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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 08-11-2006, 09:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Slow growth

Hey guys...

One of my unknowns.. the one I'm hoping is an IC.. has had slow leaf production for about 5 weeks now. It had been growing at a great fast rate, putting out a new leaf about every 5 days. However, now it is only popping one about every two weeks. I've seen where some of you recommend less water so I decided to try that approach. It only served to cause it to wilt very quickly and look sickly. So about two weeks ago, I began the daily watering routine again, picked back up on fertilizing with cow manure and a couple of fish emulsion apps every week. This is the only type of fertilizers I've ever used so wondering if I should try something else. I don't believe that last heat wave had anything to do with slowing down the growth.. it started before that.

Any advice on how to get it going again?
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slow growth

Patience. Sweet patience.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slow growth

Is it containerized? If so, is the container cooking in the sun? Shade that puppy to cool the root-zone down a bit. I also mulch my containers too - really helps with keeping the soil cooler and also helps prevent soil disturbance when watering. Also, if something changed a nanner can slow down. When I move my pups out into the sun after establishing, the existing leaves tend to wilt a little, but with patience it recovers and new leaves come thru just fine. In many cases, the best thing to do is not change anything. Make sure it's adaquately moist, and adaquately fed and has adaquate light and make sure nothing detrimental is occuring like the container cooking in the sun and then let the plant do it's thing. If it lost some roots due to cooking soil or pest, it will suffer a setback and slow down some, but if it's still putting out leaves, that means it's recovering. Don't change things too radically except to correct problems.

Be well,
Mike

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Originally Posted by Carolina View Post
Hey guys...

One of my unknowns.. the one I'm hoping is an IC.. has had slow leaf production for about 5 weeks now. It had been growing at a great fast rate, putting out a new leaf about every 5 days. However, now it is only popping one about every two weeks. I've seen where some of you recommend less water so I decided to try that approach. It only served to cause it to wilt very quickly and look sickly. So about two weeks ago, I began the daily watering routine again, picked back up on fertilizing with cow manure and a couple of fish emulsion apps every week. This is the only type of fertilizers I've ever used so wondering if I should try something else. I don't believe that last heat wave had anything to do with slowing down the growth.. it started before that.

Any advice on how to get it going again?
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Old 08-15-2006, 10:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Slow growth

Patience... yep, that's me! Chockful of patience! *snickers*

Its been almost two weeks since the last leaf emerged and I still can't see any signs of another. 'Course, it is much taller than me. (Not saying much.. I'm not even 5ft.

Mike, yes it is containerized, and planted it the ground, mulched pretty well. It has two large pups.. one about 3ft and another a bit smaller. I'd considered removing them both, thinking that they are taking away from the mother plant, but worried to do that too. Thoughts on this would be appreciated!

Also, I have considered the pot has just gotten too small. This banana has now about 7ft of psuedostem. I'm not sure how many gallons the pot is, but it was about a 36 inch pot, and at the time thought it would be plenty big. (Had a helluva time digging -that- hole and cutting all those roots. *heh*) At one point I was going to pull it out of the pot and stick it in the ground, then I got to thinking about the hurricanes. No one is going to sucker me into believing we're going to be home-free this year. Isabel is still fresh in my mind! Driving in the morning for breakfast and water. Driving in the afternoon for lunch and water. Driving in the evening for supper and water. Running out of gas. Washing with bottled water. Dying in the heat. EEK! I must stop thinking!

Anway, no baked soil, no pests. I'll just remain patient as MediaHound recommends, or possibly remove those pups. What do you guys think?

Another thought I've had is that at this point were it to fruit, they'd never ripen before the hardest part of winter, so perhaps it's a blessing it isn't growing so fast now? Your thoughts there, too, if you please. Thanks.

Oh yeah, I'll also add that when I had pulled the pot from the ground when Alberto came up this way, there was no sign of it appearing root-bound.
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slow growth

Leave the pups. So long as they've got sun, they're contributing to the plant rather than detracting from it. I like at least 2 pups connected to the mother plant. It helps increase the overall corm size that is the soul of the plant. More than that can be removed.

It's possible the replanting spured a bit of root-growth and that spured some rapid leaf growth and it's leveled out again. I'd let it do it's thing - so long as the plant is not looking overly distressed...

Even if it's not root bound, it will grow a little slower and remain a bit shorter as it fills up the space - it's near the surface where it does most of its feeding. Water when it needs it - as in, stick a finger into the soil and feel if it's wet or not, and feed regularly and don't change too many things...

If it starts to wither and/or obviously decline - regardless of water, dig it up and inspect the roots to ensure there's no root-rot occuring - potted soil can be sneaky as in remaining wet below while drying out above - trim off any rot you see and replant it in fresh soil...

Be well,
Mike

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Mike, yes it is containerized, and planted it the ground, mulched pretty well. It has two large pups.. one about 3ft and another a bit smaller. I'd considered removing them both, thinking that they are taking away from the mother plant, but worried to do that too. Thoughts on this would be appreciated!
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Old 08-15-2006, 09:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Slow growth

Thanks, Mike. I always appreciate it when someone bothers to respond to an otherwise ordinary question. I remain patient (NOT) and won't be removing those pups.
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