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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 09-29-2022, 03:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
Location: Tampa Bay Area, FL
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Default Dwarf Namwah growing very slowly

I'm looking for feedback as to what I'm doing wrong or for someone to tell me that I'm overthinking and have nothing to worry about. Fine with either one so long as it's honest. Anyway, here's the situation:

I got my dwarf Namwah on June 3rd and planted it in the ground in my zone 9b subtropical central Florida yard. Soil is sandy and well draining, but has a good amount of organic matter as well (at least my citrus trees seem to love it as they've grown exceptionally well). The spot it's planted gets full sun, 6-8 hours per day, with the sunlight first hitting the leaves around 12pm (unfortunately misses out on morning sun due to it's proximity to my fence). When I first planted it the P-stem was about 16 inches tall. After a couple of weeks in the ground, its first new leaf began to emerge. During the month of July, it put out a new leaf every 1-1.5 weeks. After about 4 leaves it abruptly stopped putting out any leaves. After almost 4 weeks with no new leaves, I became concerned something was wrong with the plant. The existing leaves browned at the edges and became crispy. I cut most of them off hoping that may stimulate the new leaf to emerge. Finally it did after almost 4.5 weeks with no new growth at all. To my surprise it actually put out two leaves in one week, with the second one already starting to emerge before the first one even finished unraveling. So I thought it was just a fluke, maybe the plant was growing its corm or roots for the last 4 weeks and now is ready to start upward growth again. Well after those 2 rapid leaves, another 3 weeks have gone by with no more new leaves. I can see the rolled up leaf inside the canal just sitting there, but it hasn't budged in the 3 weeks. From June 3rd to September 29th (17 weeks) in the subtropical heat, humidity, and precipitation (should be pretty optimal growing conditions), this thing has produced 6 leaves (average of one new leaf every 3 weeks) total and the P-stem has grown at most 2-3 inches in height. For a variety that banana enthusiasts tout as one of the most vigorous growers out there, I've been pretty underwhelmed. Is this typical of a young plant that's been in the ground for less than a year, and it will display this vigorous growth next Spring once it's fully established? Or is there a reason why I'm failing to grow a type of plant that grows huge mats on the sides of highways in my area without anyone attending to them?

Other variables: I have been feeding with a 0.5lb 2:1 ratio mix of 10-10-10 and 0-0-60 slow release granular fertilizer once every 4 weeks. I have top-dressed with compost twice. The surrounding soil is heavily mulched with pine bark nuggets (and the leaves of the plant itself that I pruned off).

Mistakes I have made: At first when old leaves would die, I would peel the whole leave sheath off down to the ground. I now realize I'm not supposed to do this because it compromises the integrity of the "trunk". I learned this after removing the first 2-3 leaves in this manner. I also may have been underwatering (one heavy watering on days it didn't rain) it for a period, considering it gets mostly intense afternoon sun and probably lost water to transpiration/evaporation even during our wet season. I now water it 2-3 times daily and mist the leaves when the afternoon sun is beating down on it. I highly doubt that it's even capable of being overwatered in the sandy well-draining soil.
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Old 09-29-2022, 06:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Namwah growing very slowly

one, it sounds like its been getting too much attention. by peeling the p-stem its hard telling whats been done.

now, you take a banana and plant it in the tropics where it gets full sun and gets cooling a breeze during the day and gets a cooling afternoon rain. it grows great and fast. then take the same banana and plant it in neighborhoods with lots of asphalt, privacy fences and tiny yards. and put in 8hrs of sun. someplace you yourself would not stand barefoot for 5mins. to me planting in full sun is a tongue in cheek thing.

same with [well draining]. i am well draining, too well draining, sand. i get a rain everyday my plants shoot up, but typically i go weeks between rains. thats not so good. i can put a moisture meter in the ground on a hot day, the day after a rain and i will show dry to next to dry. too well draining. thats one of the reasons i mulch lite, to get moisture to my roots.
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Old 09-29-2022, 06:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Namwah growing very slowly

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Originally Posted by Potatonah View Post
Or is there a reason why I'm failing to grow a type of plant that grows huge mats on the sides of highways in my area without anyone attending to them?
You are giving the plant too much attention.
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Old 09-29-2022, 06:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Namwah growing very slowly

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Originally Posted by cincinnana View Post
You are giving the plant too much attention.
we were posting at the same time.
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Old 09-29-2022, 12:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Namwah growing very slowly

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we were posting at the same time.
I saw that LOL
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Old 09-29-2022, 11:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
Location: Tampa Bay Area, FL
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Default Re: Dwarf Namwah growing very slowly

Thank you guys I appreciate the honest feedback. I'm actually going out of town for a week on Monday so maybe that'll be the best thing that's happened to this poor over-loved plant.

Lesson learned about putting young plants in full afternoon sun throughout the summer. In retrospect I probably should have kept it in a container and moved it around the yard so it got mostly morning sun and afternoon shade and then waited until the following Spring to put in the ground. Hopefully the cooler Fall and Spring seasons will give this plant the opportunity to put out some more growth so it will be more robust by the time next Summer comes.
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Old 09-30-2022, 01:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Namwah growing very slowly

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Originally Posted by Potatonah View Post
Thank you guys I appreciate the honest feedback. I'm actually going out of town for a week on Monday so maybe that'll be the best thing that's happened to this poor over-loved plant.

Lesson learned about putting young plants in full afternoon sun throughout the summer. In retrospect I probably should have kept it in a container and moved it around the yard so it got mostly morning sun and afternoon shade and then waited until the following Spring to put in the ground. Hopefully the cooler Fall and Spring seasons will give this plant the opportunity to put out some more growth so it will be more robust by the time next Summer comes.
my yard is not your yard. neither is my soil, or weather. we cannot see anything that you have or what you are doing, we can only go by what you tell us.

luck with your nanner.
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