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


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Old 07-16-2009, 07:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Removing Water Suckers

Hey everyone, I see all these threads about removing Sword Suckers to ensure both the mother and pup survive, and I also see the "Remove Water Suckers immediately". My question is, what method do you use? Do you cut them off at a 90 degree angle to the mother plant, or just clip them beneath the soil? I have two I believe are Water suckers on a Gran Nain I have had for 1 month and is only about 16 inches P Stem, possibly now a third, as a Sucker is coming up that is less than an inch tall.

I included pictures to see if I am right in identifying them as Water Suckers.





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Old 07-16-2009, 08:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing Water Suckers

Those are water suckers. I'd wait before cutting them off. Give them a chance to develope their own roots. When you cut it off,cut close to mother so you get some of the corm.
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Removing Water Suckers

Or just leave them, until things get real crowded.
Nice diagram, Patty.
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing Water Suckers

Someone here posted it & I saved it. I'm thinking - or thought it was you Pete(?)
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Removing Water Suckers

Not me. I like it, nice and simple with a definate direction.
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Removing Water Suckers

Thanks for the diagram Patty. However, if they do prove to be Water Suckers, and I just want to get rid of them so they are not taking nutrients and space from the mother, should I really cut off part of the mother's corm? Doesn't that sound like a waste?
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Removing Water Suckers

Yes, those look like water suckers. I'd be surprised by a 16 inch tall banana sending up a sword. (Unless momma was, say a "Truly Tiny" or something like that.) Since momma is so small she isn't going to provide that much shade, the pup has no need to race for the sky, and she hasn't the energy for it anyway.

A sword has just the teenciest of leaves until it gets maybe 12-18 inches tall. Even taller on big varieties. They look like a spear tip with barbs on it. Sorta like a young bamboo shoot coming up.

May I presume that you are a new, recreational grower without any dreams of owning a banana plantation in the next year? Then leave the pup(s) alone until they get some size, have time to grow some roots, then separate if you need to in order to expand your plantings.
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing Water Suckers

Someone please correct me on this if I'm wrong....but water suckers are perfectly fine to grow into new plants. Sword suckers display more rapid growth (which is why they are used solely by plantation owners) but water suckers will grow up to be good plants as well, right? I'd say leave em on there....your plant isn't on a plantation, and the pups aren't draining the growth of the main plant.
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing Water Suckers

Water pups grow as good as sword pups after a couple months -- no diff really. If you want to just cut it & throw it away, then don't cut into mamma corm. I have several pups growing in seperate pots that are growing well. You can always sell or use for a trade. It's really not taking much energy away from mamma - it being so small. Ppl cut pups off when mamma is getting ready to flower & fruit, to give it more energy.
I'd wait & then plant the pups (I hate to see them get thrown out ).
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Removing Water Suckers

You would probably need to cut that portion of corm away regardless, or [the pup] may grow right back.
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Removing Water Suckers

Quote:
Originally Posted by LilRaverBoi View Post
Someone please correct me on this if I'm wrong....but water suckers are perfectly fine to grow into new plants.
That is my experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LilRaverBoi View Post
Sword suckers display more rapid growth (which is why they are used solely by plantation owners) but water suckers will grow up to be good plants as well, right? I'd say leave em on there....your plant isn't on a plantation, and the pups aren't draining the growth of the main plant.
Yeah. The OP is in Ohio. I grew up in Michigan and after college I lived just north of Indianapolis, IN for 14 years. So I know the climate of Ohio. He isn't going to be competing with Dole or Chiquita unless he takes that pot and heads down to Costa Rica, or Belize or something. So he might as well enjoy growing the tropical plants and not worrying about how strong momma will be 6 or 9 months from now ... 6 months from now, momma is going to be stripped of leaves and in a dark corner of the basement or in a pot in the living room begging for more light.

I'd get the pups bigger, then potted up separate, and then come winter he will have several (genetically identical) candidates to make it through the winter. He can keep one inside, one in the garage, one in the basement, etc. and learn how to over-winter them and the re-acclimate them to outdoor conditions come spring. Once those kinks are worked out he can push them for the 2 or more years it will take to fruit at his latitude.
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Old 07-17-2009, 12:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Pup comparison

Since you weren't sure how to ID them, here are some comparison photos.

First, a young Raja Puri in a pot (back stem). It is sending up a "water sucker" type with round leaves and a short spacing between leaves (near stem).



Here are some in ground Ice Cream nanners. I got in in January (+/-) of '08 as a little TC start, it was soon defoliated the first time by our cat, while being kept it in a pot until after the winter freezes. This has been in ground since spring (March +/-) of '08. The freeze of '09 stripped it of all leaves for the second time. (See that in my gallery). (The biggest, brownest p-stem is the one fruiting right now (look in my gallery for that, too).

See how a mature mat sends up a pup FAST. They don't grow much of a leaf, at first, they are just going up. They are very pointed at the top and the leaf blades themselves are more pointed than round.

Small one just came out that day:


Here is one just a little older:


A view of a pup on the back of the mat:
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Last edited by adrift : 07-17-2009 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 07-17-2009, 12:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing Water Suckers

With water suckers I just grab and yank and usually they do not grow back (almost all of the plant material is removed). Takes about 2 seconds...then in to the compost pile.
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Old 07-17-2009, 01:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Removing Water Suckers

Dang, Rmplmnz....that's like a banana abortion or something! EEK! So do they grow once they're in the compost pile? Cause I wouldn't be surprised! Actually my first bananas were ones that grew up after a 'dead' banana's roots were chopped up and composted at my workplace at the time.
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Dang, Rmplmnz....that's like a banana abortion or something! EEK! So do they grow once they're in the compost pile? Cause I wouldn't be surprised! Actually my first bananas were ones that grew up after a 'dead' banana's roots were chopped up and composted at my workplace at the time.
Not quite the analogy I was trying to convey.:-)

No..usually water suckers do not grow..what corm there is gets shredded when I yank it out...
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Old 07-17-2009, 05:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Removing Water Suckers

Quote:
Originally Posted by adrift View Post
That is my experience.



Yeah. The OP is in Ohio. I grew up in Michigan and after college I lived just north of Indianapolis, IN for 14 years. So I know the climate of Ohio. He isn't going to be competing with Dole or Chiquita unless he takes that pot and heads down to Costa Rica, or Belize or something. So he might as well enjoy growing the tropical plants and not worrying about how strong momma will be 6 or 9 months from now ... 6 months from now, momma is going to be stripped of leaves and in a dark corner of the basement or in a pot in the living room begging for more light.

I'd get the pups bigger, then potted up separate, and then come winter he will have several (genetically identical) candidates to make it through the winter. He can keep one inside, one in the garage, one in the basement, etc. and learn how to over-winter them and the re-acclimate them to outdoor conditions come spring. Once those kinks are worked out he can push them for the 2 or more years it will take to fruit at his latitude.

Actually, they are going into the Garage under a 600 Watt Metal Halide/HPS system, so hopefully they get enough light! I was asking originally because my goal is to Fruit them, so I want to have the least amount of stress as possible, and having them in a Container their whole life will already do that to an extent.

The way it sounds like from you guys, is that it won't bother the main plant now, and to just seperate later. I think I'll go that route, and then just give them away once they are viable themselves. Thanks guys!
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