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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 04-19-2009, 10:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Grouping... wait for pups or plant several?

When a person buys a banana, it's a single stalk/plant. How long does it take to create pups (say in the Dallas area) and how many pups are created on a single plant? When you want a grouping of bananas, would you advise to plant several or wait until it puts out pups? How large of an area will one plant cover?
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grouping... wait for pups or plant several?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gardener972 View Post
When a person buys a banana, it's a single stalk/plant. How long does it take to create pups (say in the Dallas area) and how many pups are created on a single plant? When you want a grouping of bananas, would you advise to plant several or wait until it puts out pups? How large of an area will one plant cover?
Well, to start with something you didn't ask at all. You come from the zone 7b/8a, I guess that's because some winters are just tougher than other. I live in Europe (central continental climate, river delta) and I would rate my zone to the same, as you have. To even start thinking about growing bananas, you have to ascertain 2 main questions:

- Do you want to grow ornamental bananas or edible bananas?
- More importantly, how do you imagine winter protection?

After answering these 2 questions, you can think about creating a space for the bananas. As you are in the zone 7b/8a, I would advice some drier place with lots of sun during the day.
The problem, as you can see, is, that you will have difficulties growing the bananas without any protection. You can do something like this or you can try to overwinter them outside.
Some varieties like Musa basjoo (ORN), Musella lasiocarpa (ORN), Musa sikkimensis (ORN) and many others are said to be quite hardy (up to -5°C without protection - pseudostem) and they are also gorwn in zones rated below 7 (with protection in winter of course), so if you are not that much into edible bananas, this might be your plant.

To answer your question: Bananas are with good weather (milder and hotter summers) like weed, they grow pretty fast and make lots of offshots. Some varieties more than others. If you want to have your banana corner ready this year or the next one, you will probably have to buy some more plants. But you can also wait about three years, by that time, the banana will have grown, had a flower, some offshots and fruit.
Seeded varieties can then be propagated by seeds (which should give you lots of new plants), but it's all a matter of 3-4 years at least. It all depends on how long are you willing to wait. But consider also, that some banana plants, if overwintered outside, may not survive and wil die out, especially in our zones.

Good luck
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Grouping... wait for pups or plant several?

I'm being realistic and growing them strictly for foliage though I WISH I could have fruit. Even a flower would be nice! There are quite a lot of banana growers here in the Dallas area... perhaps I should stop at someone's house and knock on their door to quiz them!
As for winter, I plan to cover them during our rainy winters so they don't rot.
You said "lots of offshoots"... ??? three, four, eight, twelve???
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grouping... wait for pups or plant several?

It is very dependent on variety. Misi Luki has lots of pups, Sweetheart seems to have very few. Popoulu and African Rhinohorn don't size up thier pups till the parent flowers, and then Popoulu had a few and Rhinohorn had about 50. Rose makes hundreds, Fhia 17 and 19 only a couple.

Obviously general health and nutrition also play a role.
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Grouping... wait for pups or plant several?

Musa Basjoo?
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Old 04-20-2009, 02:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Grouping... wait for pups or plant several?

My basjoo, in z7, had 3 pups the first season I planted her. The next season -8 pups. This year...who knows? Siam Ruby and Musella lasiocarpa are known for heavy puping too.
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grouping... wait for pups or plant several?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saltydad View Post
My basjoo, in z7, had 3 pups the first season I planted her. The next season -8 pups. This year...who knows? Siam Ruby and Musella lasiocarpa are known for heavy puping too.
the siams love to pup i got one its 6 inches high with 6 pups already all about 3 inches tall
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grouping... wait for pups or plant several?

Thanks for your imput guys, Im learning a lot from you.
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Old 04-20-2009, 06:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Grouping... wait for pups or plant several?

Saltydad, is that your basjoo in your picture?
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Old 04-20-2009, 06:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Grouping... wait for pups or plant several?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gardener972 View Post
Saltydad, is that your basjoo in your picture?
Yes indeed. If you look at the same picture in my gallery, you'll note that there are a sikkim, a lasiocarpa and a SR behind the basjoo clump, which is in front of my pond.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grouping... wait for pups or plant several?

i would plant in groups if your loking for large bunches of fruit the plant will compete with each other for nutreins but ornamentals i dont see a problem with it i plant all mine close together for looks
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grouping... wait for pups or plant several?

wouldn't lol i need spell check on here
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Grouping... wait for pups or plant several?

Just how close is "close together"?

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Old 05-03-2009, 04:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Grouping... wait for pups or plant several?

We are in our 2nd season of growing a Musa Bajoo outdoors here in the Atlanta area. We thought we had lost it over the winter after I though my wife had cut it too lowin preparation of last winter. To our surprise, we saw new growth this spring with one pup! What do we do with it? I was wondering if we should try to separate and move it or will it do okay so close to the main stalk?
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Grouping... wait for pups or plant several?

I'd let it be; the plant knows what it is doing.
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:46 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Grouping... wait for pups or plant several?

I'd let it be; the plant knows what it is doing.

The only time I cut out a pup is to pot it for overwintering insurance or to give it away.
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