One month ago I brought home a store-bought pineapple (fairly beat up one) and decided to plant it. Planting process went like this up to the moment of asking this question:
I cut off almost all fruit flesh from the head of the fruit so it won't rot and placed it in a glass of water. I also stripped away several bottom layers of the leaves to expose new/old roots.
It produced some roots around 3 weeks ago, so I planted it in a pot of citrus soil mix with a layer of keramzit on the bottom for better drainage.
I initially used some rooting fertilizer to aid the development of the roots.
The pot was then placed next to a window and radiator, so it would have some natural sunlight and constant, warm air temperature of around 20 - 25 C.
Additionaly I provided the plant with a 400 lumen plant LED placed 30 cm over it as it is currently winter where I live and there is not that much sunlight coming through that window.
I was watering it with normal drinking water in around one-week intervals (soil was drying up after around 7 days). Any excess water was emptied from the bottom of the pot.
I've also cut off dry ends of the leaves.
It looked like the pineapple was feeling comfortable in this spot, because in spite of it not growing at all in the top part, it has developed some more roots - I can feel a resistance when trying to really gently pull the plant out of the soil.
Despite this progress I've noticed yesterday that the central leaf of the plant became yellow and dry, so I've watered it well as the soil looked dry too. It didn't help and today it looks worse (dead):
But the "center" of the plant does not look that dead to me:
4 days ago this central leaf looked healthy and green - NOTE This leaf is not a new growth. It was on the plant already when I brought it home. It is hard to tell, if it grew at all during that month. If it did, then only by a few milimeters.
I removed the pineapple from the soil and tried to examine the roots as Graham Chiu's answer suggests. The roots were tightly covered in soil. I didn't want to scrape it off, because i didn't want to risk damaging them. Some parts of the roots were vibile and they looked hairy and white (like on the unclear photo below). The roots also overally seem firm and strong - I wouldn't call them mushy for sure.
Before replanting I've removed some of the dead leaves from the bottom layers to enable more roots to grow out and I've discovered 3 things:
- There were a lot of little white spots hidden under these leaves - Possible new roots?
- Two of these white spots placed on the top of the plant are particularly big - Possible new leaves or center bud?
- There is some kind of weird leaf damage. It looks like something has pierced several layers of leaves - Maybe some kind of worm? - but it does not go all the way to the center of the plant and it stops with a little spot on the next leaf after the one visible on the photo below.
One of these big white bulbs:
I've replanted the pineapple in a bigger pot, so I won't have to stress it one additional time later on, if it starts growing. I've used the same citrus soil as before, but this time I've mixed it with some regular homeplants soil. I've also applied this rooting fertilizer once more as the packaging says that it can reduce replanting stress. I've also watered the new soil. Bottom of the pot was layered with keramzit just like before and the plant sits now away from the radiator, 50 cm under this LED lightbuld that I've mentioned before.
A similar question was already pretty much answered on this site here, but I think it does not exactly apply to my situation (Is the center leaf also the "central bud" of the plant?) and I would like to know:
- Is this plant dead?
- If it is not already dead but dying, then what can be done to save it?
- What are the possible reasons for this leaf to suddenly dry up? Could it be that the plant is trying to shed old leaves to make room for the new ones?
- Did I do anything wrong in the whole planting process?
- BONUS QUESTION AFTER UPDATE - Could it be, that this big white bulb visible on the last photo is a new center of the plant and the old one will just simply die off?