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Main Banana Discussion This is where we discuss our banana collections; tips on growing bananas, tips on harvesting bananas, sharing our banana photos and stories.


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Old 04-08-2008, 12:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Bananas Brindando Anyone growing bananas in containers in Phoenix, AZ?

Hey all,

Looking to chat with someone around the Valley that is growing bananas, especially in containers. I live in an apt right now so am growing them on a balcony. I'd like share ideas with someone. I am such a novice here and wish I didn't have to grow in containers but alas...

Thanks!

Zach
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone growing bananas in containers in Phoenix, AZ?

Hey, Zach! I'm not in AZ but I see no one else has answered you yet. Being a horticulturist, maybe I can help. Growing bananas in containers provides a special set of challenges and being in an arid area like Phoenix will just add to that. I think you can pull it off, though, if you really want to do it.

First of all, you mention that you're limited to growing on a balcony. This tells me that you need to select a dwarf variety of some sort. Examples include Dw. Cavendish, Dw. Orinoco, Dw. Brazilian, Super Dwarf Cavendish, High Color Mini, etc. If you aren't interested in fruit there are several other smaller ornamental varieties that lend themselves well to container culture.

Secondly, you'll need a good potting soil (any good commercial brand) to which I would be sure to add some polymers; some come with this in them already. Read the bag. If you are unfamiliar with these polymers, they aid in the water holding capacity of your soil. You add them to the mix and, when watered, they swell up and turn into a jelly-like consistancy and hold many, many times their weight in water and release it slowly back into the soil as the plant needs it. You should be able to find these polymers at places like Home Depot, Lowe's, and probably your local nursery.

Third, you might consider what kind of pot to use. Clay will have some porosity, helping the roots to breathe while adding bottom weight to help keep the banana from blowing over. Plastic is obviously lighter and blowing over can occur if you choose a taller variety or the soil dries out. However, plastic pots retain moisture in the soil a bit longer than clay, so it's a trade off.

Hope this helps!


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Originally Posted by Zacarias View Post
Hey all,

Looking to chat with someone around the Valley that is growing bananas, especially in containers. I live in an apt right now so am growing them on a balcony. I'd like share ideas with someone. I am such a novice here and wish I didn't have to grow in containers but alas...

Thanks!

Zach
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone growing bananas in containers in Phoenix, AZ?

Hey Brent!

Thanks for the reply. I would enjoy talking to you more about this as it sounds like you are an expert.
Here's what I did, I have two bananas that I put into two coco fiber pots (didn't really wanna do that) and they don't have a lot of room but is ok for their size. One is an unknown to me, and the other might be a SDC? I'm not sure. The SDC is putting out new leaves consistenly. The other one fairly consistently, except the leaves' edges turn subtly yellow.
I planted them in cactus/palm mix and fertilize twice a week. I water them frequently because I'm worried that in a container, one missed watering could irreparably damage them.
I have three others that I purchased online from a company that came about 8 in tall with a couple of leaves. The PS is very skinny on these guys. The third they sent me was just a corm with a little growth head. Anyway, I planted these a LONG time ago and they have not budged. They have however lost leaves and had problems. One has moved a new leaf slightly liked it's about ready to do something. It's worrysome though. I'm scared to water them again as I'm afraid of root rot.
I mist all the bananas but I feel like that does little here in Phoenix.
Anyway, thanks again for the reply and will keep you posted and if you have any tips, shoot them over, I am very appreciative!

Zach
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone growing bananas in containers in Phoenix, AZ?

I don't consider myself and expert- more like a specialist. I still screw up too! Hopefully we can all keep that to a minimum by talking on this forum and helping one another out.

I'm not so sure how long your bananas will stay in the coco fiber pots once they really get going. I'd think that they would push a new pup right through the side of those!

As for the smaller one's that you said weren't growing, what size pot are they in? If they are in too big of a pot, that could be the problem.

I've got to run. I'll try to get back with you later.

Brent
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Old 04-09-2008, 06:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Anyone growing bananas in containers in Phoenix, AZ?

No need to mist. I got into bananas because last summer I wanted tropical looking plants in my yard. The plants did not do well, except for my banana, it loved the heat.
My potting mix is 50% compost, 15% vermiculite, 35% native soil (clay) add water and mix well.
Should be in the 90s by this weekend, here comes the heat.

p.m. me if you need some local help
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