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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 10-05-2017, 11:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Can I get some advice about this Cavendish, which has just flowered?

I live in Katy, just west of Houston (zone 8b, I believe). Last winter, we had three nights in a row below 25F, and most of my (newly planted) garden froze.
So . . . I was not expecting this Cavendish (planted in April) to flower and fruit, but since it has, I have a few questions for you experts:
1. With 8 pups in the mat (4 inches-8 feet), do you think the fruit-I see one small hand of 4-5 fruit so far) will actually grow and mature? If this is a yes, I have more questions:
2. Should I eliminate some pups, and which ones?
3. Do I feed at this point?
4. The flower/fruit stem looks pretty sharply bent (2nd pic), but the pseudostem doesn't have much of a lean-at least not yet (pic 3). Should I try to prop the fruit?
5. The entire base of the mat is absolutely thick with ants. I have this issue throughout my garden along the fenceline, and some of the ants are herding aphids onto my hibiscus. Should I try to address the ants? I've read yeas and nays about that on the forum and am not sure what to do.
Thanks in advance for any answers you can share!
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Last edited by katykat : 10-05-2017 at 08:11 PM. Reason: Photos not posting right
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Can I get some advice about this Cavendish, which has just flowered?

it doesn't look to me to be a Cavendish. the small pups should have some red spots on their leaves. Also you can't grow outside zone 8a, under 50F it will start to die. At 25 would be frozen, getting yellow.
I suggest you cut the pups in small pots and baby them over the winter. Then next year you have more to plant.
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Old 10-06-2017, 03:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Can I get some advice about this Cavendish, which has just flowered?

Your banana is most definitely NOT a Cavendishii of any type. I personally would NEVER remove pups while fruit is developing or ripening. Rather late in the season to fertilize, seeing as your winters can get chilly. Bananas with few fruit can support their own bunches without support since few fruits = little weight. However, if not wind-protected, even a few fruit and the bud can catch wind and be damaged. Remove the flowering bud after the new blooms are no longer setting fruit but dropping off so that energy can be funneled to the ripening fruit and not the useless bud --- unless you plan to cook and eat the bud, but cutting it off to cook or eat, should occur after the LAST fruit has set. Good Luck!

Last edited by Mark Anthony Phair : 10-06-2017 at 03:33 AM. Reason: spell-check is wrong
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Can I get some advice about this Cavendish, which has just flowered?

Wow-it was marked Cavendish at the big box store, and since they're so common it didn't occur to me that it might not be. Any idea what it is?
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I get some advice about this Cavendish, which has just flowered?

It's likely a nam wah. they take the cold rather well. A Cavendish would be struggling in the cool temps.
I would just leave it alone. It doen't look like its taken any damage from the cold, so it might be in a bit of a protected spot.
Maybe you'll luck out and get it to ripen a bunch.
If not, would still leave it, and the pups should fruit earlier next year for you.
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Can I get some advice about this Cavendish, which has just flowered?

I am also getting a fruit bunch on one of my Namwah similar sized than yours right now. As we do get cold temperatures down to 28F usually in December, I am trying to get the fruits as filled in as possible by then. A little extra potassium might help.
When the last hand of fruits has developed, I cut of the inflorescence and wrap the entire fruit bunch in a banana solar bag to speed up the process of filling in and ripening. I had good success doing that in past years especially on varities like Namwah which can be harvested a little premature anyways to prevent splitting of the skin.
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Old 10-07-2017, 03:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Can I get some advice about this Cavendish, which has just flowered?

I am not so sure if the freezing will not kill her banana. Namwah is a banana native to Northern Thailand/Laos/Cambodia and over there indeed temperatures drop to 35F during the night. I spend myself the winters over there and I have many Namwahs that grow well. What I noticed about their climate is that when is cold, it's also very dry. Then I was thinking where they get the water. Well during the winter over there, every morning it's a dense fog which leaves droplets of water everywhere.
So I suggest don't water souch during cold, misting water in the morning it's better. I suggest you cut 2 pups just in case you have a strong freeze. Then you have same spare banana.
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Old 10-07-2017, 07:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Can I get some advice about this Cavendish, which has just flowered?

Here is how young 4 months Dwarf Cavendish leaves look like
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I get some advice about this Cavendish, which has just flowered?

Build a temporary greenhouse over it with PVC pipe and plastic sheeting, and a few light bulbs to provide heat, and the nights below 40F.
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Can I get some advice about this Cavendish, which has just flowered?

Quote:
Originally Posted by anita View Post
I am not so sure if the freezing will not kill her banana. Namwah is a banana native to Northern Thailand/Laos/Cambodia and over there indeed temperatures drop to 35F during the night. I spend myself the winters over there and I have many Namwahs that grow well. What I noticed about their climate is that when is cold, it's also very dry. Then I was thinking where they get the water. Well during the winter over there, every morning it's a dense fog which leaves droplets of water everywhere.
So I suggest don't water souch during cold, misting water in the morning it's better. I suggest you cut 2 pups just in case you have a strong freeze. Then you have same spare banana.
Thanks for your comments about the morning fog confirming the natural misting of banana plants. About a year ago when I suggested to a few new forum members with plant/transplant problems or potted house banana plants to start daily misting a few forum nay-Sayers were commenting mist was of no value. ... Anyway a couple of the new members tried misting and reported immediate improvements. I believe the value of misting has been proven and any arguments against has since died.

I mist my nanas daily in the morning and late evening; And, if the temps are hot and dry at mid day, too.
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Can I get some advice about this Cavendish, which has just flowered?

Quote:
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Here is how young 4 months Dwarf Cavendish leaves look like

Wow ... that way more wine markings than I've ever seen on a cadvendish. Please post a couple of pic of the enter pup from different angles.
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Old 10-08-2017, 02:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Can I get some advice about this Cavendish, which has just flowered?

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I mist my nanas daily in the morning and late evening; And, if the temps are hot and dry at mid day, too.
Yes under mist and high humidity ( 80% rh), bananas grow nice without any leave injury. However they are more prone to pests, bacteria and fungi.
The best is to have an automatic mist system (which you can buy for $50-70) and set it at 6 am, and mist for ever 5 minutes for 2 hours, this is only when the temperature is over 75F.
I don't recommend misting during the hot day, because the water goes inside the plant where it get very hot, boiling it inside out.
And in the evening it might be a problem during the night that the water attracts pests. Of course if the weather is dry then it's not a problem.

Also if you want to have a nice foliage then incorporate in your misting a amino nitrogen fertilizer (preferably organic), it will make your leaves green. Most of the growers have yellowish-green leaves because of poor nitrogen absorption.
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Old 10-08-2017, 03:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Can I get some advice about this Cavendish, which has just flowered?

I put more pictures with some Dwarf Cavendish.
This is an original genetic line. The problem is tissue culture, in particular the micropropagation technique. The culture is made out of a mature corm, and subcultured several times but not more than 4-5 times. In practice many tissue laboratories to make money faster they multiply them many times and don't grow mature plants as a source of original genetic plant (also cheaper solutions and addition of high doses of growth hormones).So in time the DNA gets damaged and many plants get what seems to be variegated mutants.
Here is my banana collection: https://www.facebook.com/pg/plantetr...31716860184134

This is a small pup I just transplanted.


Here is a 1 year old plant. It's small because of the pot.
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