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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 11-19-2005, 12:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Indoor bananas and bugs!

Banana!

Last month I brought all of my potted bananas (9 or so) indoors and dug and potted my two Basjoo's so I could keep them all growing during the winter. I'm beginning to think I may have made a mistake. I have been battling spider mites, and now, aphids in my bananas and worry that the infestation may move to my other regular house plants. If I had only a couple of plants I think this situation might be more manageable with an occasional application of insecticidal Pyrethrine spray. I'm considering using a systemic in the Basjoos since I won't eat the fruit.

I think next year I will force the plants into dormancy and store in a cool dark room. Considering all of the bugs, this might be much, much easier to deal with.

Any thoughts out there?

Troy
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Old 11-26-2005, 11:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Indoor bananas and bugs!

Hi Troy,

If your aphid infected plants are small enough , a good strong stream of very warm water in the tub will knock most of them off ,then a good fogging with a house/garden pyretherin spray should wipe out survivors. Only FOG the area, not direct the bug spray right onto the plants.

( I do this fogging in the plant room every week or two during the winter and seldom have mites. Never have them in the Summer when the plants are all outdoors.)

Aphids were non existent to me until this Summer , a plant trade brought some in but they are a lot more easily controlled than dem dang Mites.

If to try to use a systemic read the label and make sure it will kill the critters you are fighting. Not too many will kill mites. It takes a week or so for a systemic to get fully active into the plant.

Just my input, I've been gardening many years but only over one year into growing bananas.
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Old 11-27-2005, 07:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Indoor bananas and bugs!

I don't know if my experience is typical or not, but I used a pyrethrin-based spray (Rootenone) for my citrus trees and every banana that got any on them got burned. Not sure if I just mixed it too strong or what, but it took a solid month for the plants to recover.
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Old 11-27-2005, 09:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Question Re: Indoor bananas and bugs!

Hmmmm , I was not aware that Rootenone made an insect spray.

Avoid the human emotion of 'more is better' when mixing chemicals or any thing else. Measure carefully and only spray early or late in the day to avoid sun scald .

Seems to me that nanas are real sensitive to chemicals maybe?

I had some over spray cause spots on the banana leaves even though it was a very mild mix for another type of plant.

I am mostly organic here and control insects by diversifying my plantings and by growing plants here & there specifically for chewing insects.

Ooops, rambling on again, sorry

JM 2¢ worth from a newer musa addict
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Old 11-27-2005, 10:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Indoor bananas and bugs!

Sorry, my bad. NatureGard is the brand and it is Rotenone-Pyrethrin Spray. It's a concentrated suspension, actually, that you dilute to spray. It came with the house, along with a huge selection of great gardening stuff (oils, thuricide,dipel, jersey greensand, etc) Works extremely well on just about every bug I have seen (esp. ants) but it I think I mixed it a bit strong.
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Old 11-27-2005, 04:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Indoor bananas and bugs!

Yup I looked it up. Sounds like some good stuff.

Later, S.
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Old 11-29-2005, 08:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Indoor bananas and bugs!

In my greenhouse, it seems that the bugs come back unless you rotate sprays. Use one spray one week, and a totally different one the next. That way, any that were resistant to the first one, they will get killed by the next one. That helps to keep your mites and aphids from becoming resistant. I had decided that bananas weren't worth the effort to try to even keep over winter potted until I discovered that. I kept spraying the same spray over and over and wondering why the mites kept coming back. Even if you use a systemic spray or fertilizer/killer combo, your resistant mites will multiply anyway because they aren't affected.
One spray I found that really kills bananas fast is an oil based spray. There are a lot of home made recipes floating out on the net for some , don't use them, they burn every leaf off your plants.
I hope this helps everyone and I wish some one had told me this 3 years ago!
Sandy
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Old 11-29-2005, 10:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Indoor bananas and bugs!

Soft bodied insects cannot (still possible but highly improbable) develop resistance to oil sprays. The oil sprays do not poison the insects but they physcially by "drowning" the insects in the oil. Since not all plant parts can be sprayed with oil, insects will always rebound and you will always have to spray.

For insecticide chemicals, it is wise to rotate different groups of families of chemicals rather than different brands of insecticides. So check the active ingredients chemicals, make sure they are vastly different than each other per rotation. It would also be good to always regularly use horticultural oil or ultrafine oil in between different insecticide type rotations.
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Old 12-03-2005, 09:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Indoor bananas and bugs!

At the end of the summer, my Ice Cream was litterally infested by spider mites.

I began fogging water on it with a hand sprayer every time I thought about it, at least twice a day. After 2 weeks there were almost no mites left, and after 1 month absolutely no mites at all. I only used water at room temperature.
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Old 12-05-2005, 08:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Indoor bananas and bugs!

Thanks everyone for loads of excellent suggestions!

I was wondering also if there was a product that could be applied to the leaves that woud deter/prevent spider mites from ever taking hold. I noticed several other plants in the house don't have any mites at all. Maybe they have a natural defense from these pests. Again, Neem oil, horticultural grade oil?

This site is fantastic.
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Indoor bananas and bugs!

Neem and other oils should be used following directions at best. Over use of oils can suffocate the plant.


I have an organic oil spray recipe I have used for years but being oil based , if used to heavily , I have seen die back of growing points .

Still, all in all , spraying the leaves with water , daily , on both sides of the leaves is still the best general method .

IMO , one of the best chemical mite killers is AVID but this should never be used near any food stuff or water run off because of it's toxicity
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