Friday, April 13, 2012

Starting to Grow Pineapples

Looking out my window I mostly see white right now. It is not because I am seeing a white sandy beach, it's snow, and being February it won't be getting green anytime soon here. [Actually, our weather has been very strange here and in April the grass is green, my cherry tree has blossoms, the ice has been off the lakes since the beginning of March. The ice covers the lakes here usually until the end of April, sometimes later.]
 Well, outside may be winter, but inside I am having a little bit of the tropics.

Since I am home schooling my daughter I figured she can learn agriculture for science. We have been trying for awhile to root these tops. Many have been unsuccessful. I have tried cutting off the top, leaving a little bit of the fruit on it and just sticking in soil, which some people say works great but it didn't work for me. I will share here what is working so far. I have gone through five fresh pineapples this winter in the process. 
Below is the 5th top I have started. Sorry that they are not in order.

This looks like it will be a success. 

At this point I let this air dry for one day.

 I have tried to let them dry longer and they die.
The one below was left to dry for two days. It is the 4th one and I started it on January 27th.

I do have this in water right now but it doesn't look hopeful. The center leaves have all died out and there is no sign of roots.

Here is number three which I started 3 weeks earlier. Started on January 6th, 2012.
Here you can see the roots starting.
This one I let dry for one day before setting it in a glass of water.
I change the water everyday. That is right, every day. I found out from number 1 that changing it every other day or more is a bad idea. 

I started number 5 yesterday. One thing you should know before you decide to grow your own, is pineapples can be vicious.
Look at these teeth!
Those can get you by surprise! These are usually found closer to the tips.
I cut off the dead parts of the leaves so that we can keep track of whether the plant is doing okay or not.

Now on to the pineapple seeds.
The larger seed is from a pineapple. The small seeds are alpine strawberry seeds.
We recycled some sand from a hermit crab tank and mixed in some moistened peat moss. This is on a foam tray that had produce on it.
Here you can see the pineapple seeds. We also planted the strawberry seeds but they are too tiny to see. The seeds are left uncovered. I placed a tall rectangular plastic box over top to keep the moisture in and I watered it from the outside. Later I started to sprinkle water on top as well as the seedlings emerged. I also put a thin layer of the potting mix over the seeds as well.

The water seeps under the plastic and the sand/peat mix wicks it up.
I placed this next to a south facing window and watched for heat stress during sunny days.

A month and a half later, this is the first one to sprout.
Here you can barely see a fleck of green that is another pineapple sprouting.
They sure can take a very long time to come up.
So, if you are interested in growing your own pineapples, give it a try. And try growing both the tops and the seeds. If one fails you still have a backup.
Out of all of the tops I have tried to start only 2 have made it to the point of having roots. I will be putting them in pots shortly and when the weather warms up more I will set them outside.
Oh, and the strawberry seeds...
They are coming along nicely. I plant to put those in an Aquaponic system when I get it set up.
Yummy, strawberries and pineapple!
Good luck with yours!

Thank you for stopping by.
Dee Dee

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