Will my Banana Plant attract roaches?

organic_beanFebruary 19, 2008

i live in nyc in an apartment with tons of sunlight. i bought a small plant to have as an indoor plant with hopes that it will get very large. i picked banana because my living room needs a large leafed plant to really make it feel like home AND every other large leafed plant i could find was toxic to cats and dogs, but the banana plant. it also adds a nice modern touch.

however, i got into a frenzy about roaches because i read somewhere before the banana hand grows, a flower appears that bees and OTHER bugs love... i put the two together. i dont want to get rid of my new plant, but also dont want my neighbor's critters coming into my apartment.

anyone have any advice on what i should do to prevent bugs on my banana? ew gross. is there a way i could prevent it from flowering and fruiting? this would be sad, but i would sacrifice the fruit for bug free. perhaps i should immediately cut off any buds before they flower... i imagine this is possible... or line the pot with bay leaves; they hate bay leaves.

help! i love my new plant!

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tsmith2579(7B)

I don't know that it will attract roaches any worse than a palm or a ficus, etc. If your home is relatively bug free you should be able to keep it that way. If you are still worried, may I suggest you cut away the bloom when it comes out. Remember, the trunk on which it blooms is going to die after it blooms. So cut the bloom if it bothers you and enjoy the plant until it begins to die. The cut it back to the soil. By then you should already have pups coming up from the roots.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 7:07PM
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oppalm(6)

thats crazy talk. Your banana plant is not going to attract bugs, if kept inside. However, if you put it on your balcony or outside during the summer months, you will want to spray with a houseplant bug spray before you bring the plant inside in the fall. You will be OK, good luck.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 4:58PM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

It's going to take a long time and some really good light and care to get it to flower inside, so I don't think you'll have to worry about it for a long time, if ever. In theory, the sweetness COULD attract bugs, so if you're really worried, cut off the bud if you get one.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 8:03PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Agree with watergal. I doubt you'll ever see a flower on your indoor banana. When you do, write back to us and we'll deal with it!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 8:12AM
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organic_bean

Thanks for everyone's support! The plant is sooo tiny right now (a mere 6 inches), so it will be a long time until I need to worry, I suppose. But, I get attached to my plants like they are pets, so I was worrying about an event that is probably more than a year away! I get a little upset when one dies, too.

Which brings me to another question... is it a slow grower? How long do we think it will be until it is a foot or two?

This weekend I will repot it since it's starter is very small. Does a 50/50 combo of good potting mix and course sand sound good?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 12:38PM
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xerophyte_nyc(7)

Define for us "tons of sunlight"

Unless you have 10ft tall wall windows with skylights, there is not enough light to grow a big banana.

By the time the banana would get to be 6-7ft in a very large pot, during the summer the angle of the sun will be too high to receive light through the window, and the plant will lean and stretch.

Have you considered alternative big leaved plants? Alocasias (ex- 'Calidora') are probably more tolerant of indoor light than bananas and would give you the same big-leaf effect.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 8:45AM
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organic_bean

I believe Alocasias (elephant ear) plants are toxic to cats and dogs... At least according to the ASPCAs website they are. That is how I ended up with a banana plant.

Anyhow my banana plant is so far doing very well. I dont mind if he doesnt fruit. I love its color and it is rewarding to see a plant sprout leaves so fast. i am happy with my decision.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 11:57AM
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jules127

My banana is 7 ft. tall, and it is in the house. I have no roaches or any bugs. So, enjoy your plant and don't worry. :)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 4:09PM
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mersiepoo(6)

We have 'woods cockroaches' around here, they are awful things! They don't eat food, but love moist places. We saw them living between the lumber when we were building our house. I've seen them outside in the woods. YUCK!
They are icky, and I think they love to live under my potted plants. In fact I've seen them scurrying away when I move my pots...ICK!!! Lucky they aren't the food roaches, I guess that would be so much worse, YUCK...I hate roaches!! Bleech!

Yes, make sure they aren't in the soil. I told my DH I'm going to change the soil this year before I move my plants back inside for the fall/winter. Roaches, EEEEEEWWWWWW!!!!!! ICK ICK ICKY!!!!!!!!!

BTW, I dont' mind spiders and other creepy crawlies..just roaches.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 2:21PM
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laurabs(7b)

If you see a roach, spray it with Lysol spray. It's the old-fashioned aerosol type of Lysol spray that I've used. That roach will be sanitized and belly up in the morning, all without the use of pesticides.

(okay, so I can't say just how sanitized it is, but at least it's dead).

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 10:20PM
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Gardener972(7b-8a DFW)

Sprinkle some boric acid in out of the way places along the baseboards and while the roaches are cleaning themselves (they are prissy about being clean), they will have a taste of that and be belly up in the a.m. too. They PARTICULARLY like it mixed with jam! Keep it out of reach of animals & children as it can be poison to them.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 11:37PM
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kadasuki(z6 NW AR)

Boric acid is harmful to your pets. But, you can use diatomacious earth. Also, a tea made from plain ol cheap tobacco used to water the plants will kill bugs (and tobacco used to be a worm med for pets), as will cedar chips, and pencil shavings. There are other organic
bug remedies too.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 3:46PM
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