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Planting Systems

Cropping system

Mauritius can be grown as a pure crop in garden land, reclaimed lowlands and wetlands and as an intercrop in coconut and newly planted rubber plantations. In rubber plantation, it can be grown for the first 3-4 years only.

The majority (63%) of the small scale cultivators (less than 5 ha) grow the pineapple as monocrop while the majority of the medium (74%) (5 to 10ha) and large (77%)  (more than 10ha) scale cultivators grow the pineapple as an inter crop on new or young rubber plantations. High productivity of pineapple cultivation in converted paddy fields is the most influential factor that led to the conversion of paddy fields into pineapple fields. Non- profitability of paddy cultivation and high cost of paddy workers are the other reasons reported in this regard.

Land preparation

The soil is brought to a fine tilth by 2-3 ploughing and harrowing. In hilly and dry regions, planting is done in trenches dug 90cm wide, 15-22cm deep and 90cm apart. In coastal regions trenches 90cm wide, 45cm deep and 90cm apart are dug. The trenches are then filled with a mixture of soil and FYM. 

Selection of suckers

Suckers are selected from disease and pest free healthy plants. Suckers are to be graded into those having less than 500g, 500-750 g and more than750g in weight to avoid competition between plants of different sizes. Suckers weighing 400-500g or slips of 350-450g are considered ideal for planting. The graded suckers are planted in different blocks or plots, to get uniformity in growth and flowering. Bigger suckers give early yield. Prior to planting curing of slips and suckers for 8-10 days in shade is necessary as fresh suckers planted in moist soil begin to decay. Before planting some of the lower leaves are removed from the sucker to facilitate the formation and entry of roots into the soil. After removing scaly leaves, planting material should be treated with Monocrotophos (0.15%) or 0.05% quinalphos and Carbendazim (0.1%) solution to protect against mealy bugs and heart rot, respectively. Alternatively, a solution of Hilban (2.5ml/l) and Indofil (2.5g/l) can be used for dipping of suckers.


After preliminary land preparations, planting is done in small pits of 10-15 cm depth at a spacing of 45 cm between rows and 30 cm between plants in the rows. There is no need to plant the suckers in trenches. 

High-density planting

The following is the spacing required for different plant populations per hectare. 

Plant Population/ha

Spacing (cm)


Plant-to-plant within a row


Between paired rows


















High-density planting of 53,300 plants/ha in paired rows is recommended for pure cropping in Kerala which, besides increasing the yield, is associated with other advantages like less weed infection, protection to fruits from sunburn, increased production of suckers and slips per unit area and non-lodging of plants. Close planting also saves on the cost of providing shade to fruits, as it provides natural shade through upright orientation of the apical leaves and eventually results in uniformly coloured lustrous fruits. 

Planting Methods

The planting method varies depending upon the topography of land, rainfall and drainage. There are five planting methods in practice, viz. raised bed or ridge (in paddy lands, poorly drained soils or high rainfall areas), flatbed (in soils with assured drainage), furrow (in areas with good drainage or poor rainfall),  trench (in rainfed areas with water scarcity) and contour planting (in hilly areas or sloppy lands). 

Pure cropping

Suckers are planted at 90 cm width in rows / strips, leaving the interspaces undisturbed. However, ploughing can be adopted in level land. Planting is done in paired rows of 45 cm distance between rows and 30 cm within the row. Suckers may be planted in triangular method in the paired rows. Interspace between the paired rows is kept at 150 cm. Contour planting may be adopted in sloppy areas.

Intercropping in coconut garden

Land preparation, spacing and planting are the same as described above. There can be three-paired rows in between two rows of coconut.
Intercropping in rubber plantations

System of planting is in paired rows at 45 x 30 cm. There will be only one paired row of pineapple in between two rows of rubber.

Wetlands / lowlands

Pineapple is highly sensitive to water stagnation and high moisture regimes. Hence it is important to provide good drainage, if grown in wetlands. In paddy lands, pineapple is planted in paired rows at 45 x 30 cm spacing on ridges taken at 60-90 cm height, depending on the water table and drainage requirement. The ridges are separated by drainage channels having 60 cm width. The width of the ridges varies from 120-150 cm. Wherever water stagnation and poor drainage are expected, a wider and deeper channel is given in between ridges. 


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Pineapple Research Station
Kerala Agricultural University
Ernakulam Kerala 686670