banana plant question

abendwolke(9 FL)June 4, 2006

3 years ago I planted a 'mini banana' from HD. It kept growing and adding pups and none of those have the red mottled leaves anymore or seem to be 'mini'. Does that mean I am stuck with a weird banana clump?

Now I am having three of those with fruit, besides the obvious question what to do with 180 plus bananas ripening all at the same time, when is the time to cut those stalks? Someone told me I have to harvest them while still green? And one more questions, the pups you can see on the photo all have small thin leaves, is that normal? Will those pups develop into 'normal' banana plants?

thanks for any advise :-)

Evelyn

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solstice98(9b/Orlando)

Evelyn - couldn't view the photo...

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 12:39PM
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hibiscus909(7)

Don't worry about the leaf color. It will vary, mostly depending on light. The thin leaves are probably just a different type of pup. Not to worry.
Bananas are harvested green, and then you hang them to ripen. After you cut the fruit off, the mother dies back and you can cut it off.
Congrats on your fruit :)

s.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 10:01PM
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abendwolke(9 FL)

ACK, great! the picture doesn't show :-( I am sorry, here i try again:

but how can there be a different type of pup from the mother plant I bought at HD?
When do I know to harvest the Bananas? Just when I think they are plump enough or are there other signs I can look for?

Evelyn

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 8:37AM
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sfhellwig(6a SE Kansas)

I cannot comment on the fruit as I have never had any but it is true there are two types of pups. They are sword leaf or water leaf. The water leaf are what I had for some time ad they are the ones that look "normal" or more like the shape of the mature leaves that we all know and love. The skinny ones are sword leaf pups or suckers and are more vigorous growers. I did not learn about these until I had put my cavendish in the ground. I believe on banana plantations they cut the water leaf and keep the sword leaf because they know it will produce a higher yield. All this info I learned on here or this is where I found the links to said information.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 10:25AM
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solstice98(9b/Orlando)

Evelyn,
Great photo and great harvest!
Since we are practically neighbors, I'll tell you how I harvest mine. I don't know if it's right but it works for me.
I impatiently wait and wait until they look plump enough. Then I wait a little longer because I stress about harvesting them too soon. And then I finally cut the bunch off the psuedostem and tie it up to a chair in the patio so it can hang and ripen. Then the chair falls over and I search for something heavier to tie it to. I vow (again!) to install some hooks so I can hang the bunches. Finally I get out a ladder and tie the bunch so it hangs in the middle. Within a few days the bananas start to turn yellow. More waiting and more patience. At long last, after months of anticipation, it's bananas! Once they start to ripen it goes pretty fast so if you get too many at once, remember that you can freeze them easily for later use. Just peel them and toss the whole banana into ziplock bags, then pop them into the freezer.
Kate

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 10:31PM
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abendwolke(9 FL)

thanks so much to all of you for the great advise!
I will not cut off the sword leaf pups and thanks Solstice, I will do exactly as you recommend... maybe not with the chair, I have some exercise equipment that needs to be put to use, I will tie the stalks to them :-)

Evelyn

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 10:24AM
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