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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 08-31-2017, 10:47 PM   #181 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Water suckers

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Originally Posted by aruzinsky View Post
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.
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Old 09-01-2017, 04:47 AM   #182 (permalink)
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Default 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.
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:03 PM   #183 (permalink)
 
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Default 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.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:28 AM   #184 (permalink)
 
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Default 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 ....
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Old 10-21-2017, 01:08 AM   #185 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Water suckers

Banana Gallery - Nanas in Atlanta

Just an example.

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Old 12-27-2017, 12:41 PM   #186 (permalink)
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Default 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.

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Old 12-31-2017, 03:51 PM   #187 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Water suckers

Gabe15, pics do not work.
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Old 01-09-2018, 03:47 AM   #188 (permalink)
 
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Default 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!
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