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Old 12-02-2022, 03:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Bunchy top paranoia

I had some bananas that appeared to be afflicted by bunchy top. I must have purchased a banana with the virus and then spread it around with my shovel when removing suckers. I have removed all bananas from my property and then planted some new ones in different places. The other day, I had a pile of mulch in my drive way and was near the end of some sheet mulching. One of the infected bananas that I had removed shot up a sucker, so I removed it with a shovel and put new mulch over that area. Shortly thereafter, I still had some mulch to get rid of, so I loaded it into my wheelbarrow and dumped it onto my new banana, using my gloved hand to coax the mulch out of the wheelbarrow - the same glove that I was wearing when removing the infected banana pup. Is this likely to have spread the bunchy top to my new bananas? Should I take any protective steps, like trying to get rid of some of that mulch? Am I just being insanely paranoid?
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Old 12-03-2022, 01:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bunchy top paranoia

Where are you located? Are you sure its even BBTV you are dealing with?

BBTV is only spread by the banana aphid feeding on infected plants and then moving to non-infected plants, not on tools, mulch, or in soil etc...
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Old 12-03-2022, 02:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bunchy top paranoia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe15 View Post
Where are you located? Are you sure its even BBTV you are dealing with?

BBTV is only spread by the banana aphid feeding on infected plants and then moving to non-infected plants, not on tools, mulch, or in soil etc...
I'm in southeast FL. Hmm... It looked just like bunchy top to me. Leaves getting thin, scraggley looking, and sticking straight up. I didn't see any banana aphids though, which is why I was assuming that I spread it with tools. And it spread over time around my property.
Here are some photos:
https://imgur.com/a/AHATfvK
https://imgur.com/a/y9HDaj5
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Old 12-03-2022, 03:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bunchy top paranoia

What is your feeding/ watering regime?
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Old 12-03-2022, 05:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Smile Re: Bunchy top paranoia

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVeggieProfessor View Post
I'm in southeast FL. Hmm... It looked just like bunchy top to me. Leaves getting thin, scraggley looking, and sticking straight up. I didn't see any banana aphids though, which is why I was assuming that I spread it with tools. And it spread over time around my property.
Here are some photos:
https://imgur.com/a/AHATfvK
https://imgur.com/a/y9HDaj5
Looks similiar to a mosiac type virus.
Do the other plants affected in your landscape include colocasia/alocasia perhaps?
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Old 12-03-2022, 05:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bunchy top paranoia

I have a few friends in Florida and never had bunchy top and have gotten a bunch of bananas from them and around no issues. Would be pretty rare for you to have it. If you feed to heavy or something is off in the soil that will happen…
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Old 12-04-2022, 01:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bunchy top paranoia

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVeggieProfessor View Post
I'm in southeast FL. Hmm... It looked just like bunchy top to me. Leaves getting thin, scraggley looking, and sticking straight up. I didn't see any banana aphids though, which is why I was assuming that I spread it with tools. And it spread over time around my property.
Here are some photos:
https://imgur.com/a/AHATfvK
https://imgur.com/a/y9HDaj5
BBTV isn't known to be present in FL, so if you had it you would be the first ever, which is extraordinarily unlikely.


In looking at your photos, you definitely do not have BBTV. To me it looks like either one of two things, calcium and/or boron deficiency (they present very similar symptoms and can also occur in tandem), or Cucumber mosaic virus which infects a wide variety of plants and occasionally jumps to bananas.

Have you had healthy mature plants thrive and fruit in your exact location before, or are all of the plants you see it on new and young? I ask because if you've been able to have healthy vigorous plants growing in your location with your practices before, it's highly unlikely for a nutrient deficiency to randomly pop up (unless you introduced a new practice or additive to the soil), which would point to CMV potentially, whereas if they are all young plants and this is your first time growing then your soil may not be amended correctly for bananas.
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Old 12-04-2022, 05:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bunchy top paranoia

Thanks to everyone for your responses so far. Here are my responses to the comments:

Quote:
Originally Posted by all43 View Post
What is your feeding/ watering regime?
Pretty much n/a I pile arborist chips all around them and bury food scraps.


Quote:
Looks similiar to a mosiac type virus.
Do the other plants affected in your landscape include colocasia/alocasia perhaps?
I don't have any other affected plants in my landscape, but also don't have any colocasia/alocasia


Quote:
I have a few friends in Florida and never had bunchy top and have gotten a bunch of bananas from them and around no issues. Would be pretty rare for you to have it. If you feed to heavy or something is off in the soil that will happen…
I doubt I've been feeding too heavy. Just arborist chips and food scraps/coffee grounds. The other thing is that it happened all around the same time to bananas of different ages. Some 2 years old, some only a few months. All down my hedge and then the same symptoms started to appear in a banana further away in my front yard.


Quote:
BBTV isn't known to be present in FL, so if you had it you would be the first ever, which is extraordinarily unlikely.


In looking at your photos, you definitely do not have BBTV. To me it looks like either one of two things, calcium and/or boron deficiency (they present very similar symptoms and can also occur in tandem), or Cucumber mosaic virus which infects a wide variety of plants and occasionally jumps to bananas.

Have you had healthy mature plants thrive and fruit in your exact location before, or are all of the plants you see it on new and young? I ask because if you've been able to have healthy vigorous plants growing in your location with your practices before, it's highly unlikely for a nutrient deficiency to randomly pop up (unless you introduced a new practice or additive to the soil), which would point to CMV potentially, whereas if they are all young plants and this is your first time growing then your soil may not be amended correctly for bananas.
This happened to nearly all bananas growing in my hedge and one in the front yard too, farther away from the hedge. Some of the bananas were up to 2 years old and fine. They all started declining at the same time. My next door neighbor has had a mat of bananas in her backyard for years with no feeding or watering at all and is not affected. Her banana might as well be part of my (former) hedge. I think the odds that a nutrient deficiency popped up in different spots of my yard at the same time is pretty low.

I trust your judgment that it's not bunchy top. Thanks for setting my mind at ease.
Though much like bunchy top, it appears that CMV has no cure. Which brings me back to my original question. If I removed a banana that was infected with CMV, then touched mulch, and put that mulch on my new bananas, is that likely to spread the disease?
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Old 12-04-2022, 07:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bunchy top paranoia

If you had bunchy top and your neighbor has banana’s close to yours then she would have gotten it from you by now. As for transferring it from one plant to another with mulch. Your guess is as good as ours. When using tools and dealing with bug pest, fungus issues you can definitely transfer to another plant. But that’s trimming stuff with tools that will transfer it. Of course bugs also fly or crawl. Have you ever dug up one of the infected bananas and laid it on a tarp or something and gently looked over the rootball? You could even wash it off gently on a tarp to see if any bugs maybe got to the corm or roots. I had a large false banana decline on me one time out of nowhere. Dug it out and found holes all inside the stem. No other bananas affected. Could have been weevils which I doubt as didn’t effect anything else, maybe earwigs who knows.
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Old 12-05-2022, 03:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bunchy top paranoia

The other strong possibility I forgot to mention is herbicide damage. Have you or a neighbor potentially applied any herbicides near the plants within the last few months? I've had glyphosate drift damage bananas similarly before. Some herbicides such as dicamba are known to be highly volatile under certain conditions and can sometimes drift quite far from their original target and easily damage plants elsewhere.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVeggieProfessor View Post
f I removed a banana that was infected with CMV, then touched mulch, and put that mulch on my new bananas, is that likely to spread the disease?
No, it's mostly spread to bananas by aphids, it potentially could be spread mechanically if you cut into an infected plant with a tool and then cut a healthy plant, but less likely, and highly highly unlikely to be spread by mulch. But based on what you've described I'm leaning toward the herbicide drift possibility.
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Old 12-05-2022, 05:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bunchy top paranoia

are you feeding them cold coffee straight from the pot?
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Old 12-05-2022, 11:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bunchy top paranoia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe15 View Post
The other strong possibility I forgot to mention is herbicide damage. Have you or a neighbor potentially applied any herbicides near the plants within the last few months? I've had glyphosate drift damage bananas similarly before. Some herbicides such as dicamba are known to be highly volatile under certain conditions and can sometimes drift quite far from their original target and easily damage plants elsewhere.



No, it's mostly spread to bananas by aphids, it potentially could be spread mechanically if you cut into an infected plant with a tool and then cut a healthy plant, but less likely, and highly highly unlikely to be spread by mulch. But based on what you've described I'm leaning toward the herbicide drift possibility.
This is highly likely. The bananas were planted along a hedge and my neighbors on the other side are highly likely to have been spraying herbicides. They have a pyrythrum (sp?) spray marketed as mosquito repellent that sprays 3 times per day for 45 seconds. It really gets my goat...
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Old 12-05-2022, 11:23 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bunchy top paranoia

Quote:
Originally Posted by blownz281 View Post
If you had bunchy top and your neighbor has banana’s close to yours then she would have gotten it from you by now. As for transferring it from one plant to another with mulch. Your guess is as good as ours. When using tools and dealing with bug pest, fungus issues you can definitely transfer to another plant. But that’s trimming stuff with tools that will transfer it. Of course bugs also fly or crawl. Have you ever dug up one of the infected bananas and laid it on a tarp or something and gently looked over the rootball? You could even wash it off gently on a tarp to see if any bugs maybe got to the corm or roots. I had a large false banana decline on me one time out of nowhere. Dug it out and found holes all inside the stem. No other bananas affected. Could have been weevils which I doubt as didn’t effect anything else, maybe earwigs who knows.
When digging up infected plants, I never noticed anything. But I put them right out for bulk, I never left them on a tarp.

to beam: no, I am feeding them coffee grounds only. I keep a bowl on my counter and put coffee grounds, food scraps, shredded paper, etc. in there and bury under arborist chips when the bowl is full.
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