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Old 01-14-2014, 09:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default What root rot?


Time and again is the concern about root rot due to over-watering brought up in
this forum. I have stated several times, that this concern is in most cases completely
unwarranted, citing the example of all those banana plants at the edges of rice fields
on ground no more than 6 to 8 inches above standing water: If your banana has green
leaves and your pot has drain holes at the bottom, you are not getting root rot, no
matter how much you water.

Last night I went through some old photos and found this one:

Banana roots in standing water

It is a bad one, shot almost three years ago from a travelling vehicle, without image
stabilizer in that old camera, but I believe, that it still shows clearly that the roots of
those bananas must be submerged in standing water. If you look closely you can spot
the water between the PSs on the other side of that skimpy ridge. On Thursday I will
head to Vietnam again, only this time we do not intent to travel to the northern part
of the country, where most of the rice fields are. I still hope to get a better picture
showing banana plants with the roots in water.

Until then, while you have green leaves on your plants your only worry about too much
water should be leaching all the nutrients out of your soil.

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Old 01-14-2014, 10:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What root rot?

Many people here have experience with real root rot, and I expect it is because we do not have the tropical growth rates found in SE Asia.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What root rot?

Root rot - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What root rot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Many people here have experience with real root rot, and I expect it is because we do not have the tropical growth rates found in SE Asia.
A plant needs three things to grow:
Light, water and nutrition. Light you have at average much more in sunny California
than in misty northern Vietnam, where this picture was taken. Even though your
daylight hours are shorter in California, you make up most of it in brightness. The rest
you compensate in summer. Remember I stipulated green leaves. With nutrition
you are on your own, but I submit, that the average North American grower provides
better soil and fertilizer, than the bananas on the picture get. That leaves water.
Through greater evapotranspiration drier climates you get greater throughput of water.
That is clearly a help against root rot.

Having said all that in those almost four years, I have not heard of one case of an actively
growing plant suffering root rot, even in plants, which grow very slowly.

If you chop or freeze off the leaves, then you have a plant, which is half dead and
subject to all kinds of rot, root, corm and PS. Otherwise root rot is just a big fat
boo-boo man, like a monster under your bed.

Donít get me wrong. I do not suggest, that you submerge the corm or roots of your
plant in water, but as long as you have green leaves and a bottom drain hole, you
will not get root rot in a banana
, no matter how much you water.





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Old 01-14-2014, 11:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What root rot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunfish View Post
Of course most plants are subject to root rot, though that differs in degree. Some like
wandering Jew (purple heart) are completely immune. I have watered a philodendron
for years by filling up the tray, in which its pot was sitting, with water and it developed
a veritable jungle in my living room (I was still a bachelor then). I would not want to
do that with most house plants.

But under conditions, I specified below, a banana will not develop root rot.






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Old 01-15-2014, 12:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What root rot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olafhenny View Post
Don’t get me wrong. I do not suggest, that you submerge the corm or roots of your
plant in water, but as long as you have green leaves and a bottom drain hole, you
will not get root rot in a banana
, no matter how much you water.
I've seen it many times. Typically the culprit is a soil with moisture retention, but other times it is because the plant is indoors and not getting enough light to process the moisture in the soil mix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olafhenny View Post
A plant needs three things to grow:
Light, water and nutrition. Light you have at average much more in sunny California
than in misty northern Vietnam, where this picture was taken. Even though your
daylight hours are shorter in California, you make up most of it in brightness. The rest
you compensate in summer.
If what you say about light and humidity were true, then bananas would fruit and ripen at my location in 9 months as they do in SE Asia. However, the reality is that it takes 18 months.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Smile Re: What root rot?

After close inspection it seems to me these are planted on a raised berm and are not in standing water.
There is a distinct bank/waterline and then the berm, and it seems that this is the growing and irrigation method of the landowner, rice, taro, or pungi sticks on one side with a row of bananas as a separator.

Take some interesting photos to share on your journey to Vietnam

Chuckle, chuckle.... A quote from the movie Full Metal Jacket just came to mind.....starts off with "Me so...
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What root rot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
I've seen it many times. Typically the culprit is a soil with moisture retention, but other times it is because the plant is indoors and not getting enough light to process the moisture in the soil mix.
Are you suggesting that there is not enough "moisture retention" in that low and narrow
ridge between two ponds of standing water to achieve root rot, but you could achieve it
by watering plants in a pot with a drainage hole?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
If what you say about light and humidity were true, then bananas would fruit and ripen at my location in 9 months as they do in SE Asia. However, the reality is that it takes 18 months.
I have no experience of growing bananas in SEA or in California, or anywhere for that
matter, because we do not have enough grow time between frost to achieve either fruit
nor bloom here, but since you brought up the divergent growth rates, maybe you can
substantiate them? Especially the somewhat hasty growth rate you indicate for SEA
leaves me interested?

Thanks,
Olaf




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Old 01-15-2014, 02:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: What root rot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olafhenny View Post
Are you suggesting that there is not enough "moisture retention" in that low and narrow
ridge between two ponds of standing water to achieve root rot, but you could achieve it
by watering plants in a pot with a drainage hole?
I'm not suggesting it, I've witnessed it in person as the owner/operator of a nursery. There are also several historical threads on this site discussing the woes of specific soil products containing moisture retention supplements. Having a drain hole in your pot does not mean that your soil will drain. A novice gardener will do many things that amaze those with experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olafhenny View Post
I have no experience of growing bananas in SEA or in California, or anywhere for that
matter, because we do not have enough grow time between frost to achieve either fruit
nor bloom here,
I have customers growing them in Edmonton AB and Nome AK -- indoors of course with exception of the brief summer warmth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olafhenny View Post
but since you brought up the divergent growth rates, maybe you can
substantiate them? Especially the somewhat hasty growth rate you indicate for SEA
leaves me interested?
Somewhere on the Banana section of the Bioversity Internation site you'll find tabulated data of growth rates, harvest sizes, etc. collected from sites in Africa, Indian subcontinent, SEA, and Australasia. Discussions of this information can also be found here at bananas.org.
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What root rot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
I'm not suggesting it, I've witnessed it in person as the owner/operator of a nursery. There are also several historical threads on this site discussing the woes of specific soil products containing moisture retention supplements. Having a drain hole in your pot does not mean that your soil will drain. A novice gardener will do many things that amaze those with experience
Unless you use plumber's putty for potting soil, you should have less water logging
than the plants in my picture


Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
I have customers growing them in Edmonton AB and Nome AK -- indoors of course with exception of the brief summer warmth.
And I am growing bananas here in Canada indoors and out, but what does that have
to do with root rot?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Somewhere on the Banana section of the Bioversity Internation site you'll find tabulated data of growth rates, harvest sizes, etc. collected from sites in Africa, Indian subcontinent, SEA, and Australasia. Discussions of this information can also be found here at bananas.org.
I will look that up, if I have time. Right now I am trying to get ready for our trip to
Vietnam tomorrow morning, at a time, when it should be illegal to get out of bed.

Don't let that discourage you to dig up more evidence of root rot. I will be in touch
again. when I am there and recuperated from an almost 50 hours bed to bed trip.

I might even be able to squeeze in a reply to your last paragraph, before I leave,
- depends wow it goes

Best,
Olaf




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Old 01-15-2014, 03:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: What root rot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olafhenny View Post
And I am growing bananas here in Canada indoors and out, but what does that have
to do with root rot?
You brought it up here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olafhenny View Post
I have no experience of growing bananas in SEA or in California, or anywhere for that
matter, because we do not have enough grow time between frost to achieve either fruit
nor bloom here,
Please take lots of pictures on your trip! We always enjoy virtual trips to other parts of the world.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What root rot?

You can bet, Richard, that I will take lots of pictures. In the past I have relied
on such trips on internet cafes, but since there is now WiFi everywhere, I am
dragging my laptop along and will accordingly be equipped to upload my photos
to Picasa and subsequently to my Flickr site.









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Old 01-18-2014, 06:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What root rot?

First of all here is a copy of a brief explanation, as to why I am still here, which I
sent out to a number of people:

The vacation, that wasnít (this explanation will go to several people and is
therefore not personal)

It was a disaster throughout. When we arrived at Kelowna airport, our flight was first
delayed and then cancelled altogether. When we tried to re-book, we were told by the
Air Canada representative, that Westjet had booked anything available for their customers.

Any flights, which were available to us, would have gotten us to Saigon 3 Ĺ days later
and one hour after the flight we had booked out of Saigon had left. Add to that that the
time was leading up to Tet, the number one travel time in Vietnam, when all the families
try to get together, getting flights and hotel reservations, which were not pre-
booked much earlier would have been impossible.

So here we are again in chilly Penticton instead of warm and cosy Saigon. After we
arrived back, we had to send our house-sitter back home and begin a frantic quest of
cancellation of all reservations throughout the six weeks we had planned to travel in
Vietnam and subsequently rebooking everything for a new trip starting Jan. 27, to Mar. 17.
Best,
Olaf

Now back to the subject on hand:

Richard I have tried the URL, you supplied to back up your contention of divergent
growth rates of bananas between SEA and southern California. That URL did not get
me anywhere close to the list you mentioned, and I am not prepared to spend a large
amount of time to research your debating point. I am afraid, that you have to get me
a bit closer to the the proof of your assertion. - Fair enough?

Best,
Olaf





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Old 01-18-2014, 06:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: What root rot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olafhenny View Post
First of all here is a copy of a brief explanation, as to why I am still here ...
Olaf, sorry to hear your trip was cancelled but happy to hear you were able to rebook it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olafhenny View Post
Richard I have tried the URL, you supplied to back up your contention of divergent
growth rates of bananas between SEA and southern California. That URL did not get
me anywhere close to the list you mentioned, and I am not prepared to spend a large
amount of time to research your debating point. I am afraid, that you have to get me
a bit closer to the the proof of your assertion. - Fair enough?
If you don't wish to believe me, that's fine.
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: What root rot?

Here's a thread from July 2005 on the topic of maturation: Maturation?
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What root rot?

Okay, Richard, I looked at that thread too. It talks about (large) differences of
maturation of fruit after bloom or after development of first fingers, depending on
species. It neither supports nor disproves your assertion, that bananas ripen much
faster in SEA than in California.

Until you can proof me differently, I still maintain, that the growth rate depends
on light, soil and temperature conditions much more than on location, and location
has certainly no impact on susceptibility to root rot.

I state it again: Bananas with healthy green leaves will not suffer from root rot,
when in a pot with a drainage hole in the bottom (and of course as long as that
pot does not sit in a trough full of water).

But even the latter might not be a problem, if the water in that trough is renewed
frequently (aeration).




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Old 01-18-2014, 10:11 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: What root rot?

Olaf,

When Tony and I first joined this site several years ago, root rot was the biggest problem we noticed among novice gardeners. Also, I noticed it among some of my customers who purchased bananas from me here in San Diego.

The main problem was with novice indoor gardeners. As you are no doubt aware, the humidity in a house is much lower than outdoors. This in turn causes the top layer of soil in a pot to dry out quickly. A novice gardener will notice this, and thinking the plant needs water will give the plant a drink. If they do this several times a week under the lower light input of indoors with a moisture retention soil, root rot is going to happen.

Now, since you are an experienced indoor gardener I doubt it will ever happen to you.

The folks from southern CA on this site will attest to 18 month maturation times. However, as Gabe pointed out 3 times in this paragraph, under tropical conditions that standard time is 9 months or less:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe15 View Post
That really depends on your growing conditions and most importantly, the variety. The wild Rhodochlamys species (like velutina and ornata) usually average about 5 months or so. The larger wild species will generally take about 12-18 months, however, in the perfect conditions 9 months is normal. Edible cultivars will usually also take about 12-18m months, even dwarf varieties, however, some of the taller ones like 'Saba' and the Reds (dwarf and tall 'Red') will easily take 2 years or more, especially the first time they fruit, but again, most of these (except the Reds) can fruit in 9 month under supreme conditons. 'Raja Puri' has been recored to fruit at 6 months, but usually take the normal 9-12. All of these times though are under the assumption that you can keep your bananas actively growing all year long without any longs breaks, this means basically the extreme Southern US, other tropical regions thru-out the world, or a heated greenhouse.
Southern CA does not fall into the category of "extreme southern US", our latitude is equal with the Carolinas and Georgia.

As for the chart from Biodiversity International, I recall it was the subject of discussion in a thread here -- and one of the remarkable things on the list was a banana that is named for the number of days it matures. I'm sure someone will dig it up sooner or later.
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:38 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What root rot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Olaf,

The main problem was with novice indoor gardeners. As you are no doubt aware, the humidity in a house is much lower than outdoors. This in turn causes the top layer of soil in a pot to dry out quickly. A novice gardener will notice this, and thinking the plant needs water will give the plant a drink. If they do this several times a week under the lower light input of indoors with a moisture retention soil, root rot is going to happen.

There is no way, that you can equal the sogginess of the plants in the original picture
by just watering a few times every week, even by watering every day. I have that
photo as evidence. Where is yours, other than speculation on the "inexperience"
of indoor gardeners, which only serves to propagate the popanz of root rot, which
is impressed onto every newcomer to this forum, and which does not exist under
the conditions, I have specified herein.

I do not turn back, if a black cat crosses my intended pass, but I do not walk under
ladders, if someone works above, who might drop a tool or implement on my head.
That makes sense, because a wrench falling on my head hurts. Being scared of root
rot in a plant, which appears perfectly fine with "wet feet" does not make sense,
and justifying that fear with contrived speculation about country of location does not
make sense either


Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Gabe pointed out 3 times in this paragraph, under tropical conditions that standard time is 9 months or less,
Of course, if maturation is not interrupted by a cool period, it continues on. That
makes sense, but has zilch to do with root rot. Here the growth period is not even
long enough to bring any banana to bloom, but we still do not experience root rot.
Though I have never stuck a banana's "feet" into water, while it was "beheaded".


Olaf
PS: Frankly I have repeated myself more often, than I am comfortable with, and
unless you come up with some solid evidence on root rot, other than 'hearsay' and
speculation, I am bowing out of this discussion



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Old 01-21-2014, 02:54 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: What root rot?

What Causes Root Rot?
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:57 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: What root rot?

How Do I Recognize and Prevent Root Rot in Soil?
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