You may be familiar with the sweet and acidic taste of a pineapple, but have you ever seen one grow? Next time you buy one of these fruits, instead of throwing away the crown of leaves you could use them to grow your very own plant.
Too busy to take care of houseplants? The nice thing about this plant is that it’s low maintenance. It naturally needs about 20 inches of rainfall per year and only needs to be watered once a week (and less than that during the winter). They are easy to propagate and fun to watch as they grow. Why not give it a shot?
Propagation is kind of like recycling plant parts to grow a completely new plant. This new plant is genetically identical (a clone) to the mother plant. Commercially this is used to reproduce cultivars of certain crops to have the traits we like. If these crops were reproduced by seed, the genes would vary, and the desired traits would be lost. If you’ve ever wondered how seedless fruits are grown (like pineapples)… This is it!
There are only 2 major pineapple (Ananas comosus) cultivars used commercially. What’s interesting about the fruit is that it is actually a mass of berries fused to the central stalk of the plant. The crown of leaves on top is the continued growth of the stalk, which is used to propagate all commercially grown pineapples.
In the following video, I explain a fool proof way to root pineapple crowns. The crown has a good chance of rotting if planted directly in soil. In this method, the extra tissue is removed before rooting. If done correctly, there should be no rot.
As an added bonus, this method allows you to see the roots as they grow.
Choose a Fruit
- Choose a pineapple at your local grocery store.
- Look for one that’s firm and golden brown (not too green).
- Make sure the leaves are green (not yellow or brown).
- Make sure the pineapple you choose doesn’t have scale insects.
- These will be small grayish spots at the base of the leaves
- Make sure that the pineapple you choose is ripe, but not too ripe.
- Gently tug on a leaf. If it pops out with ease the fruit is too ripe.
Ready the Crown
- Separate the crown from the fruit.
- Carefully grasp the top bunch of leaves and twist hard. The crown will pop off with some of the stalk.
- Remove any fruit flesh left on the stalk.
- This will prevent rot.
- Use a knife to thinly slice the stalk until you can see the root buds.
- They’ll look like small circles on the cut surface.
- Avoid trimming away too much, or you may cut into young root and stem tissue.
- Pull off some of the lower leaves on the spiral, exposing about 1 inch of bare stalk.
- If the leaves aren’t removed they will rot.
- Removing the leaves exposes the root primordia (root growing points), small brown dots under the leaf scars, and maybe some small roots.
- Let the crown dry out for a few days to let the tissue heal up and prevent rot.
Root the Crown
- Place crown in a clear glass of water.
- Fill the water to the top of the exposed stalk.
- Find a home for the cup while the plant roots.
- Place it out of temperature extremes. (It doesn’t need to have sunlight.)
- Change the water out every couple of days.
Adequate rooting should be established within three weeks!
Thank you for watching and/or reading!
Let me know your thoughts and how it works for you in the comments!
I encourage you to spread home gardening info by sharing this video or making your own gardening videos!
Rick’s Woodshop Creations. 2006. How To Grow A Pineapple. http://www.rickswoodshopcreations.com/pineapple/pineapple.htm