First year basjoo, what to expect??

turquoise(5)June 21, 2006

Hi, I bought several musa basjoo in late winter and kept them indoors until May or so. They were about 6" tall when they went into the ground. At first there was some leaf damage (maybe I didn't bring them into the sun gradually enough?), but now they seem to be pretty happy. The newer leaves are in good shape, and very green.

But they haven't grown a whole lot. They might be 1-1 1/2' at this point. The leaves seem to be getting bigger, but the plants themselves are not very large. Is that normal? Am I expecting too much? Our temps have been pretty warm, 70s, 80s, 90s. We'll have some stretches with warm temps at night, 60s or so, but then 50s sometimes too.

I water fairly deeply once a day, although I just mulched them yesterday. When I planted them I used composted soil, with a little perlite and peat moss. I've also fertilized them twice now (once with Miracle Grow 10-10-10 slow release and then again yesterday with a higher nitrogen mix, I think it was 28-?-?). They're in full sun, probably six hours a day or more.

Do I just need to be patient and trust that they'll take off? I always hear about their incredible growth, but mine just seem to be sitting there.

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I don't know much about musa basjoo, but i'm trying to grow one now. But bananas don't grow much until they get a good root system that suites them. I use a transplanting solution like shultz when I plant them, and it will form new roots quick. I have a musa basjoo that I got on fathers day this year, and then I planted it that day, and put transplanting solution on it, then now it is growing a new leaf, and another one coming up inside it. This might be my lucky banana, because I bought three others, and all three of them died.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 4:02PM
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laterita(7b Holland (dr))

Don't try to kill them with too much fertiliser. It seem that you're over-feeding them! Too much water will kill the roots. Too much fertiliser will burn them.
They need a lot of foliage for growing. At first, they have to settle and grow a large root system, afterwards they get more and more leaves.
If they are about 3' then they will really take off.
So be patient and be careful for black leavetips. (root problems)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 5:48PM
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nucci60(6 Ma.)

thanks laterita for great advice on basjoo.I too was fretting over my new basjoos slow growth. you read stories of it growing eight and ten feet in a season. that is for established plants. do you protect yours in winter?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 10:36PM
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Thanks for the replies! I'll try to be patient. :)

    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 11:48AM
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laterita(7b Holland (dr))

I have to mulch them heavely. I create a cage around them and fill with straw. They need some air at the top of the cage to ventilate the water out. The real problem isn't the cold but the water. With enough ventilation, but a rainwatertight cage, they have survived -28C here.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 5:12PM
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Listen, my Banana has been through hell and back. Its just this year that it is doing wonderful. Be patient and let it get its root system growing. I find they are hard plants to kill. Oh, and watch the watering as they tend to like it on the dryer side. Just lightly moist, with good drainage. Diana P.S....They love the sun

    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 1:11PM
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Wow, your banana looks great! That's kind of what mine looks like, only mine is on a smaller scale.

I thought I read that you almost can't overwater them! Oops! Maybe backing off a bit on that will help.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 1:33PM
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