New Banana Plant (Ensete ventricosum)

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by Seamus, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. Seamus

    Seamus Active Member

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    The first of 5 seeds to germinate popped up a few days ago, and as the roots had already started to flow out of the small germination container I re-potted it today. I don't know much about them but I do like the foliage and I though I'd give it a shot. Its growing very quickly but I don't have many well lit places in the house so it under artificial light now. Its in a cheapo walmart potting mix with some peat moss and perlite, can anyone give me any advice?
     

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  2. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    That's awesome Seamus! I have 10 seeds that have been in a moist potting medium in a zip-lock bag since late spring. Nada, ziltch, until yesterday. At least I think there may be some initial activity although very small at this point. I'd only brought these indoors just recently. I've been soaking them in tepid water (changed daily) for the last 4 or 5 days. What kind of advice do you need ... watering, fert., light?

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  3. Seamus

    Seamus Active Member

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    Lighting is my biggest worry at the moment. I have a few different fluorescent light fixtures I could use but that means I'd probably have to keep it here in the bedroom rather then elsewhere in the house where guests could see it. Is it a plant that can survive on normal room lighting with a bit of natural and some weak supplimental lighting or should I think about using a fixture with a reflector above it? As for fertilizing I heard that Bananas really like composted horse manure, and luckily I work at a stable so I have a good supply of that. At the stable we dumped all the manure and soiled shavings down a hill into a big mound. Recently the mound was scooped out and taken away so there is a lot of what I would suspect is well composted manure at the bottom. The soil is very dark and doens't smell anything like manure anymore, its been at the bottom of the heap for proabably 2 years decomposing so I'd think it might be a decent way to add a little food to the bottom of the pot after the plant has filled out its container. I made sure to plant it a few inches below the rim of the container so that I could ad 2-3" of new soil at the bottome later on. Any advice?
     
  4. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I can see that lighting somewhere minimum of 8-10 hrs a day would be essential. Warmth and humidity also would be highly advantageous, so alot of conditions that normally wouldn't be found in homes here this time of year. When these are ready to pot up to larger containers, the composted manure you mentioned should work fine. Mix it as you see fit but avoid anything more than a 50/50 ratio at best. Once these come on in size, top dressing with this is beneficial to say the least.
    I have a fairly healthy Ensete vetricosum 'Maurellii' which was stress and nearly runted from my neglect this past summer. I have to plant it next spring as it's too big (and heavy) to do anything else with. These are great with their reddish burgundy leaves.

    Cheers, LPN.
     

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  5. Nandan Kalbag

    Nandan Kalbag Active Member

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    How long did it take to germinate them after sowing? Any pre-sowing treatment? Thanks.
    Nandan
     
  6. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    I have kids growing these at work, or should I say "trying to germinate?"
    Hopefully it won't take more than four to five months to get one or two out of the batch. We are doing the baggies method, with supplemental heat/lighting.
    I have a few other Ensete and musa varieties that they are germinating also, ensete superbum being the favorite. (go figure)
     
  7. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Kids sure have it good these days. We got to grow a pea plant in a styrofoam cup, non of which ever grew to maturity. (go figure) haha.
     
  8. Seamus

    Seamus Active Member

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    I soaked them in luke warm water for 24 hours, put them in a loose potting mix inside a plastic baggy and put them beside my gecko's tank where they'd be warm. It took about a month for my first one to sprout, the second one still isn't showing any signs of growth. I tried one last spring, but after about 6 weeks I noticed mold growing ontop of the soil...
     
  9. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    Barrie, most schools, you'll be lucky to plant a bean. I work at a private school, kindergarten to grade six on 70 acres, of which 10 is a working farm for Dan Jason the seed saver, it has deer fencing all the way around, and several greenhouses. I teach the kids about different biomes, and grow plants from each one ( if possible). My own daughter grows to this school, its a great place. i had to get some grants to get equipment, but we have temperature controlled heat pads, grow lights..... I wish I had the same set up at home, but this way the school pays for the electricity, and I get all the extra plants. Its a good deal.


    Seamus, when you said you got mold, did you have sterilzed soil?
    the other thing I have heard works, is letting the seeds get cold and warm, so the fluctuating temperatures mimic spring conditions. I haven't tried it myself, so it would be interesting if someone else wanted to give it a go to hear the results.
     
  10. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    That does it Carol! I'm going back to school. They nearly failed me in the second grade you know, and I was kept back to review some of the material before moving me along to the third grade. Maybe what was missing, the program you have in place? Sounds great. There's sure to be many future gardeners and stewards of this fine earth come from your classes.

    Fluctuating temps for seedlings? ... yes in many cases. Some genus need constant heat or warmth to start. Some not fussy and others cool conditons. Research for specific types is needed. Some web sites give testimonials and experience which can prove helpful in these situations.
    Banana seed on the whole require fairly constant warmth. Air circulation is key to avoid mold from forming on the growing medium.


    Cheers, LPN. (Barrie)
     
  11. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    Hey Barrie,
    I had that grade three class yesterday with the Ensete seeds, 8 year old Emma has two that just sprouted, In fact I would say they sprouted a week or so ago, as they were already about 6cm tall and lots of roots. They were planted just before Halloween. They will be huge by March when we sell off our plants. I was pretty impressed to see them sprouting already, I hope the rest of the seeds are this successful.
     
  12. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Carol ... Let us know and I'll be around to buy some seedlings.
    Cheers, Barrie.

    P.S. glad to have finally met you today. We had a great time and saw some great plants and palms. Coffee at Bruce's was perfectly times to warm us before continuing on. I have pics of todays activies if you like?
     
  13. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    I'd love to see them. I'll pm you my e-mail address. Good to finally meet you and 'palmera', your both taller that I expected (haha).
     
  14. andyb1

    andyb1 Member

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    At LPN (Barrie)

    How long did it take to grow the banana in the picture you are showing? It looks magnificent! Did you grow it from seed? What can you expect from a first year banana? I'm going to grow one in an incredibly hot balcony in Victoria in a 25-30 gallon pot.

    Thanks!
     
  15. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I believe this one was two years from a gallon sized plant.

    Cheers, LPN.
     

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