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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 12-25-2017, 09:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Why do hands stop developping further down the bunch?

I wonder what we could do in order to maximise the number of hands on a new bunch. This flower of Leb Mue Nam was developping nicely and I expected the lower hands to increase and grow to full fruit size but they seem instead to have decided to wither away. Why does this happens? What is controlling the growth?
Can we do something to improve the number of successful hands on a bunch?
Any replies will be much appreciated.
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Old 12-25-2017, 12:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do hands stop developping further down the bunch?

The first factor that is most important to determine the maximum amount of hands is the variety you are growing, which is based on genetics. No matter how well you take care of them, certain varieties will produce more fruit than others, there is no way around it. If you are planning to grow a variety which is low yielding, I would consider planting it at a high density so that your yield per hectare is higher overall to compensate for the relatively low yield of each plant.

The next factor is having adequate fertility and water throughout the entire growth cycle. Bananas respond strongly to being under watered or under fertilized, so make sure all of their nutritional needs are being met starting from day 1 of planting, and maintain fertility by reapplying some type of fertilizer throughout the growth cycle up until fruiting. If the plants are rain-fed for water, you may notice seasonal variation in bunch size depending or differences year to year depending on how much water they receive. Mulching the plants will help to conserve water and allow the plants to have more even access to rain water.

And lastly, the first bunch on a mat is normally the smallest. If this crop is to be grown in a ratoon fashion, meaning the plants are allowed to fruit again from a sucker, if water and fertility are maintained adequately, the next bunch will be larger, and often the 3rd bunch will be even larger.
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Old 12-25-2017, 11:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do hands stop developping further down the bunch?

The plant gets tired and stops making fruit. ;-))
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Old 12-26-2017, 12:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Why do hands stop developping further down the bunch?

The bottom does not make bananas because they are not bananas. Upper flowers are female and are fruit. The smaller flowers are male and biology does not intend they become fruit.
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Old 12-26-2017, 05:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Why do hands stop developping further down the bunch?

Many thanks to everyone for their answers, everything is clear. Unless I manage to change the sex of the lower flowers, they will never develop into fruit. Happy to find out we are not doing anything wrong but that it is just a natural occurrence.

Last edited by louis14 : 12-26-2017 at 08:32 AM. Reason: clerical
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Old 12-26-2017, 10:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do hands stop developping further down the bunch?

Interestingly, there is another issue/factor at work, which might be able to be manipulated. I have seen a few flower stalks here the female phase flowers give way to male flowers, but after a while more female bananas appear before the flowers return to male. The second wave bananas are usually small, but it makes me wonder what is at work (environmental factors? Weather factors, etc.) when this happens, and if it can be manipulated. I have to believe if it was possible, Chiquita, etc. would be exploiting it, but I can help wondering.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Why do hands stop developping further down the bunch?

I have similar problem.


How do I tell if it is the type/genetics or a feeding problem?
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Why do hands stop developping further down the bunch?

This is a different tree
[IMG][/IMG]
Same problem. I fertilize and hand water, but still really struggling.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do hands stop developping further down the bunch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonefox View Post
I have similar problem.

How do I tell if it is the type/genetics or a feeding problem?
well how often do you fertilize and water. what kind of fertilizer are you using.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Why do hands stop developping further down the bunch?

I water daily by hand.
winter months just compost
Summer once a month I use Knoplus slow release granules [ N 98.8 P24.7 K296.5]
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Old 01-07-2018, 04:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do hands stop developping further down the bunch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonefox View Post
I water daily by hand.
winter months just compost
Summer once a month I use Knoplus slow release granules [ N 98.8 P24.7 K296.5]
I would suggest starting a new thread under banana identification. show your pics and tell us everything you have said so far.

lets start by seeing what kind of banana you have.

Last edited by beam2050 : 01-07-2018 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why do hands stop developping further down the bunch?

Those small bunches are the result of too little water, too little sun, too little fertilizer, or a combination of those. You only get out what you put in. Bananas are heavy eaters and heavy drinkers.
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Old 01-09-2018, 03:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Why do hands stop developping further down the bunch?

[IMG][/IMG]

I am sure my Bananas are Williams.

I think they are overcrowded. From reading on the forum I have learnt that they should be about 6 foot apart from centre to centre of tree radius [1m in my country]. Mine are much closer.
I have also learnt on this wonderful forum is that water pups are always going to be weak compared to sword pups. I have always pulled out the sword pups because they look different from the parent[LOL] and kept the water pups! So far the bunches have always been on small little water pups (under 6 feet tall) in overcrowding…not a good scenario!

I missed puling a sword pup and man did it grow fast and fast & thick!

So plan is to identify 8 sword pups positioned 6 feet apart and then cut down everything else, including Mama’s. This will reduce plants from about 15 to 8.

When should I do this radical cutback?

Currently we are in mid-summer (opposite to USA).

pitangadiego: Since I have moved permanently to this house (prior it was a holiday home, only there once a year) 3 months ago, I have been doing a lot of fertilizing. However, considering the overcrowding, it would never be enough sun and fertilizer with all the competition.

Last edited by Stonefox : 01-09-2018 at 04:38 AM. Reason: add picture
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