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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 02-17-2009, 12:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is this true?

I read somewhere that if you count the total number of leaves that a Banana has had it should bloom around leaf # 35. Is this an average or true or just totally made up? Thanks
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is this true?

I've read something similar, but I thought it was more like 40.
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Old 02-17-2009, 02:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is this true?

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Originally Posted by stumpy4700 View Post
I read somewhere that if you count the total number of leaves that a Banana has had it should bloom around leaf # 35. Is this an average or true or just totally made up? Thanks
I would think Gabe would know.
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Old 02-17-2009, 02:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is this true?

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I read somewhere that if you count the total number of leaves that a Banana has had it should bloom around leaf # 35. Is this an average or true or just totally made up? Thanks
For many Musas with un-interrupted growth (no over-wintering) they have been measured to bloom within 30 to 40 leaves.
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Old 02-19-2009, 12:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is this true?

OK, I'll bite. Does overwintering increase or decrease the number of leaves before blooming? It is not obvious to me, since stress has been known to trigger "premature" blooming.

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Old 02-19-2009, 12:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is this true?

Really though, doesn't the 30-40 range really represent the strength and size of the P-Stem and thus the ability to bear fruit? No matter if it was continuous or got overwintered? Or am i wrong...
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is this true?

This counting leaves business has come up several times. It is not a reliable way to predict blooming, just saying that a banana will fruit after so many leaves. However, if you were to track the number of leaves a particular variety makes before flowering in your specific growing conditions, and you were able to repeat this many times you would probably be able to come up with a good average of how many leaves a specific variety must make before flowering. If you were able to go this far, then you would just as easily be able to say how much active growing time is required (which is just a different unit for the same measurement as counting leaves). There are stats on how many leaves a plant has made before flowering, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it requires that amount to flower, or that after reaching that number it will begin to flower. A leaf count may be handy if you have a lot of starts and stops in your growing cycles, but I haven't seen any research into this area. Since there is so much diversity between varieties and so much diversity in growing conditions, it is very unreliable to say that "bananas in general" will flower after however many leaves.
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Old 02-19-2009, 04:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is this true?

Quote:
Originally Posted by enigma99a View Post
Really though, doesn't the 30-40 range really represent the strength and size of the P-Stem and thus the ability to bear fruit? No matter if it was continuous or got overwintered? Or am i wrong...
strength and size of p-stem has little to do with when the plant fruits in my experience.

You should see some of the frail 2 foot tall plants that have fruited tiny bunches of useless bananas that don't mature, but rather rot on the undersized, under sunned, generally malnourished plant. When i arrived here the preexisting growth was unkempt, the pups were never removed, so some areas had 5 or 6 plants growing out of one corm mass all at different stages of development, but only the two or three biggest getting what they needed to prosper. the rest would spend months in the shadows of the larger plants and by the time the larger fruited and were removed, it was too late for the smaller ones to recover in any meaningful way before it was their time to fruit.

I'm just glad that my chickens will eat any of these that come about. It would be a real shame to just toss them to the ants.
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is this true?

Which area are you in - Revolutionman???
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Old 02-20-2009, 05:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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I'm a short raft ride away from Santo Domingo on the west coast of PR.
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Old 05-22-2010, 02:12 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is this true?

Well if this were semi-true (and Gabe wasn't absolutely correct (he is though)) there would be a vast difference from a corm fed pup to a T/C plant. I would be willing to bet a T/C has an extra 15-20 (and possibly more) leaves versus a corm fed pup prior to maturity. :^)
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:18 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is this true?

in my area of mexico, the farmers count the current number of leaves to determine if there will be a harvestable bunch...if over 12 leaves, very good...if under 8 (due to disease in the plantation), cut it down and burn the affected plant...

nobody here has time to count leaves during the year...
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is this true?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjjankovsky View Post
in my area of mexico, the farmers count the current number of leaves to determine if there will be a harvestable bunch...if over 12 leaves, very good...if under 8 (due to disease in the plantation), cut it down and burn the affected plant...

nobody here has time to count leaves during the year...
Is that the number of leaves on the plant at bloom or the number of leaves it has had at an age?
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:56 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is this true?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjjankovsky View Post
in my area of mexico, the farmers count the current number of leaves to determine if there will be a harvestable bunch...if over 12 leaves, very good...if under 8 (due to disease in the plantation), cut it down and burn the affected plant...

nobody here has time to count leaves during the year...
That might be a very interesting show. Seeing those farmers count leaves on thousands of plants they have at the farm.
But another question: For which variety do you need at least 12 leaves to have a good, harvestable bunch? Is it some guideline: If it doesn't have at least 12 leaves, chop it down and burn? Does it always have to be some disease?
Also, what is the optimal number of leaves for extremely good quality of fruit? I guess the more the better, but at some point many of those leaves become redundant and take more energy than give back, don't they? I can't imagine a banana with say 20 green leaves.


Quote:
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Is that the number of leaves on the plant at bloom or the number of leaves it has had at an age?
I suspect that jjjankovsky meant it as green leaves, when the flower bud starts to appear. Once the flowering was initiated, no more leaves will come out and the bunch is most probably affected by how much those leaves can synthesize. Also the pups might help, but I guess they keep less plants/corm on the plantations to encourage fast growth and fruit production.
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:20 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is this true?

the bunch that develops with fewer leaves (other leaves having been lost to the dreaded fungus) will have far fewer bananas than others, but would continue to require the same amount of labor

the farmers constantly cut away sections of affected leaves and move the debris away from the base for burning...quite a site to see such sharp machetes reach overhead and flick off a bit here or there


corms are cut away with the resulting survivor being optimally placed in regards to other plants and thus avoiding overcrowding
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:58 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is this true?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Daw View Post
But another question: For which variety do you need at least 12 leaves to have a good, harvestable bunch? Is it some guideline: If it doesn't have at least 12 leaves, chop it down and burn? Does it always have to be some disease?
Also, what is the optimal number of leaves for extremely good quality of fruit? I guess the more the better, but at some point many of those leaves become redundant and take more energy than give back, don't they? I can't imagine a banana with say 20 green leaves.
The more leaves the better. If they are on a growing plant, there is no point at which the energy required to sustain a leaf is more than the energy it is gaining from it. When this happens, the plant will shed the leaf. Plants have many built in mechanisms to be the most efficient in whatever condition they are in. In order to grow (almost by definition), plants must be collecting more energy than they are using.

Since banana bunches are initiated months before you see them, and the number and potential size of the fruits are determined based on the state of the plant during initiation, it is possible that the state and conditions of the plant will be significantly different than what they were during initiation. For

For example, the plant could have made a bunch expecting that it will have 12 functional leaves to support it throughout its development, but if something happens (such as disease or high winds), and it does not have those 12 leaves, then the development of the bunch may be affected. If this happens, a general guideline (which really would vary by variety and conditions) is that at least 8 good functional leaves must be present in order to have the bunch properly develop.
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is this true?

The number of leaves on a banana plant solely depends on all conditions of growth ie climatic,soil nutients and moisture of the soil etc, as such if all conditions are favourable to the plant there bounds to be good yield except when the plant is infected by disease.
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