gumbo2176
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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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TheWaterbug
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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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jb02007
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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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TheWaterbug
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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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applestar
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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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TheWaterbug
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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:

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

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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:

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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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TheWaterbug
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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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TheWaterbug
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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:

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

Looks great. :)
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applestar
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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....
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Rose bloom
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

Thanks, applestar. :P
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TheWaterbug
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

TheWaterbug wrote:Here's an update on my July 2012 plant . . .and its inflorescence:

Image
One week's additional growth:

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

WOW! :eek:
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TheWaterbug
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

I potted two more crowns on Sunday (the water roots were about an inch long).

And here's a terrific video from Dole on propagation through suckers and slips in Costa Rica. It's interesting that they don't mention crowns in this video, while they say on their "growing pineapples" page that crowns are the "preferred" starter material in Hawaii. Maybe it depends on the cultivar and the location.

In any case, I'm in awe at the size of those suckers and slips. See at the 1:52 mark on that same video. They're way bigger than my mother plants! And 20x the size of any crown I've ever seen:

Image

I read a link somewhere that recommended twisting suckers and slips off the mother plant when they get to about 20 cm long, so they don't compete with fruit development. Clearly Dole is doing something different. They let the seed material grow on the mother plant for awhile _after_ fruit harvest, and they even slash back some of the mother plant's foliage to stimulate growth on the little guys.

Returning to the subject of crowns, which is how I suspect most of us are getting started, I saw another video that suggested I should really strip the crowns much further up than I've been doing, to prevent rot at the leaf level. I just bought two more pineapples today, so I'm going to try that.
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Rose bloom
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

Huh. Thanks for the link! :D
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TheWaterbug
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

TheWaterbug wrote:Returning to the subject of crowns, which is how I suspect most of us are getting started, I saw another video that suggested I should really strip the crowns much further up than I've been doing, to prevent rot at the leaf level. I just bought two more pineapples today, so I'm going to try that.
I had two tall crowns that started like the one on the right, and I stripped them both until they looked like the one on the left:

Image

I put one in water, and that one rotted. I put the healthier one directly in potting soil, and it's still green. I don't know if has roots yet, since I can't peek, but it's still green and healthy, which makes me think this one's going to make it.

My yield on crowns-in-water has been _really_ low this year, with perhaps 2 out of 10 actually making it. I might switch to direct soil in the future.
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Rose bloom
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

I've switched to direct soil, for now.
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TheWaterbug
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

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

Image

and a closeup:

Image
Ready to harvest!!!!
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

Much better than mine it was tiny. I think I am not feeding it enough the plant itself is very big. My uncle says they need potassium and magnesium and to put the fertilizer between the leaves since they feed through their leaves.
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

Image

I love it! Thanks for the update. Enjoy your patio-grown pineapple!
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

gorgeous!
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TheWaterbug
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Re: Starting a pineapple crown in water . . . .

TheWaterbug wrote: Image
Ready to harvest!!!!
I ate it:

Image

It was really good, though I think it might have sweetened up a little had I left it on a few more days and/or let it sit in the bowl for a day or two.

This is contrary to what Dole and other pineapple authorities publish, e.g. "Pineapples do not improve in flavor after picking because the starch to sugar conversion happens only while the fruit is attached," but from my empirical "testing" over the last 3 years, pineapples do get sweeter and/or less acid as they age.

This guy seems to agree with me (PDF):
The reason for leaving it in the refrigerator overnight is that the diced sections will release their acidic juices that make the pineapple sour and that attack your lips and the linings of the mouth. This is why it is important to cut across the veins when dicing, so that the juices can flow out. It appears that, after the acids flow out, these acids either react with the air or undergo some kind of aging process and are neutralized, and the whole bowl of fruit becomes sweeter.
I need to do some sort of controlled testing on this theory. Maybe a pool acid pH tester would help, and/or some sort of sugar meter.

I have refractometer that I use for testing honey; I wonder if that would tell me anything.
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