Pineapple plant from whole fruit? | Irrigating frozen soil?
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Issue: December 30, 2000


Pineapple plant from whole fruit?

Question:

Is it possible to grow a pineapple by just placing the whole plant in soil? Would this let it grow more quickly? That's the way it would work in nature, so why isn't that the most recommended way? Brian G

Answer:

It may be possible to propagate the pineapple as you describe, planting the whole fruit with the new plant still attached. However, there are some problems to consider. The problem with planting this little plant with the fruit still attached is that the sugar in the fruit will stimulate rotting of the fruit. This may also lead to rotting of the little pineapple plant on top before it can develop roots. Besides, most people want to eat the fruit of the pineapple. It is just an added bonus that we can remove the little plant from the top and grow it into an interesting plant.

The most common way that the pineapple reproduces in nature is by the production of offsets, little plants, from around the base of the plant. The little plant on the top of the fruit is a secondary mechanism.

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Irrigating frozen soil?

Question:

I read that I should irrigate my landscape in the winter, but the ground is frozen here. How do I irrigate when the ground is frozen?

Answer:

It is true that winter irrigation is important for most New Mexico landscapes, but when the ground is frozen, water cannot penetrate the soil. However, if the ground is frozen, it is water in the soil which is frozen. The mineral and organic matter in the soil is not the frozen component causing the water penetration problems. If the soil is frozen, then there is moisture there (though the plants may not be able to extract this solid water from the soil) and you don't need to irrigate. If you irrigated well before the ground froze, there should be some liquid water available to the plants below the frozen zone. If the soil is dry below the frozen zone, you will have to wait for a thaw before irrigating.

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Send your gardening questions to Yard and Garden, ATTN: Dr. Curtis Smith NMSU Cooperative Extension Service 9301 Indian School Road, NE, Suite 112 Albuquerque, NM 87112

Curtis W. Smith, Ph.D., is an Extension Horticulture Specialist with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service. New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator.

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