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Old 12-15-2010, 07:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Muncie, Indiana zone 5
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Default Re: slowly killing my banana tree :(

Do you actually have spider mites on it or are you just treating it for spider mites with the soap spray? There's no reason to soap spray it if they don't actually exist on your plant. I mean it's not preventative or anything like that. What kind of proportions of soap spray did you use on your plant and what kind of soap? Soap applied improperly can be quite drying on the leaves.
As far as the bugs go, it kind of depends on what kind of bugs they are. Most of the bugs you find in a potted plant are usually not all that detrimental to the plants. Most of the bugs you find are eating roots that are rotted, dead etc. and are more of a symptom of a plant problem than causing the problem to start with. In other words, you overwater, some of the roots die, then the bugs come to eat the roots because they are bugs that feed on rotting material to start with. So no, the bugs aren't the cause most likely but they are a symptom and a clue as to what's going on with your plant.
The picture shows that the plant is very dry, and most likely underpotted. It does look like it could use a larger pot or to be kept a little moister. Rootbound plants need more water than plants that are potted correctly. If this was my plant, I'd probably just start watering slightly more with a diluted fertilizer every second or third watering, and make sure it's in a nice warm sunny place. I'd say to repot it too in a larger pot, but for now you probably should let that go and try just getting it in a little better condition. If you do decide to repot it right away, repot it, water it in thoroughly, and don't water it again until the soil is almost as dry as in the picture, even if it takes a week or two. Is it in a 4 or 6" pot? if so take it just up to a gallon sized pot and no bigger this time of year.
Whatever you do don't divide it. That will most likely kill it for sure. If the pup is going to take over then the mother plant will continue to decline and the pup will use it for energy to grow with.
Sandy Burrell

Northern Tropics Greenhouse
1501 East Fuson Road
Muncie, IN 47302

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