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Cold Hardy Bananas This forum is dedicated to the discussion of bananas that are able to grow and thrive in cold areas. You'll find lots of tips and discussions about keeping your bananas over the winter.


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Old 05-16-2017, 01:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default rajapuri outdoors in Northern California (grow report)

Now that I know what this plant is, all photos and updates will be consolidated into this post. Originally, I purchased a Musa "Ice Cream" TC start from Greenearth Publishing in late 2014. Many had said these turn out to be either Namwah or orinoco, but in my case, it turned out to be Rajapuri.

Here's a photo of the rajapuri TC start, it was overwintered indoors during the winter of 2014-2015 and then planted outdoors in July of 2015. Here's a few days after it was planted outdoors here in Northern California:



August 2015:




Group shot, rajapuri is the second plant from the top:




February 2016, after being exposed to a few light frosts, rajapuri is second from the top:



July 18, 2016-rajapuri to the right of the variegated aeae:



Nov 2016-the original TC watersprout bloomed! Regretfully it flowered too late: the fingers were very tender and couldn't take months of cold, wet weather despite being under greenhouse plastic:



Closer photo of the flowers:





Big Fingers! unfortunately, these all rotted away:


this is what failure looks like:



But looking on the bright side, I got more than expected from this failure: a positive ID! Notice the persistent male bracts:



And rarely does one succeed without failing! The first ratoon replaced the dead bunch and flowers first opened on 4/20/17!



Challenge is, it's been a very cold spring, with 2 heat waves mixed in, so with this crazy weather comes semi-choking (rajapuri is infamous for choking). The inflorescence won't push out of the p-stem, it's sorta stuck there and not hanging like normal bunches would do. Any suggestions on how to correct this?


Despite the plant being almost 1.5x the size of the watersprout TC starter plant, the fingers on this first ratoon are about 1/2 the size when flowering:




Here's a better picture to give you an idea:







To be continued....looks like I'll get this bunch to finish since it flowered so early in the season, but it's hard to say what will happen to the bananas jammed between petioles and the p-stem...

Last edited by meizzwang : 05-16-2017 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: rajapuri outdoors in Northern California (grow report)

Amazing plants! Thank you for sharing
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: rajapuri outdoors in Northern California (grow report)

Great pics as usual. Looks like you have the midis touch. Wish I had your gift.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: rajapuri outdoors in Northern California (grow report)

Try cutting the pstem vertically to free the petioles and brac. I believe Cincinnana has done this and posted pic in another thread. ... Banana Cee sectioin ...
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: rajapuri outdoors in Northern California (grow report)

Don't cut! The flower is free and should do fine! That's is a raja puri for sure 100% congrats. Any update on the AEAE? How did it take the winter in that spot?
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Old 05-18-2017, 06:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: rajapuri outdoors in Northern California (grow report)

edwmax, thank you for the tip! This will definitely be useful for any rajapuri owner, haha! After seeing ty's recommendation, I thought about it for a bit and realized that if the fingers get messed up from being stuck in the P-stem, I'll try it out, but so far it doesn't seem to be affecting any of the bananas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tytaylor77 View Post
Don't cut! The flower is free and should do fine! That's is a raja puri for sure 100% congrats. Any update on the AEAE? How did it take the winter in that spot?
appreciate the feedback, and thank you Tytaylor77! The Aeae is doing very well: the leaves got mangled a bit from the wind, but they mostly ovewintered with very little damage. Growth this spring has been super-slow, and I'm watering this plant a lot less than everything else because when watered "normally", the new growth gets stuck in the P-stem and comes out all torn up. This is what you have to deal with in cooler climates I guess...

I also noticed you really can't fertilize Aeae as much unless it's warm and the plant has momentum. It's pushing out mostly green leaves now (but you there's still some variegation) probably because I pumped the plant with high P and K (with zero N) weeks before it got really cold last year in hopes of increasing its cold tolerance. That likely caused the pH to jump up, and rumor has it if you don't have acidic soil, those leaves won't produce much white. There's a new little water sprout emerging, it'll be interesting to see if those leaves are variegated, will keep you updated.

Last edited by meizzwang : 05-18-2017 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 05-18-2017, 07:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: rajapuri outdoors in Northern California (grow report)

Quote:
Originally Posted by meizzwang View Post
edwmax, thank you for the tip! This will definitely be useful for any rajapuri owner, haha! After seeing ty's recommendation, I thought about it for a bit and realized that if the fingers get messed up from being stuck in the P-stem, I'll try it out, but so far it doesn't seem to be affecting any of the bananas. ....

.

I agree, don't cut if the banana fingers & flower are free. But from your above comment was some of the fingers were jammed between the petioles and pstem.
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Old 05-19-2017, 05:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: rajapuri outdoors in Northern California (grow report)

Your not alone with the AEAE! Mine is also slow and very very picky about water and fert. I figured by the size it is things would be better but it's still not. I keep it on the very dry side and only use composted manure/hay on the root zone. Things HAVE to get better as they get larger. We will see! Good luck with yours!
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: rajapuri outdoors in Northern California (grow report)

meizzwang and Tytaylor77 (Ty):



My 'Ae Ae' Manini was a slow start on the beginning, but once roots got formed/established just took off!.....So far, its growing great!...fingers crossed!....She is about 9 ft. tall right now and growing nicely!......Something I have noticed that The 'Ae Ae' Manini doesn't like cool weather at all!.....When last winter came, even we have a "mild" winter in South Florida, comparing to you guys, The 'Ae Ae' Manini slowed down on growing but she resumed the growing pace once the weather/temp got warmer!.....


Good luck guys with The 'Ae Ae' Manini!.....



meizzwang,


Congrats on the Rajapuri!....

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Old 06-06-2017, 01:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: rajapuri outdoors in Northern California (grow report)

Thanks for sharing your experience Ty and Hmelendez! Speaking of Aeae, even though we're having a relatively cool spring, it's still growing well as all the cold hardy plants, although slightly slower. You can tell it's drinking much less water too (ie. soil near root zone of aeae is still moist in the evening, whereas the soil is almost bone dry in other banana mats), and I keep it on the drier side to avoid rot. Thing is, it was protected last winter, so that might have something to do with it. We'll see how it does next spring after being exposed to all of the elements.

Some update pictures on rajapuri: I've decided not to do any surgery and leave the plant as is. It is true, some fingers might get smashed from being stuck between the petiole and the flower stem, but I'd rather not risk surgery at this time since it's still relatively cold here in Northern California. Another shocker: look at how many fingers are on this thing!!!!! Photos taken 6/6/17:





This inflorescence is definitely stuck, but it looks like things will work out:

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Old 06-08-2017, 02:20 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: rajapuri outdoors in Northern California (grow report)

Very cool! Keep Sharing pics as they fill. Hope I get a bunch this year! Congrats man!
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Old 06-09-2017, 04:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: rajapuri outdoors in Northern California (grow report)

Mild Chilling of Banana; Bradley Voules Harvey https://digital.library.adelaide.edu.../2/02whole.pdf could possibly help with chill injury of fruit. It tells of control in the field using bubble wrap augmented bunch covers.

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Old 06-10-2017, 11:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: rajapuri outdoors in Northern California (grow report)

Shem! Thank you so much. I had found and looked over this a couple years ago and lost the link. Thank you for reposting it!
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Old 08-02-2017, 11:40 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: rajapuri outdoors in Northern California (grow report)

Well, here we are 4 months after flowering and the fingers are still pretty darn small. I think this bunch has way too many fruit, and the leaves are a bit worn out from the long and cold winter months. In the tropics, new leaves feed the bananas, but up here in Northern California, oftentimes we have old leaves that serve to beef of each finger. Will these be the world's smallest bananas at maturity? Suppose I don't care; as long as they taste great, that's all that matters. Hopefully these will mature before end of October, otherwise I'm not sure this p-stem can take another winter. Photos taken 8/2/17:

Notice the fingers on rajapuri are sorta fattening up, we've been having some great hot weather and warmer nights that has been helping, but overall, it's been a relatively pretty cold summer:




Hand for scale: this bunch makes me feel just a tad bit insecure, LOL
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: rajapuri outdoors in Northern California (grow report)

I wonder if you'll get anything edible. These remind me of ones I see in yards where people don't fertilize and the fruit never fill out. I hope you get something out of them!
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: rajapuri outdoors in Northern California (grow report)

If you want that ornamental look to complement your house, then they're really cute bananas: absolutely nothing wrong with them.
I wouldn't've noticed their diminutive size had you not brought it to my attention. It's not as bad as it may seem. There's the optical illusion where the closer object appears to be bigger than the one behind. Next time take the photo with your hand behind the bunch and the bananas will look much bigger.
If you're concerned about edibility, then you could try a few things and still find out that's as good as it gets.
After all, Northern California isn't exactly optimum banana country.
If you're going for brag patch bunches you need to optimise the conditions so the plant can take up what nutrients you provide.
The growing media is within a confined space that is basically a planter box. It is possible that the media gets sour and needs liming more frequently; and/or needs replacing periodically, perhaps only one section each year ( just be careful of buried services).
The waxy cuticle on banana plants may prevent uptake of foliar feed. Some giant pumpkin growers intraveneously feed their plants. I don't know anything about this practice with bananas.
If that wall is facing southerly, then it is going to help keep the plants warm. It might also be drying the air. Some cultivars may tolerate lower humidity better than others.
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: rajapuri outdoors in Northern California (grow report)

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I wonder if you'll get anything edible. These remind me of ones I see in yards where people don't fertilize and the fruit never fill out. I hope you get something out of them!
Funny how bananas "grown for Jesus" here in northern California are compared to neglected plants in the tropics! This rajapuri mat is constantly fed only when the weather is suitable for growth. When it gets cold, you can tell the plant isn't growing and the soil stays wet, so we have to wait until it warms up before we water and feed them again.

Here's a recent picture of the rajapuri mat, center of the photo:
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: rajapuri outdoors in Northern California (grow report)

some updated photos of Rajapuri, taken 10/9/17. These might even be harvestable, but I'll wait as long as possible to pick these. Most likely, they won't all fill in:




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