The Q&A Archives: Pineapple

Question: I want to start a pineapple plant from the top cut off the fruit. Do I root it in water or plant immediately in dirt?

Answer: This is always a fun project and there are different ways to do it. Here are two methods to try. . Select a healthy pineapple at the store. A healthy pineapple will be one that has a top that still looks green, and that is not moldy or dried up. Try pulling a small leaf out of the center of the pineapple. If it comes out easily, its probably better to move onto a different pineapple. Cut the leaves of the pineapple off just above where the stem comes out of the top of the pineapple. Do not leave any of the fruity part of the pineapple on the stem. Pull off the outer leaves of the pineapple stem leaving 4-6 big leaves near the center, and whatever small leaves are hidden inside. Set the shoot aside for a couple days so that it will harden off, and be less susceptible to rot. Put the shoot in some water about 1/2 inch deep. (The water should not touch the leaves.) Pint canning jars are good to use. Set the shoot in a bright spot out of direct sunlight for a few weeks while roots develop. After roots have developed, transplant to a pot or garden spot containing soil that drains well.

And the second: Cut off the crown or leafy top portion of the pineapple fruit an inch or two below where the leaves attach to the fruit. Remove any of the pulpy fruit flesh clinging to the base of the crown. Then set the crown aside for a week or two to cure. After curing, pull off the lowest tier of leaves and plant the crown in a rich potting soil covering the base up to where the lower leaves attach. Water thoroughly at planting and then only lightly a couple of times a week. Avoid keeping the soil too wet. Place the plant in a very bright area but out of direct sunlight for a few weeks. When the plant develops roots and new top growth is evident, move it to a bright, sunny location and increase the watering and fertilizing. Have fun with your project!

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