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venturabananas 08-31-2017 10:47 PM

Re: Water suckers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by aruzinsky (Post 309038)
Is the total number of suckers affected? If the growing practice that causes water suckers produces more suckers than the practice that produces sword suckers and the objective is to reproduce as many plants as possible, then the prior growing practice is preferable.

I should have said proportionally more -- of those produced, more will be water suckers on an unhappy mat than on a happy one. Overall, more suckers will be produced on a well cared for mat than an unhappy one, in my experience.

Tytaylor77 09-01-2017 04:47 AM

Re: Water suckers
 
I agree with Mark (Venturabananas) 100%. In my experience he is correct!

Richard is also 100% correct!

I will add one thing! If you have a new plant, when it first produces pups they will usually be small/slow growing water suckers. It has nothing to do with growing conditions. It's just a small mother plant and that's what they do. Once the mother plant gets a little larger it will/should produce all sword suckers. And usually the more mature the mom/mat gets it should produce better quality sword suckers.

aruzinsky 09-01-2017 01:03 PM

Re: Water suckers
 
Let's back up. Are we talking about Musa, in general, or only about descendants of Musa acuminate and/or Musa balbisiana? Although I never paid much attention to the appearance of suckers, I don't remember ever seeing sword suckers on other species.

In this photo, left to right, are suckers on my potted M. Basjoo, M. 'Little Prince' and M. 'Truly Tiny':



As you can see, the Basjoo has a water sucker whereas 'Little Prince' and 'Truly Tiny' have sword suckers. All were given the same growing conditions.

aruzinsky 09-03-2017 10:28 AM

Re: Water suckers
 
I was wrong about M. Basjoo not producing sword suckers. Yesterday, I found sword suckers on a M. Bajoo in Proksa Park, Berwyn, Illinois:





But, I submit that the water sucker on my M. Basjoo is the result of my plant being either genetically or epigentically defective rather than growth practice. Most likely, I was sold a genetically defective runt out of a group of seedlings. This is the second M. Basjoo plant that I purchased and the first was a more vigorous grower. The first survived three years outdoors (zone 5). Sorry, I don't remember where I purchased the plants. I remember that one seller was Stokes Tropicals but I don't remember whether I bought the first or second Basjoo from them.

Regarding the possibility that my present plant is epigeneticaly defective, my present plant is a water sucker of a water sucker of a water sucker of a water sucker ....

mkweekley 10-21-2017 01:08 AM

Re: Water suckers
 
Banana Gallery - Nanas in Atlanta

Just an example.

Gabe15 12-27-2017 12:41 PM

Re: Water suckers
 
Here is another example photo I took the other day to show some differences between sword suckers and water suckers. This is the same cultivar, and the shoots are approximately the same age and size. The one on the left is a standard "sword sucker" preferred for direct transplanting in the field, and on the right is more of "water sucker", however, other water suckers can be even more slender with less of a corm than this one has, so maybe it is somewhere else on the spectrum, but closer to a classic "water sucker". As you can see, the corm on the sword sucker is much more developed which suits it better for instantly replanting somewhere else in the ground, whereas the water sucker has a much smaller corm. However, in my experience water suckers really have no disadvantages if they are potted and rooted in the nursery prior to field planting, and I believe the notion that they are inferior planting material comes from the old plantation days when everything was planted from field dug suckers and even holes in the field were filled with suckers from other mats, and because of the lack of modern irrigation practices and the competition between plants, smaller water suckers would no establish and compete as well. However, you only need to look at tissue cultured plantlets to see that they are the ultimate weak and puny water suckers, and with proper care before outplanting, they do just fine and are now industry standard.

As Keith mentioned earlier in this thread, any size sucker can be separated and rooted and grown into healthy plants, they just require proper care. If given the choice, I normally prefer to propagate from the smallest suckers I can find because they are easy to separate and clean, and when you root them in the nursery you have total control over their health from a very young age, and by the time you plant them out in the field they are well rooted and ready to explode in growth. Especially if I am collecting new varieties when traveling, I look for water suckers as they take up so much less bulk during transit.


Kanana 12-31-2017 03:51 PM

Re: Water suckers
 
Gabe15, pics do not work.

Stonefox 01-09-2018 03:47 AM

Re: Water suckers
 
I always let the water pups grow and pulled out the sword pups because they looked different, no wonder I am struggling to get bunches!

pjkfarm 02-02-2019 11:05 AM

Re: Water suckers
 
Snc asked a question as to whether the sword or water suckers (either or both) would reduce the growth of the momma? Does it make a difference if one leaves them to form a patch or transplant? We have like 5 suckers (all sword) on one plant and I would think that as they are all squished together, they would have limited nutrition if left.

pjkfarm 02-02-2019 11:07 AM

Re: Water suckers
 
Snc had a question I have as well - do the suckers, either sword or water, or both, reduce growth of mom? We have one plant with 5 big swords and they are all squished together - seems like nutrition for mom (and swords) would be less if all left together.

venturabananas 02-02-2019 01:34 PM

Re: Water suckers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pjkfarm (Post 321651)
Snc had a question I have as well - do the suckers, either sword or water, or both, reduce growth of mom? We have one plant with 5 big swords and they are all squished together - seems like nutrition for mom (and swords) would be less if all left together.

With that many suckers, sword or water, yes, growth of mom is likely going to be slowed. Slowed growth will result from insufficient light (shading by the suckers when the get older), water, or nutrients for mom. You can solve the water and nutrient limitation by pouring them on, but shading can only be solved by removing or topping the suckers. But keep in mind that not everyone cares about maximum growth or production of the mother plant. You might want the production spread among multiple pseudostems to ensure a more consistent production of bananas rather than a glut and then a drought of bananas. And a mat with multiple pseudostems generally stands up to wind and other bad weather better than a single pseudostem.

Akula 02-02-2019 01:49 PM

Re: Water suckers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pjkfarm (Post 321651)
Snc had a question I have as well - do the suckers, either sword or water, or both, reduce growth of mom? We have one plant with 5 big swords and they are all squished together - seems like nutrition for mom (and swords) would be less if all left together.

Yes. Pups draw off resources from the mother. If your goal is to obtain fruit then its advised to maintain only one fruiting plant each season and one pup which will be the fruiting plant in the next season. This is a high maintenance system (constant removal of suckers i.e. "suck the energy from the fruiting plant") that works for many of us in marginal areas including myself.

pjkfarm 02-06-2019 10:04 AM

Re: Water suckers
 
GAbe - great description. Our banana person (has a plantation in Mexico - commercial small scale farming) - looked at our suckers and rejected even the sword suckers based on their relatively small pseudostems at ground level - he will be transplanting them for foliage plants, but says we need to take better care of momma to get "good" swords.w of the water suckers vs sword suckers was pretty much the same in that he was looking at the stem at grorund level and if not big and bulging, was not happy with it. I need to ask again. He is also planting our dug up corms which have dried all winter - he will be chopping off all the pups but not the bulges which are future pups (on the Aroids if we want something really big, we even chop off the "bulges" to limit the number of pjups it puts out.)

pjkfarm 02-06-2019 10:23 AM

Re: Water suckers
 
GAbe - great description. Our banana person (has a plantation in Mexico - commercial small scale farming) - looked at our suckers and rejected even the sword suckers based on their relatively small pseudostems at ground level - he will be transplanting them for foliage plants, but says we need to take better care of momma to get "good" swords.w of the water suckers vs sword suckers was pretty much the same in that he was looking at the stem at ground level and if not big and bulging, was not happy with it. I need to ask again. He is also planting our dug up corms which have dried all winter - he will be chopping off all the pups but not the bulges which are future pups (on the Aroids if we want something really big, we even chop off the "bulges" to limit the number of pups it puts out.)

PR-Giants 05-21-2019 02:05 PM

Re: Water suckers
 
There's a lot of misinformation in this thread. :lurk:

It would have been nice to see one of the junior experts realize this without Gabe having to point this out.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Gabe15 (Post 312015)

However, in my experience water suckers really have no disadvantages ...


As Keith mentioned earlier in this thread, any size sucker can be separated and rooted and grown into healthy plants, they just require proper care.

This is important to understand and it also explains some of the misinformation in this thread

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gabe15 (Post 312015)

I normally prefer to propagate from the smallest suckers I can find ...

you have total control over their health from a very young age, and by the time you plant them out in the field they are well rooted and ready to explode in growth.

For experienced growers having "total control over their health from a very young age" is a good thing.

For less experienced growers having "total control over their health from a very young age" could be a bad thing which then leads to all these nonsense posts about water suckers being inferior.

If you do not properly care for the water suckers because you believe them to be inferior, then they will not perform well but that is a self-fullfilling prophecy.


:woohoonaner:


I also prefer to propagate from the smallest suckers I can find and that includes water suckers because they produce larger bunches than large sword suckers.

:08: Here's an easy example to understand and you'll see that this small water sucker produced a bunch more than 3 times larger than what the local United States Tropical Research Station averages. This water sucker produced a plant that was shorter than what the research station averages but the pseudostem was more than twice as fat. Most of our bunches are larger than the local research station and that's mainly because they rely on chemical fertilizers and we do not. We rely solely on top mulch for feeding our bananas.

A friend sent me this large Dwarf Orinoco sword sucker after I specifically asked for a small sucker. I waited for large sword sucker to produced an offshoot which turned out to be the water sucker with the red arrow pointed at it and that is the banana I grew. I removed all of the following suckers and when it was developed enough the mother plant was removed.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PR-Giants (Post 313118)


Huge suckers are low quality planting material and produce small bunches compared to what a small sucker would produce under proper growing conditions. This is my first time growing an Orinoco and wanted the first bunch to be very large so I decided to grow the water sucker in the photo with the red arrow.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PR-Giants (Post 313117)
I got this huge Dwarf Orinoco on a trade and planted it on the ground today. :woohoonaner:

Can't wait to make some traditional alcapurria. :08:


Quote:

Originally Posted by PR-Giants (Post 322627)

Quote:

Originally Posted by PR-Giants (Post 320313)


venturabananas 05-21-2019 02:21 PM

Re: Water suckers
 
Keith, do you directly plant in the field any of the suckers you harvest right after removing them? Or do you pot them up and grow them out for a while before transplanting to the field?

PR-Giants 08-11-2019 11:59 AM

Re: Water suckers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by venturabananas (Post 323671)
Keith, do you directly plant in the field any of the suckers you harvest right after removing them? Or do you pot them up and grow them out for a while before transplanting to the field?

Sometimes we'll plant directly in the field and sometimes we pot them up. What is important is that they receive proper care regardless of where they are planted.

Here is a photo of a couple variegated Manini nubs/seeds, their health is dependent upon receiving proper care not on where they are planted. They can do just as well planted directly in the field as they can do in a pot.


cincinnana 08-15-2019 06:33 PM

Re: Water suckers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DanutaRauch (Post 322093)
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