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Species Bananas Discussions of all the different wild species of banana (non edible), an aspect of the hobby that deserves its own section.


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Old 11-07-2006, 09:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Joy Musa sikkimensis

Are all the musa sikkimensis var. pretty much the same pertaining to cold hardiness? I am looking at getting seeds or plants of M. sikkimensis 'red tiger', Burmese Blue, M.sikkimensis 'Darjeeling', and possibly Helen's Hybrid.
What are your thoughts of these? I want some plants that can take a few cold weather days and keep going before I have to dig them up.

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Old 11-07-2006, 11:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis

Musa sikkimensis is very hardy and the ones with different names arent really different plants, really its supposed "color forms", however things like 'Red Tiger' and 'Manipur' have not showed any distinct characteristis and as far as I can see dont come true from seed. So in that respect, I pretty much ignore those M. sikkimensis names, especially if seed grown, Im sure they have tissue cultured the reddest individuals but its a uniform species. 'Burmese Blue' is a Musa itinerans variety, the "normal" Musa itinerans is also a very hardy plant, not sure about hardiness between the several varieties but you can let us know when you find out. 'Helen's Hybrid' is a rather new introduction with very little information so thats another youre gonna have to test for yourself.
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Old 11-08-2006, 02:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis

Delightful species that performs well in Bergen, Norway.

I am testing the "Red Tiger" theory myself these days. I ordered 100 red tigers, and 100 regular sikkimensis. I agree with gabe, it is most likely the exact same phenotype as regular sikkimensis. Even though I think "Red tiger" is simply a tool of marketing, I try to keep an open mind. Maybe the seeds really are selected from high-colour parents and show more variegation. Who knows. You cant really be sure until the plant is big.

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Old 11-08-2006, 08:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis

Thanks guys,

I have been looking at the sticky of seed sources and wanted to get a winter project going. I am going to run out of room quick if I don't hurry up and order, because the list keeps growing.
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Old 11-10-2006, 06:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis

This would probally be a good question for the UK oasis, since many on that forum claim that there is a big variable in hardiness between different strains, which makes sense since they(sikkimensis) are from such a wide area and different elevations. One old German website claimed that the ones with more red seemed to have more hardiness, but now with so many different red ones out there it's hard to say.
My guess would be that the "darjeeling" strain would be one of the least hardy ones since it is at a very low elevation, and the Trachycarpus(T.latisectus) species from that region are some of the least hardy to cold of that palm tree genus. I haven't done any comparisons yet, but am hoping to test the agristarts clone, red flash, red tiger, seed grown green one, seed grown red stripe, and hopefully 'Manipur' seeds if they sprout.
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Old 11-12-2006, 04:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis

Erlend,

You're going to sow 200 sikkimensis. If I remember correctly from your other posts this is only part of what you sow!

What to you do with all those plants ? Got any spare ? How difficult would it be to export plants from Norway to Belgium ? Should be a lot easier and cheaper than from the US.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbungalow View Post
Delightful species that performs well in Bergen, Norway.

I am testing the "Red Tiger" theory myself these days. I ordered 100 red tigers, and 100 regular sikkimensis. I agree with gabe, it is most likely the exact same phenotype as regular sikkimensis. Even though I think "Red tiger" is simply a tool of marketing, I try to keep an open mind. Maybe the seeds really are selected from high-colour parents and show more variegation. Who knows. You cant really be sure until the plant is big.

Erlend
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Old 11-13-2006, 01:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis

Quote:
Erlend,

You're going to sow 200 sikkimensis. If I remember correctly from your other posts this is only part of what you sow!

What to you do with all those plants ? Got any spare ? How difficult would it be to export plants from Norway to Belgium ? Should be a lot easier and cheaper than from the US.
Yes, that's true. Lots of bananas this year. I have about 8 different species that I grow from seed. Most of them I sell, some I keep, and some I give away to friends and family. Some people want to buy them at the 2 leaf stage!
Norwegians are terrible gardeners, but it is an area that interests alot of people. My mother told me that in the 1960s, modern "gardening" with lawns and specimen plants was still a new thing in rural-Norway. Understandably, the concept of growing bananas and other exotics in Norway is even today taken as a joke by most people here. But this past year, more and more people are demanding Trachycarpus fortunei and Musa basjoo.

I could certainly send plants to Belgium, but I would reccomend you check import restrictions since Norway is non-EU.
Actually, I have imported alot of Trachycarpus from the Netherlands, usually with several other people to share transportation costs. This has been no problem.

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Old 11-13-2006, 03:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis

Erlend,

I grew up in Connecticut, and it has similar hardiness zones compared to Norway. I can also attest to the hardiness of Musa Basjoo. I sent my dad some musa basjoo plants about 2 years ago and they come back beautifully from the rhizomes each year. Unfortunately, most of the back yards/landscapes in Connecticut (and most of the northeast for that matter) are very boring. It's all the same thing, pine trees, maples, oaks, rhodedendrums, yews, and maybe an apple or pear tree. I very much enjoy diverse types of landscaping and I am glad to hear people in your country are starting to experiment with things out of the ordinary.
When I travel to Connecticut I too have started to see things out of the ordinary such as bamboo, mimosa trees, and hardy cactus.
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Old 11-13-2006, 08:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis

While we're talking about the musa sikkimensis, does any one have any seed starting tips? I'm trying the "red flash" sikkimensis seeds, and also pink velutina.

I've had some on the heat pad for 1 month now, I have it cycling on for 14 hours, off for 10 hours and I've had a few ensete glaucum sprout, one cheesmanii, but none of the sikkimensis yet. And none of the pink velutina.
Does the sikkimensis need a cold period before they will sprout since they are from a cooler climate? I imagined that maybe that's not enough heat for the pink velutina. The seeds are still in good shape, seem hydrated, not rotten, but just not sprouting. Maybe they are waiting for spring? ha ha ha

The seeds are in damp vermiculite, have been sprayed with daconil before planting.
Thanks for your help
Sandy
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Old 11-13-2006, 01:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis

Quote:
While we're talking about the musa sikkimensis, does any one have any seed starting tips? I'm trying the "red flash" sikkimensis seeds, and also pink velutina.

I've had some on the heat pad for 1 month now, I have it cycling on for 14 hours, off for 10 hours and I've had a few ensete glaucum sprout, one cheesmanii, but none of the sikkimensis yet. And none of the pink velutina.
Does the sikkimensis need a cold period before they will sprout since they are from a cooler climate? I imagined that maybe that's not enough heat for the pink velutina. The seeds are still in good shape, seem hydrated, not rotten, but just not sprouting. Maybe they are waiting for spring? ha ha ha

The seeds are in damp vermiculite, have been sprayed with daconil before planting.
Thanks for your help
Sandy
Don't use vermiculite. Use coconut choire, sphangum, or even regular potting soil. I have a theory of a slightly acidic environment beeing better than alkaline, but by no means proof.
The best cycle is 10 hrs on and 14 hrs off, MORE cold than warm. Also, you need to get the temperature low when you turn the heat off. I am talking 50-60 degrees F, -not room temperature.

I have also been successful sprouting velutina in this way.

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Old 11-17-2006, 04:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy0225 View Post
While we're talking about the musa sikkimensis, does any one have any seed starting tips? I'm trying the "red flash" sikkimensis seeds, and also pink velutina.

I've had some on the heat pad for 1 month now, I have it cycling on for 14 hours, off for 10 hours and I've had a few ensete glaucum sprout, one cheesmanii, but none of the sikkimensis yet. And none of the pink velutina.
Does the sikkimensis need a cold period before they will sprout since they are from a cooler climate? I imagined that maybe that's not enough heat for the pink velutina. The seeds are still in good shape, seem hydrated, not rotten, but just not sprouting. Maybe they are waiting for spring? ha ha ha

The seeds are in damp vermiculite, have been sprayed with daconil before planting.
Thanks for your help
Sandy
Like Erland said, they need a wider degree of tempature fluctuation than other Musa seeds. I placed my Red Flash against a single pane window(zone 9 in spring) in a peat moss baggie, and it seemed to do the trick, by getting cold at night, then really hot in the day when the sun shone on it.
Good luck.
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Old 11-20-2006, 12:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis

I'm trying to germinate Musa sikkimensis and Musa ssp. 'Helen's Hybrid' (one of each of those have germinated already) and Musa ssp. 'Burmese Blue'.

Didn't know 'Burmese Blue' was a sikki var. Nice to know.

Gard
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Old 01-21-2007, 06:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis

'burnese blue' isn't a sikkimensis variety it's a Musa Itinerans variety. So I would guess it's not as hardy
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Mail Re: Musa sikkimensis

I have just ordered 100 M. sikk. 'Red Flash' and 100 M. itinerans from Ortanique in CA. at about $15 each following Erlend's advice. If I get 15 plants, I'll have enough. Is this a good source?

I have always had a few germinating from M. Sikk. seeds in packets of ten from Chiltern's, England and last summer from Hirts Gardens here in Ohio, without any alternation of temps. I also have one each of Ensete glauca again from each of the sdame two sources. I did finally put some of these outside in the summer where the nights would have dropped somewhat.

No germ. from Chiltern's M. s. 'Manipur', Thompsonii; Hirts E. superbum, M. velutina or coccineum, on or off the heating pad. Am trying another 12 E. superbum from Hirts now.

Have also just planted my last 36 seeds of M. balbisiana from naturalized plants in Honduras. There appears to be a new sprout in the pot planted last April.

Any comments?

Stan
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Old 01-24-2007, 01:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbungalow View Post
Don't use vermiculite. Use coconut choire, sphangum, or even regular potting soil. I have a theory of a slightly acidic environment beeing better than alkaline, but by no means proof.
The best cycle is 10 hrs on and 14 hrs off, MORE cold than warm. Also, you need to get the temperature low when you turn the heat off. I am talking 50-60 degrees F, -not room temperature.

I have also been successful sprouting velutina in this way.

Erlend
Erland do you have the 10 hour on during the day time or vice versa
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Old 01-24-2007, 03:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis

Quote:
Erland do you have the 10 hour on during the day time or vice versa
It doesn't really matter what time of the day/night you put the heat on, as long as you get 50-60 degrees when it's off and 80-95 when it's on. The seeds are in darkness anyway.
If you have the device in your bedroom I'd reccomend putting the heat on during the day, since this could also be beneficial considering any fire-hazards. I love banana-plants, but would not die for them!

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