Friday, September 16, 2016

Propagating Pineapples #1- Crowns

Each year that I harvest pineapples, I increase the number of pineapple plants by propagating them off my own plants. For right now, I'm using the crowns, slips, and suckers since I'm interested in getting as many plants started as I have available material. Later on I'll just use the best crowns and suckers for propagation. 

Crowns are easy to use, they are the leaf clusters atop the pineapple fruit itself. I'll just twist them off when I go to use a pineapple. Below is one I just removed from a quite yummy white pineapple that I plan to grill for dinner. 

The next step is to remove the cluster of bottom leaves so that some of the inner stalk is exposed.  I just brutally rip them off and things end up looking like this.....

Roots will grow out from that inner stalk. If I look close up, I will see little white bumps on the stalk. That's where the roots will grow. While the roots will grow even if the tough lower leaves aren't removed, the plant will establish itself far faster and more robustly if those lower leaves aren't there interfering with the growth. 

The next step is where things can get complex. Some people use a rooting hormone. Some will stick the pineapple top in a glass of water until the roots start to form, then plant it out. Others use commercial potting soil in a nursery pot, and transplant the new pineapple plant when it's shows signs of new growth. I'm from the KISS school of thought. I simply shove the top deeply into the soil at the spot I want the new plant. 

At times I don't have places ready to receive the new crowns, slips, or suckers. In this case I'll simply poke them into any bed that has room. In the photo below, I've planted crowns closely in a young ginger bed. In the next couple weeks I'll have the next pineapple bed ready to go, then I'll just move these crowns to their permanent location. In the meantime they will have been starting to push some baby roots. I find that moving them is no problem at all. The plants do fine. 


  1. Excellent description! I have started pines several times, exactly as you illustrated. I have the challenge of not being able to leave the plant outdoors here in zone 8b. I use potting soil in a gallon plastic pot. which is enclosed in a clear plastic bag, with a twist-tie to keep it closed for the first few weeks. It can be removed once the new leaves start pushing out. I have given the plants away when we moved, but even now, I have one plant growing, and ready to move up in pot size. Yeah, it struggles in the winter in the breakfast nook, but it's still growing!

  2. Good for you, Barry! It may take longer, but I bet that plant will eventually produce a baby pineapple. I've seen them growing in people's greenhouses and having little pineapples to boot!