How To Plant, Care For And Multiply Your Pineapples
Most beginners start pineapple growing by planting the tops of shop bought pineapples.
That’s a good way to play around and doesn’t cost anything. If you eat pineapples you have the tops left over anyway.
However, growing pineapple tops is a slow way to grow pineapples. Tops take at least 24 months to flower, and then it takes another six months for the fruit to mature.
Suckers (or pups) and slips grow up and fruit a lot quicker. You may have to wait for your first top grown plants to produce such offspring.
But if you live in a pineapple growing area you should be able to get hold of some suckers. Beg or steal them of one of the growers. Heck, buy some if you have to!
Pineapples growing in the garden of my reader Lisa Preschel from Mexico. ©
Growing Pineapples From Suckers
A pineapple plant flowers only once, and produces one pineapple. Then it dies. But before it dies it also produces offspring.
Suckers or pups are little plantlets that grow between the leaves of the mature pineapple.
Some varieties will produce more suckers than others, some will start earlier and others later.
But they all produce at least a few suckers or pups before they die.
If you leave the suckers in place you get what is called a “ratoon crop”. That is the least amount of work for the next crop, just do nothing. But it has a few disadvantages.
The plants start to crowd each other out and to compete for food, light and water. As a result the next lot of pineapple fruit is much smaller.
The other disadvantage is that if you leave the suckers in place you only get a few. The original pineapple plant thinks it has fulfilled its purpose in life and reproduced, and it dies.
Keep taking the suckers off and the plant keeps growing more of them.
The timing is not critical. I have accidentally broken off tiny baby plants and they survived. It is best to wait though until they are a reasonable size, say about 20 cm/8 inches long.
Once they look like the one in the picture above it is definitely time to take them.
I just go around my garden every two or three months and take off all the big suckers I see. Grab hold of them as close to the base as possible, and twist and pull at the same time. They usually come off easily. And then plant them like you plant pineapple tops. Just stick them in the ground. They’ll grow :-).
Pineapple suckers ready for planting.
Pineapple Growing From Slips
Pineapple slips… In my early pineapple growing days I could never figure out what or where they were supposed to be!
Slips are the tiny plantlets that grow at the base of the fruit on the fruit stalk.
The reason I couldn’t find them is that not all pineapple varieties produce slips.
Shop bought pineapples in Australia are usually of the variety “Smooth Cayenne”, and they grow few if any slips. (They also produce few suckers and take a long time to do so.)
I eventually managed to get hold of another variety, the “Rough Cayenne”. (You can not find that one in our shops, I got it from a friend). The Rough Cayenne produces much smaller but very tasty fruit, it has very prickly leaves, and lots of slips below the fruit.
Slips can be carefully snapped or pulled off. Do it as soon as they are big enough to handle (say about 10 to 15 cm/4-6 inches) because slips develop at the expense of the fruit! This means if you leave them on, your fruit will be smaller.
Plant them the same way you plant tops and suckers.
Your pineapple plant will not continue to produce more slips if you remove them as it does with suckers. Once you take the slips off you are done and the plant will put all its energy into the fruit.
Pineapple Growing Strategies
I imagine that initially you will carefully plant out every single sucker and slip your pineapple plants produce. I sure did. But soon your garden will be full of pineapples and you can afford to be more selective.
Mark the plants that produced the biggest, sweetest and juiciest fruit so you know those suckers are worth planting.
Avoid the plants that produce long fruit stalks, like the one in the picture below. The fruit should grow as low as possible or it just falls over and gets sunburned.
While it’s tempting to initially select for plants that produce lots of slips, keep in mind that the slips develop at the expense of the fruit. You get bigger, better fruit of plants that produce fewer slips.
Pineapple plants have a tiny root system and rely a lot on their leaves for water and nutrition. Therefore they don’t mind being dug up and transplanted.
You can use that to your advantage by planting your small suckers and slips into a “nursery bed”. They won’t stay there for long so you can plant them very close together.
Wait for them to grow to about a foot high before you plant them in their final position. That way all the pineapples in a clump or row are of similar size and you don’t get the big ones crowding and shading the littlies.
(I don’t have a photo of that because I’m too lazy to do it, but it sure is a smart strategy. Maybe I should finally try it out…)
Smooth Cayenne is by far the most popular variety across the world and the most common in the shops. It’s a very reliable producer of large and great tasting fruit and it has the smoothest leaves.
(If you haven’t mulched your pineapples well and have to deal with weeds amongst them you very quickly learn to appreciate that!)
Some of the best tasting pineapple varieties don’t ship or keep well and you don’t usually get them in shops. So if you see any, or know of someone who grows them, go get them. In Australia that may be a bit hard, but there are hundreds of varieties available across the Americas.
There are also red pineapples, blue pineapples, pineapples with variegated leaves, miniature pineapples, all sorts of pretty and interesting varieties. Have fun trying them out. Just because they are so tasty doesn’t mean you have to ignore their beauty!
Next: Tips for growing pineapples in a permaculture garden.
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Management of slips and its effect on growth and production of ‘Pérola’ pineapple plants1
Manejo de mudas na ceva e seu efeito sobre o crescimento e produção do abacaxizeiro ‘Pérola’
Domingo Haroldo ReinhardtI; Ana Patrícia Mascarenhas SouzaII; Ranulfo Correa CaldasI; José dos Prazeres AlcântaraIII; Alberto Alves de AlmeidaIII
The lack of good quality planting material has limited the expansion and contributed to yield reduction of the Brazilian pineapple culture. Alternatives of ‘Pérola’ pineapple slips management were studied aiming at obtaining superior planting material within a shorter time period and making good use of healthy slips of low vigor, that are commonly discarded by growers. Two experiments were carried out at the Experimental Field of Embrapa Cassava & Fruits, Cruz das Almas, Bahia, Brazil, and another one in a commercial plantation in the region of Itaberaba, BA, using blocks or entirely randomized designs with at least four replications. In the first one, the development of slips of different initial sizes (6 to 20 cm long), when grown on mother plants after fruit harvest, was compared with that of slips grown in a nursery after their removal from the mother plants. It became clear that larger slips grow more vigorously and that the removal from the mother plant delays their growth. However, results from the second study showed that those slips grown in nursery had vegetative and agronomic performance similar to that of conventional slips and close to that of plantlets produced from plant stem sections. Independently from the type of planting material used, the larger ones presented a more vigorous growth and produced higher yields. In the third study, it was observed the influence of mineral fertilization, pest control and growth regulator application after fruit harvest on slip development. The treatments applied did not significantly accelerate slip growth. Slips reached 50 cm length and at least 300 g fresh weight within 90 days after fruit harvest, indicating that vigorous plants have enough nutritional storage material for slips development.
Index terms: Ananas comosus, propagation, slips, plantlets, cultural practices.
A escassez de mudas de boa qualidade tem limitado a expansão e contribuído para a redução da produtividade da abacaxicultura brasileira. Alternativas de manejo de mudas do tipo filhote do abacaxi cv. Pérola foram estudadas, visando a obtenção de material de plantio superior, em menor espaço de tempo, e o aproveitamento de mudas sadias de menor vigor que têm sido descartadas pelo produtor. Dois experimentos foram conduzidos no Campo Experimental da Embrapa Mandioca e Fruticultura e outro em abacaxizal comercial da região de Itaberaba, Bahia, usando-se delineamentos em blocos ou inteiramente casualizados com, pelo menos, quatro repetições. No primeiro, foi comparado o desenvolvimento de mudas do tipo filhote, de vários tamanhos iniciais (6 cm a 20 cm), durante a ceva em plantas pouco vigorosas, com aquele em viveiro, após removidas das plantas. Ficou evidente que mudas maiores crescem com mais vigor e que a sua remoção da planta-mãe atrasa o seu crescimento. No entanto, os resultados obtidos no segundo experimento mostraram que o desempenho vegetativo e agronômico das mudas enviveiradas foi similar ao dos filhotes convencionais e próximo ao de plântulas (mudas produzidas de pedaços do caule). Independentemente do tipo de material de plantio usado, mudas grandes apresentaram crescimento mais vigoroso, determinando maior produtividade das plantas. No terceiro experimento, foram avaliados os efeitos de tratamentos de adubação, controle fitossanitário e fitorreguladores de crescimento, durante a ceva de mudas do tipo filhote, sobre o seu crescimento. Os tratamentos não aceleraram significativamente o crescimento das mudas, as quais atingiram comprimento médio superior a 50 cm e peso fresco médio próximo ou superior a 300 g, aos 90 dias após a colheita dos frutos, indicando que plantas vigorosas têm reservas nutritivas suficientes para o desenvolvimento das mudas.
Termos para indexação: Ananas comosus, propagação, filhotes, plântulas, práticas culturais.
In Brazil, good quality pineapple planting material has been known to be scarce and expensive (Reinhardt, 1998b). In many production regions the low availability of vigorous and healthy slips and suckers has limited the expansion of the cultivated area and contributed to the reduction of productivity increases, from 152% during the period 1970 to 1990, to about 6% during the 1990 decade (Reinhardt & Souza, 2000).
The offer of planting material of superior quality may be increased by several measures, such as improvement of plant management during the vegetative and reproductive phases, flowering forcing in less hot seasons and daytimes, use of adequate planting densities, supply of nutrients and water in a balanced way and efficient control of pests and diseases, among other cultural practices (Reinhardt, 1998a). Those practices tend to increase plant vigor, with the formation of heavier and more numerous plantlets (Py, 1979; Py et al., 1984).
However, pineapple slips have not received the due attention by growers during their development on the mother plants. In general, in Brazil no cultural practices are applied to plants and slips during their development after fruit harvest (Cunha & Reinhardt, 1994; Reinhardt, 1998a,b), what is in contrast with sucker management in ‘Smooth Cayenne’ plantations in Mexico (Rebolledo et al., 1998) and other countries (IRFA, 1984). The development of ‘Pérola’ pineapple slips on the plants, after fruit harvest, usually takes two to six months (Reinhardt et al., 2000), but it may require a longer period under unfavorable climatic conditions.
Cultural practices that supply nutrients contribute to better sanitary conditions and stimulate growth, may reduce the time lapse needed for slips development and improve their quality. This hypothesis was studied in this work, in addition to the possibility to transform small slips which are usually removed from the mother plants together with the larger slips and then discarded at the preplanting selection stage, into adequate planting material by a growth period in nursery. Hence, this work aimed at evaluating these alternatives of ‘Pérola’ pineapple slips management and to compare the field performance of those nursery slips with that of conventional slips and of plantlets produced from stem sections.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Three experiments were carried out, two of them at the Experimental Field of Embrapa Cassava & Fruits, Cruz das Almas, Bahia, Brazil, and the other in a commercial field of Itaberaba, main pineapple production region in Bahia State, in the period from 1998 to 2000. Cruz das Almas is located in the Coastal Table Lands of the Reconcavo Baiano region, presents a warm and sub-humid climate with annual average temperature of 24ºC and annual rainfall of 1200 mm. Itaberaba has a semi-arid climate, with irregular rains and annual total rainfall of 600 to 800 mm. In both regions the predominant soil is a yellow, deep latosoil with intermediate texture and acidity, low phosphorous and aluminum and intermediate potassium, calcium and magnesium contents.
Experiment I In this experiment was compared the vegetative development of small slips while transferred to a nursery and while kept attached to their mother-plants in the field. The following treatments were studied: A Slips on mother-plants, initial length of 6 to 10 cm; B Slips on mother-plants, length of 11 to 15 cm; C Slips on mother-plants, length of 16 to 20 cm; D Slips in nursery, initial length of 6 to 10 cm; E Slips in nursery, length of 11 to 15 cm; F Slips in nursery, length of 16 to 20 cm.
The experimental design was a completely randomized one, with six treatments (2 sites of growth x 3 initial lengths) and ten replications, each one constituted by the slips from one plant. The slips for the nursery were harvested from 30 plants, separated into the three length intervals and their initial fresh weights determined. Thereafter the slips were planted in seedbeds in a spacing of 15 x 15 cm. At the same day, other 30 plants were marked in the field and their slips selected and identified for the three length ranges studied. These slips were kept on their mother-plants and their growth evaluated in comparison to that of the nursery slips. At 60, 90 and 120 days after the beginning of the experiment were determined the length and the fresh and dry weights of the slips from 10 plants at each evaluation date for each of the treatments studied.
In the nursery slips received one solid fertilization and irrigation on alternate days, whereas the slips on the mother-plants did not get any cultural practices, except for one weeding.
Experiment II In this experiment was observed the performance of slips obtained in nursery, during the first crop cycle in the field, in comparison to conventional slips and to plantlets produced from stem sections. The treatments studied were the three types of planting material, that were conventional slips, nursery slips and plantlets, and two slips sizes (lengths from 25 to 34 cm and 35 to 44 cm). These planting materials were placed in double rows, in a spacing of 90 x 40 x 40 cm, in the middle of July 1998. Each plot had a total of 100 plants and 62 useful plants. The experimental design was a randomized blocks one, with five replications. The cultural practices applied during the crop cycle were those recommended by Cunha et al. (1995). The flowering forcing treatment was done on July/99, but there occurred natural flower differentiation from June, defining a fruit harvest period from December/1999 to January/2000.
Treatment evaluations were based upon plant growth data, represented by the dimensions and fresh and dry weights of ‘D’ leaves, measured at 4, 6, 8 and 10 months after planting, using samples of four leaves per plot per evaluation. At fruit harvest were determined the number of slips per plant, the productivity and fruit weight, from all useful plants in the plots, and the fruit dimensions (length, largest diameter), crown length and weight and fruit pulp quality (total soluble solids and total titrable acidity), based upon samples of 10% of the fruits harvested.
Experiment III The experiment was installed in a commercial plantation of the Fazenda Alagoana belonging to Mr. Jorge Gomes dos Santos, Itaberaba, right after the end of fruit harvest of the first crop cycle. In a randomized blocks design with four replications were studied the following treatments:
All the time intervals mentioned refer to the date of fruit harvest end. All the sprays were done with a knapsack pump, except for the solid fertilization, applying about 30 mL plant-1 directing the jet to the slips. A surfactant was added to the solutions. In the foliar fertilization were used urea at 3% and potassium chloride at 2%, being added in every other spray the foliar fertilizer Wuxal at 2% (20-00-15 + 4 Mg + micronutrients). The solid fertilization (treatment E) supplied 4 g of urea + 2.7 g of potassium chloride per plant. The insecticide used was vamidothion (c.p. Kilval, at 1 mL L-1).
Each plot had 36.0 m2, with 40 useful plants, in addition to borders on all sides formed by 56 plants, giving a total of 96 plants per plot. At 0, 30, 60, 90 and 120 days were determined the length and the fresh and dry weights of the slips, based upon samples of 16 slips per plot (two slips per plant, in 20% of the useful plants).
In all experiments data were submitted to the analyses of variance and averages compared by the Tukey test at 5% of probability.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Both slips size and the site of slips development (nursery or mother-pant) influenced significantly their growth (Table 1), without having a significant interaction between these factors (data not shown). Large slips presented higher growth rates, especially on weight basis, with increasing differences in relation to the other sizes studied, as long as the experimental period advanced. Differences were statistically significant for slips fresh and dry weights, in all evaluation dates, for large slips in relation to small ones and also in relation to slips of intermediate size, for most of the evaluations done. In the case of elongation growth (height) significant differences occurred from the evaluation at 90 days. These results may be attributed to the differences in volume of nutritional storage material available in the slips at the beginning of their development stage after fruit harvest, which was the highest for the large ones. At that time, these slips presented an average fresh weight of 91 g, whereas the weights of intermediate and small slips were 48 g and 24 g, respectively. In addition, smaller slips have a lower photosynthetic capacity due to their reduced leaf area, their initial development being dependent on their storage material and the mother-plant activity (Py et al., 1984).
When kept attached to the mother-plant, slips had a superior growth in relation to the nursery slips, both in length and fresh weight, for most of the evaluation dates (Table 1). These results suggest that the trauma suffered by the slips at their transplantation to the nursery affects their development. In addition, the mother-plant is an important source of nutrients for the slips, which become the main sinks after fruit removal (Lima et al., 2001 e 2002). In spite of growing more slowly, nursery slips developed enough to reach minimum size and weight (30 cm and 200 g) for their planting in the field, after about four to five months in nursery (data not shown).
The agronomic performance of large and small slips, obtained by a nursery phase, was evaluated in the second experiment, in comparison to the performance of other types of planting material. There was no significant interaction between type and size of the planting material studied and hence each factor will be discussed apart.
The vegetative growth of the plants, expressed by weight and dimensions of ‘D’ leaves, was significantly influenced by size and type of planting material (Table 2). Large planting material determined higher values for all variables evaluated, from four to ten months after planting. These results confirmed those reported by several authors (Gaillard, 1969; Reinhardt et al., 1986), thereby reinforcing the technical recommendation to separate the planting material into different size and/ or weight ranges, what allows to get a better uniformity of plant development within each field plot (Cunha et al., 1995; Rebolledo et al., 1998; Reinhardt et al., 2000). Larger leaf area and higher volume of nutritional storage material presented by large planting material result in a biological production and fresh and dry mass accumulation superior to that of small slips or plantlets. Therefore, larger planting material needs a shorter cycle, being the use of planting material of several sizes one of the strategies to get an ordered pineapple production (Giacomelli et al., 1979; Reinhardt et al., 1987).
In relation to the factor type of planting material, the treatment effects on plant growth were less evident (Table 2). However, values obtained were always higher for plants coming from plantlets. There was no significant difference for ‘D’ leaf length, but its width was significantly smaller for nursery slips than that of plantlets, at three of the four evaluation dates. The same happened in relation to fresh weight, with significant differences at four, eight and ten months, and for dry weight at four and eight months. In all growth evaluations, the plants originated from conventional slips presented an intermediate performance in comparison to the two other types of planting material. The differences in favor of plantlets observed in this experiment may be partly attributed to their larger initial average weight.
The differences among treatments observed on plant vegetative growth determined similar results for the yield ( kg of fruits harvested ha- 1) obtained in the treatments studied (Table 3). This was significantly higher for large planting material and for the plantlets type of it in relation to, respectively, small planting material and to nursery slips, with conventional slips having an intermediate behavior, without statistical differences with respect to the other two types of planting materials. To these results contributed the differences of average weights of fruits with crowns in the treatments studied, especially in the case of the factor size of planting material, reinforcing data from Cunha et al. (1993) obtained for the same cultivar under similar environmental conditions.
There were no significant differences for fruit dimensions, whose measurements were based upon 10% of fruits harvested (Table 3). The same occurred with respect to the production of slips per plant, crown weight and length and qualitative fruit characteristics, such as total soluble solids (TSS) and total titrable acids (TTA) contents and their ratio TSS/TTA, except for the higher crown weight of nursery slips in relation to that of slip (Table 4). The values obtained for the variables were typical for the cultivar Pérola, which is characterized by a fruit with a conical format, high number of slips, small crowns, low pulp acidity and high ratio.
In synthesis, the agronomic performance of low vigor slips, recuperated by a nursery period, was satisfactory, reaching the same statistical level of that of conventional slips. Such a result suggests the possibility to make use of those slips, reducing the loss of planting material. The additional investment in the nursery phase may be viable when there is a limited availability of good quality and high cost planting material, what is especially critical in new production regions located at long distances from sources of planting material.
The improvement of slips management was the issue of the third experiment, by assessing the effect of cultural practices on slips development after fruit harvest. The plants from the pineapple planting used were vigorous ones, as shown by their size (29.2 cm) and weight (162.5 g) at the beginning of the study, right after the fruit harvest end (Table 5). Slips grew very fast during the following 120 days, practically doubling their length and fresh weight.
Looking at the growth rates, expressed as increases of length and fresh and dry weights at the intervals from 60 to 90 days and 90 to 120 days after trial start, becomes evident that there was no significant effect of the treatments studied on slips growth (Table 6). Even in the control, without any cultural practice applied to the slips, their growth rate was high reaching almost 20 cm or about 100 g (fresh weight) from 60 to 90 days. During the following 30 days, slips growth was slower (about 10 cm and 70 g) in all treatments. Such slowing down of growth is normal, as pineapple plant growth, and that of its organs, is represented by a sigmoid curve, with increasing rates during the first phase of organ development, followed by decreasing growth rates in the second stage (Reinhardt and Medina, 1992).
At 60 days of development after fruit harvest, slips presented appropriate size and weight for their use as planting material in the field (average length of 48 cm and average fresh weight of 269 g) (Table 5). These results showed that plants used in this study presented high vigor and enough nutritional storage material in order to assure excellent slips development. Under such conditions becomes evident that in pineapple plantings with well developed, vigorous and healthy plants, the application of fertilizers, growth regulators and pesticides (in the case of low pest infestation) is not needed during slips development after fruit harvest. However, this result may not be generalized, requiring new studies in pineapple plantings with low vigor plants.
1) Small slips from ‘Pérola’ pineapple plants may be converted into planting material of good quality by a nursery phase;
2) Small slips, recuperated by a nursery phase, present an agronomic performance similar to that of conventional slips of the same weight range;
3) Slips present higher growth rates when kept attached to their mother-plants than when placed into a nursery;
4) Independently from the origin of the planting material used, large slips present vegetative and productive performances superior to those of small slips;
5) Slips from vigorous plants of the ‘Pérola’ pineapple cultivar do not respond significantly to applications of cultural practices, while attached to their mother-plants.
IRFA (Institut de Recherches sur les Fruits et Agrumes). La culture de l’ananas d’exportation en Cote d’Ivoire Manuel du planteur. Abidján: Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines, 1984. 112p.
PY, C. Production accelerée de material vegetal de plantation. Fruits, Paris, v.34, n.2, p.107-116, 1979.
PY, C.; LACOEUILHE, J. J.; TEISON, C. L’ananas, sa culture, ses produits. Paris: G.P. Maisonneuve et Larose et A.C.C.T., 1984. 562p.
REINHARDT, D. H. Como aumentar a oferta de mudas convencionais de boa qualidade. Cruz das Almas, BA: Embrapa Mandioca e Fruticultura, 1998a. 2p. (Abacaxi em Foco, 10)
REINHARDT, D. H. Manejo e produção de mudas de abacaxi. Informe Agropecuário, Belo Horizonte, v.19, n.195, p.13-19, 1998b.
REINHARDT, D. H.; SOUZA, J. da S. Pineapple industry and research in Brazil. Acta Horticulturae, Wageningen, v. 529, p. 57-71, 2000.
Aceito para publicação: 09/05/2003
1 (Trabalho 168/2002). Trabalho parcialmente financiado pelo Banco do Nordeste do Brasil/ETENE/FUNDECI.
In the vegetative propagation of pineapples, four types of material are used: 1) ‘ratoons’, which arise from buds on the stem in the rooting zone; 2) ‘suckers’, which are formed in the axils of leaves at ground level; 3) ‘slips’, also called ‘gills’ by Sing et al, which are small axillary shoots arising from buds immediately below fruits, and 4) ‘crowns’ or ‘tops’, which terminate the fruit. It has been observed that ratoons and suckers produce a harvestable crop within a shorter period of time than the others, Hoare (1948), Teotia and Pandey, Mitchell. Reynard and Dallodorf compared the period from planting to maturity of three sizes of tops, slips and suckers and found that medium and large suckers fruited earlier than the other types of planting materials.
Under non-irrigated conditions, Py recorded 40% of flowering with suckers, 10% with slips and 2% with crowns in one growing-season. Godfrey-Sam-Aggrey (1969) noted that suckers and slips are commonly used in Ghana and that crowns are rarely used, presumably because they are late in reaching maturity. No convincing reasons have been advanced by any of the authors quoted for the early fruiting of ratoons or suckers. Ochse et al (1961), however, stated that the reason for using ratoons or suckers in commercial planting was that “they develop while the parent plant is still vegetative and since they come from subterranean buds, ratoons will grow into mature specimens most quickly. About 12 months are necessary for them to produce a crop, provided they are removed at the proper stage”.
It was considered possible that, since ratoons and suckers are in closer contact with the ground and are some distance from the influence of apical dominance, they are potentially capable of maturing more rapidly than either slips or crowns. They are also likely to have latent root initials so that, when planted, ratoons and suckers establish a stronger and larger root system which gives them a nutritional advantage over slips and crowns. To test this hypothesis, an experiment was designed in which the roots produced by the different types of planting-material would be washed, counted and measured weekly.
There are a lot of methods for cutting up a pineapple but this is my method of choice. I have no idea where I learned it but it spawned from my abhorrence of eating the brown spots on the pineapple. I’m a little OCD about that. (That and a million other things, if you really want to know.)
The first step is to trim off the top of the pineapple (sorry, I don’t have a picture of this! I got a little eager about getting all those brown spots off of the little beauty and forgot to snap a pic…). You can do this by grabbing the stiff leaves and gently but forcefully twisting the entire top all the way off. Or you can get a knife and do the job. While you are at it, trim the bottom off, about 3/4 of an inch, cutting off all the brown peel away and leaving only fruit on the bottom.
Set the pineapple on a cutting board and using a large, sharp knife start trimming off the peels one segment at a time as shown below, making sure not to trim too far into the yummy, juicy flesh of the pineapple. Don’t worry if you leave some brown spots. I’ll show you how to trim off those little devils in a minute.
Once you have identified what direction to cut, begin cutting divets in the pineapple to trim out the brown spots. Because they line up in a diagonal, you can cut one long divet for each row of spots.
Once the brown spots are gone, it’s time to cut the four large segments away from the core. Start at the top and cut one side away from the core (the core is where the center of the pineapple starts to get firm – too firm to want to eat – which I should know since my kids like to gnaw on it).
Cut it in half.
Then cut each half in half again.
Finally each strip can be cut into chunks. And you are all done! Eat your heart out but remember, too much pineapple can make your mouth (and tummy!) a leetle sore.
Love pineapple but don’t know how to cut it? You’re not alone: with its thick and spiky skin, pineapple can be intimidating! But cutting a fresh pineapple is easy — and doing it yourself will save you money at the supermarket. Plus, fresh-cut pineapple lasts much longer than the pre-cut pineapple in the produce department, which is often past its prime the day you buy it. Check out the simple steps below for how to select and cut a fresh pineapple.
First things first—to ensure that you select a ripe pineapple while at the store, smell it. The fruit should smell fragrant and a bit sweet at the stem end. Look for fresh green leaves at the top of the pineapple. Also, use your sense of touch– if you gently squeeze the pineapple, it should “give” just a little (but avoid any pineapples that have soft spots or bruises, as those are signs that it’s past its prime).
Before cutting into the pineapple, wash it under cold running water and scrub it gently with a produce brush if you’ve got one.
(You’ll need a large chef’s knife and a cutting board.)
How to cut pineapple
Lay the pineapple down on its side and cut a slice off the bottom end.
Then slice off the top taking care to avoid the pointy leaves (they can be sharp)!
Stand the pineapple up with the flat bottom on your cutting board. Holding the top of the pineapple steady with one hand, use your other hand to start cutting away the pineapple’s outer skin.
Take off enough to get just past the brown spots (or eyes) in the flesh, but take care not to cut too far into the fruit.
Keep the pineapple standing on one flat end and carefully slice each side of the fruit, getting close to but not cutting into the center core.
Lay the pieces down with the flat side on the cutting board and cut into bite-sized pieces.
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