Sorry if this sounds dumb but I was taught the dumb question is the one NOT asked..I want a banana tree and just need to learn as much as I can
Pups, for lack of better words, are just baby banana plants. Some bananas will 'multiply' by producing these baby's, others multiply by seed.
For varieties that produce pups (like the Cavendish), they will grow out from the dirt around the main stalk.
I'm glad you asked. Banana planting is a brand new turf for me as well. Although I'm ambitious in my new endeavor, I just have so much that I don't know and yet to learn. Just the other day, I heard someone mentioned "flag leaf," but I didn't have the slightest idea what that was. I thought it was a huge banana leaf that looked like a flag :) As I read more, I realized that it was a tiny leaf that emerges just before it sends out its first bloom. Still I have other questions like do bananas send out more than one bloom before they die off and of course many more? Wish there was some kind of dictionary/reference book for bananas terminologies ... If you are planning on your banana planting journey, welcome to the world of bananas! Once you get started, you won't want to stop--that's why the saying, "Gone bananas!" Have fun!
Bananas will only send out one bloom and then the whole thing will turn to mush and die back to the ground. The only exception is some breeds will send out 2-3 blooms more or less at the same time.
It's nice to know that they can have more than one bloom at the same time. I'm waiting anxiously this summer to see which one of my bananas will be the first to deliver their first blooms. I know some varieties fruit quicker than the others. Any idea, which one of the following will be the first to fruit? I'm listing the older ones (between 2-3 years old)?
Plaintain (don't know what kind)
Take a look at this link. This site lists approximate fruiting times for several varieties but not all of them. I know that the Raja Puri I bought was advertised (per the tag) as producing fruit as quickly as in 9 months but I believe most others are closer to the 18 month range.
Also, as for producing more than one bloom, I am not sure how common that is with the more popular varieties (probably relatively uncommon) but I know that GreenEarth lists a specific cultivar bred for this trait listed as "Double (Mahoi) Banana Plant Banana tree":
At any rate, once a banana is big enough to produce fruit they usually seem to have good sized pups to take their place anyway when they die.
Here is a link that might be useful: Aloha Tropicals - Fruiting Bananas Page
A pup is something these tight lot never give away or even sell! I think some of them are as tight as an Irishman's back pocket!
Thanks so much for the links and the info. I'm going to read them up soon. Some of their pups actually are between 4-6 ft tall now, but since they were in pots until last year when I transplated them into the ground, I guess they'll need time to establish themselves. Are you expecting some of yours to fruit this year?
Come to Belfast some time, boyo, and you will find out how tight it can be. Aye? Silanta!