Banana leaves splitting

rimb05June 19, 2007


I've got a Blue Java banana tree growing in a hydroponics system. It's been doing great, and is about 12 feet high. Lately, the new leaves are splitting as they unroll. After an entire leaf unrolls, it looks as if it was split apart by wind, tattered. I'm wondering if this may be due to a nutrient deficiency, or some other cause.

The nutrients I use are General Hydro flora, and my concentration is 1200ppm

I appreciate any insight.

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Not that I can help with the ?, but how many leaves have opened like that?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 9:10PM
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I know nothing of growing with Hydroponics, but I sure know now, why I like to grow things naturely. I've never seen anything like it, in all the years I have been growing Banana's. I hope someone can answer this question for you!!! Diana55

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 10:07PM
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I'm in Chicago, so I'm afraid I have no choice but to grow indoors... The banana has 14 leaves total right now, and only the top 3 or 4 leaves have this problem. Other than that, the leaves look healthy, good color, no holes or patches.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 11:19PM
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pitangadiego(San Diego, CA)

My GUESS would be nutrient deficiency/imbalance.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 12:33AM
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That's was my first guess too, but does anyone have an idea of what kind of nutrient deficiency would cause splitting like that?

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 8:26AM
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funsocaltiger(SoCal - 9b / 19)

Well, lets start from the beginning... what nutrients are in "General Hydro flora"? I assume you have the basic NPK, but what %? And what about magnesium, iron and all the micronutrients?

Also, I do wonder if light is a basic problem considering you grew it indoors.

Are your leaves thin and fragile in general?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 1:05PM
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pitangadiego(San Diego, CA)

Don't know what nutrient is wrong at this time, but Hydroponic growing needs careful, vigilent attention.

I think Joe Real has grown bananas hydroponically. Check with him.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 2:25PM
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OK, here's what's in the nutrient I'm using:

Available Phosphate (P205) 6.0 %
Soluble Potash (K20) 11.0 %
Magnesium (Mg) 2 %
1.5% Water Soluble Magnesium (Mg)
Combined Sulfur (S) 1.0 %
Total Nitrogen (N) 7.0 %
0.55% Ammoniacal Nitrogen
6.45% Nitrate Nitrogen
Calcium (Ca) 5.0 %
Cobalt (Co) 0.0005 %
Soluble Iron (Fe) 0.1 %
0.1% Chelated Iron (Fe)
Manganese (Mn) 0.05 %
0.05% Chelated Manganese (Mn)
Molybdenum (Mo) 0.0008 %

As far as light, something occured to me. The lamp I'm using (2 1000w HID lamps) hangs from the ceiling a couple of feet from the tree. The leaves that are having this problem also happen to be the ones which have grown higher than my lamp. Could this be the cause? Does low light make the leaves weaker? They look healthy otherwise...

All the leaves, even the ones higher than the lamp do get some light from the windows, but maybe not enough?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 12:07AM
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minibim(FL z10)

I know it's not what you're asking but, why not try a dwarf variety that maybe gets 6'-8' tall instead of the blue java?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 7:28AM
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nucci60(6 Ma.)

I had that happen to my ensete maurelli after I potted it up and moved it to a new location.I was told it was called "choking", where the new leaf has to force itself out. It happens when the plant is stressed from change of environment or nutrients. Mine is now fine.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 10:18AM
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Thanks, I appreciate all the responses. I'm going to experiment with watering frequency, to see if that helps. It certainly resembles choking symptoms.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 12:02AM
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