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Some tropicals that I am trying to grow

This is a discussion on Some tropicals that I am trying to grow within the The Jungle forums, part of the Land Plants category; Here are some photo-documentaries of a few tropical plants that I am trying to grow ...

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  1. #1
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
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    Default Some tropicals that I am trying to grow

    Here are some photo-documentaries of a few tropical plants that I am trying to grow over here.

    Lets start with the pineapples.
    Whenever we buy pineapples from the grocery store I cut off the top leaves and try to get them to root. I then plant them in 6-8 inch nursery pots.

    There is virtually no effort in preparing the pineapple plants. You have to cut off the plant from the top of the fruit anyway, so just flop them into a pot with fast draining soil instead of the trash can and you got yourself a decent chance of growing a pineapple plant.
    They are supposed to be tropicals, so protect them from cold temperatures.

    Here's a new batch from last week's purchase. Some will make it, some will not. But I got nothing to lose by trying.


    Here are a couple of pineapple plants (2 on the left) from pineapple purchases back in 2006. This photo is dated 09/08/2007.


    These are the same two plants in a recent photo, dated 09/24/2008. Those are 12-inch pots.


    I am not sure if they will set fruit in this climate. But even if they dont, they sure look nice to look at and serve as nice landscaping plants. Strategic placement also prevents the neighbors' cats and dogs from invading my garden.

    From what I can tell with these plants, these are their requirements:
    1. Full sun and HOT days.
    2. Protection from cold nights (no lower than 55F)
    3. Fast draining soil.
    4. If outdoors, they need lots of room since the leaves can grow long.
    5. Indoors, they need bright light.

    My only regret is that I did not plant all of the pineapples that we bought from the past few years. I should have had a bunch of large sized pineapple plants by now


    Next up are the few tamarind saplings that actually survived.
    I bought some ripe (brown, sweet) tamarinds from a local Mexican meat store a few years ago and decided to try to plant the seeds. I sowed about 30 seeds and out of that, only 10 germinated.
    Of the 10, I gave 3 to my mother in law so she can plant them in San Diego (I'm not sure what has become of those 3).
    Of the remaining 7 in my garden only 2 survived.

    How do I sow tropical seeds in this climate?
    Sphag'n'Bag! at least it works for something else out here lol.

    Here's an old picture of a few tropical seeds that I was trying to germinate.


    Here is a picture of two seedlings about 2 months after germination and replanting into pots. You can still see the cotyledons attached to the young plants.
    This photo is dated 06/06/2007.


    I was looking for some other photos of these tamarinds but I guess I did not take that many photos

    Here are the two remaining tamarind saplings at about 18 months, the picture is dated 09/24/2008.


    These will take at least 10 years before they can start producing fruit since they are grown from seed, but in a couple of years I can start using the leaves for some Filipino dishes that require young tamarind leaves

  2. #2
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    Default

    This is a very good and informative post. Thank you I will try this pineapple growing business! How big will the plant become?

    Thanks

    Fadi

  3. #3
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    That is great about the pineapple. I will have to give that a try as well. I have a grapefruit that I have grown from seed. I bought a bag of grapefruits and was slow eating them, but kept them in the refrigerator, the last one I cut open had plump seeds, so I just tossed them into a little dish on my kitchen window. When one of them sprouted, I thought I would never get it to grow, but now it is almost 4 feet tall. I don't know how long or even if it will produce fruit, but I love the plant and the huge thorns it has.

    Great thread, John. Thanks for sharing your tropicals. BTW, I hope you will share your Filipino dishes that require young tamarind leaves in the recipe section of the forum too.

    Cheers,
    BD

  4. #4
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    With pineapple tops...if you strip the bottom of extra stuff and then remove the first inch to two inches of leaves from the bottom....you then suspend it in a glass of water that gets changed when icky. As soon as I see roots then I pot them up. After the first couple you'll start gettin babies and won't have to take tops off of others. I have about a dozen spread all over in my yard. I got one to give a fruit and actually got it to ripen before the local teens stole it. It was the sweetest one I'd ever eaten. I'm originally from Michigan and all of this tropical stuff is just so much fun. Watching those little pineapples ripen is just too cool!!
    You have a great collection...I didn't know you could just set the top in dirt. I found my method online and so far every top I've done that way grew and did great.
    Good Luck....
    Connie

  5. #5
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    I've been putting the tops in a pot of soil for about three years now. (Don't buy fresh pineapple very often). About half of them root . I have heard that to get them to flower, place a clear plastic bag over the plant, lay an apple slice on the soil of the pot. The gas the apple gives off should cause the pineapple plant to form a bud. Otherwise, i don't have a long enough, warm enough growing season in Iowa.

  6. #6
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    Salvador,

    I have heard that the pineapple plant size varies according to the variety. They all look identical at the grocery store but there are quite a few different varieties out there.
    The ones from Hawaiian plantations can grow up to about 4 feet high and 3 feet wide.
    The ones from the Philippines can reach up to 5 feet high and 5 feet around.
    There are some "indoor" or pygmy varieties that do not grow taller than 2 feet tall but the fruit only gets as big as a tennis ball. Its cute, but after you peel it you end up with a very small fruit lol.


    Connie,

    So far the pineapple tops that I set straight into potting soil have rooted. I do agree that placing them in a cup of water first will improve your chances of rooting. But again, I think that introduces possible shock to the roots because they were growing in water and then dunked into soil.
    On some really ripe pineapples, if you peel off a few layers of the bottom leaves you might actually see roots starting to grow out.

    It is important to remove any fruit flesh from the pineapple plant before planting. Otherwise the small fruit section could rot and invite problems for the plant.


    Cindi,

    It is true that a high concentration of ethylene gas from ripening fruit will trigger blooming response from most plants that are not yet in bud. However, be careful with it as the same concentration will cause buds or already opened flowers to wilt (ie: our orchids).
    Orchids (and probably other flowers) will send a signal to the plant once it is pollinated. The plant then will respond by producing ethylene and cause the flower to wilt at an accelerated phase. However, the flowers cannot distinguish between internal ethylene and external ethylene gas so it can get tricked into wilting by being exposed to the gas from ripening or rotting fruit.
    So placing that fruit basket next to the blooming orchid plant on the dining table? Pretty, but probably not a good idea

    I live adjacent to a large orange grove. Can you imagine my frustration when they dont harvest the oranges that are on branches that lie near my side of the fence? I am talking hundreds of oranges ripening and eventually dropping onto my yard. And I cant tell the farmer to not grow oranges for the sake of my orchids lol. That would be silly.

    I try to pick up and wash any of the good fruit, but eventually there are a lot more than my family can consume and I have to dispose of a lot of dropping fruit before they produce enough concentrations of ethylene gas.
    We have a good breeze during the ripening season, so that helps a bit. But I cannot take any chances.

    BTW: Fruits that are hanging on branches that are over my fence are considered "mine" but the branch maintenance and pruning still is the responsibility of the orange grove. However, the fruits are only for our household consumption. I cannot give it away or sell it as it will compete with their business.

    Here is an old picture of when I was building the greenhouse. The concrete block wall in the picture represents 1/3rd of my rear property line that is adjacent to the orange grove. My entire rear property boundary is lined with orange trees, and my neighbors' rear property lines as well.

  7. #7
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
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    I also forgot to mention:
    I am tempted to plant the mature pineapple plants straight into soil, but I seem to have a periodic problem with moles or voles in my yard. They already ate all the roots of my banana and aloe vera plants.

    So I have to keep these plants in pots to protect them from the subterranean monsters.

  8. #8
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    John, Good to know about the etholene gas. I will have to be careful to keep any fruit that I feed my birds from sitting around my basement aviary/nursery. Thanks!

  9. #9
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    You can also harvest the seeds from the pineapple to sow and grow though I understand that planting the tops produces mature plants sooner.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wetfeet101b View Post

    These will take at least 10 years before they can start producing fruit since they are grown from seed, but in a couple of years I can start using the leaves for some Filipino dishes that require young tamarind leaves
    Hmmm, I can smell Sinigang and Sinampalukan from here. We also eat the young fruit dipped in rock salt back home.

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