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Member Introductions This is the `tell us about yourself` category. Please make an introductory post here, let us know a little about yourself. A perfect place to break the ice.


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Old 04-20-2009, 10:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Growing edible bananas in El Paso (8b)

I'm thinking about growing some edible bananas in El Paso (zone 8b). I was wondering if there are any varieties that:

- produce edible fruit
- can be grown without protection or indoor wintering
- are fast growing

Ideally the variety would be suited to full sun and drought resistant.

Any advice would be welcome
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Growing edible bananas in El Paso (8b)

Welcome, John!
There are several varieties that will thrive and produce edible fruits in El Paso, TX, but the most common one that you will find is the Dwarf and Tall Orinoco varieties, without much protection, since you are in Zone 9a. Others are CA Gold, CA Hardy, and the Texas Star. Others that are hardy in Zone 8 and higher, might require some protection in the winter, e.g., Dwarf Cavendish, Saba, Ice Cream, Namwa, etc. Obviously, those rated for Zone 9 and higher will definitely thrive there, but with added protection in the winter.

Chong
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Old 04-20-2009, 02:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Growing edible bananas in El Paso (8b)

Thanks for this information. If I want to get fruit can I grow them from seed or do I have to grow them from cutting?
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Growing edible bananas in El Paso (8b)

Most table bananas are seedless. Seeded varieties are considered inedible. But we had a variety in our backyard in the Philippines that was seeded and, although they were not popular there, they were very much edible. In fact, in Thailand, this particular variety is popular and made into cakes (after removing the seeds, that is.) Fruits of most seeded bananas are at least 75%-85% seeds. The ones from our backyard had probably less than 10% seeds. Just enough to make it a nuisance.

Seeded varieties do grow from seed, although most are difficult to sprout. The best way to propagate them is by separating a corm or pup (if this is what you mean by cuttings) from the mother plant, or by Tissue Culture. Some bananas do not produce pups, so most of the time they are propagated by seeds or tissue culture. Or, by cutting the plant down prematurely, and macerating the top of the corm.

Last edited by chong : 04-20-2009 at 06:44 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Growing edible bananas in El Paso (8b)

Orinocos are pretty easy to start with. I would get a few of those and then another kind as Chong suggested.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Growing edible bananas in El Paso (8b)

Welcome to the Organization John.

Bananas with edible fruit do not do well in freezing temperatures. When the pseudostem freezes it "resets" the banana's internal "clock." Without some protection your efforts may be frustrated.

I hope your growing efforts are fruitful!!
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Growing edible bananas in El Paso (8b)

Hi John, welcome to the jungle!
I definitely concur with Chong's first three picks. California Gold, California Cold Hardy and Texas Star are your best bets to get edible fruit. Texas star may be more readily available to you. Cal Gold and Cal Cold Hardy are occasionally auctioned on eBay.
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