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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 11-06-2012, 04:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Banana Plant with Black Spots

Hello All!

I am glad to have found you and would like to ask any of your expert advice to help resolve an issue with my banana plant asap!

The background is, that between beautiful thriving (to which I would LOVE it to return!), it has suffered one extreme drought, after which I put it in the garden where it seemed to get on and unfortunately left it out over the first frost (in Austria), where it went down to approximately -4C or so. The next day I brought it in, but it really suffered. It has not recovered and on that day too developed black spots. It has been inside for about a week. There is little sunlight here (I am thinking of getting a glasshouse for the winter), but I thought the new stems coming out remained intact, when I looked every day. Today, I saw these too are developing black spots.

My main question is: in so far as a drought and an undercooling is concerned, how does this affect the root(s)?

Thank you so much, in advance, for any advice. I may put up a photo of it here.. it really was gorgeous a while ago. Stunningly beautiful.

Many best wishes,

Rebecca
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Banana Plant with Black Spots

Sounds like lingering effects of either cold damage or transplant shock (or a combination). Cold would kill off leaves first, then the pseudostem would freeze and become complete mush (though it should still be able to come back from the corm at this stage), then if it was still left there, the corm could freeze if it was cold enough, which would kill the plant entirely. So roots would be the last thing affected.....though transplant and drought would cause stress that could affect root health.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Banana Plant with Black Spots

Thank you, lilraverboi. Your comment gives a good insight into what I can expect. In how far the root was damaged due to the drought in the summer, I cannot tell. The black spots came since the overnight stay at minus temperature. In the morning the plant was covered in snow too. What I'd like to know, though, is what I can do to help the plant? It needs first aid I'm sure. I read somewhere yesterday that black spots can also be a cancer and can be treated through chemicals. That is not a possibility for me, but if you have any tips (I'm new to banana-rearing), like whether I should cut off all the affected leaves, whether I should take a look at the root or let it dry or whatever, or similar, that would really help me. Thank you.

Regards,
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Banana Plant with Black Spots

Are you keeping it actively growing in a pot indoors over the winter? That seems to be what is implied in your posts. If so, just keep it indoors, water somewhat sparingly during the winter (wait till the soil is dry an inch or two below the soil surface before watering moderately). You can check the moisture by poking your finger down in the soil. Hold off on fertilizer or do so minimally during the winter. Make sure the plant gets as much light as you can give it (south windows preferred in northern hemisphere, north windows in southern hemisphere). It should recover just fine. The damage that has already been done to the leaves will not get any better....those leaves may continue to die off. You don't have to remove anything until it's dead/dry/brown. It might look a little crappy for a while, but it should recover in time.

As far as 'cancer' for bananas....never heard of this and as far as I'm aware it does not exist. You shouldn't need any chemicals. Be vigilant, though over the winter for spider mites (especially underneath leaves). Look for tiny spider webs under the leaves or TINY mites on the leaves. There are many threads on the org that tell how to treat if you do get them, and they can be a big pain in the butt, but don't worry about it too much....just keep an eye out from time to time.

Post some pics in here if you can get some so that we can have a better look at the issues.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Banana Plant with Black Spots

Thanks so much, lilraverboi.

That really helped! You completely gave me an idea of how to go about this. Funny, I got the plant this summer when it was a baby and it grew into the most beautiful thing! It grew three times the size in a couple of months and developed many babies around it in the pot~ yes, it's in a large pot and I repotted once after seeing amazing thick white roots with beautiful hairs on them around the edge of the soil from the original pot. I also took a peek at the root and was amazed that nature could produce such a complex structure for one little plant. I think you're right~ at least you give me the optimism, that I think it will thrive~ and I really hope so. I'll try and post some pics and also as it develops. It would be nice to see a stunning plant in the end, again. One more question, it has a little white mold around the stem especially. Is that usual for banana plants? And does that have to be treated? The photos will show the issues, yes. Thanks a lot, again.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Banana Plant with Black Spots

Bananas are pretty resilient plants. They can handle quite a bit and still come back strong. As far as the mold goes, I wouldn't say it's 'normal' but I've had some on mine in the past. I usually just water a little less and it goes away. I'm sure you can treat it somehow (sulfur maybe) but I'm not exactly sure the best way. A little bit is probably not a big deal, but make sure it doesn't become a larger issue. This might be mold on an area of rot. Any tissue on the plant that is brown/moist/squishy is rot, which can spread. Most people cut it off before it can spread. Again, I've found that plants tend to have small amounts at time without an issue, but if you have a large area of brown/moist/squishy area, peel back the layer and cut it out carefully till you find healthy tissue. Just be careful and conservative.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Banana Plant with Black Spots

Wow, brilliant, thanks! You must be a real banana raver with all the posts you've written and thanks you've received Shall do. And I feel more confident, now that you've informed me. I'll post pics soon~ have so much to do, but the plant is one of the things on my mind.. funny, I don't eat bananas, but have always had an afinity to the plants!

I see I'm not the only one!!!
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Drummer Re: Banana Plant with Black Spots

Hello again all,

A little update, I have removed the dried, dead parts of the tree as mentioned above, and see the earth is quite wet, despite not watering (probably condensation from the wood hut I live in), and that there are mites at the bottom. I will post photos soon, now the plant is a little more representable

So, my questions: will an ordinary mite spray clear the mites problem? And should I dry the soil that is wet and surrounding the bottom which has somewhat rot around the outside (have removed this as far as I could)?

I'm quite pleased with the development and will give it plenty of time and space to recover on its own, without human manipulation, other than any 'medical aid'.

AIM: to let it get back to its original state
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