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


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Old 01-19-2010, 10:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Best Banana for Fruiting in Containers???

I bought a Dwarf Jamaican Red Banana early in 2009. It grew for about a year and a half to nearly nine feet tall, supposedly as tall as this variety gets. I harvested three pups, but the mother plant did not flower. It grew too tall for my sunroom, so I only brought the pups inside for the winter.

Is there anything I can do to encourage a banana to flower? Does this have anything to do with the size of the container? I had the mother plant in a 20 inch diameter by 16 inch tall pot. It grew so rootbound it literally broke the pot (the other reason it didn't come inside for the winter). I used Osmocote for fertilizer.

Two of the pups are a year old now and much farther along than the mother plant was last winter. Does flowering have to do with the age of the plant, or the size (or both)?

Are there any varieties of edible banana that readily or easily fruit in containers? I need something short so I can bring it inside during cold weather.

Thanks in advance for any responses.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Banana for Fruiting in Containers???

Quote:
Originally Posted by TNAndy View Post
I bought a Dwarf Jamaican Red Banana early in 2009. It grew for about a year and a half to nearly nine feet tall, supposedly as tall as this variety gets. I harvested three pups, but the mother plant did not flower. It grew too tall for my sunroom, so I only brought the pups inside for the winter.

Is there anything I can do to encourage a banana to flower? Does this have anything to do with the size of the container? I had the mother plant in a 20 inch diameter by 16 inch tall pot. It grew so rootbound it literally broke the pot (the other reason it didn't come inside for the winter). I used Osmocote for fertilizer.

Two of the pups are a year old now and much farther along than the mother plant was last winter. Does flowering have to do with the age of the plant, or the size (or both)?

Are there any varieties of edible banana that readily or easily fruit in containers? I need something short so I can bring it inside during cold weather.

Thanks in advance for any responses.
Pot size definitely is an issue here, the bigger the better.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Banana for Fruiting in Containers???

The bigger the plant before spring/summer the better your chances for success. I think if your pups are in the 20"x16" you might wanna go to a bigger pot due to your experience w/ the mother. :^) I think if size is an issue you might want a shorter banana like the SDC. Personally I like the dwarf red myself. :^)
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Banana for Fruiting in Containers???

I second the SDC as a great choice. Musa dasycarpa though seeded might be a good one as well. Stick with dwarf varieties in the biggest pots you can manage and try to keep them warm and growing all year... you never know... Good luck!
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Banana for Fruiting in Containers???

Like Jack said, the bigger the pot, the better. Fruiting does not seem to directly depend on size OR age of the plant. Plants fruit at various heights depending on conditions (though there is a general 'range' of normal sizes for any variety). They also fruit at a variety of ranges. There is a lot of variation here within any variety (and DEFINITELY between varieties). I've read of a theory that bananas fruit after putting out a particular number of leaves...though again, not always true.

Bananas fruit at 'around' a particular height for that variety and 'around' a certain age...but a lot of this variation depends on care, size of pot, fertilizer, sunlight, etc. Sounds like you're doing things right, though...maybe try a larger pot if it's getting rootbound.

Oh, and one important thing to note is that the 'height' posted on website or in the wiki here at which a variety fruits at is PSEUDOSTEM HEIGHT...not total height. I just checked the wiki and it says Dwarf Red fruits at 6-8'...so expect total height to be at LEAST 2-3 feet taller than this due to the height of the soil off the ground in the pot and the reach of the leaves at the top. So, for potted growing purposes, this means DR fruits at 9-11 feet total height. Again, sounds like you're doing very well with yours and you were at least very close by the sounds of it.

If DR is too tall for your allotted space, consider switching to something smaller like super dwarf cavendish, as stated above (SDC fruits around 3-4' of pstem). Hope that helps!
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Best Banana for Fruiting in Containers???

What size of pot is big enough?

I've got some plastic half-whiskey-barrel liners that I could use instead. These are about 24 inches in diameter but aren't quite as deep, probably 14 inches. On the other hand, I don't want the banana planter to take over all my very limited warm space.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Banana for Fruiting in Containers???

I had a RP fruit in a container last summer--the container was about the same as yours. It grew to about 4 ft (stem). I have another in an even smaller container that is even bigger, but has not yet bloomed--the leaves got hit pretty hard by the cold spell while in my unheated shop.
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Best Banana for Fruiting in Containers???

For the RP this year starting off about 30" pstem on a plant that I've had for 1.5 years. This was my first banana. Hopefully it fruits this year I know the corm was huge the last time I moved it into the smartpot (45gal). And a plus that I didn't kill the pstem again this year like I did last winter. The other "larger" one is an IC in a 65gal smartpot that has about 40"+ on the pstem. That one I got last summer but it was pretty big when I got it.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Banana for Fruiting in Containers???

I suggest little prince, super dwarf cavendish, truly tiny, high color mini

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Old 01-20-2010, 02:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Banana for Fruiting in Containers???

Quote:
Originally Posted by TNAndy View Post
What size of pot is big enough?

I've got some plastic half-whiskey-barrel liners that I could use instead. These are about 24 inches in diameter but aren't quite as deep, probably 14 inches. On the other hand, I don't want the banana planter to take over all my very limited warm space.
Again, the bigger, the better. With bananas, width of the pot is more important than depth. 25 gallon might be a little on the small side, but might be okay for some varieties (65+ gallon would be better). The main thing to note here is that if the plant is in too small of a pot, the fruit number/size will be less.
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Banana for Fruiting in Containers???

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Originally Posted by TNAndy View Post
What size of pot is big enough? I've got some plastic half-whiskey-barrel liners that I could use instead. These are about 24 inches in diameter but aren't quite as deep, probably 14 inches.
I believe the pot you describe I use for overwintering the banana's I do not leave in the ground. For a permanent potted banana I'd go a bigger diameter but not height if you can since banana's have a shallow root system.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Best Banana for Fruiting in Containers???

Wow! What a great website! Thanks for all the great answers.

I just now joined this forum, so let me make sure I've decoded everything correctly:
RP - Raja Puri
SDC - Super Dwarf Cavendish
DR - Dwarf Red
PDM - Er, um, huh?

To sum up, I can devote enough floor space in my sunroom for one or two planters, a bit less than the drip line of the (main) banana plant in the pot. I've got a lot of spice plants (allspice, cinnamon, lemon, bay, pepper, coffee, tea, betel) among other tropicals, so there's not a lot of extra room. There's certainly not enough headspace for a fully grown Jamaican Red Dwarf plus pot. I can keep the sunroom from freezing, but on cold nights it will drop well below 57 degrees F. Given these restrictions, for the most quantity, tastiest, reasonably sized, fresh fruit at home, SDC is my best bet, right?
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:09 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Banana for Fruiting in Containers???

dude???!!? PDN is a website, click on the link it's all about the variety truly tiny....
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