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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 02-05-2017, 04:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Soaking seeds getting moldy

Hi! I currently have a bunch of musa sikkimensis seeds soaking in cooled-down boiled water, and another bunch in a nitrozyme solution with the same water. All of them have been filled a little bit so a little part of the white embryo is visible. Despite all measures to do everything in as clean an environment as possible some of them seem to be developing a fluff around them. What would be a safe way to clean the seeds so they won't start to mold or rot when I plant them in soil? If it hadn't been for the fact that they are filled down and the embryo is exposed I would use antibacterial soap or something , but with the vulnerable parts a little exposed I am reluctant to use any harsher methods. Any advice or personal experience with seeds starting to grow a tad moldy?

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Old 02-05-2017, 12:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soaking seeds getting moldy

I get that if I forget to change out my water daily. I would slosh them around in some very warm water 4-5 times. Drain water/refill/slosh etc.

I have actually had worse results with filed down seeds. I've found it's better to not file/chip the seed or do anything fancy. Just soak for 2-3 days changing water daily then letting them sprout in 100% peat moss the natural way unfiled with buttons still intact.

If you had a sterile lab and could do embryo rescue that would be a different story. But personally I have had way worse success with banana seeds when I mess with the seed. If you have fresh seeds and provide the correct conditions they will sprout and continue sprouting for over a year.
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Old 02-05-2017, 01:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Soaking seeds getting moldy

Thank you for your suggestion! I've changed the water the way you suggested and their fluff seems to have gone for now.

I'll keep a close eye on them and change the water more frequently

As for my method; It is my third attempt at raising bananas from seed and I have read about so many -often contradictory- theories about musa's that it was starting to drive me nuts, so I settled with a method that seemed to have worked well for one of the members here;

Quote:
Originally Posted by varig8 View Post
I've germinated Musa seed many times. Since you may have gotten them from a seed catalog, or you do not know how fresh they are; and also they do take some time to sprout, I always score the seed whether fresh or not. This way , if they are viable, they sprout within a weeks time. Simply take a metal fingernail file, and file ONE tiny cut through the hard outer shell until you just barely see the white meat inside. Only enough to permit some moisture into the interior of the seed. Then soak overnight and pot them up right below the surface with the "bellybutton" top side up. Roots will develop around the outer 'ring' of the bellybutton, and the shoot will come from the center. Keep evenly moist but not soaking wet. Ive used many different soil mixes, doesnt seem to matter, its the amount of water that is crucial. Of course, you should provide warmth and bright light. Ive found this way very successful. If you think about it, nature has made it possible for these seed to germinate simply by being passed through an animals digestive track,(permiting easy germination from the acids in their stomachs to breakdown some of the hard shell), and then dropped to the ground and sprout themselves without any 'help' from man.
Initially, I was doubting the chipping too, but reading about the sikkimensis' germination reputation turned me to use the file
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Old 02-05-2017, 01:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soaking seeds getting moldy

I agree there is so many different openions and contradictions. It drove me crazy in the beginning also. And I have had some sprout after filing them. I've found the best way most of the time is the natural way. I'm religious and believe God made them the that way for a reason. The dead outer layer protects the embryo from all the outside bad stuff until it is ready to sprout. From a non religious point you could say evolution perfected them over many many years for the same reason.

However I love to experiment and try different ways of doing thing and keeping track of the results to compare.

My experience with banana seeds shows this is the best way I have found:
I soak the seeds for 2-3 days if fresh. If not fresh or I'm unsure I will soak for 5-7 days always changing the water daily. (Normal tap water)

Then I use dry 100% peat moss (I find it helps vs fungus and mould). I wet it to the point where there is no water not absorbed. (I will hold the moss in and turn upside down. No water should drain. The moss has absorbed it all).

I use a Rubbermaid or similar (leftover food) type. The kind that seal good. I have also used plastic wrap to seal the top or press and seal works great. You want very high humidity.

I place the seeds on top of the peat moss and just gently press them. About 1/3 of the seed into the moss or so. Rest of the seed is above the soil level. Then I sit the container on a heat mat arond 80-90F. On 24 hours. I don't start cycling heat cycles until a month or more later.

After the peat is moist I never water again. Every 5-7 days I will open it all up and check for fungus or mold and spray them with a water bottle. Just a mist to wet them. No extra water.

After your done with them (usually 3-4 months for me) I fill a pot with sand and bury the peat moss under about an inch of sand and label the pot. They will keep coming up outside for awhile. I have some from October 2015 that sprouted 3 more a couple weeks ago.

Fastest I have ever had a banana seed sprout is around 2 weeks. And those were my personal seeds I harvested so they were extremely fresh.

What all varieties of seeds do you have? Do you have other bananas already growing right now?

Good luck and let us know when you have one sprout. It's like Christmas morning when you see your first sprout haha.
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Old 02-05-2017, 02:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Soaking seeds getting moldy

In the past I have tried Itinerans, Ventricosum, Nagensium and Sikkimensis.
Off all the banana seeds I ever planted I remember only having one or two sprout during my very first attempt, which unfortunately died off before reaching 2 inch. My two previous attempts date from last year and the year before that and had a succes rate of 0% (which I blame on the webshop I bought the seeds from ).

Learning from that experience I contacted another seller with good reviews asking about the freshness of his current stocked musas and the sikkimensis was just in and labeled "very fresh". So that's the one I bought.

Along with banana seeds I also ordered some coffea arabica and sequoia sempervirens. As a gift he included 15 canna indica seeds. Seven of those I gave to a friend and 8 I chipped with a hacksaw until the embryo was barely visible and put them in water. One day later 3 had sprouted already, despite their bad rep for being fickle seeds, so that gave my confidence in both the quality of seeds and the chipping method a boost!

None of the seeds are easy, I realise, but I definitely have my hopes up! Fourth time's a charm, no?

Next time I'm at the garden centre, I will check for the peat moss. Thank you for that suggestion!
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soaking seeds getting moldy

Nice. I hope you get good results. In my openion the freshness of the seed is the most important part. That's what I think leads to all the different recommended methods to germinate them. If you have a truly fresh seed you will get results unless you just torture them. Musa velutina is a very easy one. I have a few seeds from last year left if you want some.

And I'm sure you know this but any banana you plant from a seed will produce bananas with seed and be "inedible". You can eat them but by the time you pick out all the seeds from an entire bunch you may get 1 banana worth of pulp.
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Soaking seeds getting moldy

I will keep you updated

When you refer to the musa velutina being easy, do you mean the germination of its seeds or the little care the plants need? I just found out I live in a 9a zone, here in Belgium so they might be a good option in pots due to their smaller size.
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soaking seeds getting moldy

Both. They are very easy to germinate if fresh. I have had several batches of them fail but once I got fresh seeds I had 50%+ germination rates. They are a small plant that blooms super fast. The bloom stands straight up and makes small fuzzy pink bananas. Easy to grow plant also. Should come up and rebloom every year in your zone. They could do ok in pots also but in the ground they really spread out and grow around the area you planted them.

I wish you lived in the US I could send you some seeds. Maybe if you decide to try more seeds in the future give em a shot. I love them.
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Old 02-07-2017, 04:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Soaking seeds getting moldy

They sound perfect! I'll purchase a bunch of them next time I order seeds.
They're on the website I got the current bunch from so they should be easy to get here too. Thank you for all the advice and the offer to send me some if I'd lived in the US!
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Old 02-20-2017, 11:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Soaking seeds getting moldy

Great news! When coming back from work today I was pleasantly surprised to find not one, but two of the musa sikkimensis seeds sprouting!



I've planted them on February 8 right under the surface after they had been lightly cut and soaked for a few days, and placed them next to our soapstone woodstove so they would be kept comfortably warm over long periods of time. Now, just 12 days later these two have germinated!

One of them seems to be growing upside down. Will it 'realise' growing the wrong way and bend it's root back into the soil, or should I help a hand and
flip it? (I tried several times posting a picture but even though I get the notification that it was succesfully uploaded, My Photos stays empty). Maybe I'll try again later

Oh, and 6 of my 7 canna seeds have been germinated too, after only a few days of soaking in water with a small cut in their shells, and three of them are already reaching the 4 inch mark.
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Old 03-31-2017, 10:49 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Soaking seeds getting moldy

Eventually I got 3 plants from the 25 banana seeds I planted.
Not a very great germination rate, but I'm not complaining The rest af the seeds will still be kept in the propagator for a while in case one still decides to sprout.

All three look healthy and happy!

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]
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