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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 04-21-2019, 08:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tissue Culture Problem Question

Hello Everybody long time no see!

I had two flats of Dwarf Orinoco TC that have struggled for two years. They are from a well known TC company. I never could figure out why. I tried new soils....new pots...more water...less water etc.
They just struggled.

Then one day it dawned on me what if the tissue cultures parent plant was only a water sucker and not a sword sucker.

Would not all the TC plantlets have the same characteristics of a water sucker and never really thrive?

Is that possible?

Thanks
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Old 04-21-2019, 11:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tissue Culture Problem Question

Sword and water suckers are genetically indentical and especially for TC, there is no difference between them. They can both be removed and produce healthy plants, they just need to be treated differently if the plan is to transplant them. Its sort of a myth that water suckers are junk and cant thrive, its only true if they are left on mats where they are competing with larger stronger suckers, or are directly transplanted into the field where they can be too tender to root and establish well and then may be outcompteted by weeds and other bananas. If you remove a water sucker and pot it up to root it in the nursery first and treat it well, when its then later transplanted in the ground it will grow totally normal and behave much like a tissue cultured plant. When tissue cultured plants are produced, they are essentially the most tender wimpy water suckers you could ever work with, but with proper care they are fine.

Its difficult to say what your problem might be without really knowing some more details. Have you raised TC plugs before without any issue? Have they been in pots this whole time or are they also not thriving after having been planted in the ground under the same conditions as other bananas which are doing well?
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Old 04-21-2019, 11:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tissue Culture Problem Question

Thanks for the detailed answer.

I have successfully raised and sold probably close 2500 TC plugs from this same company over the last 15 years...only two flats(144count) were not vigorous to the point I could not sell them. The last 24 or so went into a collective pile 2 weeks ago to see if anything decent begins to thrive. Its a head scratcher for sure...
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Old 04-21-2019, 04:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tissue Culture Problem Question

Theres a chance they could be detrimental off-types, if from Agri-Starts, this would not be unheard of as they seem to do almost no quality control for off-types.
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