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Hestbech 08-04-2015 08:51 AM

Ensete Glaucum - first try sowing banana
Hi all

I just received a batch of 50 seeds of Ensete Glaucum from - palm seeds, cycad seeds, banana seeds. I never tried growing bananas, so I'm exitied to give it a try. I've been reading the forum for a couple of days, and my workflow will be:

- Cleaning/rinsing the seeds with a rough sponge
- soaking in water/saltpeter solution (how long, and how strong?)
- 6-7 days of soaking in 25 degCelcius water. 1gEpsomSalt/1Litre of water
- Sucking the seeds for 10 minutes (cant remember where on the forum i read that - something about enzymes :-) )
- Short rinse in Hydrogen peroxide to sterilize and kill bad fungi.
- Propagation in a sterile warm moist environment until sprouts appear. I'm going to use coco coir to keep it moist. (I'm sterilizing the coir with boiling water)
- Sowing in jiffy coir pellets
- Placing in pots after 2-3 leaves.

I read that while soaking the seeds I should change the water once a day. Why is that? Because of rot? I'm also growing giant sequoia - they were soaked in aerated water:
If i used that technique for the Ensete, would I still have to change the water once a day?

I would appreciate any suggestions for a better workflow, or if any of you see some errors.

Best regards from Denmark :03:

Going Bananas 08-04-2015 09:33 AM

Re: Ensete Glaucum - first try sowing banana
"Tickling the embryo" - DISCUSSING PALM TREES WORLDWIDE - PalmTalk

But again, wowzers 50 seeds!
Sounds like a jungle in the making.

Those seeds if I remember are like
shotgun slugs with a hard shell coat.
I think you might have to delid or expose
the embryo to get them to germinate.

Check out that link!

Hestbech 08-04-2015 09:49 AM

Re: Ensete Glaucum - first try sowing banana
Yeah -growing a jungle :-) - planning on keeping a few for myself and giving some for my family.

Thanks for the interesting link.
I'll pass on the scarification for this try. I read on this forum that several had problems with damping off because of scarification.

As I understand it the water/saltpeter solution is kind of a scarification as it softens the shell.
And YES they are extremely hard.

Any comments on the steps i plan to take?
I'm not sure for how long i should the seeds soak in salpeter, and how strong the solution should be.

Going Bananas 08-04-2015 10:14 AM

Re: Ensete Glaucum - first try sowing banana
Ive never tried it with saltpeter solution.

When I tried it I filed it untill I exposed
the meaty embryo-just enough to allow water
to penetrate the hard outer coat.
You dont need to remove the shell completely.
You can try and experiment with different do have 50 seeds.

BTW once that tree flowers, it dies.
Let the flower hang/mature so you can harvest all the seeds.
Mine flowered after 3 years.

Anyways, the link is there.

Hestbech 08-04-2015 11:59 AM

Re: Ensete Glaucum - first try sowing banana
I might give it a try with 10 of the seeds. Thanks :-)

Does the Ensete Glaucum die after bloom?

Going Bananas 08-04-2015 12:34 PM

Re: Ensete Glaucum - first try sowing banana
Ensetes croak and youll easily get at least 50 seeds per plant.
Imagine if you get 100% germination and each plant produces at least 50 seeds...
youre going get more than what
you bargained for.

Check out that site and search for germination topics.
Some growers used 10% or 9:1 (store bought)bleach dilution
to effectively avoid rotting and mold.
Some used different media to avoid the problem.
While others briefly immersed in the bleach solution
then immediately planted.


Longwoods Tropicals 08-05-2015 06:52 AM

Re: Ensete Glaucum - first try sowing banana
I just germinated a batch of Glaucums, so far a month after the 2 day seed soak, I have 20 germinated and transplanted out of 32 seeds.

I am very happy with the results, I ordered some from ENSETE glaucum "Snow Banana" Exotic Seeds a few years back, they never germinated, I gave up after six months. So this year I ordered from MUSA ENSETE GLAUCUM SEEDS, as you can see in the picture on the ad that the plant shown appears to be a Ventricosum instead of a Glaucum, however the plant they describe seems to be a Glaucum, time will tell as I have a ton of them growing now.

Good luck and keep em moist until they pop.

Going Bananas 08-05-2015 10:05 AM

Re: Ensete Glaucum - first try sowing banana
Please give us details on the soak
and the germination media
and (baggie/pot/bottom heat)method.


Hestbech 08-05-2015 05:36 PM

Re: Ensete Glaucum - first try sowing banana
Thats a great germination ratio! As Going Banas, I would also like to hear about your details. Temperature and media for soaking and propagation.
I thought 7 days soaking was required?

Longwoods Tropicals 08-05-2015 06:33 PM

Re: Ensete Glaucum - first try sowing banana

Please give us details on the soak
and the germination media
and (baggie/pot/bottom heat)method.
No heat was added bottom or otherwise, I did place a clear acrylic lid on the flat until they started popping en masse. I'd heard somewhere out here that ensetes seeds like varying temps so I figured outdoors in July might just be the ticket....It least for me in this instance.

I soaked them for 48 hours then planted them about a half inch deep in a seed flat (22"x11") filled with a 50/50 mix of pro-mix potting soil (which consists of peat moss and perlite plus beneficial microbes) and well composted (two years or more) horse manure, (I live on a horse farm so no shortage of that material...LOL) no scarification was used. All of this occurred outdoors ( I live 80 miles N/E of Detroit in 80-90 degree days and 60-70 degree nights), I made sure the seed flat was in the shade for half of the day so it didn't completely bake in the sun.

They started germinating after about 2 weeks and all were transplanted into 16oz cups filled with Pro Mix and perlite. I will pot up a couple more times before they (I will be selling or giving away half of them) are planted out next spring. I haven't made my mind up whether to keep them actively growing through the winter (by supplying 12+ hours of light) or just let them
go semi-dormant like most everything else I schlep in the house every winter.

Here are a couple of pics I just took, you can see another one sprouting up in the seed flat. I just ordered 2 packets which were supposed to contain only 5 each, I wouldn't be surprised to see 30 in total.... LOL.

Regards, Harold

siege2050 08-06-2015 09:58 PM

Re: Ensete Glaucum - first try sowing banana
I have successfully overwintered glaucum bareroot under my house in darkness for 6 months during winter, it took about 3 weeks to restart growth in spring. If you have a cool place to store them, that might be another option in winter, but I wouldn't try it if they were still small. Mine had about 3 feet of pstem.

Hestbech 09-15-2015 12:21 PM

Re: Ensete Glaucum - first try sowing banana
A small update on my first try.

About 1/3 of my 50 seeds have germinated using the method in the first post.

When the roots were about 1-2 cm i transplanted the seed to a coco coir jiffy pellet. After transplanting i kept the coco pellet in a dark propagation box (temperature shifting from ~15-30 deg. C) until the seedling was 2-6 cm high.
After reaching that height, the pellets with the still white seedlings are moved to a window sill in a room with a temperature at approximately 20 deg C.

Most of the seedling do fine, and turn green and start to fold out the first leaves :08: - but some of the smaller ones do not grow and start to turn brown, and look sort of transparent.

Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong? Is the small seedling simply to small to be taken out of the propagation box? Does it look like over-watering? Damping Off? To cold?

Ensete Glaucum

Hestbech 09-27-2015 08:32 AM

Re: Ensete Glaucum - first try sowing banana

Going Bananas 09-30-2015 12:44 AM

Re: Ensete Glaucum - first try sowing banana
Ensete Glaucum Snow Banana tree Ensete Glaucum Snow Banana tree [] - $8.99 : Buy Banana Plants & More Tropical Plants For Sale, Florida Hill Nursery

If you want to cheat and avoid the germination route altogether....
double click on the link above.

Lard Greystoke 10-01-2015 02:39 PM

Re: Ensete Glaucum - first try sowing banana
Planted seeds of this species on Oct 18th of last year - long enough ago that I forget what I did, although probably I soaked them for a day or two. They are definitely in a container of about 2 inches deep, about halfway down. Sitting on a heat mat which is on whenever I remember to turn it on. They've been through several cycles of attention/neglect, watered/dried, etc.

Anyway, first 2 seedlings up today. I have had bananas and palms come up after well over a year. So my first rule is "be patient".

Manabanana 01-31-2016 05:28 AM

Re: Ensete Glaucum - first try sowing banana
Here are mine Ensete Glaucum germinating.

Unfortunately only one of them started it after 40 hours soaking and 2 weeks in coconut substrate.

And i'm also fighting with white worms that appear each morning on my seeds. I bet these are enchytraeus.

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