Removing Suckers from Main plant

plantfreak61July 14, 2010

I have a couple of Banana plants growing in pots on my deck at my home.

The plants are off shoots from a plant I purchased at a local Co-op about 3 years ago.

Since I live in northern Minnesota (Zone 3) I bring the plants in the house during winter. they tend to become infested with spider mites but I have gotten them to survive in spite of this.

I don't want to use an insecticide because of the hope that they may one day produce fruit and I don't want to taint the fruit if it does produce.

Am I being too optimistic?

They have not produced fruit in the years I have had them and I am wondering if I may ever see that happen.

Each plant currently has about 5 suckers growing off of the main plant.

Someone has told me in the past that once the suckers start growing or are removed that the main plant will die off.

Is this true or normal?

My questions are, I am curious if I can cut the suckers off of the main plant without removing it from the pot it is in and if their removal will damage the main plant.

Also, is there an insecticide that I can use to keep the mites at bay during the winter months that won't affect the fruit (if it eventually does produce)?

Please help in any way possible.

Thank you.

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rednofl(9b Goldenrod Fl hz 10)

Try Neem mixed with soap start spraying it before you bring them indoors and every week it is more preventive maintenance than insecticide. Keep the suckers to a minimum if you want fruit which will be difficult where you are anyway.
good luck

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 9:23PM
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plantfreak61

Thank you for the info.

Though I am not planning a trip to India anytime soon, Where would be a good place to find the Neem you mentioned in your follow up to my question?
Is it readily available at most Garden Centers or Nurseries?

Thank you again for your follow up.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 10:03AM
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cheson74(Hawaii)

Here is a link to some Neem Oil

Here is a link that might be useful: Neem Oil on Amazon.com

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 8:00PM
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sfhellwig(6a SE Kansas)

Any well stocked place should have the neem. My local farm and home store has it along with all of the organic and safe stuff up to the strong chemicals and poisons. Neem is one of the first line natural items, getting more popular all the time.

Your original plant should not die back until it has fruited. If it is injured (snapped off) it may regrow or put it's energy into it's pups. Even if it is fine the pups may become numerous and fight for space/food. They can be cut off to the ground to concentrate energy. But that mother is not going to die until it has done what it needs to do. I believe banana producers keep a mother and one daughter so it is half grown when the mother is done fruiting. As it declines the daughter grows up and puts on her own pups. All but one of which are cut off to repeat the cycle.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 5:14PM
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cowboyup4christ(Zone 8)

no the plant will not die if you remove the pups( sucker) be sure to cut off a piece of the crom with the pup so it has roots and something to feed it until it establishes ts own roots. the mother will die once it produces fruit but not until.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 11:26PM
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plantfreak61

Thank you to all who responded to my posts here.
I will follow up with an additional post with the results of your suggestions.
Again, thank you.
Successful growing to you all.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 11:33AM
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