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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 04-22-2009, 07:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Lightbulb Moss?

Hi,

I am new to this group, so please forgive any ignorance exhibited...
In addition to having banana seeds to plant, I have a load of palm seeds as well... Now I KNOW that Musaceae and Palmae are different families, but they seem to share the same resistance to germination except under fairly rigidly controlled conditions.
However... I found the following link A Practical Guide to Germinating Palm Seeds in which the ziplock baggie method, apparently beloved of banana growers is also mentioned. (I have used this method for most seeds after reading Norman Deno's remarkable work on seed germination).

In this short article, the authors, who seem to be fairly authoritative in their field, advocate filling the baggie not with soil, but with sphagnum moss. To me, this is very logical. Unlike many palms, most bananas seem to be native of 'jungle-type' environments, where moss grows on more or less everything. Ergo, I would have thought, banana seeds would benefit even more so in being germinated in this way...

Just a thought... (and thanks for the good advice that is to be found in such generous quantity in these pages...)

Mike
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Moss?

I haven't tried straight moss but have use peat based soil mix. I usually use straight perlite. I tried coir but had problems with mold.

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Old 04-22-2009, 03:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Joy Re: Moss?

Hi Cinemike, here's my two bit;

Contrary to belief, I have found that palm seeds can germinate in most media as long as it is loose and not compacted. Also, if the sds are healthy, they have a high tolerance of mold/fungus infection. The main criteria here is that the humidity must be consistent. Lastly, the sds should be viable.

My observation in the jungle shows that palm sdlgs germinate in the floor litter which is composed of mainly rotting vegetation. The sds mostly germinate during the period of high rains/humidity and not the dry season. Some of the understorey palms are harder to germinate as they do require a night drop in temp as they are in the deep jungle.

You can easily lift a newly germinated sdlg out of the litter as the roots haven't gotten hold yet. If it is established, like a medium sized sdlg, it will require a hearty yank to get it out.
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Old 04-22-2009, 04:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Thumbs up Re: Moss?

You think being close to the equator might help also...?
Thanks..
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Moss?

I am pretty sure the reason they say to use shagnum peat moss is because it is a soilless media. It is a light, fluffy medium that won't get too heavy, and if sterilized is much less likely to carry harmful pathogens that will wipe out young palm seedlings (or seeds).

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Old 04-23-2009, 08:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Joy Re: Moss?

Yea Mike, where I am, it helps alot as I do not have to worry about the heat needed for germn. The only thing I have to keep in check is the humidity. That's why I always germ sds in a closed environment like deli cups. The heat is ambient and the humidity is literally boxed in. I do at least 1,000 palm sds monthly as part of my sdlg prog and my observations came from this.

I have experimented with unsterilized soil for germn and they do come up. What we are doing is trying to make every sd accounted for, even the weak ones. In the wild, the % is extremely low and only the strongest ones make it up. Then we have to look at the mortality after germn as to whether the sdlg is strong enough to continue its growth. When you walk around the understorey of the forest you only see sdlgs sporadically spaced out from the mother plant.

On viability, sometimes I can't even get 1/100's to germ as they are bad sds, ie., weak, badly formed. I order from reputable sd vendors and it does happen every now and then.
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