train to take us through the pineapple fields.

I think I'm getting a lot more out of this than the average tourist :)
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

I finally got a softball size pineapple taking shape on one of my plants that have been around for close to 18 months now. It is in a huge pot and doing better than the ones I have in the ground. I have a feeling it will not develop to be like the ones you find in the market as it is more round than cylindrical, but it will be nice to eat a pineapple I've grown-----------a first for me.

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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

Well, that pineapple I had growing was getting ripe by the color of the outer skin as it was turning from green to yellow the past few days so I picked it, cut it and ate some of it. Quite good for my first ever home grown pineapple and I have some in the box for my lovely wife to sample when she gets home.

I already have the crown growth trimmed and sitting in a glass of water waiting for it to root like the others did before putting it in a pot. Hopefully my other pineapple plants will do as well as this one did as it is nice to watch them grow and see the fruit mature. I just have to figure out how to make them get a bit larger in the future. This one was about the size of a cabbage ball and once trimmed, about the size of a softball.

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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

That sounds great! From what I understand of the process, your plant should grow side shoots which will grow better than the crowns.
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

The plant I got the pineapple off of does have some side shoots. If they continue to grow as large as the mother plant, I'll need to put it in the ground. I now have it in a pot that has to be close to 15 gallons and it is getting crowded now.

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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

So here's an update from my own pineapple plants. The big one is the same one that's potted on the first page of the thread, started July 2012, so it's about 14 months old now:

Image

I don't remember how old the smaller ones are.

So the big one's nearly the size of some of the ones I saw at the Dole plantations that had fruit, so I wouldn't be surprised if that one started fruiting soon. I hope :D

This one did a whole lotta nothing for the better part of year, and then start growing this summer. It might be the heat, or maybe the fertilizer, but it's really growing now.

I also have 5 crowns that I put in the dirt, 4 of which are still growing, and one of which looks like its dying.
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

What soil are you guys using with yours I have one that’s getting ready to turn 2 years old. it is growing real good and getting nice and big putting on new leafs but no fruit yet? I am just using miracle grow potting soil and I added about a 1/3 sand to the mix. I am thinking it might be time to repot it. the plant is looking to big for what it is in.

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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

Ohio Tiller wrote:What soil are you guys using with yours I have one that’s getting ready to turn 2 years old. it is growing real good and getting nice and big putting on new leafs but no fruit yet? I am just using miracle grow potting soil and I added about a 1/3 sand to the mix. I am thinking it might be time to repot it. the plant is looking to big for what it is in.

I too have used a potting soil mix and that's the one that produced my first pineapple that I picked just a few weeks ago. I have 4 more pineapple plants growing right now with 3 being in smaller pots and one in the ground. Ironically, the one in the ground is not doing as well as I thought it would as the potted ones are out-growing it by a good bit.

You may be onto something and your plant may have become a bit root bound if the pot is not large enough. Mine that produced was in a pot that is at least 8-10 gallons.

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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

TheWaterbug wrote:So here's an update from my own pineapple plants. The big one is the same one that's potted on the first page of the thread, started July 2012, so it's about 14 months old now:

Image

I don't remember how old the smaller ones are.
The big one is at 21 months now, and is moving forward, slowly. It just started to heat up here in LA, so I'm guessing the growth will accelerate now:

Image

There's a soda can there, for scale. It's not a lot bigger than it was in September, but it's fuller.

My set of crowns in the dirt in my garden are doing very poorly. They're alive but they're nearly yellow, and they haven't grown much at all. I'm guessing they don't like the clay soil and poor drainage. I might try building up a long hill with a lot of organic stuff and transplanting them. I did that for my strawberries, and they seem happy.

I have 4-5 crowns in jars of water that need to go into the dirt as well.
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

That's pretty cool, I've never tried that with a pineapple before but I think I will now.

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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

Hmmm. And here are a few that I stuck in the dirt back last summer. I started them all in water, and when I had six of them with roots I decided to plant them. I tilled in some municipal mulch/compost and then put them on my drip system:

Image

They're about twice the size they were when I planted them, but they're _really_ yellow, and they're not growing nearly as well as the ones in the pots (see above). The potted ones also have some super premium cactus soil that costs $15/2 cu ft, and I'm not about to buy a truckload of that!

If I were to guess, I'd guess that they don't like my clay soil, and they're not draining very well. I'm thinking of tilling up another row with 3-4x the amount of mulch/compost, and then mounding it up into a raised row, then transplanting these guys. I suppose it can't hurt, since they're not going to do much if I just leave them alone.

Then I'd do the same thing in this row and plant my 6 new crowns with roots and get them off my window sill!

I did a raised row like this for my strawberries (about 6 feet away, off camera), and they're doing very well.
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

How are they doing now?
Mine are outside and waiting to be uppotted, transplanted, or planted in the ground....
image.jpg
I have to say they don't look as hefty as yours. I'm guessing I'm not feeding them enough or they are not getting enough sun and warmth through the year.
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

Late update on this, but a few weeks ago I freaked out because my beloved pineapple plant was turning yellow:

Image

And then I looked closer. It's flowering!!!!!

Image

This isn't the one in the big $50 pot; this is in an undersized, $5 pot. So this one is younger that my first planted crown, but probably also about ~2 years old.

A few weeks later, and the fruit is now the size of a mango (more on that later!):

Image

And I also have 2 rattoons growing from the base:

Image

and 3 suckers growing from the middle of the plant.

Image

So if I'm lucky, one plant will turn into 6! This inspired me to put the rest of my crowns in pots. Within a few generations I'll be able to challenge the Dole empire!

Image
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

My first successful crown, planted wayyyy back in July 2012, is starting an inflorescence:

Image

Here's the closeup:

Image

This plant is easily twice the size of the one that fruited earlier, and the its pot is much larger as well (probably not a coincidence), so I'm hoping for a larger fruit.

I also recently bought some pineapples from the store, and they had ginormous crowns. I've put both of those in water (after cutting off the soft flesh, peeling an inch of leaves, and drying for 2 days), and they've just started putting out roots. I'll put them in pots, soon.

My first fruiting plant has 3 suckers and 2 ratoons that are growing quite large now. Should I wait until after harvesting the fruit to separate them? What's the best way to separate them?
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

Here's an update on my July 2012 plant. The plant itself:

Image

and its inflorescence:

Image

and a closeup:

Image

Here's my other pineapple, growing out of a surprisingly small plant (and pot):

Image

and a closeup:

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Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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Rose bloom
Green Thumb
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Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:06 am
Location: Zone 10b/Southern California

Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

Looks great. :)
No hay rosas sin espinas. There is no rose without thorns.

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applestar
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

So envious :mrgreen:
But it's great to see that it CAN BE DONE.
Please eep posting progress waterbug -- I'm enjoying your successes vicariously. :-()

I hope yours grow well for you too, rosebloom. :D

...some of my smallest ones in smallest containers are starting to yellow but it's getting chilly outside -- 50's and dips into 40's a couple of times and I haven't brought them in yet. These have been neglected so I'm not surprised -- but I think I'll uppot them and bring them inside now and give them another chance. I was thinking of putting up a low tunnel over the bigger ones and keep them out a little while longer....
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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