Leaf-bud Propagation of Pineapple
() - June 2, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - One of the most efficient and fastest methods of propagation in the horticultural field is the leaf-eye or leaf-bud method of propagation. The methodology is based on the principle that an active bud may grow into a full grown plant for as long as it is nurtured by the tissue attached to it. The attached tissue may be a stem tissue with food reserves or tissue connected to an actively photosynthesizing leaf tissue. 

Technically, each leaf or leaflet will have an active eye/bud at the base and each bud can potentially grow into a plant. This means that if there are 1,000 good healthy leaves, it is possible to produce the same number of plantlets.

This method of propagation is commonly employed by the biggest indoorplant producers in Europe and Japan for Ficus, Schefflera, Acanthaceae, Crotons, Hedera, Hoyas, Columnea, Aeschynanthus, Fatsia, ferns and many others.

Pineapple Propagation

Pineapple may be propagated using the crown (for fruithead), slips (shoots coming up from leaf axils after fruiting) or topcut (for old plants). These methods give limited numbers of plants. For mass propagation, leaf-bud is employed to increase the plant population in the shortest time.

Healthy mother plants are selected for propagation. Leaves are cut to manageable size ( 6 to 10 inches long). Buds are carved out of the stem in such a way that it is attached at one point to the leaf. The leaf is then torn off from the node with the bud attached either to the front part of the leaves or at the back (side). A leaf may carry 1 or 2 buds (one infront and another at the backside). The leaf-bud may then be planted in well-draining, moisture retentive medium and placed in a humid location. Fungicide drench may be used to improve plant set. Plantlets arising from this methodology may be grown for 5 to 6 months and re- propagated using the same technique.

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