Monday, January 9, 2012

Propagating Pineapple

Can the top of the pineapple fruit be cut off and planted in order to produce a new plant?   There are many variations on how to propagate pineapple.  The drier the environment, the more precise the instructions need to be followed.  In Hawaii, especially in high rainfall areas, propagating pineapple is relatively easy.  The simplest method is to cut off the top of the pineapple (called the crown) as you would normally do when cutting the fruit.  Let this sit in a shaded, dry area for 2-7 days.  Then, plant it in your garden, keeping the leaves above ground.  Leaving the crown on the counter for several days will dry it out a bit, making it less susceptible to rot.  When you plant it, keep in mind that the mature plant can grow to 3-4 feet in diameter and in height.  Mature plants also have a tendency to fall over, so by planting several together, they will give each other support.
Some variations include removing the fruity portion of the crown, then pulling off  the bottom layer of leaves, exposing  ½ -1 inch of stem that will be planted in the ground.  Alternatively, the stem can be placed in a shallow glass of water. Be careful to place only the stem and not the leaves in the water.  After a short time, roots will form; it is then ready to be planted outside.