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Old 01-14-2008, 11:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default The Slow Black Death

I have a couple of Musa Ice Creams. I bought them at about 12 inches soil to top. They never grew very fast even though the starter pots next to them did great. The tips and the edges of the new leaves got this black edge that ended in death of the leave. I finally cut the stem off about 3 inches from the soil. Have a new leaf coming up but it looks like black death again. Any Ideas?
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

How much have you been fertilizing them? I had a similar problem two years ago with my musa basjoos. I was applying way too much fertilizer. This is just a thought.
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

Not a lot. Then when that didn't work maybe a lot. But, the plants next to this one, same species got the same treatment. I suspect genetics, hear a lot about tissue cultures that don't do well. I wonder if I have one and it is causing a problem.
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

I have 3 Java blues....

I continually make sure there is fresh compost 3 times a year as a mulch. They should grow prety well the next coming year if you make sure they get rgulat but not over excessive water, keep the water at the roots and off the leaves if possible to kee pany fungus from kiloing your leaves, and watch them grow once the temps get over 85 f degrees (and under 95)


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I have a couple of Musa Ice Creams. I bought them at about 12 inches soil to top. They never grew very fast even though the starter pots next to them did great. The tips and the edges of the new leaves got this black edge that ended in death of the leave. I finally cut the stem off about 3 inches from the soil. Have a new leaf coming up but it looks like black death again. Any Ideas?
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

i would start giving them a weak, 50%, 20-20-20 fertilizer or any other balanced formula and make note if things improve. my first thought is calcium deficiency since it is afflicting the new leaves and starting at the leaf margin, in this case the tip. tissue culture should not be the cause, i raise thousand's of tc plants yearly and plant out into the field with no problems.

also when was the last time you repotted and is it a good draining mix? old soil that has gone acid or high in dissolved salts can also cause problems.

it would be interesting to see a photo, i have not seen symptoms in banana like you are describing.
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

I repotted when I cut the diseased looking tissue off. Calcium is an interesting comment may need to consider it. Soil is miracle grow / peat moss mixture. I'll try to get som pics post cutting. Don't have any pics before I cut stem. Thanks for your interest.
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

calcium is an immobile element in plant nutrition, the young leaves can't scavenge it from older leaves as is the case with nitrogen. the problem with young banana leaves is that they develop inside the pseudostem and by the time the emerge any deficiency or toxicity damage has already occurred.

i use the same soil but with extra perlite. did you buy them online? i ask this wondering if they may have gotten chilled during shipping. other nutrients can cause leaf tip and margin symptoms but the only time i have seen black on any young leaf the culprit has usually been calcium or boron.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

Yes, I did buy them online. As I was on my way to get another beer, I mixed some of our Sulcata Tourtises' calcium with a drink of water and fed the Musa Ice cream. I wouldn't think shipping / temperature problems would be the cause as the first one lingered for two months this one is now 7 months old. Produces just enough leaf to stay alive, but can't prosper. Eventually it will perish. What about a fungus?
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

Maybe you did get some sort of fungus from the soil, or it came with the plant.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

Here are some pictures of Black Death.

http://www.bananas.org/gallery/showg...00&ppuser=1337
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

Someone posted a picture like that and the problem was that the center of the corm was rotted. The same thing happened to one of my bananas.
What I did was dig it up and tried to cut all the rotted corms and planted the good corms back. I let it dry first and did not water for many days.
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

after seeing the photos it is not nutritional but bacterial or fungal. i sent you a pm about it.
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

Is that fresh wood chips over your potting soil? It'd better if you used bark, or at least weather wood chips. Fresh wood chips may leach the soil of Nitrogen. Not to mention that the soaking of fresh wood causes the water to be mixed with the chemicals in the wood that turn into "liquor". Years ago, logging companies kept piles of timber floating on the south end of Lake Washington. Depending on how long they were there, the waters surrounding the timber would turn brown like strong coffee, and there was vitually no vegetation in the immediate area of the water. And the odor could be overpowering at times.

I don't know if this would contribute you situation, but if fresh wood chips were used on orchids, the orchids wouldn't survive.
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

commercial orchid bark will also leach the N from the soil. the bacteria that breakdown bark utilize the N, that's why orchid fertilizers are so high in N. the bark he is using looks like the red cypress mulch, they dye it to get the red.
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:01 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

The mulch is either dyed Cypress or Oak and not real fresh. I doubt it is a leaching of N as the others with the same treatment have done fine. I suspect Inkcube's theory on bacteria is correct as the decay is so uniform on both leaves and the stem. From raising pumpkins I know bacteria is a tough battle, I may try some human or animal antibiotics as this approach has seen limited success in the pumpkin patches around USA. Obviously this is personal now and I'll spend what I have to to beat the beast!
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

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commercial orchid bark will also leach the N from the soil. the bacteria that breakdown bark utilize the N, that's why orchid fertilizers are so high in N. the bark he is using looks like the red cypress mulch, they dye it to get the red.
Years ago, when I was raising orchids, the lady that used to own the original Baker and Chantry Orchids Nursery used to tell us to use orchid bark(fir) but to first soak it in water for at least 12 hours. And as much as 48 hours. The reason for this was so that the bark, that has cambium layer attached to it, will precipitate to the bottom of the container. The pure bark would stay afloat. The ones with the cambium layer contain materials that are harmful to the orchid, we were told.

This ones that float would be the ideal medium. If despite the soaking, the pure bark will continue to aggressively leach Nitrogen, this is not good news to me because I still use bark.

And we were told never, never to use bark mulch because not only do they contain the cambium layer, but they also contain a lot of wood chips. As an engineer, I have a greater appreciation for this definition. And as I understand it, it is the fact that the decaying wood that atracts the Nitrogen as it is breaking down. In reviewing the photos by Current River, I confirmed my earlier observation that they were wood chips. And though there may be a mixture of bark therein, I could not distinguish them. Unfortunately, the industry allows the suppliers to call the material "bark" even though it is mostly wood.

My point is that pure bark will hardly decompose long after wood chips will have done so. Which translates to me that orchid bark has a less attraction for Nitrogen than wood chips, and that Current River would be better off using orchid bark for mulch.

Chemistry is not my line. But I have observed fresh wood that has been sitting in water for weeks will turn the water into some kind of "liquor". When this liquid is disposed of over grassy area, the grass in contact with the liquid will wilt and/or turn yellow, or die. I don't think pure bark will have that effect.
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

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Years ago, when I was raising orchids, the lady that used to own the original Baker and Chantry Orchids Nursery used to tell us to use orchid bark(fir) but to first soak it in water for at least 12 hours. And as much as 48 hours. The reason for this was so that the bark, that has cambium layer attached to it, will precipitate to the bottom of the container. The pure bark would stay afloat. The ones with the cambium layer contain materials that are harmful to the orchid, we were told.
she was wrong, cambium is present throughout bark in various forms; vascular cambium, cork cambium - the cambium layers will not separate from soaking. cambium is not easily separated by water. the main reason to soak is to waterlog the bark to ease the stress of repotting plus it is difficult to get the bark fully wet when potted dry, many commercial mixes will add a surfactant to help the waterlogging process. mulch bark is often treated with chemicals that orchids are sensitive to plus the bark used in some mulches is not fir and can be toxic to orchids. bark is a natural potting substrate for any orchid that is an epiphyte; it provides good drainage, air circulation, and won't retain salts to the same extent that soil & moss do.

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This ones that float would be the ideal medium. If despite the soaking, the pure bark will continue to aggressively leach Nitrogen, this is not good news to me because I still use bark.
fir bark is pure bark. there are numerous studies showing that bacteria on the bark used in orchid potting is responsible for N breakdown consumption and bark breakdown.

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Chemistry is not my line. But I have observed fresh wood that has been sitting in water for weeks will turn the water into some kind of "liquor". When this liquid is disposed of over grassy area, the grass in contact with the liquid will wilt and/or turn yellow, or die. I don't think pure bark will have that effect.
what you are seeing here is the tannins & phenolics leaching out of the wood and both can be toxic
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:35 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

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[/u]Years ago, logging companies kept piles of timber floating on the south end of Lake Washington. Depending on how long they were there, the waters surrounding the timber would turn brown like strong coffee, and there was vitually no vegetation in the immediate area of the water. And the odor could be overpowering at times.

I don't know if this would contribute you situation, but if fresh wood chips were used on orchids, the orchids wouldn't survive.



Hope you don't mind if I jump in. I remember that smell, came from the south or north, depending on which way the wind blew. I was always told it was the pulp mills north and south of us. But who knew it was the floating logs? In my dealings with fish and aquariums, wood tends to darken the water with a substance called tannin. You can buy a product called 'blackwater extract' at aquarium shops which mimics conditions some South American fish need. It also lowers the ph. One ingredient in it is peat.

You could always check the ph of the soil to see if you have a problem with the bark you're using. Tannins play havoc with proteins according to sources I read. If ph is a problem either way (too high or low), perhaps adjusting the amount of peat that you use would also help. But I'm not an expert, just a Newbie.
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:38 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

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she was wrong, cambium is present throughout bark in various forms; vascular cambium, cork cambium - the cambium layers will not separate from soaking. cambium is not easily separated by water. the main reason to soak is to waterlog the bark to ease the stress of repotting plus it is difficult to get the bark fully wet when potted dry, many commercial mixes will add a surfactant to help the waterlogging process. mulch bark is often treated with chemicals that orchids are sensitive to plus the bark used in some mulches is not fir and can be toxic to orchids. bark is a natural potting substrate for any orchid that is an epiphyte; it provides good drainage, air circulation, and won't retain salts to the same extent that soil & moss do.
You may have misread the intent for soaking. It was not to separate the cambium from the bark. Rather, it is to separate the bark with cambium layer attached to it, from bark with no cambium layer attach to it. Waterlogged, the one with the cambium layer will sink. The pure bark will stay afloat. For this intent, she was correct, at least from my experience. She was concerned about the "liquor" (which you call tannins and phenolics) and its effects on the plants. Even though it was expensive (I could only net 40% to 60% pure bark), I wanted to do it because I got very favorable results compared to not doing it.


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fir bark is pure bark. there are numerous studies showing that bacteria on the bark used in orchid potting is responsible for N breakdown consumption and bark breakdown.
I can accept that explanation. But the fir bark, as sold in nurseries or orchid stores, is not pure bark. Some of them even contain wood in addition to the cambium layer. The process for removing the bark from the tree is different for those intended for orchid culture than those for other applications, e.g., mulch, etc. Although hydraulic pressure is used for orchid bark, nevertheless, a good amount of cambium layer remains attached to the bark. And since the wood and cambium layer possibly have more retained sugar than the bark, I would submit that bacteria, and mold, will propagate faster in it. Now, I like to emphasize that I'm making a distinction between the wood, cambium layer, and bark.

Isn't this how they make wood alcohol?


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what you are seeing here is the tannins & phenolics leaching out of the wood and both can be toxic
Where there are less of, or at least not readily expelled as from wood, from pure bark. If these are toxic, how do you think they will affect the tender roots of the banana that's just been pulled out from its home soil, transported in various weather conditions, subjected to impact in transit, then replanted in a different soil, and is struggling to form new roots?
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Slow Black Death

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Originally Posted by NanaNut2 View Post


Hope you don't mind if I jump in. I remember that smell, came from the south or north, depending on which way the wind blew. I was always told it was the pulp mills north and south of us. But who knew it was the floating logs? . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . .
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Come on in! The more the merrier. You must live in the Newcastle - Kennydale area. Yes, that's where most of the logs were headed. Then there came a time when they'd tow them across Lake Washington to the north end to the Bothell area, with the logs trailing like a long train. I guess they still have a few over there. Logs, that is.
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