Growing Pineapple from Cuttings, Tops at Home

Introduction to growing Pineapple from tops and cuttings: Pineapples are very easy to grow as houseplants, and you can start with a Pineapple crown from your kitchen. To grow a Pineapple plant at home, all you need is a fresh Pineapple. The pineapple plant is one of the commercially important fruit crops of India. Pineapple is botanically called Ananas comosus and is an herbaceous plant growing up to a height of 1.5 meters. The plant stem is stocky with waxy, thick leaves. Once mature, the Pineapple plant produces as many as 200 flowers which later coalesce together forming the spiny fruit- Pineapple. In this article we also discussed about below topics;

  • Number of Pineapples can you get from one plant
  • Can you grow a Pineapple from a Pineapple top
  • Dead leaves cut off from Pineapple plant or not
  • Time to take to Grow a Pineapple
  • Why is my Pineapple turning yellow
  • Growing Pineapple from seed
  • Pineapple growing at home
  • Tips to grow Pineapples indoors

A guide to growing Pineapple from tops and cuttings

Now, let us discuss about various condions required for growing wonderful pinepple fruits from cuttings and tops.

How to Grow Pineapples from Cuttings and Tops.
How to Grow Pineapples from Cuttings and Tops.
Soil preparation for growing Pineapple plants from cuttings

Pineapple plants prefer sandy, loamy soil that has a neutral to slightly acidic pH level. Prepare soil for plants by mixing a small amount of organic compost or manure into the soil’s top 12 inches, ideally about one week before planting. The compost helps the soil retain water and essential nutrients, aiding Pineapple plants’ root development. Applying a thin layer of natural mulch, after planting helps to improve the nutrient quality of the top layer of soil.

Lighting required for growing indoor Pineapple plants from cuttings

Providing sufficient light for indoor Pineapple plants is essential to keep them healthy. Pineapple plants are grown outdoors in the summer and indoors in winter take a few weeks to adjust to lower light conditions indoors. Placing the Pineapple plant near a south-facing window or a window that receives bright, direct sun for most of the day is sufficient for Pineapple plants to remain healthy indoors, but they probably won’t flower or fruit. If you don’t have a suitably sunny location indoors or if winter cloud cover blocks the sunlight for extended periods, then place the Pineapple under a full spectrum grow light that is left on for 12 to 16 hours daily.

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Starting Pineapples from seed

To start a Pineapple from seed, you will have to obtain the seed. Start by removing the outer skin of the store-bought Pineapple. The fruit seeds are close to the skin so avoid cutting too deep. The seeds are easy to miss as they are very tiny, about 1mm. So look very carefully and check the removed skin and the exposed fruit flesh for any seeds.

Now put the seeds together with fruit flesh and Pineapple juice in a container. Let the container sit in a warm and sunny place to ferment for about 1 to 2 weeks. Remove your seeds from the container with the fermented fruit flesh and put them on a clean paper towel. Now add some water to the paper towel and put it inside a new container with a lid. Again put the box inside a sunny and warm place. Then check for signs of germination at least once a week.

With some luck, your seeds must have germinated successfully. Once they have grown to 1 cm tall, and then carefully lift the paper which the seeds are resting on. Place dirt underneath the paper and then sprinkle some dirt on top and around the plant. Put the plant in a sunny window. A few weeks later Pineapple plant has grown a little bigger. It is finally time to move the Pineapple plant over to a bigger pot. Try to move the plant without damaging the roots if possible and you can try using a spoon to dig around it.

How to grow Pineapples from tops

Rooting and growing Pineapple tops is very easy. Once you bring Pineapple home, cut off the leafy top about half an inch below the plant leaves. Then remove some of the lowest leaves and trim off the outer portion of the Pineapple top at the bottom of the crown, or stem, until you see root buds. These must resemble small, brown-colored bumps around the stem’s perimeter. Allow the Pineapple top to dry for a few days to one week before planting. And this helps the top to heal, discouraging problems with rotting.

Planting Pineapple Tops

Though it’s possible to sprout a Pineapple in water, most people have better luck rooting them in soil. And use a light soil mix with perlite and sand. Put the Pineapple top in the soil up to the base of its leaves. Water thoroughly and put it in bright, indirect light.

Keep it moist until roots develop and it should take about 2 months (6-8 weeks) for roots to establish. You can check for rooting by pulling the top to see the roots. Once significant root growth has occurred, you can start giving the Pineapple plant additional light. If there are some dead areas at the tips of the leaves, and what looks like one completely dead leaf. Trim off the dead areas and the dead leaf, but don’t prune Pineapple leaf.

Growing Pineapple plants from the cuttings

Starting a Pineapple from a green top is possibly the easiest way to begin. Buy a well-ripened Pineapple fruit with the healthiest looking top you can find. Some rough plant leaves are okay, but try to find the best one of the lot. Remove the lower half dozen leaves or from the bottom of the green shoot, then set it aside and allow it to “cure,” or dry out, for about a week. Plant the cured Pineapple top in an 8 or 10 inches pot filled with a coarse potting mix, and fertilize it with a balanced liquid fertilizer.

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Process of growing Pineapple plants from tops and cuttings

Easy steps to get your Pineapple plant started;

Buy fresh Pineapples

Make sure to select evenly ripe fruit, with a nice healthy set of green leaves at the top. Avoid fruits that are overripe or that have dead or sick-looking leaves. Select a mature Pineapple that has healthy, green leaves (not yellow or brown) and with a fruit skin that is golden brown (not too green).

Slice off Pineapple crown

Using a sharp knife, slice off the Pineapple top fairly close to the crown. Carefully cut away the rind and remaining fruit it is important to remove any fruit flesh that will rot later. Then, make thin slices in the stalk, until you see a ring of brownish dots. These are the “root primordia,” the unformed roots that you’re about to produce.

Remove leaves from the stalk

Pull off some of the lower leaves on the stalk, exposing about an inch of bare stalk.

Prepare the crown

Grab hold of the entire top set of leaves and twist hard and it will come out with a bit of stalk. Any adhering flesh must be trimmed off its base to prevent rotting after planting. After trimming, slice small, horizontal sections from the bottom of the Pineapple crown until you see root buds that appear as small dots. Remove as little tissue to avoid cutting into young stem tissue.

Strip off the lower leaves, exposing up to about an inch of the base of the Pineapple crown. They will come off in sort of a spiral fashion and the idea is to bare the stalk. After the trimming and stripping process, let the crown dry out for a couple of days.

Allow stalk to dry

In this set the Pineapple crown aside for a few days to allow the wound to dry. Pineapples are susceptible to rot, so it’s important to dry out the cut end before planting.

Root the crown

Place the Pineapple crown in a clear glass of water and change out the water every few days. Then place the crown away from any temperature extremes (heating or cooling vents/hot south-facing windows). In three weeks you’ll see healthy root growth. And you’re now ready to plant the crown.

Plant Pineapple stalk

Fill a 6 to 8 inches flower pot (clay is best, but any pot will do) with a light, fast-draining mixture such as a cactus potting mix or a mixture of peat, sand, and perlite. Then, you can dip the end in rooting hormone before planting. Plant the Pineapple crowns about an inch deep, firming the soil around it.

Water Pineapple stalk

Water the Pineapple stalks lightly, just enough to moisten the soil. Place the pot in a bright window, and water the plant when it’s dry, just enough to keep it moist. Don’t use any fertilizer yet and to keep from overwatering, some people put the pot in a terrarium, or in a lightly sealed plastic bag, to allow the plant to recycle its water.

Wait for Pineapple to root

It’ll take about 1 to 3 months for your Pineapple to root. To test the progress, very gently tug on the Pineapple crown to see if it is taking hold in the soil. And don’t pull hard enough to break the roots.

Repot Pineapple plant

Once your Pineapple has firmly rooted, then it will begin growing new leaves from the center. At this point, you can repot the plant in a 10 to 12 inches pot, using a rich but fast-draining potting mix.

Time to fruit

The time from initial planting to fruit set varies and plants grown outside in the optimum climate can set their first fruit in as little as 16 months. Indoor Pineapple plants could take 16 to 24 months before they flower and form first fruits. The type of planting impacts the time to first fruit. Sucker-grown plants generally fruit earliest at around 16 months, slips may take 24 months and a crown can take up to 28 months.

Fertilizer for Pineapple plants

Nitrogen is one of the most important building blocks for young Pineapple plants. A dry fertilizer that has 6 to 10 percent nitrogen, 6 to 10 percent potash, 6 to 10 percent phosphoric acid, and 4 to 6 percent magnesium work well. Young Pineapple plants must be fertilized every 2 months or so during the growing season. If the soil has a high pH level, which means it is alkaline, and then an occasional soil drench of chelated iron near the base of each plant can lower the soil’s pH and benefit the plants.

Pineapple plant care

The easiest way to kill the Pineapple plant is by overwatering. Too much water causes yellowing color leaves and potentially lethal Pineapple root rot. The plant needs watering once about every 6 to 7 days in the absence of rainfall throughout the growing season. And it requires water every 10 to 12 days during the winter months.

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Pineapple Plant Care.
Pineapple Plant Care.

Pineapples grown indoors require a container that holds between 3 and 7 gallons of soil to sustain healthy growth. Removing the root suckers and slips that develop on plants encourages it to grow larger. Larger Pineapple plants normally produce proportionally larger fruit. Frequent watering and light applications of fertilizer encourage the Pineapple plant to grow better and reach a larger size before it begins flowering. Exposure to cold or drought can cause Pineapple to stop growing and begin flowering.

Fruit per plant

Pineapple plants can fruit a total of 3 times during their lifetime before replacing the plant, although not all plants are capable of producing multiple fruits. Indoor potted Pineapple plants produce 1 or 2 fruits in their lifetime because they do not always receive the optimum conditions necessary for thorough fruiting. Each flower stalk formed by a plant has the capability of setting fruit. The first fruit normally grows largest, with subsequent smaller fruits produced later.

Pests and diseases of Pineapple plants growing from cuttings

Pineapple will be subject to a minimum of pests and diseases if given plants to proper care. The pests most likely to attack plants are mealy bugs, scale, and mites. And all can be removed by washing the leaves with soapy water, rinsing after with clear water. Also, spray with an insecticide. Be sure to carefully follow the directions on the label when using insecticides.

The only disease you would likely encounter can be heart rot caused by fungi. In heart rot, the central leaves turn black and easily pulled out of the plant. When heart rot occurs, the Pineapple plant can sometimes be saved by pouring a fungicide into the heart (center) of the plant. This shoot will then become your plant and will eventually flower and then form a fruit. Or you can remove it and begin a new Pineapple plant.

Harvest a Pineapple plant

When the fruit is one-third or more yellow color, you can go ahead and harvest it. To harvest the Pineapple fruit, simply cut it from the plant by using a sharp knife where the Pineapple joins the stalk. Then leave it to further ripen at room temp if need be, refrigerate the fruit if completely ripe.

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