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Old 01-02-2013, 08:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Pineapple Diaries

Hi all!

This is my newest endeavour - growing my own bromeliad - a pineapple top!!! Believe it or not, pineapples are easy to grow and cheap! I bought mine for $3. I used a book called How to Grow Tasty Tropical Plants* (like...) *In any Home Any Where. Love this book! Check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Tasty-Tro ... where+like. I also got a lot of help from this video: . Check out the cool pictures at the end! I'm going to try and keep this updated and even put in pictures to help all you guys out too! I'd love some tips and experiences.

BTW, I have an exact copy of this post on bananas.org - I wanted it on both sites.


THE PLANTING - JANUARY 1st, 2013
After getting the pineapple, I planted it a day later. This was labeled as a Chiquita Gold Extra Sweet Pineapple, grown in Costa Rica. I'm sure it has a technical name, but I don't want to ask the company. They'd probably think I was some kind of competitor fruit company or something. I got the pineapple from BJ's, a local bulk store. I planted the plant in Scott's or Miracle-Gro potting soil (either way, it was fortefied). I put some LFS around it. First I cut the top off, then sliced the fruit (great and juicy pineapple by the way) and then I went to the top. Instead of twisting it off like the lady in the video did, I cut it and a bit of fruit off. I trimmed the flesh off so it wouldn't rot, then sliced it down to the rhizome, which looked like a tree stump with brown structures around the edges. These are where the roots come from. I then covered the bottom and some of the side in Bon-Tone rooting powder and it placed it in the soil. Thouroughly watering it. At this point, I have a 50/50 chance of success, fingers crossed. I set the plant in an east-facing window where it will get morning sun and then left it. Will get to pics soon

The best part of this plant is that the plant will produce nice pineapples in 18 months. Aside from being pretty and tasty, it is easy to grow. Once the plant fruits, it will die, but will have made two new plants from suckers; one pineapple can start a whole new generation. Oh, by the way, if you try this, let the soil dry out between waterings and grow it in room-temperature soil and keep it above 60 degrees F to prevent root rot. Also, when you select a pineapple, be sure to get one that has healthy leaves and no insects, to prevent an early death. Be sure to get a pineapple that is not too golden or too green.
-
Fun plant fact!!!!! Once a pineapple is plucked from the plant, it will not get riper - it will only rot.

Until Next Time!



Day 3 - January 4th, 2013

Starting tomorrow, I am going to give the plant some supplemental lighting, acting on a tip from rogerjames....... Thanks! I put some pictures in to this link here: Banana Gallery - The Pineapple Diaries. I am a little worried, as you can read from the description on the photos, about the yellow leaf tips on many of the leaves, but I attribute this to shock. Somebody please tell me or reply to the post so I can grow this plant as good as I can!
Also, for all of you guys who couldn't get your plant to fruit, read this excerpt:
From: How to grow Tasty Tropical Plants* (Like....) *In any Home, Anywhere.
Laurelynn G. Martin and Byron E. Martin
Storey Publishing, 210 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA, 01247
Storey Publishing : Books for Country Living Since 1983
Copyright 2010

The Apple/Pineapple Connection
If you'd like to speed up the fruiting process of your pineapple plant, try this amazing but effective trick: Cut a slice of apple and tuck it into the crown of your pineapple plant. The apple slice will give off enough ethylene gas to stimulate early fruiting of your pineapple plant.
(End excerpt)


Obviously, I can't tell you if it works, because my plant hasn't rooted yet, but maybe this could make your plants fruit. I overall think the experiment is working so far; I'm hoping I will someday be eating fresh pineapple!
Speaking of which, aside from using the top of the pineapple, I had some fun with the fruit itself! It was tasty and juicy, and I'm hankering for another one! Today, I used the rest of it to make a huge fruit roll and some dried chunks so I can enjoy it in so many ways! I just pureed it and put it on a fruit roll sheet, and it is currently drying in my dehydrator at 135 degrees F. Can't wait to try it! I just cut the pineapple into small cubes and am drying it with the the fruit roll. For more info, check out my post here: Banana Chips and Fruit Rolls. That's all for now! Talk to you all at the next update!
Cheers!


Day 4

Well, now I'm really starting to get a little nervous. The top is appearing more yellowish/brown. Pics are here and are labeled as "Day 4." Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Banana Gallery - The Pineapple Diaries



Day 13

Today was another important day in my brief history of pineapples. I cut up and planted another top. The pineapple tasted good, but not as sweet. It is the same brand and is also grown in Costa Rica. This plant is in the same spot as my first one, but it is put in orchid soil, since I was transplanting a lot of plants and wanted to just replace one pot with this top. Besides, bromeliads should like orchid soil! That should do good. I will refer to it as Sample 2 in future posts. Also, with my first plant (Sample 1), it has started rooting! The old leaves look horrible, but new growth and the crown looks healthy. I couldn't wait any longer and gently worked it out of the soil to see 1 or 2 little roots coming out. Considering complete rooting is supposed to take 1-2 months, this is great. I gently replanted it and will not disturb it again. I didn't take pictures of the roots, but should have. Oh well. I did put new pics in at the gallery here: Banana Gallery - The Pineapple Diaries. The updates are labeled as "Day 13" for Sample 1 and "Day 13 (Sample 2, day 1) for Sample 2. It would appear my experiment is a success so far!

Day 21

Well, I am a bit worried about my first specimen. The second one is trucking along - it is going almost exactly like the first one did. My main concern with the first one is some brown in the leaves near the crown. No rot, but the leaves are turning brown. I also saw some gray mold or related on it. Roots are growing. I bought Bonide Copper Fungicide and sprayed that in the crown. I still have high hopes for this plant. And if it does die, I have a second one. Yay! Pics will come soon, probably in the next update.

Apr. 28th

Well, I threw my first plant out a bit ago. My second one has roots growing okay, but the newest leaves are dried out and getting moldy. Regularly applying copper fungicide, but I don't know if it will make it. I bought another pineapple from BJ's today, and will cut that up today. It looks great and the leaves look big - perhaps it is already growing! I am going to do the water method with this one - peel off the lower leaves and stick the top in water. The 2nd pineapple that is fighting mold has been trimmed of its dead leaves, making it look better. Hopefully this will help. In any case, I don't know if I like the soil method, and I think the water method might work better. I also am not using any rooting hormone as it seems like it promotes root growth, but stops leaf growth. I will try and post updated pics soon. The fruit I just bought is the usual - Chiquita Gold Extra-sweet from Costa Rica.

Apr. 29th

Horrible news. The pineapple was great, super sweet and tasty, but I made the worst mistake I could possibly make on a perfectly healthy pineapple top: I cut it too high. The plant was even already sort of starting to root! This made the entire thing fall apart and I was left with two slices that might grow. I dumped them in my glass of water - they are totally submerged - and I am hoping for the best. At least I found three seeds in one of the edible chunks. I saved them. And will do research and plant them later. Since most commercial species are hybrids, I figure the seedlings will not grow true to species, and I will have unique pineapple plants that only I am growing! Sweet! That's not that bad, but I can't believe I did that with the top. At least I have a few seeds.

June 16th

Well, I finally got a pineapple in water. I don't know if I got the crown in too low, but I am hoping for the best. Pics will come soon. Just wondering, does anybody know if pineapple seeds grow true to species? Sorry about the short update, I am just short on time, but I will try and produce better updates soon.

*************************************************************
Originally copied from my post on FlyTrapCare
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Last edited by Kbud : 06-16-2013 at 07:01 PM. Reason: June 16th update
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Pineapple Diaries

that how they propagate pineapples on the big plantations..tops of tops of tops and so on
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Pineapple Diaries

Really? Awesome! Glad to know I'm doing it the "proper" way. Pictures on the way!!
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Pineapple Diaries

I've been growing Smooth Cayenne and some others for years. Best fruit I've ever had.

Btw the mother plant will produce slips and suckers which can be planted or left for a ratoon crop which is what I have done for 7 years. The fruit gets progressively smaller each year but the flavor is the same. Commercial plantations will sometimes go 2 ratoon crops before replanting the slips. From what I've read they don't plant the suckers or the crowns, only slips.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The Pineapple Diaries

I've tried three pineapples so far. All three have been full of rot from the start. Two I threw away when they started to stink. The other I tried to take off all the rot, and there was nothing left.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The Pineapple Diaries

they can be tons of fun and easy to do. we start a few new ones every year in hopes of always having one. Been at it for a couple years and none have fruited yet. I am in zone 7 so they go in the greenhouse. Im sure that slows them down. We would do more but the dang things take up so much room. I usually chop of the points to keep from poking ourselves in the greenhouse.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Pineapple Diaries

i have two crowns "growing", i followed this method:

How to Grow a Pineapple Top Indoors
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The Pineapple Diaries

This summer I planted the top of a pineapple purchased from store. After cutting from fruit, it was left in a bowl for several days before it finnally got planted, I didnt think it would live. But it did, and already even has a smaller one coming up along side it, couldnt believe it. Hopefully it will produce fruit, in the cominh years. I like the idea of planting one every year. Would love to see your photos, do you have any posted?

Last edited by CathyK : 01-04-2013 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Pineapple Diaries

I have like 6 going and 2 smooth one being a pup off the monster mother.. I have in the sun room. :^)
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Pineapple Diaries

Thanks for the kind words you all! I just updated the thread with a link to the pictures!

What do you mean by ratoons and slips? Sorry, just not totally sure what you mean.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Pineapple Diaries

Ratoon is a crop that's growing from a plant that has been harvested already. You see the mother doesn't really die, it supports the slips that grow from between the leaves and produce the Ratoon crop. The 2nd year Ratoon crop is from slips that grew from the first years slips on the original mother and so on and so on.

Suckers grow up from the bottom under the soil line, Slips emerge about half way up the plant from in between the leaves. They can be snapped off and planted straight into the soil like you see in videos from commercial plantations.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Pineapple Diaries

Slip that will turn into a almost full size plant on the mother plant and produce a ratoon (secondary) crop.

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Old 01-04-2013, 09:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Pineapple Diaries

Oh! I understand it now! Online I saw somebody selling sugarcane ratoons - so they were referring to a plant that has already been harvested from! Thanks so much!
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The Pineapple Diaries

If you have the chance you should look into getting "sugarloaf" pineapple. It produces a lot of suckers and the core of the fruit is edible (not woody). The sugarloaf is sweeter and less acidic than the store bought variety.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Pineapple Diaries

Awesome!
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:02 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The Pineapple Diaries

Mitchel, do you know why the commercial growers don't plant the suckers? Seems the sucker would produce the same fruit as the slip.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance1945 View Post
Mitchel, do you know why the commercial growers don't plant the suckers? Seems the sucker would produce the same fruit as the slip.
No I sure don't. I would assume it's because they are very easy to break off where suckers have roots and are lower down making it harder to harvest them. Maybe slips are easier to sanitize before planting? It's a good question for a commercial grower.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:33 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The Pineapple Diaries

Kbud, I'm following your progress because I bought 2 dz or so pineapples and this is my first experience growing them. Good luck.

Terry
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:33 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Pineapple Diaries

Pineapple

http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/f_n-7.pdf

Last edited by sunfish : 01-06-2013 at 07:38 PM.
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