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Old 11-12-2019, 04:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default What is going wrong with my banana this winter?

http://imgur.com/gallery/MSl11fU

I got this last year for christmas. It is a dwarf, but I don't know the exact species. It has purple on the young leaves, which I remember was a good identifier. I brought it in at the beginning of October with my other nonhardy plants. It has always had browned leaf edges, presumably from wind, but recently (last 3 weeks) the older leaves have started to yellow. Before, the old leaves would simply brown and shrivel one at a time. Know a large number are yellowing.

Considering it was fine through 5 months of winter last year, I am assuming the issue is a change I made since last year. There are only a few things I can think of:

- It is no longer under the lights because it got too tall. I put it near the lights and the window, and I have a supplementary light targeting just it.

- Last winter I didn't fertilize as the natural fertilizer really smells. I did when outside for the summer though. This winter, I have recently started using a liquid chemical fertilizer I made from potassium nitrate and potassium phosphate. I dilute it according to instructions for premade liquid chemical fertilizers, so the concentration should be right. All the other plants get this too.

I would doubt the fertilizer is a problem; it would have to be way overdosed. And as shown, the other plants are loving it. Everybody gets watered the same.

I think the lighting is thr culprit, or perhaps something with the positioning. The previously super healthy philidendron up there has been suffering from a similar problem.

The banana was repotted in May when it came outside. I used 3 parts pine bark, 2 parts 1/8" gravel, 1 part diatomaceous earth, 1 part dried montmorillonite clay. I added roughly 1 part peat moss because I read they like a wetter soil, and the previous stuff alone usually dries pretty fast. I have used the base mix without peat for 2 years now on almost all my plants and bonsai and it works well.

What could be going on?
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Old 11-12-2019, 05:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is going wrong with my banana this winter?

I don't know your location but it's dormant season and it is easy to over water. I let mine dry(bone dry) before giving them a little water.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is going wrong with my banana this winter?

I am in Nebraska, USA.

I doubt it could be overwatering. Last year I watered twice a week over the winter, and I was fairly religious with it. If anything, I am worried I have been underwatering, because there were a couple of weeks so far where I only watered once.

Unless the change in light makes that much of a difference in water consumption.

FYI, when it was outside I watered every day. Sonetines twice on hot, dry, windy days.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is going wrong with my banana this winter?

Growth of the plant slows in the dormant season and they use less water and the less light the less growth. My plants in pots may get a little water once a month, the ones stored bare root won't get water for 6 months. Over watering in the winter is the number 1 killer of Banana Plants. Roots sitting in wet soil when dormant will rot. During the growing season I drown them once and sometimes twice a day also.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is going wrong with my banana this winter?

Ok, but why the change from last year to this? Why does the banana require way less water than the other plants?

Are yours in something super organic, like potting soil? The soil I am using is designed to be nearly impossible to overwater.
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is going wrong with my banana this winter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wertoiuy View Post
Ok, but why the change from last year to this? Why does the banana require way less water than the other plants?

Are yours in something super organic, like potting soil? The soil I am using is designed to be nearly impossible to overwater.
this same issue is being discussed in HELP DIAGNOSING MY PLANT by sanshin just a day or so ago.
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is going wrong with my banana this winter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wertoiuy View Post
http://imgur.com/gallery/MSl11fU


- It is no longer under the lights because it got too tall. I put it near the lights and the window, and I have a supplementary light targeting just it.

I think the lighting is thr culprit, or perhaps something with the positioning. The previously super healthy philidendron up there has been suffering from a similar problem.

The banana was repotted in May when it came outside. I used 3 parts pine bark, 2 parts 1/8" gravel, 1 part diatomaceous earth, 1 part dried montmorillonite clay. I added roughly 1 part peat moss because I read they like a wetter soil, and the previous stuff alone usually dries pretty fast. I have used the base mix without peat for 2 years now on almost all my plants and bonsai and it works well.

What could be going on?


Your dwarf plant looks normal for one that has been brought in from outdoors.
Many of my plants will do the same within a few weeks of bring them in.
Take away the sunlight and heat of outdoors and this is what they do.
The oldest lower leaves are the first ones to yellow and die, the plant no longer needs them.
The plant must be squarely under a growlight with full coverage to maintain best health.


Once a plant gets a larger footprint(wider) and gets taller the plant is more difficult to maintain than in seasons past.


The bonsai type soilless mix is fine for starting a smaller plant .....but you will want to add more peatmoss at the next soil refresh for best root health next season or change the recipe altogether to a peatmoss,perlite based mix.

I make and use a recipe from the internet called Al's Gritty Mix for some of my plants which require a well drained mix.
I have found this mix does not do well once a banana plant gets larger like the one shown in your photo.
The loose mix is good for starting but not for maintaining a potted banana plant.
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is going wrong with my banana this winter?

I think you are overwatering.

Here is one of my dwarf cavendish I brought indoors about a month ago. About half a gallon of water every 7 days. During summer outdoors, I was watering daily.
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is going wrong with my banana this winter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cincinnana View Post
Your dwarf plant looks normal for one that has been brought in from outdoors.
Many of my plants will do the same within a few weeks of bring them in.
Take away the sunlight and heat of outdoors and this is what they do.
The oldest lower leaves are the first ones to yellow and die, the plant no longer needs them.
The plant must be squarely under a growlight with full coverage to maintain best health.


Once a plant gets a larger footprint(wider) and gets taller the plant is more difficult to maintain than in seasons past.


The bonsai type soilless mix is fine for starting a smaller plant .....but you will want to add more peatmoss at the next soil refresh for best root health next season or change the recipe altogether to a peatmoss,perlite based mix.

I make and use a recipe from the internet called Al's Gritty Mix for some of my plants which require a well drained mix.
I have found this mix does not do well once a banana plant gets larger like the one shown in your photo.
The loose mix is good for starting but not for maintaining a potted banana plant.
Yeah, that Al's mix is basically what I have.

How does the fact that people are saying I am overwatering work with that you are saying the mix is too loose? Surely it has to be one or the other. If I had more peat, then overwatering would be more of a problem.

I will use some more peat this spring, but certainly not perlite. Any soil that floats is pretty much useless.
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is going wrong with my banana this winter?

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I think you are overwatering.

Here is one of my dwarf cavendish I brought indoors about a month ago. About half a gallon of water every 7 days. During summer outdoors, I was watering daily.
I have also watered once a week. Last winter I watered twice a week. And the soil I have drains super fast, and is supposed to be nearly impossible to overwater.

I have some bog plants that need to sit in standing water, so the pots aren't drilled. I had to move them around recently, so they got left without being topped up, and the soil dried out. They looked similar, with the yellow lower leaves.

I just worry because the soil means it is hard to overwater, I have watered less than last year, and it looks similar to plants that I know were underwatered. I worry that by decreasong watering I could make things worse.
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Old 11-14-2019, 05:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is going wrong with my banana this winter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wertoiuy View Post
Yeah, that Al's mix is basically what I have.

How does the fact that people are saying I am overwatering work with that you are saying the mix is too loose? Surely it has to be one or the other. If I had more peat, then overwatering would be more of a problem.

I will use some more peat this spring, but certainly not perlite. Any soil that floats is pretty much useless.
Here is a photo of a plants roots grown in a perlite peatmoss based mix.
Perlite is one of the best amendments for making a light soil that the roots can penetrate.
If your plants roots do not look like this then a soilless mix adjustment is recommended.
Inspect your roots in the pot and make a small adjustment
Check out this link to additional photos it could help you with your decision to change up soils.
.https://flic.kr/s/aHskn4Nmrt

With a gritty mix there is no substance for the superfine hair roots to "grow into" and your plant could show it.


Root structure

by
Hostafarian
,
on Flickr
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Old 11-14-2019, 06:18 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is going wrong with my banana this winter?

Peat retains moisture, but it is very difficult to re-wet once it dries out.
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Old 11-16-2019, 10:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is going wrong with my banana this winter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wertoiuy View Post
http://imgur.com/gallery/MSl11fU

- It is no longer under the lights because it got too tall. I put it near the lights and the window, and I have a supplementary light targeting just it.


What could be going on?

Pick up inexpensive grow lamp which has a wider coverage could help the plant also.

Local big box stores have LED lamps for the 30+ dollar range.

Last edited by cincinnana : 11-19-2019 at 06:55 PM.
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