Did you know that you could take the top of a pineapple–you know, the part you cut off and throw away–stick it in some dirt and it will grow. And in, like, three years you might get one tiny pineapple.
In my book, this is not worth it. Though it might result in a decorative plant while you await your little tropical beauty, there are many other plants that give you a much quicker return on cuttings.
Many herbs, for example rosemary, mint, thyme and oregano, are easily propagated simply by removing the lower leaves and submerging in water until you see strong roots. No growth hormones required. Mint roots so easily that you could take a handful of cutting and stick them directly in dirt and they will start to take over. Make sure and keep mint contained because it will take over your garden.
Also, many tropical plants such as pothos, dracaena and the above bromeliad–also known as pineapple–are quick to take root. It’s one of ways they survive in nature. When cut off or pushed over, they simply start taking root. For example below is the pothos. It’s actually a tropical vine and in its natural environment the leaves grow bigger than your head. At home indoors, its often a scraggly, stringy mess. In my opinion, which is possibly supported by science, keeping this plant compact leads to a healthier and more attractive plant. You should take cuttings as the vine gets long. Strip the bottom two to three inches bare of leaves. Note the nodes that you expose. Roots will form from any of those little nodes.
I recently received a beautiful tropical bouquet from a friend as a thank-you. I was delighted when I realized that as part of the bouquet are two plants that will root as they decorate your home in a vase. In fact, the company intentionally does this…and makes sure you know that you can have a wonderful houseplant after your bouquet has lived its life. What a fantastic idea.
So when you go to a restaurant and they use a sprig of rosemary or mint as decoration, or you trim your office plant, don’t toss out those parts. You can get a healthy FREE plant with just a little attention.
Even if you already have these plants, they make great gifts. Once they form strong roots in water, you can transfer to dirt. If you tend to keep disposable flower pots, these are great to create a thank you or hostess gift. Be creative on how you cover up the plain plastic pot. But a gift that keeps on giving will be much appreciated.