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Old 04-29-2014, 11:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Bananas Brindando Problems Growing Dwarf Indoor Banana(Newbie)

A few years ago I bought a banana(I think dwarf Cavendish). It was very young, grew to be about a foot tall, sent out a pup, the main plant died, and the pup continued growing. This happened about four times. Now all that's left is a small pup, about 3-4 inches tall that hasn't grown or really changed at all for about three years(sorry, no pictures at the moment). It's in an 8 inch-or-so pot.
Someone working at the nursery I bought it from years ago suggested I fertilize the plant more, as bananas are heavy feeders. I've tried this, and now the lowest leaf started wilting, and some of the other leaves have gotten edge burn.
Have I actually over-fertilized it now? How would I tell? What would I do to fix it? This is really irritating me.
Also, how do I know when to water it? I heard the "dry to a half an inch," but the pot is much bigger than the plant is now and the soil is pretty much always damn(I could easily go a few weeks without it seeing a drop of water and it would still be damp). Should I still wait until it's dry to half an inch, or should I go by some other means? Is it possible I was overwatering it? Underwatering? By the way, I live in New England, and the plant is grown in a heated sunroom next to a south-facing window.
Any and all advice is greatly appreciated, thank you.
EDIT: When I get a chance, I shall add the pictures.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems Growing Dwarf Indoor Banana(Newbie)

I would say you probably have multiple, or compounding factors..
#1 Soil mix is crucial. I use Equal parts of Peet, Perlite, and composted manure (chicken or cow).
#2 I bet you never sprayed (neem oil, water, & dish soap or just water & dish soap) for mites, which helped your stems die. You really have to watch the under side of the leaves.
#3 a picture says a thousand words. There are many experts here would be more than willing to help if they a lil more to go on. Hope it all works out for you. :^)
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems Growing Dwarf Indoor Banana(Newbie)

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Originally Posted by Abnshrek View Post
I would say you probably have multiple, or compounding factors..
#1 Soil mix is crucial. I use Equal parts of Peet, Perlite, and composted manure (chicken or cow).
#2 I bet you never sprayed (neem oil, water, & dish soap or just water & dish soap) for mites, which helped your stems die. You really have to watch the under side of the leaves.
#3 a picture says a thousand words. There are many experts here would be more than willing to help if they a lil more to go on. Hope it all works out for you. :^)
number 3 says it all!
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Problems Growing Dwarf Indoor Banana(Newbie)

Alright, thanks for what you've said. I actually did treat it for mites(or tried, at least), after the first stalk started dying, but it hasn't shown that since then. The soil mix is what the nursery recommended, but then again, who knows how reliable that actually is.
Pics:




Does this give anyone any ideas?
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems Growing Dwarf Indoor Banana(Newbie)

I wouldn't worry about that one leaf.. If it was near the window and got cool smaller plants are sensitive to it. As long as your soil doesn't have the water crystal's you may be alright, those crystals will hold way to much water and cause rot, and that's not good..
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Problems Growing Dwarf Indoor Banana(Newbie)

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Originally Posted by Abnshrek View Post
I wouldn't worry about that one leaf.. If it was near the window and got cool smaller plants are sensitive to it. As long as your soil doesn't have the water crystal's you may be alright, those crystals will hold way to much water and cause rot, and that's not good..
Well thanks but can you just try to answer a few questions please?
How do I know when best to water it? Is it okay to water it if the soil's still a little damn but it hasn't been watered in a while and the soil's always damp?
That edge-burn wasn't there before, that only showed up after a started giving it a bit more fertilizer(not much though), is it possible that's overfertilized? If it is, than obviously what I was doing before wasn't working for the plant too well, either.
Either way, put simply: what do I do to get the plant to actually grow, hopefully to the point of fruiting?
EDIT: Also, would I then want to move it further away from the window?

Last edited by cppietime : 04-29-2014 at 04:31 PM. Reason: Added question
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Old 04-29-2014, 05:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems Growing Dwarf Indoor Banana(Newbie)

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Originally Posted by cppietime View Post
Well thanks but can you just try to answer a few questions please?
How do I know when best to water it? Is it okay to water it if the soil's still a little damn but it hasn't been watered in a while and the soil's always damp?
That edge-burn wasn't there before, that only showed up after a started giving it a bit more fertilizer(not much though), is it possible that's overfertilized? If it is, than obviously what I was doing before wasn't working for the plant too well, either.
Either way, put simply: what do I do to get the plant to actually grow, hopefully to the point of fruiting?
EDIT: Also, would I then want to move it further away from the window?
I have water dishes on all my pots in the winter I only water from the bottom, not next to the plant or up top. I don't know if you can do that with your pot, but it makes it so much more easy. Now I am going to have to start doing the feely touchy thing w/ the soil to see if my mix for drains fast enough for my newest addition when I up-pot it.. On 2nd thought I'll probably just get a moisture meter..
In order to answer the fert Q? it would helpful to know what you gave it and how much? You have a small plant there so it doesn't need much.
I'd take a temp next the window @ that height based on your temps outside I'd move it closer as it got warm and further away when it really cold in the future. Temp @ height is one method I check during winter some plants should be put on a piece of old plywood if on slab, but you folks up there have basements.. So floor should be good given the right light, nutrition, and heat.. :^)
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems Growing Dwarf Indoor Banana(Newbie)

It looks to me like that soil might have some soil retainers in it. I do not have a name for what this stuff is called. Bananas need soil that drains well. They do not like there feet kept wet which as already said, leads to rot. Let your soil dry between waterings. If is not drying then your soil is keeping your plants roots too wet. IF this is the case you may really want to consider changing your soil. Use your judgement but staying too wet is what I am thinking is going on here.
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Problems Growing Dwarf Indoor Banana(Newbie)

Okay this might just sound ignorant but how damp/dry can the soil be when I water it? Is it okay for it to be a little damp when I water it, because the soil in there just doesn't dry out completely, and it was the best-draining soil mix at the nursery from which we purchased the banana.
Basically, now that winter's over, can someone just please tell me, as simple as possible, how I can get the plant to start growing again?
How quickly should the soil dry up after the watering? let's try that.
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems Growing Dwarf Indoor Banana(Newbie)

If soil is still moist there is no need to water. Now in the summer you almost can't over water @ least down here.. I'd add a half a bag of perlite to your mix so it drains better. :^)

You didn't say what you use for fert?
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Problems Growing Dwarf Indoor Banana(Newbie)

I use a liquid 7 - 9 - 5 fertilizer, probably at a concentration of about 1/5 tsp/gallon or so.
So, if there is an actual answer for this, please fill in the blank: If the soil around my banana is still damp, and I haven't watered it in ____ days, I should start to worry that the soil may not drain well enough.
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems Growing Dwarf Indoor Banana(Newbie)

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I use a liquid 7 - 9 - 5 fertilizer, probably at a concentration of about 1/5 tsp/gallon or so.
So, if there is an actual answer for this, please fill in the blank: If the soil around my banana is still damp, and I haven't watered it in ____ days, I should start to worry that the soil may not drain well enough.
It is hard tell you how often too water. It depends on the temp humidity. Here in the northwest I have had to wait a good 2 weeks between waterings particularly in the winter months. But in the end it is your finger that will make the decision for you Sorry I can't give you a concrete answer to a specific watering time. I hope all the answers being posted will help you out.
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Problems Growing Dwarf Indoor Banana(Newbie)

But you're saying that it should feel dry, not at all damp, right?
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems Growing Dwarf Indoor Banana(Newbie)

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But you're saying that it should feel dry, not at all damp, right?
Right, if its still is moist check again next week.. :^)
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems Growing Dwarf Indoor Banana(Newbie)

It should feel fairly dry.
To the extent one can go from a picture, your plant looks nice. You may be right on track. May it pick up nicely in the heat of some summer sun.
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