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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 10-19-2020, 05:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default How much difference in height should there be between suckers?

I have an 'ice cream' banana plant that's roughly 4 feet tall at the point where the pstem branches out, with a follower about half that size, and a pup that's about half of that.

So my questions are:

1. How much height should be between a mother and its followers? In other words, when should I leave a pup alone rather than de-suckering?
2. How often can I de-sucker without damaging the mother plant? In other words, should I do it as soon as I see a new sucker? or should I give the plant some time to heal from the last set of de-suckering?
3. Can a follower be 'too large' to separate from the mother and re-plant in a pot? For example, could I separate the follower in the picture and re-pot it to plant at a later time? Or is it too late/large to do so?

Thanks, all!

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Old 10-19-2020, 07:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How much difference in height should there be between suckers?

I like to have a follower that will be fruiting ideally no longer than two months after I harvest the bunch from the mother plant, unless winter is coming, but I can't really 100% achieve that.

So if my plants are going to achieve a height of 10 feet, I like to leave a pup when the mother is about five feet tall. Roughly by the time the mother fruits the pup will be about six- seven feet tall (maybe more, the pups grow faster than the original mother)
the fruit takes roughly four months to ripen the fruit, so by that time the pup is very close to fruiting. I also allow a pup to grow about every couple months.

Then when the pup is about five foot or so tall, I leave another one. I also only leave the vigorous ones. It will be obvious which ones are healthy and which aren't.


Forum member Greenie (Rene) told me that digging pups harms your mother plant, which makes sense. It creates a wound, into which rot, grubs, bacteria, ECT enter into the wound causing stress. If your plant is already experiencing stress, ie, standing water, flowering, cold, insects (nematodes on roots, aphids, ECT), it could cause your plant to die. That makes your plant kind of take energy away from growing to heal the spot.

Greenie told me that he recommends cutting unwanted pups off below the soil every couple weeks, adding energy into the rest. It also probably strengthings the plant. The roots from pups that are cut below the soil pulls in nutrients from the soil and adds it to the "pot" of energy the plant possesses/draws from. If they were removed, those roots would no longer be helping the plant. Hope this lengthy response helps!
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Old 11-07-2020, 02:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How much difference in height should there be between suckers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backyard Banana Joe View Post
I like to have a follower that will be fruiting ideally no longer than two months after I harvest the bunch from the mother plant, unless winter is coming, but I can't really 100% achieve that.

So if my plants are going to achieve a height of 10 feet, I like to leave a pup when the mother is about five feet tall. Roughly by the time the mother fruits the pup will be about six- seven feet tall (maybe more, the pups grow faster than the original mother)
the fruit takes roughly four months to ripen the fruit, so by that time the pup is very close to fruiting. I also allow a pup to grow about every couple months.

Then when the pup is about five foot or so tall, I leave another one. I also only leave the vigorous ones. It will be obvious which ones are healthy and which aren't.


Forum member Greenie (Rene) told me that digging pups harms your mother plant, which makes sense. It creates a wound, into which rot, grubs, bacteria, ECT enter into the wound causing stress. If your plant is already experiencing stress, ie, standing water, flowering, cold, insects (nematodes on roots, aphids, ECT), it could cause your plant to die. That makes your plant kind of take energy away from growing to heal the spot.

Greenie told me that he recommends cutting unwanted pups off below the soil every couple weeks, adding energy into the rest. It also probably strengthings the plant. The roots from pups that are cut below the soil pulls in nutrients from the soil and adds it to the "pot" of energy the plant possesses/draws from. If they were removed, those roots would no longer be helping the plant. Hope this lengthy response helps!

Sorry for the delayed response. Your comments definitely help, and I really appreciate it! I took your advice and cut off the pups in the picture since the plant is expected to get 10-20ft according to google, and they're currently only about 5 feet. I'm going to let them get a bit taller before letting a pup stick around.

I tried planting the pups in a container after separating them. I'm not sure I got enough of the root system. I cut the old leaves off and I can see a new leaf coming out, but it's growing _extremely_ slow, so I'm not sure if that's just residual growth left in the 'pot' or if its actually going to make it through and root itself eventually. At one point, one of the three pups I containerized was growing very quickly (roughly 6 inches of new leaf came out) but then it started browning and the growth almost completely stopped. Very odd! Maybe its 'pot' of energy ran out?

Cheers!
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