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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 05-29-2012, 02:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

Hi all, our Zan Moreno banana has finally flowered (3 years after we received the pup). We've noticed ants now attracted to the plant and are going to the flower, is this a problem?

Do most people harvest the fruit green or wait until yellow?

After fruiting, do you cut down the plant to let new pups grow? I've read that existing plants do not readily fruit.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by curriedrice : 05-29-2012 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

link doesnt work

I dont belive ants can do any damadge in that stage
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

Thanks, yes the image link is broken. I tried uploading the image in my gallery and also through Flickr or Picasa, no luck.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

You are lucky to have the ants, if their home is near the roots they will protect the roots from some pests.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

Giant thanks

Do you typically wait for the fruit to ripe before picking or pick green? Zan Moreno is a dwarf Cavendish type.

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Old 05-29-2012, 09:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

Get your self a water bottle add as much yeast as sugar Spray sugar before mixing in the yeast and the ants will be marching home and guess what it will kill off the whole colony.
Old family recipe Good luck Tammy
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

Killing the ants would be foolish, do some research about ants and bananas.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

I hate to disagree with you PR-Giants. Couple of years ago I had a basjoo plant which had some ants on it. At first, I didnt pay much attention as on the grown leaves nothing had happened, there was no track of them cutting the leaves, however they were going into the new comming banana leaves and were cutting them into pieces. I didnt noticed of course until the new leave came out half eaten. At that time the plant didnt seem to grow like it did on regular basis and so I did some cleaning of the ants that I found around the outside part of the root system and move the plant into another location (thinking they were coming from somewhere else). By the time the next leaf came out it was even worst and it was not only eaten but came as well all rotten. I thought it may be excess of water that made the new ones come out with fungus but it was still the ants doing its job to the leaves. After a while being tired of not having a nice plant anymore and end of summer almost aproaching I decided to clean all the root system and did found out a colony of ants with a nest deep in the middle or begining of the rootsystem. They had open a hole which seemed to me like they were able to go from the inside into the steam. I cleaned it as much as I could, taking the queen ant out, lots of male ants (ones with wings), larvaes and ofcourse the group of soldiers. The plant did better after that, but next years winter left it in really bad shape that I thought it was not worth anymore to keep trying saving it. Since then I always watch out for ants and have always poison against them.

Mr Curriedrice, I hope you manage to put pics at some point. I really want to see how your plant is doing.

Cheers and good luck getting rid of the ants
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

I had originally wrote with the exception of leaf cutting ants, but decided to erase that portion because it was common sense.
Professional farmers in all banana growing countries, with the exception of switzerland, import ants to their fields to combat pests. Ants may be the single most important insect for growing healthy banana plants.
If you do decide to kill these ants, there are many large books on the benefits of ants in farming.
Using a large heavy book should easily crush those ants.
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Last edited by PR-Giants : 05-30-2012 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

Thanks on the update, Im not an expert on ants but we do not have leaf cutter ants here. The closest ones that comes to my mind are probably the european fire ants, which are very agressive but those are not the kind that eat plants. The ones I had were black/burgundi and were quite friendly when removing them. So although cutter leaf ants may sound common sense to you, it did not apply to me here in Europe.
Anyways, I just hope Mr Curriedrice does not have to deal with any of the bad ones.
And Im glad I have found you, so next time I deal with ants if i dont get info about them I will ask you.
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

Okay gents, I finally figured out how to post pictures, turns out I was trying to upload files too large -







Thanks for patience!
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

I think the best way to summarize all of your advice is, "be observant". I'll keep an eye out what the ants are up too, where they'll nest and go from there. I appreciate the remedy advice should things get worse.

Thanks,

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Old 05-30-2012, 03:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

Well worth the wait. Nice pics, it looks very cool indeed. And also thanks on figuring out how to post pics. I did some attempts before with no luck and now I believe its due to the size. Will definetly post some later on.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

Yes, most digital cameras these days take pictures in the 2MB per picture range. I used Picasa's export feature to reduce size and it down to around 68KB per picture. That uploaded without any issue.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

Gents - our Zan Moreno has a nice set of fruits but the fruits haven't grown much in the past month. This is strange as conditions have been nice and warm in our area (Modesto, Ca). Do fruits normally pause in development and go through spurts?

The plant began flowering about 3 months ago.

Here are some pictures -



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Old 08-06-2012, 08:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

Looks like the p-stem that is flowering only has a couple of leaves on it. That's probably the problem.

The general rule of thumb is that you want 10 functioning adult leaves on a p-stem when it fruits so that it can produce enough energy to fill out the fruits (fewer leaves doesn't mean no fruit, just that your yield will be less the fewer leaves you have). There are some threads floating around the forum documenting a few people's experiences with what you're facing. Some people in your situation have been able to eek out some fruits, but it takes a while and the fruit is rather anemic looking.

Your 2nd p-stem there looks like it's doing great, though, and should flower soon. And given the number of big healthy leaves it has, I'd think it's on pace to give you a nice bunch when the time comes.

Here are some relevant links:

How Many Leaves to Support a Flower?

Can Fruit Mature Without Leaves on the P-stem?


Best of luck with it! Keep us updated
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Last edited by GreenFin : 08-06-2012 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:34 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

GreenFin - thanks, I trimmed off the brown leaves in winter. Now I'll know not to do that!

I've had good luck with using fertilizer such as fish meal to promote plant and leaf growth but haven't tried this on bananas. Any suggestions? Yes, I know not to over to do it.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:42 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

I can't really tell, but it only has one leaf? I hope they ripen fast for you. Nice work!
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:59 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

Feed them well and hope for the best.. Good Luck :^)
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:55 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zan Moreno flowering - need advice on ants, fruiting, after fruiting

Quote:
Originally Posted by curriedrice View Post
GreenFin - thanks, I trimmed off the brown leaves in winter. Now I'll know not to do that!
You can trim off the brown (dead) ones. Your problem wasn't that you trimmed off the dead leaves, it was that the leaves died over the winter. Losing all your leaves isn't necessarily a major problem so long as the p-stem has time to send out a good number of new leaves before sending out the flower. So your real problem was really one of timing: the p-stem happened to flower at a time when the leaves had died and had not yet been replaced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by curriedrice View Post
I've had good luck with using fertilizer such as fish meal to promote plant and leaf growth but haven't tried this on bananas. Any suggestions? Yes, I know not to over to do it.
I grow my bananas entirely on fish waste (ammonia and poop) and worms castings (they eat the fish poop and then do their own pooping), and they've grown great so far. They're all young, though, so I don't know how the fruit will turn out yet.

BTW, I should emphasize "entirely" and "so far." I grow my bananas in a gravel bed, not soil, so virtually all of the nutrition the bananas get is from the fish/worm waste. They've grown exceptionally fast so far, but it's possible that there are nutrient deficiencies which hurt the fruit quality/yield without affecting the vegetative growth. Hopefully it works out though. (My suspicion is that I'll get fruit, but that it'll be a small bunch of so-so fruit, and that I'll have to add some nutritional supplements to get good fruit production, but we'll see.)
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