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Old 05-04-2017, 07:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fruiting in container

Hello!

I remember over the years people have been saying on here that you can get a dwarf banana bloom and fruit in a 20,25, or 30 gallon pot. My question is, what about in fabric pots or smart pots? They root trim and prevent root circling so I'm wondering if that would decrease significantly the gallons required to fruit a banana.
I'm in San Diego now, a wonderful banana growing area but have an apt with a patio balcony. I want to give a dwarf banana plenty of room but if I can give it less than a 25 gallon in a fabric/smart pot, I would do it in a second. Thanks!

Z
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Old 05-05-2017, 06:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruiting in container

According to a post from user G.W. about growing in Coir:
Recipe
5 gallon bucket
drill a pencil sized hole 3 inches up the side NONE BELOW THIS !!!
rinse coir
mix your coir with 25% perlite and a handful of dolomite
plant your nanner
water with soluble complete ferts @500ppm UNTIL WATER COMES OUT OF THE HOLE
to check water needs simply lift (I kick) the bucket to feel the weight heavy=ok light=add water till it comes out of the hole
hang on to your britches

if you grow tired of your (giant freakin) nanners going all Mary Poppins every time a breeze blows then you can bury the bucket half way in the dirt
it will still drain, although more slowly

If 5gals is too small, then consider a 18 gal or larger rough tote or the like.
Just be aware that coir has huge absorbency and a small plant like 1ft WILL be waterlogged in a container this size. A strong 3ft plant is the smallest I would put in a 18 gal tote.
In a 25 gal I would expect a 15ft+ plant to do fine, maybe only needing watered every other day. The more perlite you add the less water holding capacity.
---

So he refers to getting large trees in containers (and smart pots/fabric containers specifically), and I can't imagine it going to 15 ft and not fruiting, but I'm a banana newb.

Link: Coconut coir
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Old 05-05-2017, 06:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruiting in container

no expert on this but, i did/do use the fabric pots on several larger sizes. i liked the handles for moving them in and out etc., the roots not circling works, they don't.
watering them is better also, you can see and feel what is going on in the whole plant not just the top.
But,on the big ones the handles don't hold up after a while. and the plants root system gets kind of squished when you move one, straps contort the bottom when you pick it up.
I think they are good for medium sized or smaller plants and not helpful for flowering as the roots are too disturbed with any moves.

if you don't have to move them it may be a differet story
I think i would plant in the ground any chance i got, no matter how long til you need to repot
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Old 05-05-2017, 06:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruiting in container

You can fruit them in smaller pots, but they will take longer, and the bunches will be smaller. I personally wouldn't spend any money on any kind of special container. A good potting mix, adequate sunlight, and careful attention to water fertilizer (typically more water and less fertilizer than is required for growing in the ground) is more likely to result in a harvestable yield than a specific special container in my opinion. To have any serious shot at fruit, I wouldn't go smaller than 10gal, but would still recommend 20-25gal. Just a standard plastic pot works fine, or even a rubbermaid type bin with holes drilled in the bottom.
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Old 05-06-2017, 11:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruiting in container

Thank you for all your replies especially expert Gabe who I have respected for years on these forums!

I think I will try the smart pots just to see if the non-circling of the roots is helpful. I will likely try a 20 gallon as that is the biggest smart pot that has handles.

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Old 05-07-2017, 10:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Smile Re: Fruiting in container

I use a lot of these pots and prefer them to in ground planting because they shorten the vegetative phase and keep the tall cultivars much shorter. They work great for plantains and that's what's most important for me. I bought over a thousand of these pots from China and the 80 gallon ones cost about $5 delivered if you buy them one at a time. 40 gallon is about the smallest I use for fruiting and was not happy with the bunch sizes from the 25 gallon pots. They work absolutely great in a hydro setup and cut the vegetative phase in half for some cultivars.



Here's a plant crop comparison between a dwarf red and a tall red. In a properly sized pot the tall will bloom at about the same height as an in-ground dwarf red but it will produce the larger bunch. Not only will it produce a larger bunch it will also be harvested before the dwarf even blooms.
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Fruiting in container

Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-Giants View Post
80 gallon ones cost about $5 delivered if you buy them one at a time.
My back just broke reading "80 gallon" LOL
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Smile Re: Fruiting in container

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Brah View Post
My back just broke reading "80 gallon" LOL
One of the things nice about starting with a larger pot is that you don't need to fill it completely and you can always add to it as the plant grows.

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Old 05-10-2017, 07:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Talking Re: Fruiting in container

The Dwarf Gros Michel Highgate bloomed at 4.5 months in a 40 gallon pot with a very nice size bunch. I'll post the photos next time I run across them.

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Old 05-10-2017, 10:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Fruiting in container

Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-Giants View Post
One of the things nice about starting with a larger pot is that you don't need to fill it completely and you can always add to it as the plant grows.

Would you have to re-pot it in the same container when adding soil or just add soil to the container? It seems that if you added the soil without re-potting, it would get buried over time?
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Fruiting in container

I was wondering that also.

My guess would just be planting low in the pot and top filling over time. It would be like planting a corm deep in the ground and hopefully the roots grow upwards to fill the pot.

Either that or you grab the p-stem, lift it up, and jam more dirt under it.
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruiting in container

I never even considered that someone would not be able to figure that out.

When fruiting a banana plant in a fabric pot you have realize the plant is going to grow large and that the fabric pot is only being held together with a thread. So enough spacers need be added during planting to accommodate the rhizome as it grows. More spacers can also be added to reduce the pot size so the plant can be planted at any desired level. These spacers also promote root development which helps the plants grow bigger and faster.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Brah View Post
Would you have to re-pot it in the same container when adding soil or just add soil to the container? It seems that if you added the soil without re-potting, it would get buried over time?
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruiting in container



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kegas76 View Post
I was wondering that also.

My guess would just be planting low in the pot and top filling over time. It would be like planting a corm deep in the ground and hopefully the roots grow upwards to fill the pot.

Either that or you grab the p-stem, lift it up, and jam more dirt under it.
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Fruiting in container

Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-Giants View Post
I never even considered that someone would not be able to figure that out.
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruiting in container

A few nurseries in south Florida have plants in "soft containers"...they work.
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruiting in container

Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-Giants View Post
I never even considered that someone would not be able to figure that out.

When fruiting a banana plant in a fabric pot you have realize the plant is going to grow large and that the fabric pot is only being held together with a thread. So enough spacers need be added during planting to accommodate the rhizome as it grows. More spacers can also be added to reduce the pot size so the plant can be planted at any desired level. These spacers also promote root development which helps the plants grow bigger and faster.
FEELING DUMB...PR-Giants, can you explain what you mean my spacers?? I think people are confused because we are taught not to put the corm too deep so as not to rot it out.
So if one puts a banana in a smart pot with it 1/3 or 1/2 full with soil, then what does one do? Thanks.

Z
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Old 05-12-2017, 12:00 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Fruiting in container

For what it's worth, I found that it is very easy to roll down a fabric pot and remove plants with little effort or mess.

Perhaps side spacers of cardboard or those shipping 'air bags' used in boxes would be good. That way the bottom of the pot stays anchored and stable and you just have to remove the side pieces to grow the pot....
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Old 05-13-2017, 03:50 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Smile Re: Fruiting in container

A spacer can be anything that occupies space. A good spacer would be light and have smooth walls as to not damage any roots upon removal. If you anticipate a rhizome will be 3 liters then adding 3 one liter objects would equal the space your mature rhizome would occupy and can be removed independently when the space is needed. In North Florida we use spacers that can also warm the rhizome during the winter months so that the fruit can continue to fill properly.

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Old 05-29-2017, 10:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruiting in container

OK Thanks! Yeah at least now I know what a spacer is! ... I'll see what I need to do.

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Old 05-30-2017, 09:42 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Smile Re: Fruiting in container

Generally one would plant or replant in larger container at the same height/elevation as it was in the previous container.
This is general good gardening practice.

The plant will always grow into the new container.

No need to put spacers in containers for the novice/backyard gardener.
Some growers use this method to control growing costs.....if used at all.

In South Florida USA I have not seen this....growers just put the plant in a large airpot.

Locally we do one container for a plant .

The larger the plant the larger the container


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