Growing fruit from a pineapple top

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I was told that I could take a fresh pineapple that I bought in the store and cut the top off and grow a pineapple plant with just the top. Is that true?

Well, some of it is true.

Yes, you can grow your own pineapple plant but don’t think there is a big Hawaiian harvest in your future. This fits into the category of indoor novelty gardening or “just because.”

Buy a pineapple fruit that is ripe and not greenish. The leaves should be green with no wilted, shriveled or brown parts.

Take a sharp weapon of your choice and remove the top with two inches of the fruit. You have to have the fruit attached for this to work.

Now you can eat the rest of the pineapple.

Take the top and two inches of attached fruit and put into a shallow container with a drain hole that has clean, damp sand inside. Gently wiggle the pineapple piece slightly into the damp sand. Keep the sand moist and put the whole thing in a sunny, warm window.

For best results, use rainwater to keep the sand damp. There should be no cold air or water on your tropical beauty. The sand should not dry out, either.

Now, the waiting process begins.

If all goes according to plan, roots will eventually develop and the top will produce more leaves from the center of the leaf whorl. You will eventually have an indoor pineapple foliage plant.

Occasionally, these produce a fruit in years to come, but the pineapple will be the size you can put on a swizzle stick.

Eat pineapples and go forth and multiply … your own prickly indoor plantation.

 

A part of my yard slopes down towards a little pond. When the snow melted, there were hundreds of mounds of dirt all over that area. They are just heaps of dirt. What dumped all this stuff on my grass?

You’ve got your directions wrong. The piles weren’t dumped; they were pushed up from below. And the two usual suspects are moles.

One kind is the star-nosed mole that makes its tunnels 6 inches to 1 foot underground. When the weather is warm and the soil is thawed, this mole pushes up soil to create vent holes.

The other mole is the eastern mole that makes tunnels just beneath the surface in warm weather. You could follow its travels around the yard by walking on the raised path. Moles do no hibernate all winter.

When the snow melts and the soil warms a bit, both kinds of moles begin cruising for earthworms, soil insects and grubs. Those creatures are completely dormant. If the moles can find them, it is a pleasant, protein-packed snack.

In warm weather, the piles of soil or the raised tunnel defines which mole is on the job. In the early spring, both moles make the same piles of soil because they are working above the frost layer in the ground.

Unfortunately, there is very little you can do to discourage them now. Dumping grub killer or lawn insect killer on the lawn will not work. The grubs and soil insects are not feeding and the grass isn’t growing. There are no products to kill earthworms and you really don’t want to kill them.

The only choice is to wait until the frost leaves the ground and the damage ceases. Then, take a rake and disperse the piles of soil into the surrounding grass so the blades are not buried. That’s why the grass dies under the heaps; it’s been buried.

Occasionally, it is possible to find another mound builder. Around a pond with moist soil, if the weather is warm, you might also find little circles of heaped wet soil with a definite hole in the middle. The soil looks like it was extruded from a pastry tube and the soil is the consistency of toothpaste. That soil disturber is a crayfish. They are also living in your pond.

Contact Gretchen Voyle, MSU Extension-Livingston County Horticulture Educator at (517) 546-3950.

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Gretchen Voyle is the MSU Extension-Livingston County Horticulture Educator. She can be reached at (517) 546-3950.