bananas

plantivorous(orlando,florida)May 27, 2006

hi, my friend gave me a banana tree and the thing is i dont know one thing about them, do they produce all year, etc, and the thing is i really want a banana tree that can produce big beautiful bananas, and also plantain bananas, i live in orlando and ive seen allot of people with them, does anyone know what kind of banana i can get, and please help me with some banana info. thanks

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gardenguy_(z6b PA)

Quick answer:
A banana stalk will only have one fruiting then dies.
There are many varieties of bananas that may suit your needs.

Explaination:

plantivorous, welcome to the wonderful world of banana gardening, lol. One of the important parts of a banana is the corm. It's an underground bulb like structure that the roots grow into the soil and the banana stalk grows up. A banana psuedostem ( stalk ) will only produce fruit once. Once this happens, the stalk will die. Not to worry to, bananas will also produce new stalks from the corm called pups. Once the fruit is picked from the tree, cut down the stalk that the bananas came from. It takes up to 12 to 15 months to get bananas on most varieties when the banana is planted as a small pup. Pups are what we call the new stalks the grow from the corm. I should say that bananas are actually considered herbs and not true trees, hence the name psuedo(false) stem, but most people call them trees for the heck of it. You can get bananas almost anywhere. Places such as Going Bananas and TY TY, to name a few. You may want to read this thread here for more info on buying bananas.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 2:06PM
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plantivorous(orlando,florida)

thanks for the help, but is there a way i can have bananas all year? and what kind of banana can i buy one that is sweet like the store bought kinds, and what kind of plantain bananas can i buy( do these also die after fruit)and where? Thank you soo much.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 3:19PM
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gardenguy_(z6b PA)

There is a way to have bananas all year. You just have to keep varying heights of bananas planted at one time. If you just use one banana plant, you will have to wait for each pup to mature and then produce fruit. So I say, get a bunch of bananas in varying stages of maturity and go from there. Every banana stalk dies after fruiting, no matter which variety you have. As far as which types of bananas are tasty, here's what I've heard, Ice Cream, Cavendish ( kind in the store ), gold finger and there are a few others out there as well. Hopefully someone else can chime in and add a few to the list. As far as plantain bananas, I have no experience with these. Personally, I've always wandered where I could buy Ice Cream and goldfinger banana fruit???

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 1:50AM
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solstice98(9b/Orlando)

Plantivorous,
I also grow bananas in Orlando. I've had the best luck here with Mysore bananas (from Going Bananas - check their website) because they readily produce bananas and pups. I generally get two 'fruitings' a year though, not all year long. I may get 2 or 3 at a time, but all the psuedostems that flower do it together. Because they all ripen at the same time too, I end up with several ziplock bags of bananas in the freezer a couple times a year! I just peel the fruit and toss them in the bag. They keep well and thaw out great for cooking. Nothing like banana pancakes or daquiris with fruit from your own 'tree'.

Last year I planted a Rhino Horn and a Hawaiian from the Leu Gardens sale to give me some more plaintain-ish fruit but they haven't flowered yet.

Many gardeners in central Florida grow the Ice Cream banana too. I haven't put one in yet but guess it's just a matter of time...

I recommend checking the web site for Going Bananas (their gardens are south of Stuart FL) for general information, then try posting your specific questions on the Florida Gardening Forum as well as here. Lots of Florida gardeners grow bananas and can give you much more information than I can.

Have fun!
Kate

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 10:08AM
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hibiscus909(7)

kate: where is the Going Bananas place near Stuart (and how long has it been there)?? I thought they were way south.

s.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 9:57PM
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solstice98(9b/Orlando)

S - I was wrong. They are in Homestead. Too much sun in the garden addled my brain!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 10:35PM
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boolover(9a)

I live in zone 8b (keystone) - I have dwarf cavendish, raja puri, giant plantain, veluntina and an unknown variety that produces store size bananas, grows about 10' tall - have on order ice cream and Itinerans var gigantea banana - not sure how they will do here. So far, the only one that has produced for me is the dwarf cavendish and veluntina's - but I'm really bad about not fertilizing or watering enough. My mother lives in Melrose and the only one that has produced regularly for her is the giant plantain - my dad lives in Jax and has the unknown variety that produces the store size bananas - his have produced every year.

I would think in Orlando (zone 9) you should have even better luck. I believe you can pretty much grow whatever variety you are interested in.

Another good online source is justfruits and exotics.

All my bananas die back to the ground usually after the second freeze and start growing again around mar/apr.

Chris

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 8:52PM
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