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Old 04-24-2015, 02:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Michel?

Hi, yep, we are in Ohio, looking to be able to grow bananas that we can take inside to overwinter.
Or possibly be able to time it right to grow up to 5-6 feet indoors over winter, then take out over summer, but not sure if that timing works since think the flowering and fruiting season is longer than the entire summer, which doesn't even start until plant is full height, but I could be wrong?

I've always been interested in trying Gros Michel.. I have heard about some dwarf cultivars called Cocos, Highgate, and even shorter, Lowgate.. but never find anyone who has them or even has heard of them.
The main variety available is the Dwarf Cavendish, which I believe is just the same as you buy at the store.

Any thoughts on this? Are Gros Michel's actually much better? If so, is it possible to grow a dwarf cultivar in containers and overwinter indoors?

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Old 04-24-2015, 04:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Smile Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

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Originally Posted by SSP View Post
Hi, yep, we are in Ohio, looking to be able to grow bananas that we can take inside to overwinter.
Or possibly be able to time it right to grow up to 5-6 feet indoors over winter, then take out over summer, but not sure if that timing works since think the flowering and fruiting season is longer than the entire summer, which doesn't even start until plant is full height, but I could be wrong?

I've always been interested in trying Gros Michel.. I have heard about some dwarf cultivars called Cocos, Highgate, and even shorter, Lowgate.. but never find anyone who has them or even has heard of them.
The main variety available is the Dwarf Cavendish, which I believe is just the same as you buy at the store.

Any thoughts on this? Are Gros Michel's actually much better? If so, is it possible to grow a dwarf cultivar in containers and overwinter indoors?
Hi, I grow Dwarf Cavendish, Gran Nain and Dwarf Red indoors. They do well as long as they're provided with good light and less water in the Winter. I move them a pot size larger at a time, I also have Thai Black which I plant directly in the garden weather permitting. These get very large. I cut them back to about four feet, dig them out and store in the basement bare root. Hope this info helps. Good Luck !!!
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

First post...Welcome to the Jungle!!!!

Our average grow season is 170+- frost to frost.

Our season is not long enough to complete the full fruit cycle......But you might be able to pull it off over the winter in a hot house.

Cost to upkeep usually is a factor to keep this plant viable over the season to produce fruit .
Just a guess for cost local:
Kroger/Publix: .40 a pound
Me/You in containers: 15.00+- pound


Do try a cavendish as the plant is easy to get........as the saying goes.. Homegrown tomatoes always taste better....There is no comparison, same way with this plant.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

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First post...Welcome to the Jungle!!!!

Our average grow season is 170+- frost to frost.

The season is not long enough to complete the full fruit cycle......But you might be able to pull it off over the winter in a hot house.

Cost to upkeep usually is a factor to keep this plant viable over the seasons to produce fruit .

Try a cavendish also as the plant is easy to get........as the saying goes.. Homegrown tomatoes always taste better....There is no comparison.
Hi! Hey a fellow Buckeye who is also interested in growing bananas... some might say its "bananas", but that's probably why it makes me want to do it even more so!
Cavendish is extremely available, it seems, but not sure of the quality compared to others. I've always been interested to try the Gros Michel or similar, since it was "the" banana sold up until the 60's or 70's. I never had a chance to try it before it was wiped out commercially. I hear was much better tasting than Cavendish, which apparently is what all supermarkets carry now. But maybe Cavendish is in fact, the closest there is to Gros Michel.. I have no way of knowing, but I'm sure lots of you guys might.
Dwarf Cavendish would be easy to bring in the house overwinter.
I guess I'm looking for the closest practical dwarf variety that is the closest to Gros Michel. Maybe that would be the common Dwarf Cavendish?
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Smile Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

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Originally Posted by SSP View Post
Hi! Hey a fellow Buckeye who is also interested in growing bananas... some might say its "bananas", but that's probably why it makes me want to do it even more so!
Cavendish is extremely available, it seems, but not sure of the quality compared to others. I've always been interested to try the Gros Michel or similar, since it was "the" banana sold up until the 60's or 70's. I never had a chance to try it before it was wiped out commercially. I hear was much better tasting than Cavendish, which apparently is what all supermarkets carry now. But maybe Cavendish is in fact, the closest there is to Gros Michel.. I have no way of knowing, but I'm sure lots of you guys might.
Dwarf Cavendish would be easy to bring in the house overwinter.
I guess I'm looking for the closest practical dwarf variety that is the closest to Gros Michel. Maybe that would be the common Dwarf Cavendish?
You may pick up a Gros M within these forums from a few good members to get started.

Another very short cycle plant will be Musa Viente Cohol.....I have one that might give me a flower this year, but who knows ......our grow window is very short.
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Old 04-25-2015, 09:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

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You may pick up a Gros M within these forums from a few good members to get started.

Another very short cycle plant will be Musa Viente Cohol.....I have one that might give me a flower this year, but who knows ......our grow window is very short.
But how would I deal with the height of a GM? I'd have to bring it in the house over winter, so the max would be 6 feet or so. Unless there are GM dwarfs this short? Or is it possible to time it so that the growth would still be under 6 ft. by June, (when it would be able to be taken outside), and able to complete fruiting by late September or so? Once outside, of course it doesn't matter how tall it gets, as long as fruiting is done before it gets too cool. Then I could cut down main stem and bring the container with the new sucker in over winter and repeat. I don't know if the mathematics on this is feasible with a GM though?
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Old 04-26-2015, 06:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

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But how would I deal with the height of a GM? I'd have to bring it in the house over winter, so the max would be 6 feet or so. Unless there are GM dwarfs this short? Or is it possible to time it so that the growth would still be under 6 ft. by June, (when it would be able to be taken outside), and able to complete fruiting by late September or so? Once outside, of course it doesn't matter how tall it gets, as long as fruiting is done before it gets too cool. Then I could cut down main stem and bring the container with the new sucker in over winter and repeat. I don't know if the mathematics on this is feasible with a GM though?
Our zone 6 challenge is once the grow season starts rolling it is time to shut down for the fall/ winter. We just do not have the climate to see these plants all the way through the cycle, there are not enough consecutive hot days for this to reliably happen.

We (the bananas) need another 8 months of hot summer to fill out those plants .
You might get a flower or even some fruit but having it mature over the winter to quality tasting fruit is another task even with short cycle plants. But it can be done in a greenhouse or under grow lights.

Some of our other forum members in the tropical zones can go from pup to edible fruit very quickly.

Many forum members cut the banana stem in half to make it fit in their homes and start over the next spring.
And some pop them out of the ground and store them barefoot in their basements while others just keep them in a container all year.
All ways are acceptable, just do what you can afford and is easiest.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

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Our zone 6 challenge is once the grow season starts rolling it is time to shut down for the fall/ winter. We just do not have the climate to see these plants all the way through the cycle, there are not enough consecutive hot days for this to reliably happen.

We (the bananas) need another 8 months of hot summer to fill out those plants .
You might get a flower or even some fruit but having it mature over the winter to quality tasting fruit is another task even with short cycle plants. But it can be done in a greenhouse or under grow lights.

Some of our other forum members in the tropical zones can go from pup to edible fruit very quickly.

Many forum members cut the banana stem in half to make it fit in their homes and start over the next spring.
And some pop them out of the ground and store them barefoot in their basements while others just keep them in a container all year.
All ways are acceptable, just do what you can afford and is easiest.
Cutting the stem in half would ruin any chance of it fruiting, wouldn't it?
Do bananas set fruit and mature based on daylength (i.e. certain specific times of the year), or just based on temperature? Or a certain time after the pup starts?
So from flowering to fruiting is more than 4 months, even in short cycle cultivars, correct? If GM didn't flower until it is well over 6 feet, then it would not be possible to try it the way I mentioned, even if it were daylength neutral.
It is always possible to use heat and grow lights indoors, the only limiting factor is height. Has to be under 6 feet to have indoors for us.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

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Hi, I grow Dwarf Cavendish, Gran Nain and Dwarf Red indoors. They do well as long as they're provided with good light and less water in the Winter. I move them a pot size larger at a time, I also have Thai Black which I plant directly in the garden weather permitting. These get very large. I cut them back to about four feet, dig them out and store in the basement bare root. Hope this info helps. Good Luck !!!
Hi! Do you get fruit from your Thai Black? In NJ? If so, when does it fruit?
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Old 04-26-2015, 03:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Cold Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

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Hi! Do you get fruit from your Thai Black? In NJ? If so, when does it fruit?
Hi, Thai Black is an ornamental. They are beautiful and get huge. I have had mine get about 12ft or more. Pseudo stem gets really deep gray. They do produce seedy bananas in the wild. People are amazed when they see them.
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

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Originally Posted by SSP View Post
Hi, yep, we are in Ohio, looking to be able to grow bananas that we can take inside to overwinter.
Or possibly be able to time it right to grow up to 5-6 feet indoors over winter, then take out over summer, but not sure if that timing works since think the flowering and fruiting season is longer than the entire summer, which doesn't even start until plant is full height, but I could be wrong?

I've always been interested in trying Gros Michel.. I have heard about some dwarf cultivars called Cocos, Highgate, and even shorter, Lowgate.. but never find anyone who has them or even has heard of them.
The main variety available is the Dwarf Cavendish, which I believe is just the same as you buy at the store.

Any thoughts on this? Are Gros Michel's actually much better? If so, is it possible to grow a dwarf cultivar in containers and overwinter indoors?
As far as I am aware, no one in the continental U.S. has the real deal "cocos," so the gros michel you can try is a 12' plus plant. With the limited growing that you have, I would recommend a dwarf orinoco, raja puri, or dwarf namwah. The fruit of those varities take a lot longer to ripen than a dwarf cavendish, veinte cohol, etc., but these varieties do not require the heat and humidity of the latter.
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

The dwarf GMs I have are still 8-12' tall when flowering. Not huge but taller than most Dwarfs like Double Mahoi.
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Old 04-27-2015, 02:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

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As far as I am aware, no one in the continental U.S. has the real deal "cocos," so the gros michel you can try is a 12' plus plant. With the limited growing that you have, I would recommend a dwarf orinoco, raja puri, or dwarf namwah. The fruit of those varities take a lot longer to ripen than a dwarf cavendish, veinte cohol, etc., but these varieties do not require the heat and humidity of the latter.
What is the cycle length for a GM? (From pup to bloom/bloom to fruiting)?
I was offered a Patupi by someone here, is that a cultivar of GM or something totally different? It's supposed to be very short cycle.
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

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What is the cycle length for a GM? (From pup to bloom/bloom to fruiting)?
I was offered a Patupi by someone here, is that a cultivar of GM or something totally different? It's supposed to be very short cycle.
You are correct that the Patupi has a very short cycle, about 35-42 days, and probably is much better option than a Veinte Cohol. Your environmental conditions are going to reduce the size of the fruit and the VC has a small fruit to begin with, so if it does produce fruit you should only expect a few grams. The Patupi has a large 8" fruit to start with so if it does produce fruit they should still be reasonably large. You should be cautious when purchasing a Patupi or really any cultivar, that it is what they're calling it. I have an photo album titled Patupi that will give you info on what the plant should look like. If your sale falls through, pm me and I'll add your name to the waiting list.
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Old 04-29-2015, 01:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

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What is the cycle length for a GM? (From pup to bloom/bloom to fruiting)?
I was offered a Patupi by someone here, is that a cultivar of GM or something totally different? It's supposed to be very short cycle.
It is not a GM cultivar, something totally different.

Cycle length is affect by genetics and the environment, in a complicated way. For example, a cultivar that is "normal" cycle in the tropics, like Cavendish, is long cycle in my climate, whereas Namwah, which is on the long side in the tropics isn't much longer in my climate. The result is that they have about the same cycle length in my climate.
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:00 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

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It is not a GM cultivar, something totally different.

Cycle length is affect by genetics and the environment, in a complicated way. For example, a cultivar that is "normal" cycle in the tropics, like Cavendish, is long cycle in my climate, whereas Namwah, which is on the long side in the tropics isn't much longer in my climate. The result is that they have about the same cycle length in my climate.
Anyone know the quality and flavor of Patupi compared to Gros Michel?
Closer to Gros Michel than Cavendish? Or is Cavendish closer?
I am trying to figure out my best cultivars to be able to plan timing so that I can grow indoors over winter while plant is under 5 feet or so, and take outdoors in June and have flowering/fruiting in June-August, when temps are usually 80-90 and humid. I would love to try some sort of Gros Michel, but need to know what options are most realistic for me.
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:50 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

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I would love to try some sort of Gros Michel, but need to know what options are most realistic for me.
I don't think Gros Michel is a good option for you. Even the dwarf varieties are pretty darn large. I'm not saying it's impossible, just that fruiting any variety, even the best suited, will be a challenge.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:31 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

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Cycle length is affect by genetics and the environment, in a complicated way. For example, a cultivar that is "normal" cycle in the tropics, like Cavendish, is long cycle in my climate, whereas Namwah, which is on the long side in the tropics isn't much longer in my climate. The result is that they have about the same cycle length in my climate.
The more you know about cycle lengths and stress the less complicated it is. For example, I grow some cultivars with "short" cycles and "normal" cycles that will retain similar cycle lengths in your climate depending on the month they flower. There's more than enough information available on the internet for people to make good choices on which cultivars to grow. I read a very interesting paper that compared suckers and tissue cultures from mother plants grown in a stressed environment to suckers and tissue cultures from mother plants grown in a "normal" environment, they studied all 4 types from multiple cultivars in both environments.


A little reading can saves years of "trial and error".
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:36 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

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I don't think Gros Michel is a good option for you. Even the dwarf varieties are pretty darn large. I'm not saying it's impossible, just that fruiting any variety, even the best suited, will be a challenge.
Apparently, Patupi flowers and fruits in about 6 weeks, one of the shortest cycles out of all Musa, from what I hear. Even if a plant would get tall, as long as it is during the time it can be outside, and gets done with fruiting before hot weather stops, it wouldn't matter. As long as it got no larger than 5 feet before June. Once outside, wouldn't matter if it got 10-15 feet. I just don't know the exact growth pattern of bananas, that's why I need to rely on advice from everyone here.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: What are the Best Dwarf Varieties for Containers for the Midwest? Dwarf Gros Mich

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSP View Post
Anyone know the quality and flavor of Patupi compared to Gros Michel?
Closer to Gros Michel than Cavendish? Or is Cavendish closer?
I am trying to figure out my best cultivars to be able to plan timing so that I can grow indoors over winter while plant is under 5 feet or so, and take outdoors in June and have flowering/fruiting in June-August, when temps are usually 80-90 and humid. I would love to try some sort of Gros Michel, but need to know what options are most realistic for me.
A planting, similar to your idea with the Gros Michel, would probably take 7-8 months to flower in the tropics, not 30 to 60 days.
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