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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 03-30-2011, 08:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Is this normal?

Hello all.

New to banana growing and just wanted some advice. Last spring I planted an ice cream banana pup that was about 20" tall. It was placed in a new bed that was filled with rotted tree trimmings from a local power company and rabbit manure. The plant is on a water timer and was fed regularly. The plant grew great, went from a pup to 9 feet tall (pseudostem height excluding leaves) in less than a year and has a 30" base diameter. I also kept two of it's pups and they are both large now.

This past winter it got cold here in central Florida, we had 2-3 nights in the mid to upper 20's which killed the leaves. Once it warmed up the plants started to grow again but the oldest plant is not growing like the pups. The leaves on the pups look normal but on the main plant it has so far pushed 3 leaves. Each leaf is smaller than the previous one, this 3rd leaf is really small and they are taking a lot longer to turn green.
Is this normal???


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Old 03-30-2011, 08:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is this normal?

It may be normal, given the stress that it endured last winter. At this point it it going to be what it is going to be. It may have been so stressed that it doesn't have the vigor it would ordinarily have.

BTW I have never seen a banana anywhere near 2-1/2 feet in diameter - that would be something for the record books - maybe 30" circumference.
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is this normal?

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Originally Posted by pitangadiego View Post
vigor would
Thank you for pointing out my mistake, and I returned the favor. Yes I meant circumference at the base.

I guess I thought the corm was in control and because all three are on the same corm should be about the same. If it was due to say cold the plant with the larger CIRCUMFERENCE should be better protected from the cold penetrating. I guess I just don't understand the mechanics of the plant and that is why I asked the experts and hoping someone who has experience with cold damage might be able to shed some light.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is this normal?

Wills, I don't understand the physics or biology of it either, but it seems that pups are usually more vigorous than the mother plant -- when the mother was the original planting. For example, the first pup ("first ratoon crop") almost always gets taller than the mother plant. You can see many examples of this in the data on MGIS:

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In my local nursery, you can see many cases where the mother stem died before blooming, yet the pups seem quite healthy.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is this normal?

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Wills, I don't understand the physics or biology of it either, but it seems that pups are usually more vigorous than the mother plant -- when the mother was the original planting. For example, the first pup ("first ratoon crop") almost always gets taller than the mother plant. You can see many examples of this in the data on MGIS:

Welcome to MGIS

In my local nursery, you can see many cases where the mother stem died before blooming, yet the pups seem quite healthy.
Ugh that was what I was afraid of. So when the mother dies without blooming it is a slow process of loss of vigor? I wonder if the pups have a shot at blooming this summer? They are quite large as well.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is this normal?

I was really hoping for a 30" diameter. Wanted to see that.

Each plant, parent, or pup has it's own corm. The corm is the actual plant. What you see sticking above the soil are leaves which "sprout" from the corm. The various corms are physically connected, but if you sever that connection, and there was only one corm, then the pups would not survive and grow.

Pups and younger plants seem to take the cold better in a lot of cases, while the parent plant, which is bigger or more mature, seems to be more susceptible to cold. I do not know why, just observe it. I have several varieties that behave that way, which in some cases means that I have lots of pups, but never get a parent to survive long enough to flower and fruit.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is this normal?

Wills, I wouldn't give up hope on the mother stem. Those small, funny shaped leaves are definitely a sign of stress, but sometimes the plant gets over that stress and goes back to making good, normal leaves. At least some of mine have.
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is this normal?

It could also be that there is a flower coming. Then the leaves also will become smaller and smaller untill you get a flag and then the flower.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is this normal?

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It could also be that there is a flower coming. Then the leaves also will become smaller and smaller untill you get a flag and then the flower.
I don;t think that is the case due to the leaf being so pale looking.
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