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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 11-03-2013, 03:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

My 4 banana plants I brought indoors are losing leaves, fairly fast. I'm getting really worried about them, I have 2 that I don't know what the variety is (I thought blue java but people seem to disagree) and I have 2 Dwarf Cavendish and like the other 2 they are also losing leaves.

My growing conditions while not being optimal are not in the least bit bad. The one concern I am having is root rot, I have already lost a Basjoo due to this and I believe that's whats happening to these 4. When I use my water meter deep down in the planter it still lists it as being very moist. Another thing to note is that when I touch one of the dying leaves the stem starts to feel really mushy and soft. They lose the lowest leaf then once it's gone the next one up goes and so on. The two larger ones as you see in the pics pushed a nice new leaf through before completely stopping growth and one of my dwarfs has a leaf pushing out but its now turned brown and half of the leaf is dead before even coming all the way out.

So I don't know what the heck I'm doing wrong now, I have not watered them since bringing them indoors over a month ago. So take a look at the pics and tell me what you think.

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Old 11-03-2013, 03:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

Your going to loose lower leaves, but the new one is some kinda deficiency..
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

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Your going to loose lower leaves, but the new one is some kinda deficiency..
I hope I never see one of those but I'd advise not picking at it. (Someone with more knowledge may say to cut it off but I was brought up to not pick at things and always wear clean underwear.)
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

Well I decided since I was so worried about root rot that I transplanted the two larger ones into 17 gallon buckets, I inspected the roots and they looked pretty healthy to me aside from some black shriveled up roots that I removed, the plants were very root bound too. I added some pics of the roots, do they look okay?

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Old 11-03-2013, 05:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

Did you fluff the roots when you transplanted? Not that I know banana roots per se but they look healthy to this old gardener.
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

When I moved them into new pots I tried to loosen them a bit, I didn't want to hurt the roots so I was gentle, they could probably use being loosened more.
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

Quote:
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When I moved them into new pots I tried to loosen them a bit, I didn't want to hurt the roots so I was gentle, they could probably use being loosened more.
They'll probably do fine; that is not root bound IMO. I'm new to bananas so treat them carefully but any other plant I set in dirt or a new pot I score roots and do a major fluff; I'm pretty brutal even with tomatoes. I've seen too many expensive plants wither and die a few years later because their roots never explored past the area they'd had in their 1st gallon pot--pull them up and you'll see a tight ball where they've circled around then choked to death. (What ticks me off is that when I landscaped in Ohio the company did tree installations without cutting the burlap much less scoring potted ones. And they also charged to install pachysandra and ivy....that's like planting Kudzu in the south...)
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

I donít really see any point in loosening up the roots. It is impossible anyway to get any
soil into that tangle, even after you loosen it up a bit. All you achieve, is restricting the
space available for the new soil in the new pot.

Roots are always looking for nutrients and will find their way swiftly into the surrounding
new soil.

That is different from planting outside, where you can form a pool of water around the
plant and water thoroughly to help fill all the voids in between the roots, which can be
spread out a whole lot further there. In a pot that does not work so well




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Old 11-03-2013, 06:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

After bringing plants in for the winter, I lose many leaves, but I don't worry about that, I just want the plant to survive the winter stay inside. Once they get back outside, they grow new leaves and look no worse for the wear. I cut off the bad leaves when they turn yellow, try not to overwater, and just check for any diseases or mite problems. I've been doing this for 3 winters now, and have yet to loose a plant, and I have over 30 of them that I keep mostly in the basement with lights. Others that I want to keep more active or want to keep an eye on more I have upstairs in warmer and sunnier spots.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

I would put foxfarm ocean forest soil it will help it cuz that soil looks old and gross like loss of nutrients you don't have to get what I recommend but do change soil to something better than miracle grow
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

There is still another reason, why we should not monkey around too much with roots of
bananas, cannas etc. They are quite fleshy and thus brake fairly easily, when you try
to spread them. That is quite different from woody plants.

I have made another observation and that is, that bananas seem to be reasonably
comfortable in small pots with little available soil. I have filled, what was previously
a small pond, to its whole depth of 27 inches with good commercial top soil. The basjoo
did not benefit from that wealth at all, while the Castor Purple New Zealand grew to a
massive height of ten feet and a couple of Canna Australia to 3 inches short of 11', all
in only one season in HZ6 in the same pond-turned-planter.





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Old 11-03-2013, 07:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

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I would put foxfarm ocean forest soil it will help it cuz that soil looks old and gross like loss of nutrients you don't have to get what I recommend but do change soil to something better than miracle grow
There is nothing wrong with using MG potting soil; it's certainly better than some of the other potting soils out there. You do need to amend it after 6 months or less. When I had access to an oven where I could bake smelly stuff on low for a few hours at 200 degrees stirring every 20 minutes or so, I cooked compost and used it confidently for starting seeds or houseplants. No damping off and no need for amendments for quite a while. Baking killed the nasty bugs (and no matter how well I sifted some plump worms) but the goodies were still there. Since I have neither a place to bake or compost, I'm using MG judiciously this year.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

Quote:
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There is still another reason, why we should not monkey around too much with roots of
bananas, cannas etc. They are quite fleshy and thus brake fairly easily, when you try
to spread them. That is quite different from woody plants.
This nanner novice has observed the difference and is respecting such.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

I have been growing things in containers for many years, bananas for just over a year. All my plants benefit from an occasional flush with RO water. I use plastic jugs at the store and get 10 gallons at a time and flush out salt buildup. My larger containers I flush with tap water, 2 of my bananas that were stalled a little have perked up after a good flushing. My tap water is very hard so salts build up quick. Unless you get huge amounts of rain the small soil surface of a container can't get enough rain to flush it well. It might be too late in the season to flush plants that are winding down but watering with some RO might help if your tap water is poor quality. If you have the equipment you can measure the PH and TDS going in and coming out and get an idea what is going on down under.
I recently transplanted 2 bananas that had similar rootballs and both of them perked up quickly.
To the Ocean Forest idea, I love that stuff but it is so costly I only use it on seedlings and small plants. I would love to see how well a nanner would grow in it.
Good luck
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

[quote=Aranon;233273]Well I decided since I was so worried about root rot that I transplanted the two larger ones into 17 gallon buckets, I inspected the roots and they looked pretty healthy to me aside from some black shriveled up roots that I removed, the plants were very root bound too. I added some pics of the roots, do they look okay?

The only thing I would do differently for your (my) zone is to do your repotting during your growing season, this will give your plants time to recover from the root trauma.
Doing it now in our zone (repotting) just causes more stress which your plants might not be able to handle over the winter
I will not pot up a banana after mid August unless I have to.
Imo.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:45 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

Quote:
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When I had access to an oven where I could bake smelly stuff on low for a few hours at 200 degrees stirring every 20 minutes or so, I cooked compost and used it confidently for starting seeds or houseplants. No damping off and no need for amendments for quite a while. Baking killed the nasty bugs (and no matter how well I sifted some plump worms) but the goodies were still there. Since I have neither a place to bake or compost, I'm using MG judiciously this year.

I have now since about a decade used a mix of compost (2/3rd) and Sphagnum peat
moss (1/3rd) by volume for all my potting needs, indoor and out. I had the odd little
weed growing in the pot, which were easily pulled out, but never any problem with
vermin, though I do spray with insecticide, whenever I bring a plant in from outside.
I also do most of the compost collecting only after the first frost, when there are
practically no bugs left to worry about.

For sifting the compost I use on of these inserts in kitty litter boxes, which are used for
easy removal of clumps and feces. Those things fit into these cord handle tubs, as if
they were made for them. All corners fit nice and snugly on top of the edge of the tub.







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Old 11-03-2013, 08:56 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

[quote=cincinnana;233296]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aranon View Post
Well I decided since I was so worried about root rot that I transplanted the two larger ones into 17 gallon buckets, I inspected the roots and they looked pretty healthy to me aside from some black shriveled up roots that I removed, the plants were very root bound too. I added some pics of the roots, do they look okay?

The only thing I would do differently for your (my) zone is to do your repotting during your growing season, this will give your plants time to recover from the root trauma.
Doing it now in our zone (repotting) just causes more stress which your plants might not be able to handle over the winter
I will not pot up a banana after mid August unless I have to.
Imo.
Yeah probably a bad idea but I was really worried about rot, turns out the roots were fine for the most part, I didn't disturb them very much just loosened a bit up and moved them to a larger container.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:57 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

My two largest ones have yet to give me pups. The Dwarfs and Basjoo did but these two have given me nothing yet which I find odd considering their size.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:57 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Whats wrong with my Banana plants?

I'm a serious sifter. I have a homemade thingie that looks like a raffle ticket spinner; it's 3' long and about 1.5" wide and it's "lined" with 1/4" hardware cloth which means you can "process" not quite ready stuff because the big items don't pass through (back to work more) and the rocks that ended up in the mix because the men in my past life didn't bother picking them out don't either. But I still bake any "natural" dirt I bring inside...or buy something sterile...I have fought my share of outside pests who loved being inside and partied hard. I won't again.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:05 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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I'm a serious sifter. I have a homemade thingie that looks like a raffle ticket spinner; it's 3' long and about 1.5" wide and it's "lined" with 1/4" hardware cloth which means you can "process" not quite ready stuff
I'd love to see a picture of that contraption. That is the kind of stuff, I joined up for here to
learn.
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because the men in my past life didn't bother picking them out don't either. \
Here you go! The "Ex" again. I am sure glad I am nobody's "ex". That way my reputation
is still intact - well sort of.




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