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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 08-22-2014, 03:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Male bud: to cut or not to cut?

I notice backyard growers on this site cut the male bud off, while others don't.

Is there a rule on when or if to cut the male bud off?


Here are some that stop producing hands/fingers and are in limbo



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Old 08-22-2014, 04:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Male bud: to cut or not to cut?

As long as its blooming the honey bee gets the nectar from them.
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Old 08-22-2014, 06:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Male bud: to cut or not to cut?

I cut the male bud off as soon as it passes the last hand, ideally. The main benefit that I get is that the fruits attain greater length and diameter. I also will have fewer peel blemishes. My rule is male bud + bottom hand unless I don't feel that I have the leaves to fill out as many hands as I have (i.e. a 10 hand bunch with only 5 functional leaves). I also bag my bananas, but I don't bag my plantains even though I go through the same process.
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Old 08-22-2014, 06:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Male bud: to cut or not to cut?

very nice what banana is it?
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Male bud: to cut or not to cut?

If you cut it off, leave about 12" below the last banana. The stem can dry up, and if it dries up past the bananas, they are lost.
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Male bud: to cut or not to cut?

Hey Jon --- nice to hear you're still around. I used to do the 8 to 10 inch thing but stopped. With the rain and humidity here in S FL drying up is no problem. I do what Nick said now. Less mess to clean up too.
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Old 08-23-2014, 04:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Male bud: to cut or not to cut?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pitangadiego View Post
If you cut it off, leave about 12" below the last banana. The stem can dry up, and if it dries up past the bananas, they are lost.
I've seen videos showing some commercial growers pruning off some hands, but leaving a finger or two at the very end of the rachis where they cut off the rest of the rachis and male bud. So there is a length of bare rachis between the last complete hand and the final finger(s) at the tip. I think the idea is leaving those fingers keeps the sap flowing and the rachis won't dry up and get infected with fungus that moves up the rachis. I've tried this a couple of times now and so far so good.

All the tall ones I just leave the male bud on because I can't bothered to get out a tall enough ladder to cut it off.

Can't say I've noticed a big difference if I leave the male bell on or cut it off. But pruning female hands does seem to result in bigger fingers on the remaining hands, as has been mentioned many times here and elsewhere.
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Old 08-23-2014, 07:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Male bud: to cut or not to cut?

From a physiological perspective, all the carbohydrates that would have gone into the making a rachis or filling that bottom hand are shunted into the remaining fingers. On some varieties there may be 5 lbs of rachis and bud at harvest. Those five pounds would better serve me in the fruit.
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Male bud: to cut or not to cut?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-Giants View Post
There are many studies showing that removing the male bud makes no difference on bunch or fruit size, so it basically comes down to a personal choice.
My very limited research of the scientific literature supports this statement.

One caveat is that some studies do find a beneficial (but small) effect of removing the male bud, but whether there is a benefit depends on cultivar and growing conditions. So, if one of us was growing Namwah in California and someone else was growing Gros Michel in Hawaii, removing the bud might have different effects.
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Male bud: to cut or not to cut?

Let it hang...... It adds to its manliness
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:00 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Male bud: to cut or not to cut?

I've read the best reason to keep the male bud is if you aren't sure of the cultivar in which case it and the male flowers can help in identifying it. Moot point if you're sure what it is.
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Male bud: to cut or not to cut?

I cut mine off because my Thai friends are usually standing there drooling wanting it to make a salad that they love to eat out of it!
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Old 09-25-2014, 03:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Male bud: to cut or not to cut?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaczercat View Post
very nice what banana is it?
I wish I Knew she's a short stocky blackish p-stem)

I ened up chopping off the bud. She's starting to lean heavily

I'm Sure the bud is not the main factor but it had to go..




Thank all for your input.


Btw, when is the right time to "trim" off under developed hands iN order for the other hands to reap the beniFits ?
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:04 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Male bud: to cut or not to cut?

Looks like Dwarf Cavendish.

Trim off the male flowers ("under developed hands") now if you want, but there are probably few if any benefits in doing so. They won't grow, so are not using carbohydrates that could fill fruit.
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