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Container Grown Banana Plants This forum is for discussions about growing banana plants in containers.


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Old 04-29-2009, 10:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default banana comparison

Has there been any good attempts at documenting the differences between the different types of banana varieties? I've noticed that online all the sellers and sources seem to use the exact same couple of pics (as if they can't take any of their own) and I've seen a great deal of inconsistency in how a certain species looks in the picture and their description. I even almost wonder if the orinoco of one seller is the same as the orinoco of another for example.

I am interested in learning this because I do not want to spend money on several banana types that have a lot of the same characteristics. For example a couple of years ago I had a raja puri and a double mahoi container grown. They went exellent together becaues they were two totally different looking plants. The Raja Puri was short and stalky with wide thick dark leaves, the mahoi had a brighter green leaf, was skinnier and a more standard shaped leaf as well. Whereas I also accidently wound up with two different raja puris as well which essentially were the same plant and it was pointless growing both of them.

I also ended up buying a super dwarf. I was ill informed and wasted my money. Though its a beautiful plant it cannot withstand temperatures even in the 40s and becomes sun burned rather easily. I ended up killing it when I put it outside even though it didn't phase my other bananas. Even banana wiki is lacking in a lot of basic pictures and information.

As of now I got a dwarf orinoco and the raja puri side by side and I'll see what kind of differences arise there. Interestingly I left them out in the cold by accident and they seem to have about the same cold tolerance even though the orinoco is advertised as the most cold hardy. Though maybe I have an odd strain of raja puri because the raja puri has proven the most cold hardy of all the types I've dealt with. So for the orinoco to match that then I guess it's doing pretty good, though they both reacted in different ways. The orinoco had blotches of brown and green mixed throughout the leaves whereas the raja had completely dead parts and totally green parts. Though more or less the same damage and the new leaf still good.

I also ordered a dwarf red (cuban red) and we'll see how that comes out. I tend to take pictures too. So I don't know why everybody doesn't do more comparisons and document them. Not really sure how to upload pictures here.
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: banana comparison

The scientific researchers know the varieties rather well and have many things well documented, but the nursery trade can never seem to get things right. It takes a lot of time and dedication to sort through it all. The photos from many sellers are very unreliable and often just taken from other sites.
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Old 04-30-2009, 01:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: banana comparison

I haven't found much online from any source. Usually there is a single primary source and whatever that one person wrote about a particular variety is just repeated by 100 web-sites word for word and that same picture used again. Then the rare case when you find two or three pics they look like totally different varieties. I think relative height, fruit quality, maybe even cold hardines is easy to find, but not a lot about having them as personal plants. Like the general characteristics in that regard. I did find a few people that did cold hardiness tests on several varieties. I guess you just gotta find out the hard way by buying a lot of them and keeping the ones you like.
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Old 04-30-2009, 05:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: banana comparison

Much of that information comes from experience and just getting out there and sifting through the information. It would be nice if there was an all knowing source of banana information, but the reality is that to find out the really important stuff you just have to sift through lots of info, consider your own experience and come up with what you think is most accurate.
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: banana comparison

1rainman,

I'm surprised to hear that you SDC burned in the sun as I grow mine in pretty much full sun. How quickly did you move it out into the sun? Did you do it over a period of several days/weeks? I've never heard of them burning in the sun. Then again, I'm not sure where you live, as you don't have it listed on your information. Also, my SDC normally hangs in there pretty well until we get temps near freezing, then it's another story altogether.
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: banana comparison

ihad mine burn but that was because i put it out in full sun after being in the house all winter and i left home for awhile and when i returned i had a silver banana but the plant never died most of the leaves grew out already but it still has a few silver ones the sun burn doesnt really hurt anything it just makes them not look that good but if it was young it might burn them up i had ensete vent. in a window seedlings about 5 inches high and had them burn up pretty bad most didnt bounce back i plan on helping that wiki out very soon i live in upper wisconsin and have been testing about 10 types for cold hardyness even the kru i have noticed that the kru is a little more cold hardy than what i have read ever where also the tia black (if someone has a different opion on this i would love to hear about it) from my experiance this plant loves partial shade and not full sun it starts to roll the leaves up at about 75degrees the leaves dont burn and they unrole when the sun starts to get past its high part of the day i have these in all different sizes and they all do the same when placed in a shadyer spot like under a tree that lots of lite can get thru they seem to grow faster they just want a little sun block i think i have been keeping a journal on what i have noticed about the 46 types i own now when i get some time i will help out on that wiki and post pictures of younger plants up to adults the only thing i cant post may pics of the blooms since i have such a short growing season i dont get to many and i have to cut most down to store them in my house over winter i think we should start a thread this fall on whitch bananas u can over winter out of pot "the big dog methode" and witch you cant i have killed hundereds this way trying this over the years and i wish some where there was a list on which are good to do this with and which are not it would of saved me lots of money lol but hey i know now and can let others know
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: banana comparison

Well since this happened to me I've read a lot of the same experiences online both about the cold and the sun. Yet when I bought it nothing was mentioned. I thought it was the same as a regular banana just smaller. The plant was a pup and I live in Ohio but I put all my plants out for spring and none of them were effected exept the super dwarf. In fact later (after the super dwarf was already dead) I left them out below freezing and they all survived. I had it in a pretty shaded area next to the house too.

The temperature only got into the 40s (lower 40s). The first time the plant looked fine. The second time it started showing some stress. The third time in the 40s it just died totally. I know it never got near freezing. I was confused because no matter what size that weather doesn't kill any other banana I had. Then I read online others had them die in the 40s too. Then I've heard a lot about them getting sunburned easily in full sun or not growing as well in full sun and liking shade a lot more than other bananas.

I just bring my plants inside over winter and use grow lights and a humidifier. I have dwarf citrus as well.

Could be that it was a little pup but it didn't really grow very fast either while it was indoors. I had it several months and it grew really slow and was still a baby. Even though my other plants grew pretty slow as well they were doing a lot more than the super dwarf.
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: banana comparison

I am sympathetic to your question. I, and a few others, posted last fall or winter for recommendations of the top 10 or so bananas to have (for various conditions). With a finite amount of space it isn't rewarding to have four varieties that are nearly identical except for the shape of the seeds. I would rather have a diverse collection. One with a black pstem, one glaucous, one pink, one that holds its leaves high, one with fat paddle blades, etc. It would be nice to have someone say, "the chartreuse color and low habit of xyz make it a good companion planted in front of the tall, red tinged abc."

However, on the sunburn and cold damage, I have to think that you are not looking at all the variables. SDC does OK here under Florida sun. If you got burn up in Ohio, you didn't give it time to adjust. It has been posted here that all the Cavendishes take it tough under cold conditions. My DC & SDC will have severe cold burn when my Ice Cream is unblemished. But we went down to 25-27 degrees the last 2 winters and the in ground Cavendishes all came back. True, all lost their leaves, but some came back from the pstem, others came back from the corm with no more protection than the ~ 2" of pine bark mulch they have year round. The only in-ground loss I had last winter were a newly planted African Rhino horn and a newly planted Williams Hybrid. Would they have made it if they had more time to become established? Don't know. Why yours would decline after repeated 40 degree temps is a mystery. But I have learned that corms/roots don't like rapid temperature changes. Nor do they like hot roots. Warm = good. Hot = bad.
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: banana comparison

I'm saying the exact same conditions of moving them from indoors to outdoors did not effect my other plants but did this one. Obviously its more susceptable to sun burn than the others. I guess if it was outside its whole life it could probably tolerate the sun. I had a similar experience with this weird dwarf cavendish I ordered. It was a total wimp. It kept having problems with spider mites even though the banana trees right next to it had no problem. Everytime I tried putting it outside it got sunburnt badly even though it didn't bother the other trees. Whenever the wind blew hard its leaves would literally rip off. It had such a thin trunk it could barely hold itself up. It did look kind of neat and it grew super fast from a baby then slowed down a lot, but overall I thought it was a worthless breed. I just left it out to die and replaced it. It was truly "dwarf" looking. It had full sized large leaves and like a super short and skinny trunk maybe a little thicker than my thumb that I had to stake up. It's leaves drooped under its own weight. It looked cool, but just struggled to survive under conditions that other bananas were thriving.

There was no corm on my super dwarf. It was just a small plant with roots.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: banana comparison

Anybody have an opinion on what type of bananas might do well in a year round greenhouse environment?

Thanks.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: banana comparison

They should most all do well in a greenhouse environment, as you'd be simulating their natural growing conditions-warmth and humidity. Depending upon the height of your greenhouse, you may want to stick with the dwarf cultivars, though.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: banana comparison

Almost all of them, Mckamey - year-round greenhouse simulates the natural tropical conditions that bananas prefer.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: banana comparison

Thanks, I will let you all know what i choose and how things go. Dwarf is a good idea.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: banana comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bananaman88 View Post
They should most all do well in a greenhouse environment, as you'd be simulating their natural growing conditions-warmth and humidity. Depending upon the height of your greenhouse, you may want to stick with the dwarf cultivars, though.
Yes, although I've contemplated building a tropical dome and growing some 60-foot high Sabas.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: banana comparison

It would be cheaper for you to move to the tropics!
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: banana comparison

Quote:
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Yes, although I've contemplated building a tropical dome and growing some 60-foot high Sabas.
Go for it! That should be quite the undertaking!
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