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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 06-25-2013, 03:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How easy it is to grow bananas from seed?

I want to try growing bananas from seed and am looking for help.....

I've read a lot on this forum from those that have grown and are growing bananas from seed. I have also searched other forums and websites but get conflicting information......some say it is easy and other say "notoriously difficult" unless you live in tropical zones - I'm in zone 8B on the west coast of Canada.

Is there anything special or required to grow them here? Will the success rate be worth trying?

I see several varieties of cold hardy bananas that are available as seeds and I love to trying growing them.

Thanks!
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How easy it is to grow bananas from seed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmurphy View Post
I want to try growing bananas from seed and am looking for help.....

I've read a lot on this forum from those that have grown and are growing bananas from seed. I have also searched other forums and websites but get conflicting information......some say it is easy and other say "notoriously difficult" unless you live in tropical zones - I'm in zone 8B on the west coast of Canada.

Is there anything special or required to grow them here? Will the success rate be worth trying?

I see several varieties of cold hardy bananas that are available as seeds and I love to trying growing them.

Thanks!
How easy is it to germinate banana seed ?
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How easy it is to grow bananas from seed?

I purchased five seeds of two varities two years ago. Followed instructions,scraped the seeds,floated planted in starter soil and pots, labeled, placed on a heater mat. Few months, no luck. Ten seeds. Chunked them all in my raised flower bed to discard. Two months later noticed one each had germinated. Retrieved and replanted. Success! I have six hands of Bassjoo fruit now I am going to try to extract seed and germinate this year. Will see how this goes.
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How easy it is to grow bananas from seed?

Once the seed are of species bananas (basjoo, itinerans, balbisiana, acuminata, laterita etc..) and were collected off fully developed ripe fruit; you'd likely have no problems germinating.

I soak dry seed for 1 week in 1 inch of water (frequent water changes) then sow in light soil and cover with 1/4 inch clean fine compost.

You can't be impatient. In the wild, bananas wait for treefalls and monsoons to trigger germination... they sometimes wait until they are "sure" nature isn't playing a trick on them (premature rains that sputter and fail, for example).

Some species (e.g balbisiana) start to push up coleoptiles within a month... other germinate sporadically after months.

Water generously, keep soil warm (85deg F is nice) and let some light shine on the tray of set seeds.

Be patient.

Keep conditions clean; don't over-water after germination - bacteria and fungi are lurking... and can make mush of your seedlings...

I like to prick out seedlings and transplant early - as early as the coleoptile stage. I use a spoon as a dibber so I can get the whole infant root system without breakage (a broken root or mangled leaf serves as an entry point for pathogens).

Believe it or not...I don't use fungicides etc... and my nursery operations are totally organic... but it works!

The hard part will be the first overwintering (caveat - I garden in the Tropics; so I'm not an expert at overwintering bananas)... because the young plant's corm system will be not as developed or as robust as one obtained from a sucker or pup planted out at the same time as a seedling.

Well, that's all!


shannon

shannon.di.corse@gmail.com

Last edited by shannondicorse : 06-26-2013 at 07:16 PM. Reason: punctuation
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