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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 09-02-2005, 05:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Possible way of Preventing Black Death

This term was mentioned by Mike and James. It is a condition when your banana pseudostem survives the winter, but the core died out, and therefore will not fruit during the season. You would be endlessly waiting for new leaves to come out but it doesn't happen. Sometimes you can even have leaves survive the winter only to be surprised that the middle part of the banana has rotted away. This is especially true for those growers in the yard in the colder climates, even if the banana is cold hardy.

I think when cold rains during the winter falls down into the topmost unfurled leaf that is partially opened like a funnel, rainwater gets collected inside into the middle and would start accumulating fungi, bacteria, and since the banana plant is inactive, it could not push them out and therefore will rot away and will be eaten at the core.

I think we may need to cover the top of the trunk (after cutting the leaves) with jute sack and then a plastic liner and tie it. This way it will keep water out, and also any condensation inside the plastic will be absorbed by the jute sack.

I will do this during the coming winter.
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Old 09-03-2005, 04:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possible way of Preventing Black Death

I had this happen to a couple of plants this Spring. When the rest of my plants were growing, they still just sat there with no signs of life. I cut both of them down, little by little, until i found green in the middle. Both of them immediately took off. This one was cut down to 2-3 feet. It grew to about 7 1/2 feet, and is now flowering.



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Old 09-03-2005, 06:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possible way of Preventing Black Death

Come to think of it, I had this happen to my Ice Cream in a plastic 5 gal container last winter. I thought the plant had died, then noticed a bump on the side of the trunk down low, about a foot above the soil line. That bump eventually broke through the side of the trunk and became the new trunk. When I trimmed off the old top it was all black and mushy inside and smelled like a rotten fish! That plant is now in the ground and doing well.
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Old 09-03-2005, 09:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possible way of Preventing Black Death

I think that most bananas just can't take it to be so wet deep down in the leave when it is cool outside, they rot. I think covering them like you suggested should work, though I am not sure jute is all that absorbant but I would try it anyway.
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Old 09-03-2005, 10:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possible way of Preventing Black Death

Yes, the cold is the problem. I should add that when I planted my bananas out in early Spring, temps were pretty nice, and the first couple of weeks in April were warm. Then, at the end of April and early May, temps plummeted into the low 30s at my house at night for several nights. Not any frost, and not cold enough to damage the leaves, but enough to cause the black death rot in a couple of plants.
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