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Banana Plant Soil, Additives, and Fertilizer This forum is an area where you may discuss the soil to grow banana plants in, as well as soil additives such as teas, composts, manures, fertilizers and related topics.


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Old 04-10-2020, 02:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Help with soil solution

Hello guys!
Bought my first banana plant, it was mentioned as Dwarf Cavendish.
It was in a quite tight container so i had to replant it asap.
As I had 0 exp with bananas, I red somewhere that "universal soil" should be good. But seems like it's not as I'm reading now...

What I have: banana plant in in a pot under HPS lamp + additional CFL in a soil "Compo sana Universal" which is mostly peat I think. It feels very soft, lush and well ventilated, and doesn't feels dry even when it's actually dry :-/ Also it becomes quite dense after watering, so I'm loosening it up after watering with a wood stick.
Banana is alive and looks happy as never before. It came to me with huge lower leaves and very small and "stuck" 6 youngest leaves. After 1 month new leaves in my pot increasing in size steadily and growing longer stems, which is a great sign.

BUT! Do I need to do anything with my soil which might not be too loose for banana? I don't want him to get root rot Maybe I have to extract it to add some sand? Or leave it be as long as it's happy?

Also, would appreciate advice about fertilizing. Using 1.4-1.0-2.0 plus 0.6Ca and 0.5Mg organic liquid fertilizer for palms each week. Sometimes I'm using wood ash mixed with water instead of this fert (1 big spoon of ash for 1 litre of boiling water and leaving it in a warm place for a week).
Is it OK, or I should change my plan???
Is it ok?
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Old 04-11-2020, 10:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Help with soil solution

There was some issues with website yesterday. First I though my phone lagging, so pressed "Publish" button again and again as nothing was happened. Now I found 3 instances of my thread
Could someone please delete exceed threads, please?
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Old 04-11-2020, 08:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Help with soil solution

Yes, rot is a problem. Sounds like your soil does not drain well. Lots of posts on how to get good drainage (add perlite, coarse sand - and needs to be very coarse or like swim pool filter sand or simply get good plain old "dirt" which does not have too much clay in it. We actually grow in pretty much clay soil, but when outside, plant in raised beds and inside water well and wait until it dries out (more or less) and have had no problems - but have plenty of drainage holes in pots.
Fertilizer hope someone else can answer as we have no easy answer. They need a LOT when growing, but how much is a "lot" ? :-). We do throw some wood ash around our plants, but like 3 cups for a 4-5 footer sprinkled abut, and 6 or 7 cups or 8 cups for larger - done in spring. Plants seem happy - but could we use more? No idea.
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Old 04-12-2020, 03:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Help with soil solution

Thank you! But should I actually dig out mine to add some sand or leave it be?
Also have to mention it looks like plant responds to Potassium and calcium from wood ash as leaves stems becomes longer (it came to me with cabbage-like young leaves initially). Problem was too tight pot or potassium deficiancy, can't be sure...
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Old 04-12-2020, 08:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Help with soil solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sataroth View Post
Hello guys!
Bought my first banana plant, it was mentioned as Dwarf Cavendish.
It was in a quite tight container so i had to replant it asap.
As I had 0 exp with bananas, I red somewhere that "universal soil" should be good. But seems like it's not as I'm reading now...

What I have: banana plant in in a pot under HPS lamp + additional CFL in a soil "Compo sana Universal" which is mostly peat I think. It feels very soft, lush and well ventilated, and doesn't feels dry even when it's actually dry :-/ Also it becomes quite dense after watering, so I'm loosening it up after watering with a wood stick.
Banana is alive and looks happy as never before. It came to me with huge lower leaves and very small and "stuck" 6 youngest leaves. After 1 month new leaves in my pot increasing in size steadily and growing longer stems, which is a great sign.

BUT! Do I need to do anything with my soil which might not be too loose for banana? I don't want him to get root rot Maybe I have to extract it to add some sand? Or leave it be as long as it's happy?

Also, would appreciate advice about fertilizing. Using 1.4-1.0-2.0 plus 0.6Ca and 0.5Mg organic liquid fertilizer for palms each week. Sometimes I'm using wood ash mixed with water instead of this fert (1 big spoon of ash for 1 litre of boiling water and leaving it in a warm place for a week).
Is it OK, or I should change my plan???
Is it ok?

I'm not familiar with the soil mix you are using. But the manufacturer's description indicates there is a high % of perlite (???). ... Generally it is recommended to use a commercial soil mix & perlite (or course sand) at a 50/50 % mix. ... You need a very fast draining mix for potted bananas.


I suggest using a long stem moisture meter to check the soil moisture in the middle and bottom of the pot. If these are very wet while the top of the soil is dry, then add more perlite to the mix. And water only when the meter indicates the middle & bottom of the pot soil is near dry. ... For bananas the pot MUST drain excess water and needs drain hole in the bottom. Self-watering pot are bad for bananas.


For fertilizer the mix you are using has fertilizer for 6 wks per the manufacture. After that I would use Miracle Grow per directions for potted plants foliar spraying the leaves about every 10 to 14 days. ... Read the forum wik for more info about fertilizer. Info:Fertilizer - Bananas Wiki
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Old 04-12-2020, 08:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Help with soil solution

Oh ... picture of your nana plants would help. Also knowing you growing zone and location would be good too if you need more help. ... Please make a post in the Member Introduction section and tell us about yourself.
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Old 04-12-2020, 08:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Help with soil solution

Sure, I'm living in Kiev, Ukraine. In your class system it should be #8 aka "Humid continental". We have a huge range of temperatures, from +35-40C summer to -30C winter. Also we are known as a country which almost entirely covered with a very fine humus, or also known as black earth. We are well-known farmers historically because of our awesome soil

I will try to attach few pictures of my plant.
Youngest leaf has some strange bloody spots on it, but looks healthy anyway...

Here few pics of a plant, spots on a leaf and a soil
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Old 04-12-2020, 08:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Old 04-12-2020, 09:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Help with soil solution

I know pot looks oversized, but only a bit in fact, due to drainage system. Actually increase is around +2 inches in each side from what it had.

Also there is a black spot on a stem, that's because I have treated it with wood coal yesterday. Old leaf became fully dry and I cut it out. But his stem was still very juicy and brown, like rotted. This coloration have reflected to underneath tissues a bit, so I have treated it with coal to stop any bacterias that might be there
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Old 04-12-2020, 11:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Help with soil solution

The plant looks good at this point. .... The black (or brown) spot on the pstem is normal coloration for most bananas. As long as it is not soft. The reddish color on the young leaf is a wine spot and normal for many banana varieties.


Now what I do see is some of the leaves have curl or wavy edge. This may be the beings of a problem. The leaf you cut off I wish we could have seen it. Did that leaf start turning black/brown from the out edges and progress to the middle stem? If so that would be an indication of too much water in the soil. (??????)


Now the potting soil does appear to have a large amount of peat. I don't see much perlite. So the fluffy & lite you described is from the peat. Peat holds water like a sponge, which then can become stagnate. And, that is not good for bananas in a pot. ... You need all excess free water to drain from the pot with the only remaining water is that which coated the surface of the soil particles and none being retained between the soil grain spaces. Thus a couple of hours after watering, the soil will feel slightly moist but not wet. You don't want any free water in the pot.


The plants do look good at this point. But if they start developing more wavy edges and/or yellowing & black edge, ... repot the plants in a different soil with lots of perlite and very little peat.
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Old 04-12-2020, 11:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Help with soil solution

Actually that leaf dying process was very strange.
1. Right par of leaf was drying
2. Right part of stem was drying
3. Left part of leaf was started to dry
4. Left part was dry
5. Left part of a stem became brown as well as right part

Is it a big stress to fully remove soil from roots and repot? Should I do it???
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Old 04-12-2020, 12:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Help with soil solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sataroth View Post
Actually that leaf dying process was very strange.
1. Right par of leaf was drying
2. Right part of stem was drying
3. Left part of leaf was started to dry
4. Left part was dry
5. Left part of a stem became brown as well as right part

Is it a big stress to fully remove soil from roots and repot? Should I do it???

Not really. The plant usually recovers quickly. ... While repotting remove any and all roots that are black and keep those that are white. Remove any black & soft parts of the corm and then wash the corm in bleach water (about cup per gal of water). The leaves may wilt for a few day but will recover soon.
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Old 04-12-2020, 12:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Help with soil solution

O(h .... these plants being inside can be greatly effected by the dry humidity of the house. There need high humidity so misting a couple of times a day will do a lot of good.
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Old 04-12-2020, 01:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Help with soil solution

Misting it around 6-8 times per day, so it's ok, drips of water appears on leaves each morning, which I guess means plant receives enough water.
What could you suggest for a soil, guys?
Heard commercial soil "for palms and cactus" is good for bananas. Or should I just add some perlite to my current soil? Which percentage if so??
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Old 04-13-2020, 08:01 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Help with soil solution

Hey guys! Added a lot of perlite today and raised back to its original height, as I have repotted it 1 inch deeper previous time (red this stupid advice somewhere).
Spotted new sucker made his way out Now it's above ground level and looks like a root. Wondering will it survive or not, it will be hard to remove it anyway. He is so close to mother and his bro

Some pics below:


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Old 05-05-2020, 04:42 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Hey guys! Plant is doing great, new leaves are bigger and bigger and it has 3 new pups growing.
I have a question to you now. One of main roots came out from bottom of my pot, right into a water collector O_O It took only 1 week for him too grow in 15cm long and 4mm thick. Looks very healthy, creamy coloured and hairy =) What should I do with it? Is it expected to be cut?
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