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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 07-17-2007, 06:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Musa sikkimensis 'Red Tiger' growth rate = SLOW!

Don't know about other M. sikkimensis 'Red Tiger' out there, but mine is by FAR, the slowest-growing banana I have. I'm lucky to get a new leaf every two weeks! By comparison, I get a new leaf every 4-7 days on most every other banana I grow. I haven't "clocked" M. thomsonii, but it is probably my second-slowest one.

I recently received a Musa sikkimensis (the straight species) in a trade, and am hoping it grows a bit faster (ok, a LOT faster). Does anybody grow the different forms side-by-side, and if so, how does 'Red Tiger' compare with the other forms? Thanks!

M. itinerans pseudostem, M. sikkimensis 'Red Tiger' in the background. This is its second year in the ground. The last full leaf unfurled 9 days ago (two Sundays ago), and you can see the newest leaf is poking along.

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Old 07-17-2007, 07:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Unhappy Re: Musa sikkimensis 'Red Tiger' growth rate = SLOW!

Frank,
Your 'Red Tiger' looks great... I got last fall from a guy in FL off of ebay... They were about 6-8" tall... I overwintered them in my garage and both never lost a leaf... When I planted mine out in my back this spring, one for some reason just sat there and began to rot... Must have been from the winter storage... Anyway, the other one has remained alive and kicking... It is now a whopping 12-18"... I am amazed at how slow mine has been... I thought it was due to the location I planted it in... It is in the bed by the pool, but all the other plants around it have shaded it alot... It gets dappled shade all day and still looks healthy, it just takes its own sweet time to grow... One of the reasons I grow bananas is to offset the slow growth rate of palms, but this one is definitely an exception... Good luck with yours and keep us posted on its growth...
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis 'Red Tiger' growth rate = SLOW!

Thanks, Randy. Glad I'm not the only one, lol! It put out a small pup towards the end of last summer, but hasn't even tried to put one out this year yet. Weird banana plant!
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis 'Red Tiger' growth rate = SLOW!

Musa sikkimensis has been the fastest for me, reaching 7-8 feet in a season. Basjoo is not nearly as fast here. Sikkimensis doesn't mind our cool weather, and loves the extra rain.
On the other hand, "Red Tiger" is much more slow. "Darjeeling Giant" has also been slow and difficult to cultivate as a seedling. "M.Helen" has been about as fast as sikkimensis as a young plant. The plants from "Musa NagensiumX" all grow slowly, but seem to tolerate coolish and moist weather.
You gotta love the gang from Himalaya.
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis 'Red Tiger' growth rate = SLOW!

I can't really see a difference in growth rate between the regular Sikki's and the red tiger. I have been disappointed by the lack of red markings on my red tiger though.
Helens, grows at a rate as hybrids tend to. lovely coloring and a more upright, graceful habit than sikki. also loving the purple pseudostem on the cheesmanii.
how does nagensium X differ from nagensium then Erlend? what is it X with? also whilst we're on the subject what is nagensium florale noir?

and yes, you are right... you just gotta love the himalayan crew, perfect for western europe...
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Old 07-18-2007, 04:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis 'Red Tiger' growth rate = SLOW!

I have regular M. sikkimensis and 'Red Tiger side by side and I have not realize big differences in their growing rates. In fact this year the "Red Tiger" is puping like crazy which the regular one did a couple of years ago (the regular one was planted two years before)

Here is a picture of my Red Tiger. As you can see the young leaves are nice stripped

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Old 07-18-2007, 06:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis 'Red Tiger' growth rate = SLOW!

I have almost no red markings on the leaves of mine. The lone pup that emerged last year was nicely colored though. I only get a streak or two of red on new leaves, which quickly fades away.

My 'Darjeeling Giant' is pretty vigorous, Erlend. No markings on it, but it has the bronze cigar leaf. Nothing like the cigar leaf of Musa 'Helen's Hybrid' or M. thomsonii though! Maybe it likes more heat than you guys have way over yonder.
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Angry Re: Musa sikkimensis 'Red Tiger' growth rate = SLOW!

Bigdog,

I can't say about growth rate for 'Red Tiger' but I know [i]germinationI] sure has been slow for me! I sowed some seed back in Feb. and they have yet to sprout. I simply planted them, no scarification or anything. After about 3 months I finally got tired of waiting, OK wait, so I was pissed! I took the seeds out, scarified them, soaked in water for 24 hours and replanted and still nothing to this day. Yet everyday I go out and look at the pots thinking this might be the day, only to trudge back to the house with a tear in my eye. Ok, well there have been no tears yet, but I'm a horticulturist darn it! I can usually grow anything, but these are kicking my butt! I haven't give up hope yet though.
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis 'Red Tiger' growth rate = SLOW!

My Bordelon is terribly slow growing... a leaf eavery 3-4 weeks if I'm lucky - still pathetically small...

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Old 07-19-2007, 01:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis 'Red Tiger' growth rate = SLOW!

There must be something wrong with your Bordelon, mine kick butt! definitely the fastest growing thing I have going in the greenhouse right now. They have gone from 3 to 9 feet already this summer!
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa sikkimensis 'Red Tiger' growth rate = SLOW!

igot two young sikkis off ebay i late november. they survived my cool basement and grolux tubesthrough the winter. I planted them around may 20 and they are growing faster than a same size basjoo planted on the same day. One has developed the red splotches on top andhas a pup. It has 4 foot of stem. the one with all green top leaves is about a foot shorter. I hope they will overwinter.They seem more agressive than basjoo.
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