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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 11-26-2020, 04:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Newbie with Struggling Abyssinian Banana

Hi everyone!

I got my hands on what I think is an Abyssinian plant that I've always wanted, and am absolutely in love with, but it's NOT loving me back. I'm really hoping to be able to turn things around for it!

So the issues right now are:
  • leaves are yellowing and turning brown and drying out from the ends inward
  • the new leaves are never fully uncurling when they unfurl - you will see that the most recent leaf even seems to have a bit of a browned/damaged spot on it when it opened, and it actually tore there when it partly unfurled??

Photos of the plant from approx. a month ago and then from today are in my member image gallery (I hope you're able to view them? Apologies, I'm new to this site!). In the newer pictures, I've trimmed off one of the lowest leaves (visible in the first picture) that had become entirely brown and dried out. The plant also came to me with the lower leaves yellowing/browning, so I at least am not entirely to blame.

Growing conditions right now:
  • Indoors (I'm hoping to keep it this way)
  • In an East facing floor to ceiling window (which seems to be fairly bright - a tradescantia zebrina plant in the same window gets a bit of "bleaching" (loss of its purple color) on its leaves, which I understand can happen in higher light?)
  • Temperature is approx 20C
  • Humidity is 45-60%
  • Still in the 7" nursery pot that I received it in
  • Watered when I feel the top inch or so of soil is dry with filtered water - I haven't fertilized it yet, and I've had it for maybe 3 months
  • I'm not sure what type of soil it's in, but it seems extremely dense - it's very hard for me to even dig my finger in below the surface, and it almost feels like I'm tearing it apart if I do? I've not been able to aerate it or break this up for fear of damaging the roots as well (but I assume a repot might be in order for a few reasons)

All suggestions for how to help this guy would be immensely appreciated! I'm really hoping to keep this indoors and have it become a big statement plant, but I'm obviously not on track for that quite yet. I think a repot is in order very soon, so specific advice on soil type or amendments would be amazing, as well as other general advice (since I have no idea what's causing all of these issues) Thanks SO much in advance!
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Old 11-26-2020, 06:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie with Struggling Abyssinian Banana

Repot for sure!!
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Old 11-26-2020, 06:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie with Struggling Abyssinian Banana

From the pictures, the pot appears to be a self-watering type (ie: no drain holes at bottom). ... Repot to a 12 or 14 inch pot with 50% potting soil & 50% perlite. Make sure the pot has drain holes. ... Use a moisture meter to check soil moist at the middle & bottom of the pot. ... Using a finger feel at the top does not work.


Likely some root rot has set in. So while the corm is out, wash it with a little bleach water to kill the rot and remove any black, soft roots. ... The corm will have to regrow new roots after potting so this will take a while to recover. Mean while you can help the plant by misting the leaves a couple o times a day and mist with a little fertilizer mix about every 10 to 14 days. Use Miracle Grow per directions for potted plants.


Bananas need fresh water, so pots that don't drain are a no-no. The water will stagnate in the bottom while the top of the soil feels dry. ... You said the soil feels hard and it is difficult to dig the surface. The plant may be root bound causing this. So re-potting is a must! And you can inspect the corm for problems at the same time.
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie with Struggling Abyssinian Banana

Thank you both so much for your feedback! I'll get ready to repot right away and will make sure to add in a heavy portion of perlite.

Just in case this changes your thoughts or advice, the pot it's in right now isn't one of the self-watering pots - it's just a regular nursery pot with nice big holes in the bottom, and the water definitely does drain out through them when I water it. Is there anything different that you would suggest given that? That of course doesn't change the fact that the soil seems quite hard, so I assume that could still be creating issues.

Just to be certain, would you mist with fertilizer as well as putting in the water that goes in the soil?
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Old 11-27-2020, 10:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie with Struggling Abyssinian Banana

Quote:
Originally Posted by BananaCupcake View Post
Hi everyone!

I got my hands on what I think is an Abyssinian plant that I've always wanted, and am absolutely in love with, but it's NOT loving me back. I'm really hoping to be able to turn things around for it!

So the issues right now are:
  • leaves are yellowing and turning brown and drying out from the ends inward
  • the new leaves are never fully uncurling when they unfurl - you will see that the most recent leaf even seems to have a bit of a browned/damaged spot on it when it opened, and it actually tore there when it partly unfurled??

Photos of the plant from approx. a month ago and then from today are in my member image gallery (I hope you're able to view them? Apologies, I'm new to this site!). In the newer pictures, I've trimmed off one of the lowest leaves (visible in the first picture) that had become entirely brown and dried out. The plant also came to me with the lower leaves yellowing/browning, so I at least am not entirely to blame.

Growing conditions right now:
  • Indoors (I'm hoping to keep it this way)
  • In an East facing floor to ceiling window (which seems to be fairly bright - a tradescantia zebrina plant in the same window gets a bit of "bleaching" (loss of its purple color) on its leaves, which I understand can happen in higher light?)
  • Temperature is approx 20C
  • Humidity is 45-60%
  • Still in the 7" nursery pot that I received it in
  • Watered when I feel the top inch or so of soil is dry with filtered water - I haven't fertilized it yet, and I've had it for maybe 3 months
  • I'm not sure what type of soil it's in, but it seems extremely dense - it's very hard for me to even dig my finger in below the surface, and it almost feels like I'm tearing it apart if I do? I've not been able to aerate it or break this up for fear of damaging the roots as well (but I assume a repot might be in order for a few reasons)

All suggestions for how to help this guy would be immensely appreciated! I'm really hoping to keep this indoors and have it become a big statement plant, but I'm obviously not on track for that quite yet. I think a repot is in order very soon, so specific advice on soil type or amendments would be amazing, as well as other general advice (since I have no idea what's causing all of these issues) Thanks SO much in advance!
Your Ensete is doing what they do when kept indoors or when brought indoors for the winter.
Once out of the greenhouse and sold they will decline over time especially indoors.
The plant will lose its oldest leaves first like your photos show.


Like the previous posts stated repot in a quality soil with perlite as an ingredient and cross your fingers.
A water soluble fertilizer of your choice will do fine.

The plant is usually sold as a novelty plant or a filler annual for colorful container plantings.
The plant is not a banana plant.
An internet search or youtube search can give you some additional tools to help your plant thrive.
Many of the videos have great growing tips for your Ensete.
Outdoors they get quite large.
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie with Struggling Abyssinian Banana

Quote:
Originally Posted by cincinnana View Post
Your Ensete is doing what they do when kept indoors or when brought indoors for the winter.
Once out of the greenhouse and sold they will decline over time especially indoors.
The plant will lose its oldest leaves first like your photos show.


Like the previous posts stated repot in a quality soil with perlite as an ingredient and cross your fingers.
A water soluble fertilizer of your choice will do fine.

The plant is usually sold as a novelty plant or a filler annual for colorful container plantings.
The plant is not a banana plant.
An internet search or youtube search can give you some additional tools to help your plant thrive.
Many of the videos have great growing tips for your Ensete.
Outdoors they get quite large.
Thanks for the information! But sorry, are you saying that they can't survive indoors long term? I don't have the option to keep it outdoors, so I'm wondering if it's worth going to the trouble of repotting if they just decline...

If you have any favourite youtube vids or care articles, I would be very appreciative if you could share the link? I had seen references to these being kept as houseplants, but hadn't been able to find great detailed info on my own. Hoping that's not because they actually can't make it indoors.
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Old 11-27-2020, 12:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie with Struggling Abyssinian Banana

Abyssinian banana, pseudo-banana or false banana, is a flowering plant in the banana family Musaceae. ... That being said it is still a tropical plant with tropical needs; ie. High humidity and fast draining loamy soil. The hvac system of a house will keep the humidity very low. Thus the need for
misting. The plant should survive the winter well outside on a deck or carport. But because it being young & small, it may need to be brought in or covered during a hard freeze. ... I belive this plants have survived sub-zero temps and being snow covered.


I don't grow this plant, so l can't give any further advice. Use google to find more info.
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Old 11-27-2020, 02:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie with Struggling Abyssinian Banana

Quote:
Originally Posted by edwmax View Post
Abyssinian banana, pseudo-banana or false banana, is a flowering plant in the banana family Musaceae. ... That being said it is still a tropical plant with tropical needs; ie. High humidity and fast draining loamy soil. The hvac system of a house will keep the humidity very low. Thus the need for
misting. The plant should survive the winter well outside on a deck or carport. But because it being young & small, it may need to be brought in or covered during a hard freeze. ... I belive this plants have survived sub-zero temps and being snow covered.


I don't grow this plant, so l can't give any further advice. Use google to find more info.
Ooh very interesting that they can flower - I didn't know that! Hopefully I might see that one day. Thanks very much!

Just for certainty, I don't ever intend to keep the plant outside, so freezing temperatures aren't a concern. And I use a humidifier in my home for my other tropical plants, keeping the humidity between 45% at worst to about 60%. But I will definitely mist this guy as well. Hopefully that will be enough to keep it happy.

Crossing my fingers there is someone on this forum who grows this specific plant. I may not be searching effectively, but I've not had much luck finding information on growing this indoors (though I have seen mentions of it as a houseplant... hopefully this isn't misguided). Otherwise I'll proceed with general tropical care as you've mentioned I've got some happy calatheas, so hopefully my conditions are favourable!
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Old 11-27-2020, 07:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie with Struggling Abyssinian Banana

I have one of those plants. It's a bit of a hot mess. What general location are you in? Planting in the ground an option?
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Old 11-28-2020, 02:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie with Struggling Abyssinian Banana

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I have one of those plants. It's a bit of a hot mess. What general location are you in? Planting in the ground an option?
Oh no, this doesn’t sound promising for me... No chance of planting in the ground - I live in a condo with no backyard and also no deck. It has to be indoor, unfortunately. Have yours fared extremely poorly indoors?

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Old 11-28-2020, 10:00 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Joy Re: Newbie with Struggling Abyssinian Banana

Quote:
Originally Posted by BananaCupcake View Post
Oh no, this doesn’t sound promising for me... No chance of planting in the ground - I live in a condo with no backyard and also no deck. It has to be indoor, unfortunately. Have yours fared extremely poorly indoors?
Oh ok I didn't think that you might live in a condo. Now that makes perfect sense.
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Old 01-22-2021, 01:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie with Struggling Abyssinian Banana

Checking on your Ensete. I cut mine down, mulched it and left it in the ground. How's yours doing Banana Cupcake?
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