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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 09-28-2005, 07:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Different looking pups

Being fairly new to growing bananas, I'm not sure why some of my Pups on my second year group of Basjoos look rather strange. Their leaves are quite small and narrow compare to other pups. Some are over foot tall but all leaves are barely an inch wide. Should I remove them or will they over time develop into a normal plant?

I would appreciate any comments or advice.

Thanks
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Old 09-28-2005, 07:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Different looking pups

Those are sword suckers or sword pups. They are the best to use when propagation, they are the fastest growing type of pups. Congratulate yourself for having them. Sometimes these grows to over 4 ft in just a month, based on my actual experiences. The umbrella type pups, the ones with larger and bigger leaves, they grow slowly and usually smaller sized banana plants, trunk, or fruits/bunches.
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Old 09-29-2005, 07:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Different looking pups

Thanks JoeReal,

I thought I had some type of runt. When do you think it would be safe to separate it from the main plant?

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Old 09-29-2005, 09:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Different looking pups

Why are there different types of pups like this?

Will the same plant produce both kinds?

In my experience, it's either a sword pup, or the miniature adult pup kind, with wider leaves.
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Old 09-29-2005, 10:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Different looking pups

Most plants that produce suckers will tend to have these two kinds and some are in-between kinds though. Even asparagus, bamboos, and other rhizome producing monocots have this tendency.

Adaptation-wise, this is advantageous to the plant. The sword sucker type are best suited when there is competition around. The plant need not spend its resources on the leaves when its priority is to get as fast as possible to the sunlight, ensuring competitive edge in a denser environment. That is why this naturally happens when your banana mat is wider or the clump is denser, and that is why the sword type pups are designed to grow really fast with bigger sturdier trunks. The leaves will be formed when it gets a big headstart. Some varieties will have mostly sword sucker types though, even if the mat is not dense, perhaps these cultivars have adapted to the usually dense settings. Of course there are some advantages to the umbrella type pups in a very sparse setting. These pups are well ahead photosynthesizing very early on to help the plants gather more carbohydrates needed to form sword sucker type pups when it gets too crowded. I speculate that most dwarf types originated from umbrella type suckers when these sport mutations become etched into the plant's genes, but that is just my speculation.

I have removed sword sucker types of pups when they are just 1" tall, but that is almost a near laboratory condition. The best in my experience is to separate them when they are at least 1 to 3 ft tall at the trunk, depending on the variety, just before the leaves start to become bigger than 4" wide. This way, you don't need to trim off the leaves when transplanting them, They are the fastest growers among other types of pups as they were designed to be, from my explanation above.

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Old 09-29-2005, 10:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Different looking pups

You might be right about the genes starting to vary when different types of suckers are produced. Seems entirely logical that it could be how some of the dwarf types occur.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to explain that. I always wondered about the different types of suckers, and why they occur. I would speculate similar reasons, but it's good to hear it confirmed...

Thanks, Joe!
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Old 09-30-2005, 08:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Different looking pups

Thanks JoeReal for your expalantion, it was very informational. It is amazing that within the same clump both types of pups exist. Nature is wonderful!
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Old 09-30-2005, 08:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Different looking pups

Interesting. I have seen in several places where the sword pups are called water pups and that they aren't good for anything and to throw them away. People even fussed about people selling these pups.

Glad to know that they are OK to use.

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Old 09-30-2005, 09:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Different looking pups

They are more than OK to use. Not only speaking from my actual tested experience in the tropics and here, I also came across several scientific articles in very credible scientific journals discussing the merits and advantages of using the sword-sucker types of pups over the umbrella types. This is the practice done by most banana growers when replacing plants damaged in-situ as they grow very quickly. They grow several times faster than a the same height tissue-cultured plant, and also bloom much earlier, and with tremendously bigger bunches of fruit than either the tissue cultured plantlets or umbrella types of pups. Of course in time, the tissue cultured plants or umbrella types of pups will produce sword sucker pups of their own and after the clump has matured or mat has grown wider, the differences between the two types should no longer be noticeable except that the other one gets established much faster, perhaps 6 months to 2 years ahead.

When you take out sword sucker type of pup, make sure to chunk out with it, the biggest portion of mother corm that you can get away with, without dramatically damaging the mother plant (if it is still there in the clump).

Other people also confused the definition between sword-sucker, umbrella, and water types of pups and wouldn't know what they are throwing away.

Joe

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Old 09-30-2005, 11:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Different looking pups

Here is a "sword" Ice Cream pup.



Joe, how is that Raja doing for you?

Mike
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Old 05-21-2008, 02:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Different looking pups

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bananavilla View Post
Here is a "sword" Ice Cream pup.



Joe, how is that Raja doing for you?

Mike
is that large banana growing in a pot of sorts?
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