Too many bananas in too small a space

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by elsbeth, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. elsbeth

    elsbeth Member

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    Not surprisingly, all 27 banana trees died last winter. Over the last few days I can almost watch new shoots appearing, except that they are all clustered very close together. Should I thin them out by cutting some off? I'm afraid to use the spade thinking that I'll kill two when I only like to get rid of one. They normally grow to a height of 15 feet.
    Anybody have a piece of good advice?
     

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  2. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    You can, and absolutely should, be separating them. Don't be afraid of spade damage - bananas are basically fat grass, and they're very very hard to kill. Don't cut them off laterally, rather cut them out of their mat vertically, and then move those puppies to a less crowded area of your yard (or give 'em away).

    I'm assuming Musa basjoo? If so, there's only one or two things that will even set them back, and separating them isn't one of them. There's an excellent pictorial how-to for separating banana pups at the International Banana Society.
     
  3. elsbeth

    elsbeth Member

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    Your advice is much appreciated and I feel confident now to hack them off.
    Thank you very much!
    elsbeth
    PS I'm in Vancouver BC/Canada, where musa basjoo is not your most common plant!
     
  4. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Is that a dwarf variety Elsbeth? Or will they be one of those 12 foot tall banana trees?

    Good thing you received advice from Lorax - if anyone knows about banana trees, Lorax does! You are in good hands, Elsbeth.

    : )
     
  5. elsbeth

    elsbeth Member

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    I did today what Lorax recommended and the link he gave was very helpful too. Good to know that he's the expert!
    Last year they grew to the height of my power supply line!
    e.
     
  6. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I had to become an expert pretty fast; I moved to Ecuador and ended up on a property with about 200 banana plants of various and assorted cultivars. It was learn or kill them, and I didn't like the second option. My tallest bananas were about 20' before they fruited and I found out that they were plantains.

    (Elsbeth, I'm a lady....)
     
  7. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Elsbeth - here are the two banana pups of yours that I decided to keep. Just didn't have the room for 4 plants here, with the other varieties I am growing as well, so I gave your other two to my friend who was so happy to receive them! Thank you again for your kindness and generosity. You are a very thoughtful and nice person.

    At first the plants appeared to be not doing so well, in my cool bright window sill, but since I have moved them to my heat mat under my fluoresent light system, they seem to be perking up. I am so nervous about this Elsbeth, so please don't have any expectations, ok?

    I sure welcome all tips on how to get a young pup going strong. I've been talking to them and telling them that I will spoil them rotton if they would only survive and grow nice for me! I love to chat to my plants - possibly the secret of my success, who knows?!!!

    I am thrilled to be growing the pups, and have my fingers crossed. They are in well draining soil - no soggy, wet soil here. I am watching them closely - like a worried mother!

    Even though I've never grown banana plants before, I can tell what a plant likes by it's performance and behaviour. They are definitely improving since I took them out of the cool, sunny window sill.

    Wish me luck...

    : )
     

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  8. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Here is a shot I took tonight of one of the pups. I cut off the browning tip, and the leaf is now unfolding, with a new one forming in the center! What a great move, putting them on the heat mat was! They are both loving it!

    I could very well be a banana grower yet!

    : O
     

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  9. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Well Elsbeth, here is your little pup, now! I am thrilled to show you the new leaf that is forming in the center of the nicest one, just a few short days later...

    Boy, this is so awesome to be growing one like this! Thank you so much, Elsbeth. I was so happy when I received your big package and got it home! My friend is loving the two I gave her, and says they are doing well!

    I have seen peeks of Musa Basjoo, and they are quite impressive. Thanks again...

    : )
     

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  10. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    I am happy to report that yesterday, I put one of my musa basjoo's outside in the garden! The other one is still indoors, in case something goes wrong with the one outside - have a backup.

    I have the pup in a south facing area, so it will get nothing but full sun, all day long! The soil is well draining, so the plant will never be sitting in soggy soil, which I understand can rot banana roots. I applied a bit of blood and bonemeal to the planting hole, then mixed in some good compost, to give the young little pup an excellent start.

    This morning it is raining, and the pup is looking great. I am so thrilled to watch it take off. This is so exciting.

    Of course, pictures will be forthcoming soon...

    : )
     
  11. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Musa basjoo are root hardy without question in zone 8. It's reported to be fine even in zone 6 or lower perhaps if winter mulched. Like yours, mine froze down last winter but have picked up again. A fair amount of space is required to allow these to grow in a natural like setting. You can sever the smaller off-sets but be sure they have roots of their own. During the initial phase these small shoots are attached to the "mother" plant and haven't formed roots.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  12. elsbeth

    elsbeth Member

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    Thanks for the input. Just like yours, mine are sprouting everywhere again now since we got some awesome weather for it. I shipped some to the Hollyberry Lady in Ontario and she seems quite excited about the success she has with them!
    Elsbeth
     
  13. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Yes, Elsbeth - great to finally hear from ya!

    I am so thrilled about your little pups, and just can't wait to see them as they grow bigger and taller. You are so nice to send me them.

    I will take pictures of course, so you can see how they are doing. Still just little tiny things yet. I understand they grow fast, so I should be in business real soon.

    Thanks again, Elsbeth.

    : )
     
  14. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I grow Cavendish, Dwarf Cavendish, Gros Michel Type 1 Improved (smaller fruits), GM Type 2 Improved (these are giant fruits, 1lb each minimum), Orito (larger baby banana), Niño (smaller baby banana), Superdwarf Orito, Kichua Sweet Plantain, Giant Plantain, Santa Rosa Superdwarf Plantain, Rosado (Jamaican Red), Morado (Cuban Red), Rosadito (tiny red fruits), Limon (Red Iholene), Orinoco, and Monticristi (which ripens green.)

    I don't have plantation shots - they're scattered all around several properties and many are still pups, particularly the Gros Michels.

    Attached is the momma plant of my Oritos, and my first ever bunch of fruit which is from a Dwarf Cavendish.
     

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  15. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    I can barely type right now because I am still wiping the drool off of my mouth! Ohhhh wow, Lorax - I am nearly speechless.

    : O

    I know one thing - you have just got to post those pics up in the 'post a peek of yourself here' thread. Everyone will love it! Those are just awesome. I am so impressed.

    A zillion thank you's for posting those incredible shots. I have to go get more kleenex and wipe some more drool.

    Absolutely smokin peeks!

    : )
     
  16. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Oh yeah - I was so caught up with Lorax's pictures I nearly forgot to show Elsbeth my little banana pup that has been transplanted into the garden.

    It's looking great so far...

    : )
     

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  17. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Beth, I gotta know - how old is that banana plant in your pictures? How long does it take for those bananas to grow and ripen? That is just astonishing to me. How tall is that tree?

    Will my Basjoo need staking? It grows 8-10 feet, right? I've got it in some very rich compost, and some blood and bonemeal. I think it is happy. I know I am!

    : )
     
  18. Nath

    Nath Active Member

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    Hi Lorax,

    I just knew you would have some involvement somewhere in this thread. Last year my Main banana's died off (at least above ground) after some unusually severe cold weather we had here in Nottingham. I kept the root corms more in hope than anything in a large pot in the conservatory and I now have 8 pups all ready to be seperated all around the original inch or so of trunk I left in the soil. I am going to seperate them out and replant them outside as they are all a good 8 inches high and healthy.

    Should I give up on the old existing root stock or will it make more pups if I leave it?

    I too believe you can never have too many banana's in the garden, makes it a bit easier to live in England with a tropical feel to the surroundings rather than an English one. Helps me cope with not being back in Mexico when the sky's are grey.

    Nath
     
  19. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    HBL - The Orito is just under 2 years old and 10 feet of pstem, and the Dwarf Cav is just over 2 years and 5 feet of pstem. The process from first emergence of the inflorescence to first ripe finger varies by plant - on Oritos it's 6 months, and on DC it's 7. When the first finger ripens, you cut the bunch and hang it so that the others will yellow up.

    Your basjoo won't need staking at all - they're very sturdy plants and can stand under their own steam. Bananas of all types are heavy feeders, and it sounds and looks like you're on the right track.

    Nath - separate out the current pups and leave the rootstock; if it hasn't produced more pups by August, give up on it.
     
  20. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Thanks for the information, Lorax. So glad I am doing things right so far. I will continue to make sure it is well fed and watered throughout the season. I am a diehard fertilizer fiend, when it comes to all my plants, so my banana plant will be treated the same. The blood and bonemeal though, will definitely sustain it for awhile.

    Great to hear that no staking is required. You should have seen my neighbor's face yesterday when she asked what the pup was and I told her 'a banana plant'. Her eyes bulged out of her head, and she goes 'wow - I can't wait to see what it looks like'. I told her 'you and me both'.

    I will be obsessively taking pitures of it in all it's stages of growth. I can only imagine it in September! I will likely faint when I see how gorgeous it is! I hope it will hold up to the hot sun and humidity. The position it's in has no shelter from all day sunshine, and evening too. I'll keep it well watered though so it won't be stressed.

    Well, here I go Lorax, finally growing a banana plant.

    : )
     
  21. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    LOL! Hot sun and humidity are just what the doctor ordered for bananas!
     
  22. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    That is just terrific, because heat and humidity are something we have in abundance here - we can climb to 42 degrees celcius with the humidex!

    Looks like I can meet al of the requirements for growing a great banana tree.

    We'll see...

    : )
     
  23. Nath

    Nath Active Member

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    Gracias Lorax, pense lo mismo pero quiso chequar primero. I hope that they will give me more pups. I have put some pictures on the other thread that The Hollyberry Lady started where we can post picy=tures of what is growing right now.

    I will update you with how I get on.

    Nath
     
  24. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Hi Elsbeth:

    Check out one of my wonderful basjoo pup now! Thank you so much for sending them to me - you are terrific.

    Just thought you might like to see how things are going...

    : )
     

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  25. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Musa will slow down it's growth in hot temps and will stop growing entirely in the upper 90°F. Prime growing temps are in the 80°F's.

    Cheers, LPN.
     

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