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Banana Seed Germination Forum As one of the toughest seeds in the plant kingdom to figure out the keys to germination success with, this is a forum with banana seed germination tips. Please entitle posts like "Musa balbisiana," or "Musa cheesmani," etc. People would then post a reply under that heading, sharing their germination successes (and failures), what materials and methods they used, germination percentage, etc.


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Old 02-19-2013, 06:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

Method: I scarified (with sandpaper) half the batch of seeds and left the other half unscarified.
I soaked both batches of seed in previously boiled tepid water. The water was made into a weak solution with about half a teaspoon of epsom salts to a pint. The soaking seeds were kept in glass jars and kept in a heated propagator set to 80f for seven days. The epsom salts/water solution was changed at least once a day, sometimes twice.
On the 30th of January the seeds were sown in a mixture of 2/3rds peat and 1/3rd vermiculite to a depth of about 1/2 an inch, with a layer of vermiculite sprinkled on top. The peat was sterilized in a microwave beforehand. The potting mix was dampened with a weak solution of copper sulphate to prevent damping off (mould) and placed back in the propagator set to a temp of 85f.
The first sprout (from scarified seed) poked its head above the compost today, the 19th of Feb, along with two rootlets from unscarified seeds, one of which is just visible in the second photo.

Result: 20 days from sowing to first germination.

In a day or two I'll put the propagator under a c.f. growlight until the weather warms up and the natural light levels improve.

This is the first time I've been successful at germinating any type of banana seed, so I'm very pleased, although I believe that the Ensete's are easier to germinate than Musa Sikkimensis, which I also have on the go at the moment.

I'll update this post with any further developments.
url=http://www.bananas.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=52241][/url]


Here's an update as of 23 Feb, 2013.
Two more Ventricosum seeds have now raised their heads above the potting mix. Five seedlings so far.

Below is an updated photo of the first seedling to germinate, now in its own pot.

This seedling (scarified) came up alongside the one above earlier today, so I re-potted it staight away.
[IMG][/IMG]
The germinated seeds (unscarified) that were just showing as rootlets on the 19th Feb (second photo) have now formed shoots and another one has arrived.
[IMG]url=http://www.bananas.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=52300][/url][/IMG]

Update
On the 6th March, two Ensete Glaucum seedlings came up. Time from sowing to germination was 35 days. One was scarified, the other wasn't. These were planted at the same time as the Ensete Ventricosum above and treated in exactly the same way.

Last edited by Lord Snooty : 05-02-2013 at 08:21 PM. Reason: Germination update.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

Excellent! Good stuff
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

Good for you! My first Ensete lasiocarpum is now just over 2 inches high and is opening its first real leaf (I broke the original sprout off by accident). There's a picture of it on the Gallery page, but I think I listed it as "Musella lasiocarpum" as the names seem to be interchangeable.

Keep posting on your progress!
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

That is great!
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

Congrats;

May I ask where you sourced the seeds?
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbungalow View Post
Congrats;

May I ask where you sourced the seeds?
I got them from RarePalmSeeds.com in Germany. I think you can also get this variety from Vesey's in Canada.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

Here is the reason I ask:

It seems sprouting Ensete Ventricosum seeds sucsessfully can be kind of like a lottery...

First time I bought 100 seeds from banana-tree.com back in 2002, almost all germinated. I thought back then that this is the norm for this species. Boy, was I wrong...

The following year I bought 500 seeds from various vendors: None germinated. Not a single one.

Next year, same story.

A couple of years ago; Bought 50 seeds from rarepalmseeds: All germinated. Friends, coleuges and family were given tons of ensete-seedlings as I didn't anticipate this.

Ensete seems to have a puzzling type of dormancy. When sprouting regular Musa I have pretty good sucsess with alternating temperatures.

- Erlend
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

Good to know because so far none of my other Ensetes have germinated.
BTW, are Ensetes particularly sensitive to sunshine? I ask because yesterday my plant bent right over toward the sun but today when it's cloudy and the lights are on in the room, it's bent right over in the direction of the lights!
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

Wow looking good!

I so want to grow a banana from seed. Just one will make me a happy banana!

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Old 03-02-2013, 07:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

Update. 02 Mar.2013.

As of the 2nd March, a total of six Ventricosum seeds have germinated successfully. Two were scarified and four were left un-scarified. All are now in individual pots and kept in a propagator at 80f to 85f under a low wattage C.F. growlight.

This first photo is a two day old seedling before being re-potted.

Six Ensete Ventricosum seedlings.

The smallest seedling in the front is two days old. The tallest, second from right in the back sprouted on the 19th Feb. Eleven days old .

Last edited by Lord Snooty : 03-02-2013 at 07:20 PM. Reason: update
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

Looking good looking good!

Ive got 4 difrent lots of banana seed in soak at the mo then I will plant them up in perlite in a few sealable tubs and put them somewere warm. I so hope I can get somthing to sprout. Ive never grown any banana befor from seed so will be my fist atempt so hope I can get at least one of each type.

Great pics of yours you can definatly see how quick they get going after they sprout out!

regards
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

My one baby banana suddenly died! Don't know WHAT I did!
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:25 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

Quote:
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My one baby banana suddenly died! Don't know WHAT I did!
Hello , you may be dead because no water flowed from the pot , the roots have rotted.I 'm sorry for loss, try again with another do not get discouraged .
Good luck.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:41 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

Quote:
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My one baby banana suddenly died! Don't know WHAT I did!
Ditto above advice from pukyman. Keep trying. It took me several attempts and I still haven't been successful with any sikkimensis varieties. I have heard that Ensete's don't require as much water when young as other types, so root rot seems a possibility, but you'd have to do more research to confirm this.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

Update.
On the 20th April, three more Ensete Glaucum seeds sprouted. These last three have taken 80 days to germinate from the time of sowing. One was from scarified seed, the other two were unscarified.
So far I haven't noticed any statistical difference in germination rates between scarified and unscarified seeds.
None of the Ensete Ventricosum seeds that I chipped with a sharp knife have germinated, so I don't think I'll bother with that method again.
All the Ventricosum and Ensete seedlings have now been transfered from the closed germination propagator to an open topped window-sill propagator to provide a gentle bottom heat and natural light.
The ambient temperature at the warmest part of the day (2nd May) is only 60f -62f here so far, falling to 47f and sometimes 39f at night so I just hope it warms up soon as I'm rapidly running out of window space.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:05 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

Here's a pic of the previously described Ventricosum and Ensete seedlings.


The three smaller seedlings in the foreground are the recently sprouted Glaucum seedlings. As can be seen, some of the leaf edges were burnt by strong sunlight on the rare occasions it managed to pierce the gloom.
The group of seedlings in the small tray are Angels Trumpets (Datura).
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:11 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

looking good. I hope you have a big garden because they are monsters!
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:11 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

Looking good! It's always nice to see people's successfully grown seeds.
Regards
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:57 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Ventricosum sprouting!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoore View Post
looking good. I hope you have a big garden because they are monsters!
Far from it. I only have a rather modest border.

This is an old illustration I found of a Ventricosum in its natural habitat.



According to Wikipedia:
"Each plant takes four to five years to mature, at which time a single root will give 40 kg of food."

At least I'll save on potatoes and pasta, if my house foundations survive!
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