Effect of detachment time of pineapple (Ananas comosus L.) crown on its early growth
A limiting factor to large scale production of pineapple is the scarcity of planting materials. The use of pineapple crown as a propagation material is common, but with no regard to length of time after detachment. A study was conducted in the late seasons of 2007 and 2008 at the Teaching and Research Farm Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti to determine the effect of detachment time on the performance of planted crown. In each if the year, twelve crowns each were collected on a weekly basis for three weeks, six of the crowns were placed in an open field while the others were placed underneath the shade for 1, 2 and 3 weeks storage time. The crowns were planted in a media consisting of top soil and rice husk on 1:1 volume basis. The 3x2 factorial experiment was replicated six times to give a total of 36 experimental units. Data were collected on number of leaves on a weekly basis for 8 weeks while root length and density was taken once at 8 weeks after planting (WAP). Result showed that there was significant difference (P<0.05) in number of leaves among the storage time. The number of leaves produced reduced with longer time of storage. Storing crowns for two weeks after detachment reduced number of leaves by upto 17% while 115% reduction was observed for those stored for three weeks compared with those planted after one week of storage. Furthermore, shade enhanced number of leaves compared to those kept in the open field but the difference were not statistically significant. Root length and number of root were not significantly different (P>0.05) between 1 and 2 weeks of storage for both shaded and exposed crowns, but those stored for 3 weeks was markedly affected particularly when stored in open field. These results are suggestive that pineapple crown stored for two weeks can be use for propagation but should preferably be stored underneath the shade.
Keywords: Pineapple, crown, storage, detachment time.