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browndrake 06-22-2009 06:20 AM

advice on first nanas
 
I have been reading all I can on bananas, here and elsewhere. I live in the high desert of northern Arizona. (4800' elevation) it is zone 7.

Until the other day, a banana was a banana. I knew there was variation, but had no idea how great a variety existed. I would like to plant some outside and my wife would like one or two for in the house.

From what I have read, the following would be some of the best varieties for my area...to be able to keep them in the ground the longest and to increase chances of fruit.

Dwarf Orinoco
Musa Blue Java
Gran Nain
Musa Goldfinger
Musa Dwarf Cavendish
Musa Double (Mahoi)
Musa Williams Hybrid
.........................
Are there any pros or cons to any of the above (or others) that should influence somebody choosing their first plants?

Is is too late this season to put bananas in the ground here? How fast will they really grow?

What is the best way to start? Get starter plants online? Get corms, pups? There are no bananas for sale anywhere locally. Las Vegas would probably be the closest place that would sell them. (about 3hours from here)

I was thinking of starting with 3 or 4 plants.
.......................
I still don't know all the right questions to ask, but there is a start.

Any feedback is welcome.

Thanks

Aaron

Bob 06-22-2009 07:14 AM

Re: advice on first nanas
 
Hi aaron, I would throw Dwarf Nam Wah in to your list of varieties considered. It has been the fastest growing n cool weather here. Good luck with your plants when you get them.

fergus banana 06-22-2009 09:24 AM

Re: advice on first nanas
 
try the blue java.
my mom has 3 and they are growing like crazy - she lives in the southern california desert area, so if ur climate is anything like that then, these guys will thrive.

harveyc 06-22-2009 10:10 AM

Re: advice on first nanas
 
The first two on your list are probably the hardiest you've listed. What do you plan to do come winter time? You list your location as zone 7 and that will be a challenge unless you plan to dig them up each winter. I agree with that young punk Bob, by the way (though he seems to enjoy durian a little too much to have all of his faculties).

For indoor growing you might try a Super Dwarf Cavendish (aka 3ft Druiting Dwraf by our late friend Tog) and a Logge's Dwarf Ladyfinger (available at their web site).

browndrake 06-22-2009 10:44 AM

Re: advice on first nanas
 
Thanks for the responses.

For now, my winter plans are to bring them inside the house (first year). I hope to have a greenhouse before winter 2010 (but may be another year later).

From where I sit, this year's winter is the most important one....I have 16 months to learn more and prepare for the next one. Frank's thread on wintering was interesting opened my eyes to other avenues that may be needed.

Logge's Dwarf Ladyfinger is 'cute.' I think that my wife will really like that for inside. Will it put on fruit inside? Will light be the most critical factor for that? She has two corners she wants them in. One of the corners she wants to put a nana in, has no window directly next to it. The other has both a south and west facing windows...so it would have plenty of light? My concern for it (I don't know if it is a valid concern) is that there is a woodburning stove not far away, that we use for our principal method of heating. Would the heat from the stove be detrimental to the plant? The corner will often be +-80 deg F.
...........
When it comes to cold..what is more important, the ambient temp? or the ground temp? or both equally important? An idea which I have been toying with is leaving bananas in the ground and heating the ground around/under the plants..and mulching on top.

Down the road, I will be putting in a high efficiency wood burning a boiler for heating. It would be a simple thing to run a couple loops to the bananas. I don't know if this has been done by anybody before or not. It wouldn't really cost me any more than the extra lines to do it, maybe a small amount of extra wood per year. I just don't have a clue how it would work for them. I guess it does not matter now as it will come to fruition in about the same timeframe as the greenhouse.
.............
So, would people agree that it is not too late to get some started this year? and keep some in the ground until we get close to frost season?

Thanks

aaron

fergus banana 06-22-2009 10:52 AM

Re: advice on first nanas
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by browndrake (Post 81293)
Thanks for the responses.

For now, my winter plans are to bring them inside the house (first year). I hope to have a greenhouse before winter 2010 (but may be another year later).

From where I sit, this year's winter is the most important one....I have 16 months to learn more and prepare for the next one. Frank's thread on wintering was interesting opened my eyes to other avenues that may be needed.

Logge's Dwarf Ladyfinger is 'cute.' I think that my wife will really like that for inside. Will it put on fruit inside? Will light be the most critical factor for that? She has two corners she wants them in. One of the corners she wants to put a nana in, has no window directly next to it. The other has both a south and west facing windows...so it would have plenty of light? My concern for it (I don't know if it is a valid concern) is that there is a woodburning stove not far away, that we use for our principal method of heating. Would the heat from the stove be detrimental to the plant? The corner will often be +-80 deg F.
...........
When it comes to cold..what is more important, the ambient temp? or the ground temp? or both equally important? An idea which I have been toying with is leaving bananas in the ground and heating the ground around/under the plants..and mulching on top.

Down the road, I will be putting in a high efficiency wood burning a boiler for heating. It would be a simple thing to run a couple loops to the bananas. I don't know if this has been done by anybody before or not. It wouldn't really cost me any more than the extra lines to do it, maybe a small amount of extra wood per year. I just don't have a clue how it would work for them. I guess it does not matter now as it will come to fruition in about the same timeframe as the greenhouse.
.............
So, would people agree that it is not too late to get some started this year? and keep some in the ground until we get close to frost season?

Thanks

aaron

if u are gonna grow indoors then u can start anytime. i am growing my dwarves indoors under 600W HPS (kinda extreme) and they love it. they drink and drink. the roots are nice and white and healthy - i just repotted them all yesterday.
with regards to heat and the plant: i have a colocasia jack's giant that was growing next to the ballast (the ballast gets real hot) and noticed that one area of his root ball had less than healthy roots compared to the rest - i attribute this to being next to the ballast. therefore, i think that high temp is not good for roots cause it can induce root rot. i also think that the high temp causes a decrease in oxygenation of the roots. at least this is how it goes for hydroponics - in hydroponics you must keep the nutrient reservoir cool or you will get root rot.
well, i am growing all my bananas indoors so fire away if u have any questions.

harveyc 06-22-2009 11:10 AM

Re: advice on first nanas
 
I think the warm corner would be your better option for an indoor banana unless you wanted to add lighting. The heat is not a problem but the air might be drier than it likes. I haven't read of anyone fruiting one indoors yet but you can be a first.

Both soil and ambient temperatures are important if you want to produce fruit. Temps in the mid to lower 20s will usually kill the psuedostem and probably eliminate you chance for producing fruit since they need to start out at a decent size in the spring to flower early enough for fruiting. Most bananas will take 5-6 months to mature after flowering, so that leaves you with lit.tle room to grow and get to bloom. Some, like Senorita, Veinte Cohol, etc. can ripen much quicker but these are probably not cold hardy. If fruit production is very important to you, you may need to dig them up and protect them during the winter and then plant them back out in the spring. Otherwise, many bananas will die back to the corms each winter and you'll just get new nice-looking leaves each year (which is okay if fruit isn't important).

You might do some searching for old threads for discussions on "California Gold", "Texas Star, etc.

Good luck!

browndrake 06-24-2009 01:08 AM

Re: advice on first nanas
 
Well, I made my first order. I bought 5 plants:

Blue Java
Gran Nain
Dwarf Orinoco
Goldfinger
Dwarf Cavendish

I will probably order a Dwarf Ladyfinger and a Dwarf Namwah next week.

I will probably winter them inside...potted.

When is it best to put new plants in the ground? right away? after they get to a certain size? Wait until next year?

Thanks

aaron

fergus banana 06-24-2009 10:06 AM

Re: advice on first nanas
 
i dont know when to put them outside, but they will grow very nicely indoors with good lighting. they will grow fast! you could keep ur dwarves inside permanently. i am growing a couple dwarves indoors and an ice cream. they are looking real healthy and putting out at least 1 leaf a week, maybe more. they drink like crazy - i have to water every other day. the ice cream will probably have to go outdoors at some point, but i am gonna wait and see how big he can get under the grow lights.

CValentine 06-24-2009 10:15 AM

Re: advice on first nanas
 
Quote:

Well, I made my first order. I bought 5 plants:

Blue Java
Gran Nain
Dwarf Orinoco
Goldfinger
Dwarf Cavendish

I will probably order a Dwarf Ladyfinger and a Dwarf Namwah next week.
You are gonna LOVE it!!!
I just bought 2 Grand Nains & a Dwrf Cavendish yesterday...
And am waiting on more to be delivered...

I have one GN in the ground & one GN in a pot...will let you know how each & the other develop in contrast.

Wishing you Success BrownDrake!! :) ~Cheryl

lorax 06-24-2009 10:17 AM

Re: advice on first nanas
 
Your Gran Nain has the potential to get very big over the summer if you water it well - here, where they're grown by Chiquita for commercial banana production, the plants go to about 15' of pseudostem, and leaves after that for another couple feet. They're very heavy plants.

If I were you, I'd get them all in the ground ASAP - that way they'll have time to establish themselves and grow before winter hits you. Your altitude will be less of a problem than you think, though. I have a garden at 10,000' and grow bananas in it (Plantains, DCs and Gran Nains seem to be the most altitude hardy.) However, if winter tends to strike hard in your area and with little warning, I'd do big pots for the first year, just to make bringing them in easier.

browndrake 06-24-2009 10:58 AM

Re: advice on first nanas
 
Thanks all for the feedback and well wishes. I don't even have a banana yet, and already am getting addicted.

We do freeze hard here every winter, but we generally know about it long before it happens. The spring frosts are the tricky ones.

(This spring has been strange, much cooler than normal and more rain storms. We have been getting rains, like our summer monsoons for over a month..usually they don't arrive until July.)

I will more than likely winter them indoors this winter, those that fit ... in my house, if any are too big... in my shop.

I want them to fruit. Am I be better off to bring them in for winter and keep them growing as much as possible..and take them out in the spring? Or would it be better to make them go dormant for winter and replant them in spring?
...................
I have heard of a grower or two in the central valley in CA. Does anybody know somebody there that may have a California Gold pup that they would part with? My sister lives in Turlock (I used to and worked in Modesto) and my parents are going to visit her next week. I would love to find somebody with a pup that they could bring home.

I have read all that I can find about the Dwarf Orinoco and the California Gold. Several people have stated that they are one in the same. Others insist that they are not. Also, I have seen venders selling California Gold that, as best I can tell, different than those that I have read about in CA.

Thanks for all the info...I guess that I will really have questions in a while...when my plants are here and growing.

Aaron

alexizhere19 06-24-2009 11:42 AM

Re: advice on first nanas
 
Great choices there browndrake,

I hope they do well for you,

alex

hammer 06-24-2009 02:29 PM

Re: advice on first nanas
 
T his is my first year growing musa apple musa goldfinger musa praying hands musa cal gold dwarf orinco super dwarf cavendish musa basjoo musa green/red.


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