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Question for Pineapple_Raye

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by gardenmom32210 on July 31, 2004 06:00 PM
I was clearing an area for a flower bed at work the other day and found where someone had thrown out a pineapple top. The original top looks like its dying but there is a baby that looks healthy.
Can you tell me what to do with it so it will grow? Would it be better in a pot or in the ground? I am real excited over this find and want it to survive.

Thanks [kissies]

Karen [grin]
by Pineapple_Raye on August 02, 2004 02:39 PM
The original top looks like its dying but there is a baby that looks healthy.

First you can grow a pineapple in a container or in the ground. For that matter I've seen them grown in 5 gallon buckets.

Now until the top is dead there is a good change you can still root it. If there is any rot on it remove that first. Hopefully the rot/ dead areas are at the base. If so peel away the the dead leaves until you have a good inch of stock to work with. (See Picture)

Next, carefully slice small, horizontal sections from the bottom of the crown until you see root buds that appear as small dots or circles on the flat, cut surface (see picture).

Now here is where I differ from just about every piece of advice you can find. I don't root mine before I place them into a good potting soil. Please note that my potting soil is really a living society, and not just new potting soil. If you have access only to new you need to tell me so I can address that issue as well.

The soil at this point must be moist at all times, you cannnot allow it to dry out even for one day. However, it cannot be wet,it must drain. Some gardeners tent theirs with plastic (mini green house.) I don't.

While I don't use a common commercial rooting compound containing a mild fungicide, as I directly place mine into a mixture of a living society and fungicides don't do them any good, you might give this consideration seeing how "near-dead" this top is.

Ok next, until the roots are established every 4th day foliger feed your top with seaweed and fish extract. One ounce of each with one gallon of water. Use a trigger sprayer and MIST it on covering every side/ leaf.

Next every time you water this plant use the same ratio of water to fish and seaweed extract. At the moment you are behind the eight ball. So don't skip a cycle.

This seaweed fish mixture saved a mid size pineapple plant that I did something stupid to. (Don't ask, and even if you do I won't tell. [Razz] ) Anyway this plant had rotton off from its base! I moved it to a new container and every 4th day I sprayed it. 4 months later it looked as good as any I've grown. It took about 2-3 months to re-establish its root system. The point here is until it can feed itself you have to "spoon" feed it.

Again only MIST this on, Note: You get the center wet one too many times and it will rot on you. This is why I say to MIST it. You still have to get the center leaves. Just don't puddle the stuff in the center.

Ok as to the baby is it growning from the base at ground level or below? If it is ground level then it is a sucker. Now if it is from below the ground then it from the stolons beneath the soil and are called basal suckers or "ratoons". If it is a ratoons then it is part of the original root system. You need to move the roots with it.

If it is above the ground then it is off of the main stock then it is called a Slip. Before I can help you with how to root it I need you to tell me the following.
1. How long is it?
2. How big around is it?
3. How many leaves does it have?
4. How healthy does it look i.e. colors of leaves. Are they all green or is there yellow, or reds running through the leaves.
5. Is it at ground level or growing from below the ground. (My bet would be if it is not a Slip then it would be ratoon before it would be a sucker.)

At this point this sounds like a lot. However, we are working with at least one near dead plant and as such this under taking is much more than normal. Don't let it turn you off. Once you get these two established, and when they fruit you will have learned much and will have won the war~~! After that (if you take my advise)you will be on the way to becoming Pineapple_Karen!

I will track this topic.

Please note that these photos are not mine. They are from another site. I copied and used them as they are as good any picture as I could shoot. They are not hot-linked, but off of my site.
by gardenmom32210 on August 02, 2004 04:51 PM
I will be using a brand of potting soil called"Jungle Growth". Will I need to add anything to it? It's a brand new bag.

The baby appears to be coming out of the side of the dying one. It is 3 inches tall and if you look straight down on it,it appears to be the size of a quarter. There are 10 deep green(no yellow or red)leaves on it.

Thanks sooooo much [kissies]

Karen [grin]
by Pineapple_Raye on August 03, 2004 03:19 AM
Ok it sounds like it is a slip which makes me think the original one had rooted to some degree. Now I'm guessing here as I've never seen a Slip grow from the bottom of a crown. Then again I've never tried to see if that could happen.

Next give the lenght verses the width I got a feeling it did not get a lot of sun light.

Ok go ahead and remove it from the main crown. Let it dry out for 2-3 days. Remove only the first bottom set of leaves. Cut carefully. Cut very thinly. If you see root buds when you remove it then don't cut. Remember these root buds will be small and very hard to see. I have planted Slips that I could not see any root buds after the first cut, and they were much larger than yours. You only need a 1/2 inch or so of the stem to plant. From this point you are about 24 months away from your eating. If you follow my ideas for feeding and foliger feeding when this plants rippens you should have from 10-15 large Slips to work with next time, plus suckers!

I don't know anything about that potting mixture. Now make sure to foliger feed that Slip every 4 days and water it with this same mixture. Don't allow the plant to freeze.

Try saving the crown. Remove any dead matter and give it a lot of TLC. If there is still green in the original you can save it.

Thanks sooooo much [kissies]
by gardenmom32210 on August 03, 2004 04:18 AM
Wow,you never cease to amaze me [flower]

Next give the lenght verses the width I got a feeling it did not get a lot of sun light.

It was growing in heavy SHADE!

I put it in a pot and am going to do what you said. I am soooo excited  -

Karen [grin]
by gardenmom32210 on August 03, 2004 10:47 PM
I went to separate it today and both pieces have 1/4 inch roots!!!! I was real careful and cleaned them both off. I have them drying out in the kitchen.

I have an aquarium and always use that water for my indoor plants(they thrive on it!) Do you think it would be ok to use that to mist them with or do I have to get the seaweed and fish extract?

Karen [grin]
by Pineapple_Raye on August 04, 2004 01:06 AM
Phew---15 minutes trying to post a reply. Timed out again. Then I could not connect.

Ok if the roots are out then Plant them NOW!!! Don't pass GO...Don't go to JAIL...stop what you are doing and PLANT THEM NOW~~~ [Embarrassed]

Stay with the program~~~ get a quality Fish and Seaweed extract. I use MaxiCrop. Some of the cheaper brands use really cheap trash fish that don't have the oils.

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