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Banana Plant Health And Maintenance Topics This forum is for discussions of banana plant health topics such as coloration issues, burning, insects, pruning, transplanting, separating pups, viruses, disease, and other general banana plant health and maintenance issues.


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Old 06-30-2012, 02:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A'eae pseudostem splitting

2 of my 3 A'eae are splitting themselves apart. They are still growing but most of the leaves are dying more quickly, and one of them is putting out much smaller leaves now. Any thoughts on this. Hopefully not a disease and maybe just overwatering?



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Old 06-30-2012, 05:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: A'eae pseudostem splitting

I swear, I think it's from rapid growth. That's my feeling since those outer layers are the oldest leaves. You're getting smaller leaves? Are you having enough rainfall and are you feeding?
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: A'eae pseudostem splitting

Is your watering consistent? I've had tomatos split on me if we get heavy rains, they just soak it up, and the skin doesn't stretch.
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: A'eae pseudostem splitting

Unfortunately, I'm starting to think it is Panama disease. The watering & feeding has been pretty consistent. The original plant died before the fruit matured, and these 2 are from that plant. The water sucker from this plant that I put in a totally different spot in the yard is fine, and has grown much faster than these 2. I guess the only way to know for sure if it is panama disease is to slice it open. Ugh, I sure hope not. So far no other bananas have these symptoms.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: A'eae pseudostem splitting

I was going to second Mew's diagnosis of rapid growth, but your symptoms are a little different from what I see, plus I know nothing about what Panama disease looks like. But ... what I see with plants is the leaves split, usually down in the first foot or so of the p-stem(vs all the way up like yours). Mine do it normally as long as growing conditions are good, and the swelling "trunk" is bigger around than the old leaf bases. The opposite is what I call a "barkie" - if the growing conditions are not good the old leaf bases never pop off, and eventually turn dead on the outside of the p-stem, making it look like it has bark. Those plants take forever to fruit and never do much. Their keiki can do great, as long as I give them some fresh rich dirt, etc.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: A'eae pseudostem splitting

Forgot to include this picture or the other one splitting. The lower part is bulging out from the inside.
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: A'eae pseudostem splitting

Hey Rob,
without checking for certainty, there's no better way to check for Panama Disease (or Black Sigatoka) than cross-sectioning it to see the tell-tale dark ring in the pseudostem. Since you said that you have several, you may need to chop one up 'for the team'. lol At least you'll know, because if so, you need to dispose of all of them, sad to say. Also, make sure you till up all of the roots and work a good hearty dose of Sulfur into the soil for future plantings. Better safe than sorry. I would hate to see it spread as it does.

Good luck! ...Me ke aloha mai!
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Old 07-01-2012, 04:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: A'eae pseudostem splitting

I read that Erwinia rot is supposed to cause these symptoms. I have a potted banana that did exactly what your plant does and i am suspecting it. Maybe the soil where these bananas are stays too wet or these bananas are stressed from something? For the water sucker to have grown up well elsewhere,it means its happy or it would probably not survive at all.
Overwatering could be the reason this disease took hold and if you are not watering as much your healthy ones,you should change your watering schedule to that of your healthy ones and hopefully they will fix If Pseudomonas fluorescence is available to you,get and apply some,your bananas would benefit from its protective nature against rot and wilts.
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Old 07-01-2012, 05:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: A'eae pseudostem splitting

Thanks for all these responses. According to this page Plant Protection in Banana - ICAAP
what mine are doing sounds less like Panama Disease. Splitting isn't mentioned on that page. I'm also thinking since I've used the same tools to dig up and replant the pups from the first one that didn't make mature fruit, I would have spread the fungus everywhere by now, but nothing else is doing this, and the transplanted water sucker which originally had contact with the soil in this spot is one of my healthiest looking plants now.

The few pics I've been able to find regarding Erwinia rot look more like what I'm experiencing. It may be too that the parts of the yard where these both are doesn't drain as well. Maybe I'm overwatering them too.

I think I'll look into treating for Erwinia, lay off on the watering, and see what happens. If not, I will slice and look for Panama disease. When I cut down the original plant there was rot and corm borer larva, but it didn't have the dark rings of Panama disease. Hmmm....
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: A'eae pseudostem splitting

Also look into False Panama disease disorder but Erwinia seems more likely with the symptoms you are experiencing. If you can find the nematodes Steinernema carpocapsae locally,you can drench all your bananas with it and get rid of the borers which let Erwinia or whatever, in. This is a soil dweling nematode species so it may even persist in your soil and plants and thus continue to protect your plants more than a few months.

Laying off watering is a good plan for now. If you fix the culture,Erwinia shouldnt be much of a problem. If you apply Pseudomonas fluorescence,it will also be of great help in suppressing such diseases.
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: A'eae pseudostem splitting

My orinocos did the same thing about three weeks ago. The new growth just popped out the the side .The old growth looked discolored, so I trimmed back to to the new growth that popped out of the side.It looks good now.However another orinoco seemed like the new growth got clogged in the pstem -it was all bunched up with nowhere to go .Trimmed that one also to the new growth-looks good also but I lost about four feet in heigth. I dont know if this is relevent to your A'eae.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: A'eae pseudostem splitting

Well it is safe to say it does not have Panama disease. 2 of the plants affected by splitting blew over and broke. The p-stem was nice and white when sliced with no signs of Panama disease. They are also putting out lots of pups which look healthy. Even with the splitting and rotting where the splitting took place, they were still pushing out good looking new leaves.

Pseudomonas fluorescence and the nematodes Steinernema carpocapsae are not available at the biggest ag supplier here so those probably aren't options for me.
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