March 18, 2009

Take 2: Pineapple Propagation

Booooo to me. I'd heard about growing pineapples from the tops. Stupidly, I thought I could just chop off the top of a pineapple and stick it in the ground, so that's what I did. Of course they rotted, and I threw them in the compost pile. My mother had tried it as well and got the same result. I called her and told her about the results of my experiment, and while we were talking, she was busy researching how to propagate pineapples. It turns out you're supposed to remove all the flesh from the pineapple, remove the lowest leaves which hide the primordial roots, and let them dry out for a week, turned upside down, in the shade.

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I were at Central Market and grabbed 4 pineapple tops that were being used as decoration - I'm not going to buy a pineapple just for the top! I actually don't like pineapple all that much, but I love a challenge and think pineapple plants look lovely. So last night, I got busy removing the flesh and leaves, rinsing them down, and spraying some fungicide as a precaution. Seeing the roots got me all excited! I started peeling back the leaves and thought they were worms for a second, but after peeling back some more leaves, I realized that the tops do in fact have little roots. EXCITING!! So now I have 4 potential pineapple plants, and I'm hoping for the best. If it doesn't work out, at least I haven't spent any money. I'm not entirely sure if I've done it right, but here are pictures of what I've done so there'll be documentation of what to do or, preferably not, what not to do:

Random Fact: Pineapples are within the Bromeliaceae family - it's a bromeliad!


  1. It has always worked for me when I've tried rooting them that way. And once they get rooted and gotten nice and big you can get them to flower with banana peels! All bromeliads are induced to flower by the plant hormone ethylene which is a gas released in large amounts by ripening fruit, most notably by bananas (it actually forms a positive feed back loop -- ethylene is released as fruit ripens, and it in turn encourages ripening, causing more to be released... etc) so you can make a pineapple flower by putting it in plastic bag with some ripe bananas for a few days!

  2. Thats great! I hope they grow for you. Actually, you dont need to keep them uside down to dry. Any old way will do, just so long as it has dried up where the cut was made. We grow pineapples every year, not because anyone really likes it but because they look so funky! :)

  3. Hope it grows for you, I actually love pineapples.. thanks for following my blog!

  4. For me, the name of this post sounds almost like "Growing carrots on Mars"! Pineapple is an exotic fruit for me. Just for fun, I'll try to do it, although even if it works, the plant won't survive a winter.
    It was fun reading your post, thanks!

  5. Greensparrow - Ah cool! I'd heard apples/ethylene gas worked really well for getting the plants to fruit. We use many more bananas than apples, so we have a lot more banana peels than apple peels. I like the idea of banana peels better because they decompose much quicker.

    Sunita - HA! That's why we're growing them too. Plus it's just such a cheap, cool-looking annual if nothing else.

    Cathy - Well, I do like pineapple with cottage cheese, but it's not a frequent snack for me. And thank you for following my blog! ;)

    Tatyana - I know - it seems so foreign to me to grow pineapples too, but if it's only an annual or it just doesn't work, what's been lost? Nothin' really except some minor wasted frustration and a little effort. I waste that all the time! lol

  6. I never knew about their roots. It'll be interesting to see how they grow. Good luck!

  7. gardenerprogress/Catherine - Me either! I had no idea what to expect which is why I thought at first the roots were worms! Ha! And thanks - I'll be needing some luck no doubt. ;-)


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