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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 05-08-2006, 08:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question New leaves getting soggy brown edges?!

Hi All,

I have recently purchased 2 Basjoos, about 3' high each, and I have a Cavendish I picked up on a road trip to the Florida Keys last fall, and two small bananas I got at a local nursery which look like Dwarf Cavendish.

Everything is in pots, since I'm in Northern New Jersey, and spring is unusually cold this year (we hit 38 degrees 2 nights ago), so I'm taking them outside in the daytime when the temp is above 65.

Since putting them in their pots each new leaf has soggy brown areas along the edges which curl easily and feels very delicate compared to the rest of the leaf, and then finally turns crispy in the sun. My most recent leaf on the Cavendish is opening with a funny bell shape, a slight reddish tint on areas of the the underside, and possibly not quite as big as the last one.

I'm using a mix of 1/3 soil mixture, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 perlite. I've just started lightly fertilizing this week (the basjoos only so far) with tomato food (close to 20-20-20 I think)

My guess is that the plants aren't getting enough nutrition out of the mix they are in but I want some advice before I do anything else-

Do you think I should fertilize more, or could anyone recommend a good soil mix for potting that might be available in NJ suburbs? Or could it be something else altogether?

Thanks for your help, this is a great site for info!

~Joe
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New leaves getting soggy brown edges?!

Sounds to me like they might be getting a little sunburned. This happens when they are getting very little or just indirect sun, then are moved to direct sun. Just make sure to place them out in the same area each time and they should adjust.
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Old 05-08-2006, 04:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New leaves getting soggy brown edges?!

Hey Joe. This will often happen when a plant is newly transplanted. As mentioned, it can be from sunburn, but more often, I get this when I water too much, or add too much fertilizer to a newly transplanted plant. They just dont have sufficient roots to deal with the moisture and fertilizer. If I were you, Id move to a more shaded location, watch my watering, and be careful about fertilizing. The old yarn about "you cant overwater nor overfeed a banana" just doesnt apply to newly transplanted material. Adult plants yes, juvies no.
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Old 05-08-2006, 10:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New leaves getting soggy brown edges?!

Let the plants settle in before feeding them. When you have a couple good new leaves, then it is time to push them, as they are showing signs of good root development in their new home. When growth is active, add all the compost, manure, fertilize, water you want.
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Old 05-10-2006, 12:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New leaves getting soggy brown edges?!

Thanks for the advice, guys, much appreciated!

I'm gonna put them in more shade instead of full sun, watch the water, and leave them alone for a bit, I'll probably do more damage than good if I repot them again so soon. That is if NJ would warm up a bit... its gonna be in the low 60's all week!

Regards,

~Joe
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Old 05-10-2006, 12:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New leaves getting soggy brown edges?!

Yes, I often do more damage by trying to correct a problem than anything else. Especially with bananas, once they settle in well, they really take off. But, I always seem to forget this and try to 'hurry' them along too early in the season. Too much water or fertilizer ruins more plants than the opposite in my yard. And, 'Diego is right: we have a distinct lack of humidity here in AZ, which complicates things. Allow some new leaves to grow out. Until then, cut way back on fertilizer, and DONT overwater, especially as your temps arent very conducive to a lot of water right now. In fact, as long as the high temps dont go above 85, some drying out of the soil shouldnt hurt the young plants.
Frankly, Ive got a few plants in my greenhouse right now that are double the size of others that are in the yard, even though they are the same age (TC'd plants). The ones in the greenhouse have been neglected almost entirely, with no fertilizer, too little water and only a higher humidity to their advantage over the ones that are outdoors. And, as I said, they look twice as healthy and vigorous.
Bananas are great for us ADD gardeners, but only when theyve attained sufficient size to withstand our attentions!
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