too much salt for banana?

jardinerowaFebruary 11, 2008

I posted this in "Container Gardening" but figure I'd get more responses here:

Hey all,

I have a fairly large container garden in an apartment balcony here on the Phoenix/Glendale border. I have "normal" flowering plants and trying some bananas and heliconias.

The water seems to be VERY hard here and I water everything by watering can as there's no hose hook up.

My question is, I am thinking my bananas and others might appreciate decreasing the salt content of the water. I've heard of gypsum but not sure how to apply that with already planted plants in containers.

Any suggestions on what I might do?



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Hey, Z
As you are gardening in containers (and using potting soil) gypsum apps are not going to do much- instead, try using an acid plant food : Miracid will work wonders, as wood any balanced orchid food. Be sure to keep your tropicals nice and moist and NEVER add fertilizer to a dry root ball!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 1:29PM
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Thanks for the message. Will acid plant food decrease salt content and lower pH? I have one of those meter things and it said the soil in the banana pot was had a pH of almost 8!!! And here the soil I'm using is palm and cactus even! I will try and acidid fertilizer.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 12:55AM
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Hey Zach-
Salt content of the potting soi will slowly rise, no matter what. Salinity is not necessarily the same as alkalinity (what a pH meter reads) Gypsum will not work in potting soil because there isn't anything for the gypsum to "lock" on to. It's a fairly long-winded description as to why it won't work so I won't turn this into a major post. The easiest way to remove salt build up in pots is to regularly run plenty of extra water through the pot and then flush them out. The acid fertilizer applications will just keep your acid-loving plants happy. Don't bother with your pH meter- they are nowhere near accurate enough for potted plant applications. One other thing: chances are your banana leaves are going to get crispy around the edges- it's not salt burn, just our weather and the fact they are in pots.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 5:09PM
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Hey thanks for the tips again. I will try some of the acid fertilizer and flushing the pots with lots of water. Thanks again!


    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 1:47AM
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