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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 07-20-2014, 04:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Why am I getting next to no growth from my dwarf brazilians

This year has left me some what confused with what's going on with my back yard garden. I mainly do dwarf brazilian bananas and a few basjoos that I dug up last year and put in buckets and pots and wintered indoors in my basement. In the spring while still in my basement they started moving to the point where I thought I would be seeing some amazing things from these plants. So far this year I am seeing what seems like hardly any growth, doesn't matter if it's my larger ones who were in buckets or smaller ones in pots.

Some background here, we had one of the coldest winters ever here where I am in michigan and spring seemed to never come. The other thing to note is I am planting them in the same garden they were last year as well. Also, I have a couple other gardens that I have grown red cannas in the last 3 years and I have also seen the same type of growth, next to nothing. At this point the cannas should be pushing 4-5 feet and I doubt I have one over 2.5 feet at best.

So that leads me to my main question... why the lack of growth? I can't say our summer has been overly hot so I'm leaning towards a couple things, either it's the cooler than normal summer, or is it lack of nutrients in my gardens maybe from the same plants going in the same spaces every year?

I have been fertilizing the bananas with banana fuel every couple weeks and they get plenty of well water from my underground sprinkling (along with plenty of rain we've had this year). So what gives? Any suggestions? I am wondering if I should start adding composting?
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why am I getting next to no growth from my dwarf brazilians

Here the summer has been wacko so far, nights down to 52 in july, and days in the 70s. The normal for daytime temps right now are close to 100. So I think low temps are not helping, I started feeding my bananas 2 times a week instead of 1, and they are starting to take off. So far no bad side effects from feeding more. I am using miracle grow though, so might not be a good idea for what you are using.
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Why am I getting next to no growth from my dwarf brazilians

What is your average temperature this summer? Banana plants grow best in hot and humid conditions. Optimal growing conditions is 85 F and 70% humidity.
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why am I getting next to no growth from my dwarf brazilians

I have also noticed my cannas are growing very slow.
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Why am I getting next to no growth from my dwarf brazilians

I recently gave up on Wellspring banana fuel after a year and a half of frustration. My plants never grew well at all, out of desperation I gave a couple of them a double dose and that helped a little. Sul-po-mag helped quite a bit but they never grew like I knew they should. There is more than one banana fuel being sold so I am only talking about Wellsprings BF. A friend gave me a little Classicote (15-8-23) time release fert that worked great, plants are bursting with growth in 100 degree weather. Bought some more and all the plants are happy now. It does not list boron as an ingredient so a small amount of Borax is needed once every month or 2 depending on size of pot or mat and rain amounts. I would appreciate any boron tips from the more experienced growers. It is a 4 month time release so you may need to plan ahead so it is used up come dormant time. That is my amateur opinion anyway. Experts please correct as needed, I am always learning.
Forgot about your compost question, use all the compost you can nothing works better on my plants wish I had more. And the heavy rains may be leaching all that water soluble BF out too quick, the time release fert solves that problem.

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Old 07-20-2014, 07:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Why am I getting next to no growth from my dwarf brazilians

Our average highs are around the 75-85 this year. No super hot spells. I've been commenting to my wife how this summer has been cooler, while still enjoyable is just not what my bananas probably want. What's throwing me off is my cannas, I just walked in from giving them a good shot of well water and saw a few are at 12-16 inches and flowering from that height.... these are the same rhizomes that two years ago pushed 6-8 feet. I never had to fertilize my cannas, I am thinking I'll start hitting them with miracle grow and doing twice a week on the bananas.

I was just hoping that after keeping my bananas alive indoors this winter that I would get a few of them pushing 6 foot plus, but I can already see I'm not going to get that.

Last thought, I do have quite a few pups on the big ones and should have probably been more diligent in splitting them but I didn't think that would do much since my plants with no pups aren't doing anything either....
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why am I getting next to no growth from my dwarf brazilians

Hmmm! Now I don't feel so bad about my potted SDC not growing much since i moved it outside for the summer. The only things different it has experienced are the obvious light level changes, an extra hot summer for us and the fact I removed two pups. Water and feed wise all is about the same.
I planted the two pups in the ground and am going to winter them over as is in a mini hot house frame. I am hoping for a mild winter for them.
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why am I getting next to no growth from my dwarf brazilians

My stuff is finally starting to grow like I would expect it too, but it takes 2 doses of fertilizer each week to get it that way. I keep an eye on it for overdose symptoms, though, plants in a pot might burn.
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why am I getting next to no growth from my dwarf brazilians

I just have not seen much growth after separating the pups or on the planted pup themselves yet so have been careful with the fertilizer until I have seen some growth. I have been watering moderately in the hot weather (85F-98F) until I see some active growth. Perhaps I should try another carefully judged dose of Grow More 16-8-24 Fruit Fuel.
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why am I getting next to no growth from my dwarf brazilians

If you just separated them, you might want to wait till you see active growth, usually with my basjoo, separating a pup from the mom won't slow mom down. The pups usually stop for a couple of weeks then resume while they repair their roots, but all bananas are different I guess.
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