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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 09-10-2015, 08:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Namwah and Ice Creams Very Sick

I purchased four Namwah and two Ice Creams at PIN in Miami at the end of July this year. They started looking pretty crappy pretty quickly. Must have been something I did, just not sure what.



It started out as black spots on leaves and pseudostems, then the sicker looking plants had a couple of leaves fold down at the stem and the brown spots got bigger. The leaves on a couple are bunched up at the top. The cigar leaves on a couple have stopped growing and turned brown. On one, the cigar leaf is stunted and really light colored.

The are still in the containers from the nursery, so are the roots getting too hot, too wet, too dry? I have been fertilizing about once a week with Foliage Pro at 1/4 tablespoon / gal with a cap full of vinegar added to the watering can. I also used Fish Emulsion as a foliage spray once. We have been getting rain here and there and I try to check the soil with a moisture meter to keep them moist, but not too wet or dry.

What do you think? I'm in Z8b, Charleston, SC.

Last edited by SonnyCrockett : 09-10-2015 at 08:09 PM. Reason: Add zone, location
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Namwah and Ice Creams Very Sick

What kind of vinegar are you using, cider, or white? Some people use white vinegar as a herbicide but probably in larger doses. I would think any kind of vinegar would be too acidic (Maybe good for Blueberries etc.) and its going to modify your soil PH, especially in pots. I have seen bananas look like that when they have had their roots die, the leaves will start to droop even in shade, and the leaf petioles break. If you can lift the root ball out of the pot without damaging the plant, see if it has white roots growing along the root ball.
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Last edited by siege2050 : 09-11-2015 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 09-11-2015, 06:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Namwah and Ice Creams Very Sick

Quote:
Originally Posted by siege2050 View Post
What kind of vinegar are you using, cider, or white? Some people use white vinegar as a herbicide but probably in larger doses. I would think any kind of vinegar would be too acidic (Maybe good for Blueberries etc.) and its going to modify your soil PH, especially in pots. I have seen bananas look like that when they have had their roots die, the leaves will start to droop even in shade, and the leaf petioles break. If you can lift the root ball out of the pot without damaging the plant, see if it has white roots growing along the root ball.
If it were mine I would remove from pot. Shake to remove soil. Repot in larger pot using very course sand (paver sand from Lowes will work) with no soul. Make sure pot has a decent size hole in bottom. No fertilizer. Water then No water for four days. Then moisten every three days. Probably too much water causing root rot.
This is just a suggestion and opinion. If you try it let us know how it works. It may take tow or three weeks to start to recover.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Namwah and Ice Creams Very Sick

Thanks for the suggestions. I have been using white vinegar with the Foliage Pro. I read on another tropical plants forum, that a lot of guys swore by "weakly weekly" FP with vinegar. The small amount of vinegar is supposed to slightly adjust the pH lower to help the plants absorb the nutrients in the fertilizer. Checking with my cheap pH meter, the pH would go down to 6.5 or 7, then pretty quickly back up to 7.5 or 8.

I read about it at:
Foliage Pro and vinegar, poll: what dose do you use
Foliage-Pro Question

Showing the pH reading on my meter



Roots on Namwah today. Yes, it was recently watered. No, it wasn't that wet constantly.



I had the same idea to go up to a bigger pot until I can plant them in the ground. I thought maybe the sun was baking the roots by shining on the side of the small black nursery pots the bananas are in. Looking at the root ball on one of the Namwahs, the roots seem like they were mostly killed at one point, but the lower ones look like they are growing and branching out now.
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Old 09-11-2015, 11:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Namwah and Ice Creams Very Sick

Yeah it does look like they are regrowing from an earlier die back. They may be getting too hot in the sun. I have checked this myself on some pots I had sitting up on a platform in full sun and the black pots were very hot, so I set them down on the ground were the pots were in the shade.
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Old 09-12-2015, 05:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Namwah and Ice Creams Very Sick

I'd repot them in sandy soil and put it in a shady area. Stop using vinegar. I kill weeds with it!
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Old 09-12-2015, 05:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Namwah and Ice Creams Very Sick

Why don't you pee on your nanner to make the soil more acidic...
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Namwah and Ice Creams Very Sick

Quote:
Originally Posted by SonnyCrockett View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. I have been using white vinegar with the Foliage Pro. I read on another tropical plants forum, that a lot of guys swore by "weakly weekly" FP with vinegar. The small amount of vinegar is supposed to slightly adjust the pH lower to help the plants absorb the nutrients in the fertilizer. Checking with my cheap pH meter, the pH would go down to 6.5 or 7, then pretty quickly back up to 7.5 or 8.

I read about it at:
Foliage Pro and vinegar, poll: what dose do you use
Foliage-Pro Question

Showing the pH reading on my meter



Roots on Namwah today. Yes, it was recently watered. No, it wasn't that wet constantly.



I had the same idea to go up to a bigger pot until I can plant them in the ground. I thought maybe the sun was baking the roots by shining on the side of the small black nursery pots the bananas are in. Looking at the root ball on one of the Namwahs, the roots seem like they were mostly killed at one point, but the lower ones look like they are growing and branching out now.
White roots are good, black roots are rotted. Looks "root bound". If it has been. Suggest potting in much larger pot. pH should be Around 6, but you should have tested buy your local extension office. I don't think the pH has caused your problem.
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Namwah and Ice Creams Very Sick

a capful of vinegar isn't going to do anything except change the ph people. it's not going to kill your plants, when you use it for weed killer it's full strength and that's what kills the plants. I used to use vinegar in the greenhouse to change the ph before I found that acid is cheaper from my greenhouse supply guy. These bananas look like they had been chronically overwatered, maybe on drip before you received them, and then they are adjusting to being much drier now and growing new roots out in their new conditions. in that size pots, bananas are often grown in shade houses in florida to protect them from the sun somewhat and make them easier to manage water wise too. so I'd move them to partial shade and continue watering/fertilization as you have been doing, and you should have some better luck. when you move them to partial shade, adjust your watering schedule to a slightly longer time between waterings to make up for less light.
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Namwah and Ice Creams Very Sick

No reason Namwahs and IceCreams cant do well here. In fact, quite a few are fruiting around town right now.
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Old 10-15-2015, 10:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Namwah and Ice Creams Very Sick

Ok. It's been a little while, but the Dwarf Namwahs and Ice Creams are starting to recover. The Namwahs are a little further along than the Ice Creams though.



I used a "Throw Everything, but the Kitchen Sink" approach, until I noticed a difference.

What I did:
1. Repotted to larger pots. About twice as large. I used a mix of equal parts compost, play sand, and peat moss.
2. Increased watering to about twice what I had been doing. I had been going off the moisture meter - trying to keep it in the middle of "Moist". Turns out, they like it much wetter than that. Looks like the middle of "Moist" on the meter is about as dry as they should get.
3. Used Epsom Salt a couple of times and Espoma Soil Acidifier once. I saw some pictures of mineral deficiencies and my plants' symptoms looked sort of like Sulfur deficiency. They really perked up when I did this.
4. Fertilized more with Foliage Pro, but didn't use the vinegar.

My two Ice Creams are doing better, but still have some small black spots on them. But the Namwahs are doing really well now. A few weeks ago, they had been putting out stunted leaves that wouldn't unfurl correctly, were mottled and would break off. Now, they are putting out full sized, nice-looking leaves again. YAAAAYYYY!!!
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Old 10-15-2015, 07:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Namwah and Ice Creams Very Sick

As you've learned -- moisture meters work poorly unless applied to indoor plants with a commercial potting mix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SonnyCrockett View Post
Ok. It's been a little while, but the Dwarf Namwahs and Ice Creams are starting to recover. The Namwahs are a little further along than the Ice Creams though.



I used a "Throw Everything, but the Kitchen Sink" approach, until I noticed a difference.

What I did:
1. Repotted to larger pots. About twice as large. I used a mix of equal parts compost, play sand, and peat moss.
2. Increased watering to about twice what I had been doing. I had been going off the moisture meter - trying to keep it in the middle of "Moist". Turns out, they like it much wetter than that. Looks like the middle of "Moist" on the meter is about as dry as they should get.
3. Used Epsom Salt a couple of times and Espoma Soil Acidifier once. I saw some pictures of mineral deficiencies and my plants' symptoms looked sort of like Sulfur deficiency. They really perked up when I did this.
4. Fertilized more with Foliage Pro, but didn't use the vinegar.

My two Ice Creams are doing better, but still have some small black spots on them. But the Namwahs are doing really well now. A few weeks ago, they had been putting out stunted leaves that wouldn't unfurl correctly, were mottled and would break off. Now, they are putting out full sized, nice-looking leaves again. YAAAAYYYY!!!
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Namwah and Ice Creams Very Sick

Sorry, I didn't ready you're in Charleston, SC. Why not edit your profile to say such so that it's really easy for members to help you grow your bananas? I gardened on the cusp of DC and then in Brrrhio before settling here. I don't know your zone but others do.
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Old 10-18-2015, 11:50 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Namwah and Ice Creams Very Sick

These spreading spots are still bothering my Ice Creams. I cut off a bunch of the older leaves that looked really bad in case the have some spores on them that are infecting newer leaves as they open up. The older leaves looked a lot like Sigatoka pictures I've seen online. It's probably not that and only something small I am overlooking.

The spots started out small and pretty even spread across the leaf surface, then spread to the petiole and p-stem part of the leaf and get bigger and turn black. Then, the leaves get a few yellow streaks and necrotic spots.

Now that my plants are getting healthier, I expect it to go away. But I wasn't sure if I should spray something. The new healthier leaves are still getting some of the spots. Doesn't seem to happen on the Dwarf Namwahs though. What are Ice Creams susceptible to that Namwah are not?

Could it be mites, overwatering, or some kind of fungus or virus? I have noticed small black ants on a few of the bananas, but didn't think they were the cause.



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Old 10-21-2015, 07:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Namwah and Ice Creams Very Sick

These show better how the spots start - kind of oily small spots on the bottom of the leaves. Then, they spread and get bigger, like the last photo.
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