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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 01-30-2009, 09:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

I bought this beautiful little pup from Steven (MiamiMax on eBay, Varig8 here at the org) and it arrived yesterday.

Here is the pup when it arrived:





I potted it up temporarily last night and re-potted it today in a mix of about 60% perlite, 25% Supersoil potting soil, and 15% worm castings. I put in some wire supports and bagged it to create mini-greenhouse to help prevent the leaves drying out until roots become established. It now looks like this:



I've got it in my warm house in a bay window that gets morning sunlight and moderate light most of the day.

Any thoughts on helping improve it's chance for survival? I thought of putting it on a heated propagation mat, but don't know how helpful that will be since my home already stays 70F or above.

Thanks,

Harvey
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

I guess let it get established a bit and start feeding it potassium like jordan steele does with the ae ae?
very nice looking plant. does he sell ae ae and for how much?
or maybe i should just wait till chris rollins has to break down the ae ae in the asian greenhouse. its a ridiculous monster of a plant but im impatient!
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Steven does have Ae Ae but he usually sells most of his stuff on eBay so the sky is the limit there. He did tell me that he's very pleased at what a strong grower this is and that the Ae Ae is much more touchy and he plans to make less of an effort with the Ae Ae.

If you could get one from Rollins, that would be your best deal for sure!

I did put a small amount of slow release fertilizer in this pot, but will wait until it shows signs of growth before fertilizing it.
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Harvey, do you have something to roughly gauge the humidity in that tent? Last year I was surprised to see a small rectangular pocket watch in Long's drug store that also gives temperature and humidity readings. It was a big $4.

Anyway, keeping the humidity between 55% and 75% is a good idea. Of course it will be in the low 90's right after watering.

On a more basic scale, if you take good care of the corm it will take care of the leaves. If your house temperature is around 70 F and doesn't drop below 55 F then it is in tropical paradise. The lighting you have is moderate, so you need to be very moderate with water and any nutrients.

Make sure the water is appropriate for such an awesome plant.

For nutrients, I believe you have truckloads of triple-15 at your farm. Use a teaspoon per month until May. More ideally, use a 1/4 teaspoon of water-soluble 20-5-30 per gallon on a continuous feeding schedule, or perhaps you have some orchard food with similar ratios?
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Thanks, Richard. I hadn't thought of measuring the humidity but I do have an extra weather unit and can put the outdoor sensor in the pot very easily. I was figuring I would just watch for droplets of water on the bag to gauge excess humidity, but the sensor will be an easy method.

I plan on being very careful on the watering for sure.

This new banana is sitting right next to a Logee Dwarf Ladyfinger I bought a couple of 6-8 weeks ago. It has 6-7 new leaves since I got it and doing very well, though it does show signs of low humidity. That's what gave me the idea of making the tent.

The plant does have it made in my house as we keep it warm since I get natural gas for free (for my house only). People have suggested on adding a sunroom onto the house but I haven't quite figured out where I could put one. Then I'd have to talk my wife into it.

My orchard soil is high in P and I put K on in the fall, so I mostly fertilize with N during the growing season. I have plenty of bags of various fertilizers, though. My other bananas have done well on the combination of fertilizers I've used, but I have not been very precise with these things I'll readily admit.

Thanks again,

Harvey
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Nice looking pup! Any idea which species it might be?
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

No I don't, Brent. Steven's original blew over in a hurricane but he has a friend with one in bloom now so we'll soon know if it's edible or not.

Steven told me it's a strong grower and he grows it in full sun. Since he's in zone 10 or so, he's got no idea as too cold hardiness. I picked this up as I've become addicted to pretty plants.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Quote:
Originally Posted by harveyc View Post
No I don't, Brent. Steven's original blew over in a hurricane but he has a friend with one in bloom now so we'll soon know if it's edible or not.
If you could get a hold of a photo of the inflorescence it would likely be easy to tell if its a wild species or an edible variety.
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Okay, Gabe, I'll e-mail Steven and ask if he can get a photo to me. Thanks.

In the last 24 hours my little tent greenhouse has ranged from 69F to 89F and humidity has ranged from 50% to 80%. Right now it is 59.8F and 65% and looks happy.
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Old 02-07-2009, 12:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Okay, I've had this tiny pup for a little over a week and I'm concerned as the leaves are getting brown spots and the small stem as well. I've kept the bag on it and humidity has usually been about 60-65%. I haven't watered it but the soil is still damp. Maybe I should have used more than 60% perlite? I'm thinking the soil might be too wet and it's rotting. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 02-07-2009, 01:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Hi Harvey, if the roots are rotting, how about some hydrogen peroxide?
I bought a TC RajaPuri & Siam Ruby 2 1/2 months ago in 2 inch pots. I potted them in 5 inch pots & put them in my west bay window. S. R. lost leaves w/ color but grew 4 healthy green leaves (not enough sun for color) as did R.P. I know the top of sill is cold & room is 66-68* w/ 30% humidity but they are doing fine. I water very little - enough to keep from drying. I will put them in a lrg zip lock with a towel under for protection from the cold sill & they should take off (after reading what you wrote). It will give them a good start for spring.
Just letting you know mine are doing fine even though I was MEAN to them compared to you LOL.
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Old 02-07-2009, 01:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

yeah sometimes being to cautious and careful is not good...i know from experience...like i babies all my first plants and would freak at the very sign of brown spots or anyhthing for that matter.....but....now i slice pups pot em up water them and let them do there thing :P they seem to respond well!!!
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Old 02-07-2009, 01:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Ya know Harvey, the first pic shows the leaves are a little brown - from what I can see. My 1st 3 leaves turned brown & died off, but new ones came in fine.
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

My guess is that it is due to shipping shock. As Patty said, future leaves will be the telltale of a happy plant. Stay the course and keep doing what you were. Judge it by the new growth. I would just keep an eye on it for rot on the new leaves. Gradually let more air to them each day now. One week of hardening should be enough to recover.
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:13 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Thanks, all. I came up with an idea tonight and sleep on it. If I implement it tomorrow, I'll post it here. I may just very well establish a new protocol for handling small pups!

Not of caution: I shared my idea with Pete tonight and he thinks it's a good idea, so that has me a bit scared. LOL
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:27 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Quote:
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Thanks, all. I came up with an idea tonight and sleep on it. If I implement it tomorrow, I'll post it here. I may just very well establish a new protocol for handling small pups!

Not of caution: I shared my idea with Pete tonight and he thinks it's a good idea, so that has me a bit scared. LOL
Anxious to hear about your idea Harvey. Do let me know, please.
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Okay, here's the strategy I've developed. I figure if the roots are having trouble with rot, it would be good to get them more air. I could remove the plant from the soil and increase the percentage of perlite but I'd prefer not to disturb the plant any more than absolutely necessary. At the same time, I was wondering if CO2 levels might get too high in the "tent". Thinking back to a university hydroponics experiment back a little over 30 years ago (yikes, I'm old!), I decided to purchase an aquarium air pump and use it to aerate the soil. I purchased a cheap (little over $5 at WalMart) pump rated at 1200cc/minute pump. I used air stones to help distribute the air and prevent plugging of the tubbing and placed three stones up through the bottom drain holes of the pot and taped them in to help prevent air flowing right back out of the bottom. I then placed a poly bag over the bottom and taped it at the top to further prevent air from flowing out the bottom. My hopes is that this will aerate the soil, reduce risk of rot, stimulate root growth, and increase oxygen in the air of the bag. As long as the soil is moist, this should also increase humidity. Total cost of this experiment was about $11.

The humidity level in the tent as 65% before removing the banana from the pot but dropped to 42% as soon as I removed it. About 10 minutes after pumping air with the tent back on, it's up to 55%.

Let's see if this helps! Any thoughts on this would be most welcome. I thought my cat wouldn't go for the idea as the pump is about a foot from where she sleeps but she didn't budge. LOL



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Old 02-08-2009, 08:25 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Thanks Harvey, sounds logical. Should prove interesting to follow the progress. Keep us posted please.
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:49 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Well, this will be interesting to follow!

If it were my plant I'd remove it and check for rot, clean if needed, let it dry some, then apply some fungicide/rooting hormone before replanting in some sterile media. If the rot has already started it won't matter how much air you pass over the roots.
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:07 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Thanks, Mitchel. From some things I've related to "brewing" actively aerated compost tea, harmful bacteria is most often grown in anerobic conditions so I believe that aeration would decrease or stop the spread of rot even if it has started. Since the pup had some fairly small roots to begin with, I'm afraid I'd break those off easily by removing it from the soil. I suppose I could wash the soil away.

I have not heard of the use of rooting hormone on banana pups. Have you used it?

Thanks for the ideas!
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