How to Propagate Pineapple Plants

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Pineapple propagation is easy and rewarding. The sweet and juicy pineapple can be started with the crown of the fruit, the spiky top that we cut off when we eat the pineapple. But the quicker method is to propagate using the "slips", baby plants taken from between the leaves at the base of the fruit on the fruit stalk. Pineapple slips can be hard to find unless you live in a pineapple growing region, so it's generally easier to propagate a pineapple plant from the crown and then take slips from the plant you grow.

Things You'll Need

  • One healthy pineapple or young pineapple slip
  • Large, heavy knife
  • Clear container such as a glass pitcher or jar
  • One 6-inch pot
  • Potting soil
  • Garden spade

Propagating from the Crown

  • Cut the crown from a ripe, but not rotting, pineapple. Make the cut at the limit of the fruit. It should be a straight cut so use a heavy, sharp knife.

  • Remove some lower leaves of the crown to reveal the stem. Do this gently by peeling them away with your fingers. Do not strip the skin of the stem as you remove the leaves. Take enough leaves so that the stem is leafless for 3 to 4 inches.

  • Place the pineapple crown with stem revealed into a container. Select a container small enough to allow the upper leaves to rest on the rim of the container. This will keep the bottom of the stem off the floor of the container and allow the new roots to emerge freely.

  • Fill container with enough water to cover the lower part of the stem. Cover no more than 2 1/2 inches with clean cool water.

  • Keep the container in a warm place. Change the water every 3-4 days and keep the crown clean.

  • Transplant the pineapple to a 6-inch pot when the roots growing from the stem are 2 inches long. Put the pineapple in a 6-inch pot with a commercial potting soil.

  • Keep the plant moist but not wet and let it grow until it outgrows the pot. The plant can grow to maturity in pots if you pot on the plant as it outgrows each successive plant.

  • Transplant the pineapple if you wish to grow it outside to a site that is sandy, well-drained and will never experience frost.

  • Keep the plant healthy by watering it, yet not letting it get waterlogged. Fertilize with mineral-rich fertilizer.

Propagating from a Slip

  • Take a slip from a mature pineapple plant. Pinch the slip away from the plant with your fingers.

  • Plant the pineapple slip immediately into the ground in a frost free climate or into a six inch pot. The plant can be grown in pots, if you pot one each time the plant outgrows its pot.

  • Tend in the same way as directed for a plant started from the crown. Keep the plant healthy by watering it yet not allowing it to become waterlogged. Fertilize with mineral-rich fertilizer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Plants propagated from pineapple crowns can take up to 30 months to fruit. Plants propagated from pineapple slips can take up to 18 months to produce fruit. Not all pineapple varieties produce slips so if you grow a pineapple from the crown to produce slips, make certain to buy a pineapple variety that does produce slips on the fruit stalk.

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