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Old 09-07-2007, 07:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Some people hate banana plants

I live on the ocean in south Texas. My neighborhood is basically rich -white- still likes Bush- old and boring. For most when a banana plant springs up - they kill it. I'm constantly asked "Why do you like those things?" with the inference that its a low class plant. Last week "Why are you planting more?"

Whats important is my children like them and my rabbit used to sit next to me quietly while I ate bananas knowing he'd get to eat the skins.

I really don't want my yard to look like everyone else's ( and I promise it doesn't).

Anyway - any ideas on why this plant isn't appreciated? Anyone ever run into the same attitude?
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some people hate banana plants

Someone once expressed to me that "they are very dirty plants". I suppose people think they look ratty if not well cleaned up all the time. I still love them either way though.
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Cool Re: Some people hate banana plants

I have yet to run into this, but I think it is because of my location... I live in SE TN, so nanners are not too common in my area (to say the least). Just about everyone that visits my yard is amazed at what plants I have back there... As far as your neighbors and others in your area go, pay them no mind... I honestly could care less what my neighbors like or dislike, as long as me and my family enjoy them, that is what it is all about...
What kind of plantings do your neighbors prefer??? Just curious... I guess I have never been fed with a "silver spoon", so I really do not know what is "supposed" to be planted for the "uppity"... Obviously, you are not like them and all I can tell you is to plant and enjoy what you love... Hey, that is what they have their own property for, right!!!
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Old 09-07-2007, 08:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some people hate banana plants

Randy most of my neighbors have the exact same yards. Neatly manicured lawns - a palm tree or two and maybe a hedge of sorts and a couple of flowers. Their gardeners come by each week or two to make sure it all looks like the lawn next door.

I hired my rabbit to do my lawn. He and my little girl would often walk around the neighborhood and they were so cute - their little crimes went un-noticed. Their fav was for my little girl Hattie to admire some flowers and when the owners werent looking - to pick them and feed them to Hazel who devoured them quickly. Most rabbits will eat flowers but Hazel really craved them.

Anyway interesting comment also about banana plants seeming dirty.
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Old 09-07-2007, 08:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some people hate banana plants

Quote:
Originally Posted by fish2026 View Post
I live on the ocean in south Texas. My neighborhood is basically rich -white- still likes Bush- old and boring. For most when a banana plant springs up - they kill it. I'm constantly asked "Why do you like those things?" with the inference that its a low class plant. Last week "Why are you planting more?"

Whats important is my children like them and my rabbit used to sit next to me quietly while I ate bananas knowing he'd get to eat the skins.

I really don't want my yard to look like everyone else's ( and I promise it doesn't).

Anyway - any ideas on why this plant isn't appreciated? Anyone ever run into the same attitude?
I think it is seen as a low class plant because the poor migrants from South America and Asia grow them. Take a trip to a poor ethnic neighborhood and you'll surely find bananas growing on just about every street, at least here in Cali anyway.
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Old 09-07-2007, 08:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some people hate banana plants

Who cares what people think of your plants. You should grow what you like. Life is too short to worry too much.
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Old 09-07-2007, 08:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some people hate banana plants

Bananas are everywhere in my area (south Louisiana). My dad calls them yard roaches. lol Some people do not take the time to maintain their bananas after planting. When I hear people complain about bananas it's always........ "They are invasive" "You can't get rid of them" "They are ugly after a frost"
Bananas have been viewed (mostly by older folks) as the poor mans landscaping plant because people are always giving them away down here and they look shabby when not maintained. They grow fast and quickly provide some shade from the summer heat. But now I'm seeing bananas planted in new high end subdivisions. People are discovering that with a little maintenance bananas can be an attractive addition to the landscape. Tropical plants in general are becoming very popular down here. Even Wal Mart is selling Bird of Paradise. The local nursuries are selling lots of Rojo and Maurelii. And even the "big plain green ones" like I have are being used. The old look of perfectly trimmed boring hedges is fading.

So good news. Your ahead of the latest fad. By the time your bananas are all looking their best your neighbors may very well be envious of the tropical look you have created in your yard. By next year I'm hoping to have my home surrounded with a jungle.

I keep the lower leaves trimmed on mine and remove pups on a regular basis to keep them from taking over. And I plan to plant evergreen tropicals such as philodendron seloum in front of my bananas. That way when they are killed back by frost, I can cut them to the same height as the seloum and the frost damaged stalk will not be visible. The seloum can get quite big so eventually I'll only have to cut a little off the top to hide them. Another evergreen tropical looking plant to check out is Melianthus Major "Honey Bush". I think it is a striking plant and I plan to use it around my bananas also.
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Joy Re: Some people hate banana plants

Maybe we should all send our extra corms to you and you can build a banana wall...lol....to hide your neighbor from your lawn view...
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some people hate banana plants

I'm pretty sure my neighbors think i'm nuts. I live in a middle class area, older houses, nice, but nothing fancy. Whats nice is i live in a small town outside of the larger city, and around here, its still OK to park your car in the lawn! Its weird, but i like it.
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Some people hate banana plants

The rumor around here is that banana plants attract roaches .
My aunt urged me not to plant them for this reason and that her sons bananas (a nice bordelon mat ) were full of roaches so they killed it with weed killer
I have naners everywhere and have never seen a roach near them.
In fact , I've never seen any insects other than one fuzzy beetle and 80,000,000 spider mites on my velutinas . There was also an army of predatory critters on the velutina for a short while . I think they ran out of mites .
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Old 09-08-2007, 09:06 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some people hate banana plants

I've gotten the looks from the neighbors, some have commented, even the HOA has mailed letters. People ask if they attract bugs or what will happen in a hurricane, things like that...
Now, on the other hand, some neighbors stop to chat and express a positive interest, some of them that were previously upset are now liking it.
In the winter when the plants aren't looking tip top (burns and maybe a lil shredded), thats can be when some people's moods change though.
I think that if you maintain them and set a good example and show people that it can be done beautifully, the neighborhood commando team will either leave you alone or even try to be friendly.
My situation is still a little different though because my fiancee and I are much younger than the rest of the neighborhood, so there's already weird vibes there when it comes to being accepted by some of the neighbors. (They can't understand how people [well, it was just me at the time] half their age manage to move into the neighborhood.) The banana/jungle situation builds on that...
Some people are so boring... if they don't create a nice atmosphere around their homes, and surround themselves with beauty, it makes you wonder how they care for other aspects of their life...
It's difficult when different types of people mix and live in close proximity. Sometimes I wish I bought "that other house" with no HOA.
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Old 09-08-2007, 09:10 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some people hate banana plants

OH yes those HOA's can be obnoxious. Im right on the water so technically not part of my snobby neighborhood but they are right across the street.

I do have a patch of "jungle" I think it looks great -reminds me of trips to Costa Rica, Venezuela etc.
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some people hate banana plants

Just offered a banana plant to my neighbor across the street. He's a long time Florida guy originally from Virginia. Nice guy in every way, but the look on his face was of utter revulsion. Like I had said something real bad about his truck or his dog. He's the type.

It seems like it is a socio economic/class/thirdworld percieved thing all rolled together. My uncle Frank grew bananas in Florida 40 years ago and I am too! Period, end of discussion!

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Old 09-08-2007, 04:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some people hate banana plants

Hey Ya'll,

I have had a few neighbors stop by asking about nanners. They can see some of them from the street. I usually tell them about the ones I have and their uses. Cooking with the leaves. Using the leaves as decoration etc. Cooking the fruit. They seem to leave interested. A few have asked for corms/extra plants. I am going to give some out.
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Old 09-08-2007, 08:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some people hate banana plants

I was in the feed store the other day,getting my usual, 2 bags of dog food, 5 bags of Black Cow and one 16-16-16, and also a cage type rabbit trap,a lady a couple of people behind me asks me what I'm getting the trap for, I told her rabbits (she was buying rabbit food...lol!) I told her it was because they were eating my plants,mostly Heliconias and Bananas.....as soon as everyone heard that ,no less than 4 of the 7 or so people in there asked me to please come get the bananas out of their yards.....they were all older people too. I wonder if it's also a generational thing. As was mentioned earlier in the thread, here in Louisiana they are everywhere and lots of people claim to hate them ( usually older folks) I wonder though, if they really hated them so much,how hard is it really to get rid of them ? Not too tough if you are serious about wanting to. In a lot of the newer developments there are Bananas being put into the landscape,as well as Elephant Ears and other Tropicals as previously mentioned. Looks like "Tropical" is going to be the new "In" thing for a little while at least. Good, everywhere you look around here it's the same thing too, daylillies,a hedge, and hydrangeas. If I never see another daylilly it'll be too soon.
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Old 09-08-2007, 11:45 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some people hate banana plants

For once I feel lucky to live so far north. In Ohio, people think nanners are so exotic. Everyone who has seen (or pix of) my bananas are SO interested and think it's just awesome. They often say how cool it must be for me to have a little "tropical paradise" in my own back yard. Until I read this thread, I'd never heard of anyone disliking them or thinking they're trashy. Since they're so unusual here, nobody has a clue they are considered "low-class" anywhere else -- and I love that it's just the opposite here since I love & will continue growing them no matter what.
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Old 09-09-2007, 12:44 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some people hate banana plants

Here south of Sacramento bananas are fairly rare and almost everyone that hears about my bananas is surprised that they can even be grown here. Somoe of the other farmers laugh and say I'm crazy, but that's part of the fun of it.

If I was in the situation of being around people that hated bananas I'd probably make up something weird to get them talking. Maybe I'd say I had a problem losing my temper and that the doctors attributed it to a chemical imbalance and that my nutritionist suggested that I add more fresh bananas to my diet and then tell them that it seemed to be helping. I might also add that, since I'm a guy, it seemed to work better if I ate the male flowers as well.

Maybe you could also sneak into other yards at night time and plant corms in the yards of your neighbors and later on put out word that someone has been stealing some of your rare bananas. Get creative!
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:11 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some people hate banana plants

I got my newest set of mystery bananas from a landlord who HATES banana plants.

I drove by a rent house a few weeks ago and noticed some nice 6-7ft tall plants. I drove by the next day and they were gone... a few days later (this place is on my route I take home by the way) there were several pups coming up and the house was vacant with a for rent sign up.

So I stopped and got the number for the landlord and gave him a ring. I asked him about the banana plants and he said "I have been mowing over those dang plants trying to kill 'em, so if you want 'em go and get 'em."

I was there in less than 5 minutes and was on my way home with 11 pups attached to 2 HUGE mother corms. Heck, I like people who don't like banana plants because I can expand my collection for free!... if they have some in their yard they are wanting to get rid of of course.

They are a rare sight here in zone 7a oklahoma, so I was suprised that he hated them so much... he must have been from a place where they are abundant. Anyway... the point is... forget what other people think, if you like them then keep on truckin'... and if you are nice enough then the people that hate them might let you rid their yard of the "nuisance".

Sorry for the long story,

-James-

And Harvey's ideas sound pretty good too, lol!
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Old 09-09-2007, 07:37 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some people hate banana plants

When I first built my house not to many people like me in my neighbor hood. Like Jarred I was half their age had a great dane, and didn't mow my yard twice a week. It took 5 years before anyone really warmed up to me, but that is how I like it. Wait it was about the time I got married, and my wife moved in that people started talking to us... hmmm maybe they really just like her... lol Oh yea, back to the main point...

The tropical plants had people asking more questions than anything. I have seen bananas in more planters now too. But living in zone 5/6 these plants aren't normal, and don't have the "Weed" label. Even my neighbor has planted elephant ears I gave them, and now waiting for a Basjoo pup.
I think keeping them cleaned and tighty really helps. Interesting topic...
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Old 09-09-2007, 10:12 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some people hate banana plants

Like some of the other Northern people I normally get a very positive responce, even the Garbage guys talked to me about the plants the other day , I said I'd give em some spares come Spring. Drivers passing often slam on the breaks to take a look at our place. The people around here are great we were very luck to move into a very friendly SubDivision .A lot of people around here don't want to grow the Exotics I do but love to comeby and see mine, perfect really.I grow everything I have in pots on the front Lawn as the Backyard is in full shade. I guess I'll set up a table one weekend next Summer and sell a bunch of spare stuff.I also belong to DCtropics so there is a group of plant nuts i can talk to locally. I'm off to see Howard (Saltydad) Tuesday .

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