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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 02-16-2008, 01:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Question about Fungus Gnats: Do they really eat the inside of seeds?

I can't find any literature on them eating the endosperm of seeds, although I do know that they will eat young roots of seedlings. Can anybody show me some literature that proves that these little pests actually do eat endosperm? I don't see how the larvae could penetrate the seed coat, seeing as how thick it is. Even if the micropylar plug is gone, the inner integument is still there. I suppose it's possible that they could eat through it and get to the inside of the seed. If you've ever seen the larvae, they aren't exactly small in relation to a Musa seed though.
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about Fungus Gnats: Do they really eat the inside of seeds?

Frank, are you talking about those little tiny black flies? I have had them alot, and if you look really close they have these microscopic worms that are almost clear. I think its actually the worms that burrow their way into seeds, and even pretty hard seeds. With Jubaea, and Butia seeds that weren't cracked they didn't get in, but every musa seed seemed to get eaten inside out. I've also been wondering how they can sometimes get into zip lock bags, because I've taken alot of precaution so the don't get in my baggies, and one day I'll look and there they are(arrrrggg), and I have to take all the seeds out, and chuck a bunch.
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Old 02-17-2008, 12:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about Fungus Gnats: Do they really eat the inside of seeds?

Yep, those are the ones. I just can't find any confirmation in literature that they eat seeds. Roots and callous (from new cuttings), but not seeds. We get them now and again in the greenhouse, but Gnatrol works fantastic on them.
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Old 02-17-2008, 09:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about Fungus Gnats: Do they really eat the inside of seeds?

Yep, I tried to germinate some seeds in the greenhouse and they got in there and made all the seeds hollow. Later on when I checked them, they were just empty shells. I haven't tried to germinate them in the greenhouse since, only in the house.Not very technical, but they seemed to be getting into the seeds through the same hole where the sprouts usually push out, the little dimply place.
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about Fungus Gnats: Do they really eat the inside of seeds?

fungus gnats reproduce in moist, shaded areas in decaying organic matter such as leaf litter, rotting bark, etc. their life cycle is roughly 4 weeks, with continuous reproduction in homes or greenhouses where warm temperatures are maintained. broods will overlap, with all life stages present during the breeding season. generally the larvae not only feed on fungi and decaying organic matter, but on living plant tissue, particularly root hairs and small feeder roots - i have never seen any documentation on the larvae consuming seeds but that does not mean they won't, just that they are more likely to eat soft tissue.

symptoms on roots show up as brown scars, underground parts of the stem may be injured and root hairs eaten off. damage occurs most often in greenhouses or plant beds.

adults live about 7 to 10 days and deposit eggs on the moist soil surface or in soil cracks. females can anywhere from 100 to 300 eggs in batches of 2-30 in decaying organic matter. the eggs hatch in 4 to 6 days; larvae then feed for 12 to 14 days with a pupal stage of about 5 to 6 days.

some preventive measures:
overwatering, water leaks and poor drainage may result in buildup of fungus gnats. always allowing the soil to dry as much as possible, without injury to the plants, is an effective method of killing many maggots. houseplants taken outside during warm weather may become infested with insects before being brought back indoors, inspect carefully and discard if heavily infested or unable to save. remove all old plant material and debris in and around the home. practice good sanitation. bug zappers will attract and kill many adults at night.

treatment:
yellow sticky cards (traps) for adult fungus gnat detection - fungus gnats are highly attracted to yellow. just place traps just above the plants at a frequency of one every 500 to 1,000 square feet. check traps 2 to 3 times each week and replace when covered with insects. sprays are also effective, fungus gnats are killed easily with pyrethrins spray or aerosols labelled for "gnats" or "flying insects."
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Old 02-17-2008, 11:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Question about Fungus Gnats: Do they really eat the inside of seeds?

thanks so much i just started seeing them here and sprayed "off" to keep them off ok well now will the spray hurt the seedlings or plants
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about Fungus Gnats: Do they really eat the inside of seeds?

Illustrates the importance of using clean soil & equipment, but sometimes these little creatures come with the seeds themselves.

I have sometimes soaked the seeds in a bleach solution for a few moments to be on the safe side. Soil used for germination could be sterilized in a pressure cooker.
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Question about Fungus Gnats: Do they really eat the inside of seeds?

Meat Eating Plants!
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Old 04-27-2008, 03:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about Fungus Gnats: Do they really eat the inside of seeds?

I am in Phoenix and fungus gnats are EVERYWHERE on my balcony. They really love the smaller nanners and the smaller dracaena. I'm in Phoenix where it's 90+ now and they are horrid. I would love to spray everything but worried tender stuff won't make it. Like the baby nanners I just posted.

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Old 04-27-2008, 08:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Question about Fungus Gnats: Do they really eat the inside of seeds?

Thanks, inkcube, for the information. It is very helpful.

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