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rwood1754 08-20-2013 04:02 AM

banana plants all dying
 
Haven't been here for awhile. Live in Phoenix. Temperatures at my house ran from 17 degrees this last winter to 118 degrees in June. My banana plants survived the winter, growing good through May. A new leaf about every 1 & half weeks. June heat hits, not so good. Using screen on smaller plants. Older plants 5 to 8 feet tall on their own. All plants stopped growth or slowed down. High mineral content in water too. Too much water, the plants die from the center...from the corm up through new emerging leaf. This was different. Leaves started choking & stem not emerging. Then the largest plants were first. They were closest to potatoes & tomato plants in the ground. They started having large brown spots on the main stem & leaf stems, but not the leaves.. This turned into wholesale rot of the affected areas with outside stems falling away from plant. Grew worse, each layer from the outside affected. Insecticides, fungicides, nothing helped. Then the main stem started rotting from outside & top downward. Cutting stem back didn't help. Started spreading to other plants. Usually at bottom of stem below the leaf at main stem. Then on main stem looking like it was frozen or bruised. Some pups survived others died. One plant mother & pups all died at once. Had ice creams, goldfingers, orinocos, african rhino horn, kandarian & others...all affected. Smaller plants died within a week & a half. I have pineapple plants, apple tree, guava, Brazilian cherry tree, mango, bamboo among my collection in various parts of yard. One pineapple plant is three years old in a pot in full sun. Last summer in the ground & all winter in the ground with only leaves & a cloth sheet over it through the below freezing weather. I haven't contacted the agriculture dept yet. but I lost $ in banana plants...about 15 plants. Only one banana plant not affected yet as was never in close contact with others & in a different part of the back yard. Even the plants in front yard died.The question??? What is killing my plants so fast. Not the sun or water, which in June is hard on them . Bacteria, virus or insect?? Any ideas? Also, I tried withholding water on some plants to see the effect. Didn't see in difference on spread of the dying. Watering or not watering...all the same.

Olafhenny 08-20-2013 05:20 PM

Re: banana plants all dying
 
I believe, that it is definitely the heat. The tropics never get as hot as the subtropics. Even
here in the “frigid” Canada (HZ6, but arid and hot in summer) it gets hotter than the tropics.
There it is just sometimes uncomfortably humid. :)

I have posted the following in another thread in this forum yesterday:

QUOTE
Because Ornatas are quite small I have wintered a couple of them near a window indoors,
where they did quite well.

One of them had spent the last summer in my “tropical planter and was completely
overwhelmed by New Zealand Purple Castor Beans and Canna Australia. Out of sight, out of
mind it rotted away in the shade. After I brought it in the mother would not recover, but
sprouted two pups. They grew nicely, but when moved outside into full daylight they
deteriorated for a while, until they had grown accustomed to the bright light, and started
sprouting again,. – for a while. Then I believe the full sun shining on the pot “cooked” the
corm as the temperatures rose and it crumbled again, until I moved it into partial shade.
Now it is perking up once more. :)

The other one, with the pot shaded all the time and the leaves in sunshine, has meanwhile
grown into a beautiful plant. It is now taller than any of the ornatas I have seen abloom in
Vietnam, where I got mine from and it still is not showing any flag leaf. I am hoping, that it
will have a flower, before I have to bring it inside. UNQUOTE


If I had planted that Ornata in the ground, I probably would have been spared this
problem, but since it will be small enough to bring back in, I left it in the pot. If this
experience has any relevance to your situation, the problem might well lie in the heat
that the corms have been exposed to, rather than the ambient temperature of the air.
If the bananas are right now in bare soil, it may well help, to mulch heavily with leaves
and similar around them. If you then apply some water repeatedly on that mulch, it will
cool down the corms significantly in your arid environment

Good luck,
Olaf



bananimal 08-20-2013 11:24 PM

Re: banana plants all dying
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rwood1754 (Post 226764)
Live in Phoenix.

That says it all.

Illia 08-21-2013 12:05 AM

Re: banana plants all dying
 
Agreed with above. Way too hot, likely way too dry of air, and when it comes to that much heat bananas really do need a lot of water. Sounds like a lot of extremes and stress.

rwood1754 08-21-2013 08:54 AM

Re: banana plants all dying
 
Agreed, certainly a lot of stress. Not a good of location as I used to have about 5 miles from here with irrigation, full grown trees for protection,10 + foot oleanders perimeter protections & slightly warmer in winter. There I had trouble controlling them they grew so well. Phoenix is not created equal. There are microclimates because of different vegetation, soil & other things. My other house seemed to be the perfect location for growth & fruiting.

rwood1754 08-21-2013 09:03 AM

Re: banana plants all dying
 
Oh, I know this may sound strange, but water was something at this location I had to be careful with. Watering more than once a week during hot weather & I had trouble. I had to use cactus palm mix soil to make sure they had good drainage. The only ones still doing okay, I water about every two weeks right now. Any more often & they start looking bad. ??? I know, it doesn't make sense.

momoese 08-21-2013 09:50 AM

Re: banana plants all dying
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rwood1754 (Post 226876)
Oh, I know this may sound strange, but water was something at this location I had to be careful with. Watering more than once a week during hot weather & I had trouble. I had to use cactus palm mix soil to make sure they had good drainage. The only ones still doing okay, I water about every two weeks right now. Any more often & they start looking bad. ??? I know, it doesn't make sense.

Actually it does make sense. The plants have stopped growing due to extreme heat. No growth requires little to no water.

Olafhenny 08-21-2013 10:31 AM

Re: banana plants all dying
 
I was thinking last night in bed about the difference of protecting bananas from cold
(my problem) as opposed to heat, your problem. What would I do, if I lived in AZ?

First of all I would, as I said previously, protect the corm from hot sun hitting the bare
ground. Second I would bunch them closely together, so that they would benefit from
each other’s shade and humidity. I know that most here, who want to produce fruit,
like to space them, but that does not appear necessary. As PR-Giant states in this
thread:

http://www.bananas.org/f2/when-will-...tml#post226722
QUOTE:
I cut down a tree in the jungle in order to make a hole in the canopy and planted 8
bananas in an 8' x 8' plot. I did not account for the trees to the North, South, and
East being so much taller, so now I have huge plants growing on a 75 degree Westerly
angle.

It looks a little odd, but they should be fine.
UNQUOTE

In other posts in the same thread he also states, that he gets good production
that way. If he can do that in the relatively muted light in the jungle, you can certainly
do that in the bright AZ sunshine.

Olaf




sunfish 08-21-2013 11:32 AM

Re: banana plants all dying
 
[quote=rwood1754;226764]Haven't been here for awhile.

What fertilizers and soil amendments are you using ?

Olafhenny 08-21-2013 01:16 PM

Re: banana plants all dying
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by momoese (Post 226879)
Actually it does make sense. The plants have stopped growing due to extreme heat. No growth requires little to no water.

Sorry, Mitchel I have to disagree with you on this one. The water loss in the Arizona desert
due to evapotranspiration during summer has to be somewhere between significant and huge,
especially in a plant, which is genetically not equipped for arid conditions, even if the heat
stifles growth. That water has to be replaced. The reasons have to lay elsewhere: Temperature
shock when the water is much colder than the ground?, day-night temperature fluctuations?
Keep in mind, that those are much more moderate in the tropics; or maybe
it has a fertilizer or nutritional cause as Tony suggests?

Olaf




momoese 08-21-2013 01:39 PM

Re: banana plants all dying
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Olafhenny (Post 226897)
Sorry, Mitchel I have to disagree with you on this one. The water loss in the Arizona desert
due to evapotranspiration during summer has to be somewhere between significant and huge,
especially in a plant, which is genetically not equipped for arid conditions, even if the heat
stifles growth. That water has to be replaced. The reasons have to lay elsewhere: Temperature
shock when the water is much colder than the ground?, day-night temperature fluctuations?
Keep in mind, that those are much more moderate in the tropics; or maybe
it has a fertilizer or nutritional cause as Tony suggests?

Olaf




That's ok Olaf, we can agree to disagree. Imo when growth stops the plant stops taking water. The ground being super hot could also be literally cooking the roots making water uptake difficult. He did say that things get worse when he waters so it's either the plant doesn't want water, the water is bad (ph, minerals, chemicals maybe?) or the water allows the temp to travel down the soil killing roots? I don't think holding water is the solution, but I do think adding water is the problem. Maybe a misting system would help. When it's baking hot here I wet down everything creating humidity under the leaves and it seems to help.

sunfish 08-21-2013 02:03 PM

Re: banana plants all dying
 
[quote=sunfish;226890]
Quote:

Originally Posted by rwood1754 (Post 226764)
Haven't been here for awhile.

What fertilizers and soil amendments are you using ?

Bump :08:

blownz281 08-21-2013 03:34 PM

Re: banana plants all dying
 
Sorry to hear this,but the ground getting so hot and your ph of your water I feel is the issue. Have you ever tried putting a bunch of mulch chips around them? They would keep some heat off and keep them damp. If the ground is getting so hot then the roots are dieing off and the plant can't get any water. Go to a pet store and get a freshwater ph and alkaline test kit. Or maybe even a pool store.

Olafhenny 08-21-2013 03:54 PM

Re: banana plants all dying
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by blownz281 (Post 226911)
Sorry to hear this,but the ground getting so hot and your ph of your water I feel is the issue. Have you ever tried putting a bunch of mulch chips around them? They would keep some heat off and keep them damp. If the ground is getting so hot then the roots are dieing off and the plant can't get any water. Go to a pet store and get a freshwater ph and alkaline test kit. Or maybe even a pool store.

Good advice, that sounds to me a reasonable and prudent approach to the problem. The next
question is of course, what the desired base values are.





momoese 08-21-2013 04:56 PM

Re: banana plants all dying
 
[quote=sunfish;226890]
Quote:

Originally Posted by rwood1754 (Post 226764)
Haven't been here for awhile.

What fertilizers and soil amendments are you using ?

This could effect soil ph creating uptake issues.


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