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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 10-06-2009, 09:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Removing Bloom Flower

Does anyone know if removing the bloom flower helps speed up banana growth and ripening? Do I cut it just below the bottom hand?
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Removing Bloom Flower

I don't know the facts on this - but I always assume that the energy that would have gone into producing endless male flowers, is better directed into the fruit that have set. So, when there is a clear length of stalk of about a foot or more below the last fruit, I cut the stalk next to the bud. Leaving this length lessens the chance of rot spreading up to the fruit if the stalk should rot, gives you something to hang the bunch by when ripe, and stops the mess on the ground that the male flowers and bracts leave behind. Others may have other ideas but this works for me.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing Bloom Flower

I think leaving 6 inches or more is a good idea. I usually leave them on if they are in an area that I'm not worried about having a mess so that the humming birds can continue to feed on them, but I do cut them when they hang over my driveway. I think it does make the fruit just a little plumper when you remove the buds.
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Old 10-06-2009, 01:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing Bloom Flower

Leave 6-12" of blank stem below the bananas. If the stem dries up (they some times do), pas the bananas, it will ruin the bananas, as they are cut off from the sap flow.
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Old 10-06-2009, 01:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing Bloom Flower

Hey Benny, isn't this when you cut off the flowers to cook them???!!! Didn't you say your wife would rather eat the flower than a banana??
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing Bloom Flower

I agree.. The flower is awesome. But, don't let anyone tell you it's easy, because depending of the size of it, the boiling time can go up to 2 or more hours. I recommend salting the water to help softening it up more as well. I serve it on toast or added to a good old fashioned roast beef. Yum!


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Hey Benny, isn't this when you cut off the flowers to cook them???!!! Didn't you say your wife would rather eat the flower than a banana??
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing Bloom Flower

You will often read that cutting off the bud helps the fruit develop because it is using more energy from the plant, but studies have shown this is not the case. The size of the bunch and fruit are predetirmined well before flowering ever takes place, and in the paper I remember reading there was no difference found in fruit development time between buds left on and buds cut off. That being said, there is at least one very good reason to cut the bud and that is because it adds excess weight and if its continuously growing it can be too much for the plant to physically support and you may have fruiting plants topple easier. If you want to keep the bud and the plant is sturdy, that is fine too. I personally like keeping some of them for breeding purposes, but thats a whole different issue.
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing Bloom Flower

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You will often read that cutting off the bud helps the fruit develop because it is using more energy from the plant, but studies have shown this is not the case. The size of the bunch and fruit are predetirmined well before flowering ever takes place, and in the paper I remember reading there was no difference found in fruit development time between buds left on and buds cut off. That being said, there is at least one very good reason to cut the bud and that is because it adds excess weight and if its continuously growing it can be too much for the plant to physically support and you may have fruiting plants topple easier. If you want to keep the bud and the plant is sturdy, that is fine too. I personally like keeping some of them for breeding purposes, but thats a whole different issue.
I agree with this train of thought. Nevertheless, I always make sure there's at least 1 foot of space between the last edible banana and the cut, and don't use anything to cut it, just bend and break, because it tends to weep less. I also use copper powder on the tip to keep from getting fungus in the cut tip.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Removing Bloom Flower

Totally agree Gabe but I didn't put it so well - and I forgot the weight problem!
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Removing Bloom Flower

I cut mine back 4 weeks ago and am running a personal test on fruit development. The one I kept the male flower on still has skinny fruit and all the rest are getting plump.
I cut with about 1 foot of stem remaining then held a candle under it to stop the bleeding. Dug a hole next to tree and stuck the flower in there.
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing Bloom Flower

Thanks everyone for your replies. I have some CA Gold, Dwarf Namwah, and Nino bananas which I'm trying to figure out how to accellerate before my N. CA winter.
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Old 10-07-2009, 04:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing Bloom Flower

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Thanks everyone for your replies. I have some CA Gold, Dwarf Namwah, and Nino bananas which I'm trying to figure out how to accellerate before my N. CA winter.
I know I've heard of some people who had solarized the plant by covering it in huge sheets of clear plastic to maintain a higher temp on the whole plant, but that may be a mountainous effort, in my mind.
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Old 10-07-2009, 04:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Removing Bloom Flower

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I personally like keeping some of them for breeding purposes, but thats a whole different issue.
Ya know there are few good jokes that could come from that comment! Not that I know of any or would I have someone as helpful as gabe be the but of any....but ya that's a whole different issue! lol
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Removing Bloom Flower

Quote:
Originally Posted by BackyardBananaCA View Post
Does anyone know if removing the bloom flower helps speed up banana growth and ripening? Do I cut it just below the bottom hand?
Yes, I want to know also.
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing Bloom Flower

Depending on the state of the plant at flowering I may take the male bud and some of the fruit. Sometimes I will get a plant that shoots that only has 4 functioning leaves and frankly 4 functioning leaves are never gonna fill out ten hands. Bananas just don't have the mechanism to abort fruits like other plants do when conditions are poor. I have zero evidence to support that theory but it seems to apply to other fruits and vegetables. I think my avocados must have aborted hundreds of fruits as the drought this spring drug on.
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Old 09-24-2016, 05:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Removing Bloom Flower

A lot of AWESOME info!! Thanks for posting it! I am a newbie & really appreciate all of this!
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Old 09-25-2016, 01:21 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Removing Bloom Flower

This is different. It seems the ladies at my local Thai/Sushi love the banana flower.
Apparently you can cut it super thin and use it to make a salad. So now those go to them.
Just another idea...
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