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


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Old 08-25-2009, 07:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Mail Removing leaves when and how

Hi all,question is when do you remove old leaves?.At what stage of age?.And how is it done?.
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing leaves when and how

I cut them when they get yellow, brown, shredded, or just generally ratty looking. I use a pair of scissors, (Works better than pruning shears) and cut close to the p-stem.
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing leaves when and how

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Hi all,question is when do you remove old leaves?.At what stage of age?.And how is it done?.
Many people don't even remove the leaves and that's good in dry areas, because the more leaves there are, the worse air circulation and higher humidity there is.
I usually remove only the yellowing, dying leaves (so that they don't take energy from the plant), they are mostly overhanging. Usually anything that isn't horizontal or upwards facing can be removed as it will fall of soon.

You can cut off the leaf just at the end of the petiole, very closely to the P-stem. This way the remaining skin will be drying out on the P-stem and than can later be removed without any problems. I use only knife, because I was trained to fight with it and use it as a tool, but there might be more useful tools.
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing leaves when and how

I use one of these that I keep very sharp attatched to a painters extension pole. I think it's 16 feet when fully extended. One swipe close to the p-stem removes the yellow or brown leaves, but I usually try to remove them before turning completely brown as they get harder to cut through as they dry out.

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Old 08-25-2009, 09:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing leaves when and how

I only cut the dried brown ones. Any leaf that contributes to photosynthesis I leave it alone and I use a very sharp knife the one I use for grafting. Also I cut the browned pstem to expose the green bark for again photosynthesis. The main thing is the knife must be very sharp. I like the feel of the knife cutting to the tissue like butter; if it feels resistance replace the blade.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing leaves when and how

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Also I cut the browned pstem to expose the green bark for again photosynthesis. The main thing is the knife must be very sharp. I like the feel of the knife cutting to the tissue like butter; if it feels resistance replace the blade.
I do this too when I clean up the p-stems to get more sun on them, except I use single edge razor blades.
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing leaves when and how

Yes, sometimes I do that.You could do it any other way but my favorite is my grafting knife that is about 4 inches long. But I usually hesitate to use it because it needs to be sharpen again. But what usually happen is any handy sharp knife will do. Even kitchen knife will do as a last resort.
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Removing leaves when and how

Best tool for cleaning up the banana plants and fend off the ninja's trying to steal them!

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Old 08-25-2009, 04:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing leaves when and how

LOL, djmb, my borther has many Katanas and other swords too. But I'm forbidden to use them in garden. Death penalty I'm afraid...
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Old 08-25-2009, 06:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing leaves when and how

Yeah, I don't remove leaves until they're completely brown/dried up. From my experience, the very bottom leaf of most plants is slowly turning yellow then to brown. If you chop them off when they're yellow, the next leaf will start dying off sooner. But if you wait till it turns brown/drys up, it extends the life of the next leaf up by at least a short amount of time. If you've got a lot of leaves on the plant it doesn't really matter all that much, but the 'dead and gone' method is what I use.

As for removal, sharp scissors or a knife work great. If you wait till it's brown, just cut off any dried/dead portion where it transitions to living tissue.
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing leaves when and how

I use double edge razors on mine... I like them to look more like a palm, so I trim off any leaves that are "too low" on the stalks. Other than that, I wait for the higher ones to start dying out before I touch them.
My mother also stops by and asks for me to cut off leaves so she can use them to wrap one of our typical caribbean foods - similar to the Mexican tamales, but made with ground up tubers, bananas, and meat, all wrapped in banana leaves. So in that case I HAVE to go for larger leaves.
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Old 08-29-2009, 04:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing leaves when and how

For the leaves, I use whatever tool I have handy. I've used garden shears, a machete, and one of those extension poles equipped with a knife and a slicer(don't know name for it, uses a rope) on the other side of the knife. All tools should be relatively clean and free of rust.

As others have stated, you can leave them on or cut them off. I personally do most of the trimming in the first 6 months. Once it's a good size, I leave it alone for the most part...with the exception of an ugly leaf here and there.

Djmb, nice sword!
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