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Old 02-08-2009, 10:24 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Good luck Harvey.
Poor thing looks like it's on an I V - or -Oxygen tubes taped to it's nostrils LOL I hope this works . We treat them like our babies don't we?
I would still take it out & check the roots very carefully - if no improvement. I wouldn't add more perlite.
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Old 02-09-2009, 03:21 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chironex View Post
My guess is that it is due to shipping shock. As Patty said, future leaves will be the telltale of a happy plant. Stay the course and keep doing what you were. Judge it by the new growth. I would just keep an eye on it for rot on the new leaves. Gradually let more air to them each day now. One week of hardening should be enough to recover.
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Originally Posted by momoese View Post
Well, this will be interesting to follow!

If it were my plant I'd remove it and check for rot, clean if needed, let it dry some, then apply some fungicide/rooting hormone before replanting in some sterile media. If the rot has already started it won't matter how much air you pass over the roots.
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Originally Posted by harveyc View Post
Thanks, Mitchel. From some things I've related to "brewing" actively aerated compost tea, harmful bacteria is most often grown in anerobic conditions so I believe that aeration would decrease or stop the spread of rot even if it has started. Since the pup had some fairly small roots to begin with, I'm afraid I'd break those off easily by removing it from the soil. I suppose I could wash the soil away.

I have not heard of the use of rooting hormone on banana pups. Have you used it?

Thanks for the ideas!
Harvey,

I've ordered a couple of variegated bananas from Thailand and both of them croaked. First one, I planted in a peat based soil less medium, and shined a 40 watt lightbulb on the surface of the medium at around 1-foot away. The second one, I planted in coco peat, and hardly watered it because it stayed moist all the time, with no artificial lighting.

On all of my bananas, I dust the corms with Captan fungicide before I pot them up. I would agree with Mitchel, if it were my plant, I would re-pot the plant. I would gently shake off as much of the soil as I can, then dust it with Captan. After airing it out for an hour, I would pot it in a well draining medium, like a cactus potting mix. And here is what I think is the most important part that I did not do for the other bananas, I would put them on a heat mat, set at 85F. The reason I think this is important is that, in realizing that the plant comes from a hot tropical area, where the ground is probably at least 80F most of the time, when the plant is in the pot on the floor, the temperature of the potting medium or soil is probably even or 2-3F cooler than the ambient temperature. At this temperature, when the soil is moist, the plant is sensing that the soil is wet because that would the wet temperature in its original "home". Hence, it will react like the ground is wet all the time. By raising the temperature of the medium, the plant senses the warmth, and the plant responds "like it was back home", and the need to absorb the moisture before it dries out by sending out roots.

As for a rooting hormone, you might try Rootone, though it might be a little expensive, unless you dust the corm with a small amount (1-tsp), before you dust it with Captan. Or, try a little Gibberellic acid powder mixed with some Captan. Only problem is, I don't how much to use any more since I haven't used GA3 in a while.

This is not to say that your aerating of the pot will not help. It will perhaps reduce the risk of fungus growth. And you need to make sure that the soil doesn't dry out. Without bottom heat, the plant may still respond like the soil is wet. Aerating the soil will cool it further.

If you decide to "stay the course", at least spray the plant with a systemic fungicide, e.g., Ferti-lome Systemic Fungicide, etc. Even after dusting the corms from Thailand with Captan, when the plants exhibited signs or rotting, I sprayed them with fungicide, but even this was to no avail.

I have two 4-foot Ae-Ae's (allegedly from Saipan! LOL) that are inside the house in 5-gallon pots. Their outer leaves have dried out, but the p-stems are still firm. One of them has a leaf actually slowly growing. When the temperature in the greenhouse is at least a constant 65F, I bring them there and I will be putting them on the heat mat until I see obvious signs of active growth.

Last edited by chong : 02-09-2009 at 03:23 AM. Reason: Added missing words.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:26 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

My first and only (so far) Ae Ae was also allegedly from Saipan. It was the only plant I've killed in years. Looked great upon shipment albeit very little root system at all. It steadily declined till there was a hole in the pot!
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:14 AM   #24 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Too much water killed most of these plants and I bet none dies from neglect but rather from too much attention. I found in my small experience that a shipped plant can take a long time to show signs of new growth. On average I would say that this time of year it could take 3-4 months before a new leaf flag starts to appear and during that time one has a tendency to want to water to stimulate growth especially since old leaves may shrivel and die in the plants attempt to conserve water until new roots appear. Doing this will usually rot any new fragile roots trying to come out and likely cause one to water more frequently. I mark the dormant flag leaf with a marker to see when growth is starting and then water sparingly. This does not mean I have not lost plants to rot but on the other hand my compost heap is a little larger.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:20 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Hi Harvey,It looks to me that it was in poor shape when it was sent to you. Shipping may have hurt this small plant it even more. John



Quote:
Originally Posted by harveyc View Post
I bought this beautiful little pup from Steven (MiamiMax on eBay, Varig8 here at the org) and it arrived yesterday.

Here is the pup when it arrived:





I potted it up temporarily last night and re-potted it today in a mix of about 60% perlite, 25% Supersoil potting soil, and 15% worm castings. I put in some wire supports and bagged it to create mini-greenhouse to help prevent the leaves drying out until roots become established. It now looks like this:



I've got it in my warm house in a bay window that gets morning sunlight and moderate light most of the day.

Any thoughts on helping improve it's chance for survival? I thought of putting it on a heated propagation mat, but don't know how helpful that will be since my home already stays 70F or above.

Thanks,

Harvey
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:32 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Looking at those pics again it doesn't look like it had developed much of a corm yet.

I have not used any rooting hormone or fungicide on my bananas, but I have on other plants with good results and wouldn't hesitate to try it on something rare like your plant.

Sounds like Chong has had good results and I'll keep in mind his theory about soil temps and root growth. Makes good sense to me.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:05 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Harvey,

Agri-Fos from Monterey Lawn and Garden Products is a systemic fungicide approved for fruits in California. I have used it with success on my citrus trees to control sooty mold. You can find it at most independent nurseries and Ag supply stores.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:19 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

I have some Ridomil Gold on hand, but don't believe it's got label information for bananas. It's strong stuff and I would hate to guess on the appropriate dose for a small banana.

Thanks for all of the tips/advice.

Chong, it is unclear to me why you believe the soil is colder than the ambient temperature (even before aeration), though I can understand why the aeration can provide some cooling effect. I do have a propagation mat and could stick a thermometer into the "patient" and keep it at 85F but then I'll have to move it into my shop for that and put up my grow light. I don't think my wife would go for putting the propagation mat in the bay window...it's getting pretty weird already!

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Old 02-09-2009, 01:48 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Quote:
Originally Posted by harveyc View Post
..........................................................
Chong, it is unclear to me why you believe the soil is colder than the ambient temperature (even before aeration), though I can understand why the aeration can provide some cooling effect.
The soil will be colder because the water, that you pour into it, is usually cooler than ambient. And as the water evaporates from the soil, it cools the soil further. Plus, ambient in your area is definitely colder than the plant's original environment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harveyc View Post
I do have a propagation mat and could stick a thermometer into the "patient" and keep it at 85F but then I'll have to move it into my shop for that and put up my grow light. I don't think my wife would go for putting the propagation mat in the bay window...it's getting pretty weird already!

Harvey
You can use a t'stat controlled heat tape around the pot, with the thermostat in the soil. Then place the pot of the plant in a slightly larger pot, and seal the top opening with some fiberglass insulation. Or, instead of a heat tape, you can use a 25 or 40 watt appliance light bulb under the pot, inside a larger pot that can accommodate both, and plug it into a heat mat thermostat that's available from most hardware or garden stores. Just make sure that you keep the bulb from getting wet.

Or, you can get one of these:
ThermoPlanter: Heated Planter Extends Growing Season for Tropical Water Plants

Logee's Greenhouse-Thermo Planter TM

Last edited by chong : 02-09-2009 at 01:51 PM. Reason: added comment
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:57 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Chong, I haven't watered this plant since I planted it and I don't have any plans on doing so in the near future. For young plants, I typically water with warm water.

I already have a propagation mat and it should meet the heating needs.

Thanks again,

Harvey
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:02 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

One other point I'd like to make is that this plant spent less than 48 hours in transit during shipping so I would expect shock to be much less than something imported overseas, etc.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:41 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

After the 'org crashed yesterday I moved my plant into my shop and on a propagation mat, I've also stuck a thermometer into the patient's bottom....I mean pot of soil.... and after six hours or so it's been holding stead at about 85F. I removed the bag and have left it off with humidity ranging from 28%-35%. I am still aerating the pot. I removed one leaf whose petiole had dried up. It is also under a fluorescent grow light (two 48" bulbs). It looks like it's an incubator at the hospital! :P

I have not yet convinced myself to dig up the plant or treat it with a fungicide, though I did buy the AGRI-FOS systemic fungicide Richard had recommended.
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:58 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Harvey, you are doing all the right things. It was sent to you in bad shape. I (personally) would not ship a plant that small & fragile. Just don't kill it with kindness... I don't want to see you on the "What did you kill today" thread!
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Old 02-11-2009, 06:32 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

I decided to go ahead and inspect my banana and re-pot it this today. I mixed up 80% perlite and 20% potting soil and prepared some Agri-Fos fungicide solution to dip the banana into and then to drench the potting soil mix. I also sertilized a new 1 gallon pot.

However, after removing the banana from the pot, I was very pleased with the root growth and decided to re-pot it without treating it and right back into the same soil mix. The mix seemed to have just the right amount of moisture and was nice and warm and the root growth was impressive. There were no signs of mold so I decided not to risk any damage to the favorable environment with the fungicide. I believe the aeration is like a very beneficial factor as the oxygen is aiding root growth. (For some information on air injected into underground drip irrigation systems, you may find http://cefresno.ucdavis.edu/files/51557.pdf of interest.)





Hey, check out those nice white healthy roots!!!

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Old 02-11-2009, 06:50 PM   #35 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Get well "Wild Thing"!
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:50 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

That's looking good! Hopefully it will continue to root like that.
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:06 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Hello All;
Well, you certainly cannot complain about all the help and concern one receives at this site! Kudos to all of you. After reading through all these posts, I have found I am in agreement with the most simple and common sensed comments posted by MM4Birds. I have been growing rare tropicals for over 30 years, and every banana corm, or small banana plant I lost came from ONE reason--TOO MUCH WATER during the re-establishment of new roots. All else seems irrelevant in comparison. You just wouldnt think that a little extra water would hurt so much!! I lived in the Caribbean for about 15 years and watched the banana growers just hack off pups, cut the leaves and stalks to the top of the corms, scrape the old roots off, and throw them in a truck like potatos! Then they just dug a hole, planted them with no water, and guess what? Perfectly growing rows of bananas. I do admit that we should all take more care and concern when growing them inside and potted though! And being RARE and expensive variegates, well, goes without saying. Harvey has been in contact with me from day one, and has taken into consideration the majority of my suggestions and the new photos of all those white new roots is fantastic! (I would still cut off those older leaves!) Re-establishing these slower growing variegates during the winter months can be problematic due to the obvious environmental conditions. WATER LIGHT WARMTH. Most important in that order in my book as far as banana corms go! Here in "Sunny" Florida it has been down in the low 40's and 50's for the past month or so. All my plants are outside, even one similar sized aurea variegated "Wild Asian Banana" (Hate these local names!) which I received from Thailand about 6 weeks ago. I cut off all the leaves right away except the newest which I cut horizontally in half. All the roots were scraped off on the similar sized corm as Harveys. I dug a hole,(in full sun), watered it ONCE when I planted, and now it looks THE SAME. No dying back, an erect, functioning "half" leaf, and slowly rooting out. No rain here to speak of for months in Miami either! Fussing too much with the 'babies' oftentimes spell death for them! I know from experience early on in this hobby after loosing hundreds and hundreds of $ rooting out AeAe pups and other banana corms over the years. I lost my first 6 AeAe in the Caribbean from this! ($700+!). I thought I was going to die! It is MUCH better to re-establish them DRYER than WET. Might be slower, but they LIVE! If you pot them up in 100% perlite it proves better. You really need a very well drained mix to start them off! After they've rooted out in Perlite they can be moved into a soil based mix. It may interest you to know that banana corms can also be dried and stored for long periods of time before planting! Keep me posted Harvey!
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:20 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Thanks, Steven, I'm glad I persuaded you to come out and post. You've got some of the most beautiful plants in your gallery here and more people should see what you've got.

I'll probably cut off the oldest leaf, but the youngest leaf doesn't look too bad. One thing I've found in some cases is that if all the leaves die it would be best just to cut off the pseudostem to the ground as it ends up getting dry and new leaves have a hard time emergying and sometimes end up coming out of the soil instead after being held back.

One point about watering. I don't know that any plant can have too much water other than the lack of oxygen. In other words, the problem is more the lack of oxygen than the abundance of water. Otherwise, hydroponics just would not work. I still am going to be careful to avoid watering heavily (this plant has not received any additional water since it was first planted), but the aeration does give it a lot of extra "insurance".

Thanks again,

Harvey
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:49 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Joy Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Fyi Harvey, with ref to the post by Steven-Varig8, if the Wild Asian Musa is the aurea form from Thailand, then it is the Musa acuminata subsp siamea. Someone found it in the wild some years ago and only recently it is available for sale. There are also people offering the seeds from this particular plant and they seem to have a high percentage of Variegated sprouts. I have 2 of these plants with me. They are a bit sensitive as there is not much green on the leaves. My Thai friend told me to go easy on the water with it and I didn't believe him as I thought as long as it is a M acuminata, it's gotta to be drinker. But then, I was wrong!
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:06 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby Variegated Asian Wild Banana

Harvey, Steve and Tog, thanks for your posts. My one and only Ae Ae looked much like Harveys(particularly the roots or lack of) and trying to baby it I potted it up with a soil mix that didn't include as much amendments such as bark chips ,sand perlite etc that I give my other plants. It basically withered till just a hole was left in the pot. Next time I'll learn from my own and your mistakes.
Steven thanks for sharing your ae ae info. It stinks to lose any plant but 6 ae ae's..... yikes. At least I'll be much better prepared for the next one.
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