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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 07-16-2018, 03:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Cold Hardy Banana Plant Questions

Hey guys. New member here. My name is Mike.

I am a novice gardener. Not a lot of experience successfully growing anything. I have a couple of questions I was hoping I could get some help with.

I will try to give you all of the information I can think of that might be relevant:

I have a young cold hardy banana plant that I'm trying to grow in the backyard. I live in Southeast Michigan. The plant is currently in a pot. It receives direct sunlight from about 9 AM until around 3:30 PM. After 3:30, when I can, I usually move the pot to another area where it can get another couple hours of sun.

The plant is potted in Miracle Grow planting mix. I believe the mix said that it was a 10 10 10 mix.

So, I almost killed my plant within the first week of owning it. I think I either over fertilized it, or burnt it by getting fertilizer directly on the leaves. Probably both. I used a fertilizer that is made for tomatoes. It is by Miracle Grow. It is 18 18 21. I knew I mixed it a little bit strong, so I didn't use a lot of it, but I did get some on the leaves and rinsed it off a few minutes later.

Regardless, by the end of the day, the leaves were already turning brown. I took it out of the pot, dumped out all of the soil, and replanted it with another bag of the same type of Miracle Grow soil, but didn't fertilize it at all. I also rinsed off the plant with water before planting it in its new soil.

I still have not fertilized it since. It has been about two weeks.

After my over-fertilization botch-job, one of the leaves completely turned brown and soft. So, I cut that one off. This left the plant with two leaves, both of which were partly brown/burnt looking and also a little soft. I expected the plant to die, but two weeks later it is now putting out new leaves.

So my question is, now that it has a few more leaves, should I cut off the ones that are half brown? Or should I just trim off the brown parts? Or leave it completely alone?

Also, should I fertilize it? Seems like everything I've read talks about how much fertilizer these guys consume, but I obviously gave it too much. Do they need any at this size? (About 3-4 inches)

Thanks in advance!

[I will post pictures in a few minutes, if I can figure out how.]
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Old 07-16-2018, 04:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Banana Plant Questions

Welcome to the banana nut club...
If it is only 4 inches tall, leave it alone for now. I learned the hard way that if it's happy, don't try to fix it.
It sounds like your plant needs to be in a sandier mix, or something with better drainage. The #1 killer of potted plants and especially bananas is too much water. Wait until it's bigger, but when it's ready to repot or having root rot issues, repot with at least half sand or perlite...
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Varieties I supposedly bought: Manzano, Cavendish, Blue Java, Sweetheart, and Gros Michel.
What it seems I actually have: Brazilian, Cavendish, Namwah, Dwarf Red, Gros Michel, Pisang Ceylon, Veinte Cohol and SH 3640, and American Goldfinger. FHIA 1, Paggi and FHIA 17... Always room for one more.
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Old 07-16-2018, 05:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Banana Plant Questions

Leave it alone and the wind should dry out any leaves that are going to die and knock them off. If it is growing new leaves you are doing ok but you may want to switch to a time release fertilizer to avoid future burning issues.
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Old 07-16-2018, 05:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Banana Plant Questions

Sputinc7- Thank you. I was concerned about that too, so I drilled several holes in the bottom of the pot. Not sure if that was a good idea or not. It seems like the soil gets dry pretty fast now. At least at the top anyway.

Starstryke- I suppose I'm just guessing at whether it is burned or not. Is that what it looks like?


Here are the pictures of what happened: (Has to be fertilizer burn, right?)


This was 9:30AM. I planted and fertilized it.






By 5:40, it looked like this....


(side 1)

(side 2)

I'm assuming I burned it because of how fast it turned brown.

A couple weeks later it has mostly recovered. It has a couple new leaves. I removed the two completely destroyed leaves, and left the other two (obviously they got a bit worse after the previous pics were taken)

I don't know if the partially burned ones are a burden on the plant, or not.

It sounds like maybe I should leave it alone then?

How big should it be before I try fertilizing it again?




Last edited by MikeD : 07-16-2018 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 07-16-2018, 09:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Banana Plant Questions

Leave it alone for now. You can trim the brown off the leaf if you want. But if it is green, the leaf is still good. ... Also, the plant is too young for a lot of direct sunlight. So the moving of the pot is not necessary. ... In the future when repotting, the soil only needs to be about 1" above the top roots. Looks like it was buried up to the bottom leaf ...??? . ..



The miracle grow plant mix (10-10-10) is (I think) 10% sand; 10% peat; and 10% bark (pine?). Check the bag to verify. This mix should be ok for the banana and a quick draining mix. Just make sure water can drain out of the pot! And do NOT use self watering type pots. ... The pot mix may already have fertilizer mixed in. If so, the little banana doesn't need any additional fertilizer for about 4 months.


The banana plant roots need to breath AIR. So too wet or soggy potting soil will prevent air from getting to the roots and kill the plant. Misting the plant leaves 2 Xs a day will be a big help and supply plenty of water for the plant needs. Water the pot about every 10 to 12 days.


What kind of banana is that?
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Old 07-17-2018, 06:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Banana Plant Questions

Thank you, everybody, for your help.

Edwmax - The type of banana is Musa Basjoo.

Thank you for the tip about misting it. I had not read that before. I will start doing that instead of watering.

I think the soil does have some added nutrients, so I will wait for few months to fertilize it, but unfortunately, I used the Miracle Grow garden soil instead of potting soil. I did this because I assumed this plant was going to be growing really fast and would require transfer to the garden really soon since its pot can't be more than 2 gallons or so. However, it seems as though that isn't going to be the case.

So, now my question is, should I change to potting soil? Does it make that much of a difference?

I did drill 5 holes in the bottom of the pot for water drainage.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Smile Re: Cold Hardy Banana Plant Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeD View Post
Thank you, everybody, for your help.

Edwmax - The type of banana is Musa Basjoo.

Thank you for the tip about misting it. I had not read that before. I will start doing that instead of watering.

I think the soil does have some added nutrients, so I will wait for few months to fertilize it, but unfortunately, I used the Miracle Grow garden soil instead of potting soil. I did this because I assumed this plant was going to be growing really fast and would require transfer to the garden really soon since its pot can't be more than 2 gallons or so. However, it seems as though that isn't going to be the case.

So, now my question is, should I change to potting soil? Does it make that much of a difference?

I did drill 5 holes in the bottom of the pot for water drainage.

Thanks again.
In your grow zone the plant will not survive the winter when it is that small and frail.
Just my op.

Grow the plant out over the winter and plant it next spring once it is larger and healthier.

I would not disturb the soil on that frail plant. Keep and use mix you own.
Give the plant a chance to FILL the container with roots, this will take the rest of the season.
The plant will sort itself out in a few months just in time to bring it in for the winter.

Keep the soilless mix on the dry side and keep the plant in a part shade condition and use the hints in the previous posts they are all helpful.

There are some good Youtube videos on how to overwinter your plant and to repot it.

Hope the little guy makes it.
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Banana Plant Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by cincinnana View Post
In your grow zone the plant will not survive the winter when it is that small and frail.
Just my op.

Grow the plant out over the winter and plant it next spring once it is larger and healthier.

I would not disturb the soil on that frail plant. Keep and use mix you own.
Give the plant a chance to FILL the container with roots, this will take the rest of the season.
The plant will sort itself out in a few months just in time to bring it in for the winter.

Keep the soilless mix on the dry side and keep the plant in a part shade condition and use the hints in the previous posts they are all helpful.

There are some good Youtube videos on how to overwinter your plant and to repot it.

Hope the little guy makes it.

Thank you very much, Cincinnanna!
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Old 07-18-2018, 08:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cold Hardy Banana Plant Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeD View Post
Thank you very much, Cincinnanna!
Yep........grow it like you stole it.....
Your plant is fragile.
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