Secret to multiplying Ae ae and other bananas.
Basically from Terry's pictures I could surmise that it would be really easy to multiply using the pup propagation method. Various folks have claimed that it is so hard to multiply this banana because it grows slow and only pups rarely and takes time before doing so thus justifying their sky-high prices. But I think this is untrue, proof that Terry produced a bunch of pups amounting to $1000 worth from her Ae-ae. Based on the events on the story of his Ae-ae, it was forced to pup, roughly by circumstances of moving around but here's a better and more systematic way to do it.
There are some ways to force bananas to pup heavily and Ae ae's should be no exception. First off, you would need a good sized plant growing. Then you will have to amend the growing media, be it in the soil or pot, with organic matter mixed with high Phosphorous and Nitrogen. Remember that we are after propagation and not fruiting, otherwise we forget about the P and instead go much more with the K. Let the high P and N stabilize, so that the plant won't have drastic reaction. Once the plant is responding well, do the most horrific thing: chop off the main trunk to the ground level. After a few weeks, you will have 4 or 10 pups growing around the corm. You don't need to wait naturally for your ae-ae's to pup, just force them to pup. This technique have been done with Golden Rhinohorn, and even California Gold (at least when they were not pupping a lot) and the result is more pups than you can handle. Do this only for big plants, at least 5 ft high trunk, but should be far from their blooming height, preferrably those with 6" to 8" diameter are good candidates to force them to pup. Do these operation preferrably starting early to mid summer for us here in the more colder climates.
Good sources of fertilizers that have a high P and high N is amazingly the cheap lawn starter fertilizer (ie 18-24-6 [ trugreen ], 20-27-5 [ scott ]. Avoid those formulations that have weedicides or herbicides or crab grass preventer and those with dandelion preventers. P is usuallly not needed by bananas, but it would enhance formation of pups when supplied together with high N. The amount of fertilizer will depend on the size of the plant and your soil conditions. For a 5 ft high trunk planted in the ground, use about 2-4 cups of fertilizer. But when you want your plant to bloom and fruit, don't use the high P and high N fertilizer, ignore the P but apply more K and adequate N.
Someone else here dare to share more secrets from actual experiences?
Last edited by JoeReal : 09-04-2005 at 05:19 PM.