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Old 07-29-2020, 09:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cold Basjoo leaves cracking in wind perpendicular to the veins

Hi everyone,

It's great to check in again after an extended absence from this forum!

I'm having a problem with my decently established musa basjoo (zone 4b).

It's generally doing great; the pseudostem is close to 6 feet now, it's growing quickly (1 leaf per 8-10 days), and it has 3 big pups coming out.

However, several of the leaves have gotten damaged by the wind where they are basically creased/cracked perpendicular to the veins. I know shredding parallel to the veins is normal, but this seems mildly problematic because on one of the leaves where this happened, the part distal to the midrib connected to the cracked veins is starting to turn yellow/brown and shrivel up.

It's not a serious issue, but it's showing up on 3 leaves now and I didn't see this last year, even in the heaviest wind storms. Could this be a calcium/boron/silica deficiency?

It seems that the 'springiness' of the leaf may be too much; when exposed to high winds, the leaf is unable to fold completely at the midrib, and instead, the torsion results in the leaf cracking parallel to and a couple inches away from the midrib.

Has anyone else encountered this and/or does anyone have suggestions for how to fix it?

My plan is to just dump down a bunch of kelp and/or diatomaceous earth to help the plant be more resilient in general and take up some silica. Maybe this will lead to stronger leaves.

It may also be that I've been overwatering the plant but it's not affecting the roots, and the hydraulic pressure is too much to allow the leaf to fold correctly in high winds.

Any suggestions? I can try to post photos, but it's been a pain and I never got it to work here before.

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