Gran Nains

Richard (chuggerguy)August 4, 2013

The two larger bananas, planted the end of March, are Gran Nains. They were both planted the same, or very similarly. Dug a little hole, maybe 3-5 gallons, dumped in some of whatever(?) soil I had handy, mixed in a cup or so of lime and a cup or so of general purpose granular fertilizer.

Since planting, I've sprinkled more general purpose fertilizer around the base, neither measuring or turning into the soil very well. Also, I've placed banana peels around the base, dumped grass clippings on that, etc.

The one on the right has always looked so healthy, not that I would really know since I've never grown bananas before, but it's looked healthy to me. It was probably putting out a new leaf every 2-3 days at one time, around solar solstice when light was stronger and longer?

The one on the left, under identical(or similar) conditions, has always lagged behind. Maybe it just didn't shoot roots down to the moist zone as quickly? Maybe the conditions weren't as identical as I thought? Perhaps it was just genetically weaker, or maybe it just for whatever reason got shocked a little more during shipping, or transplanting?

It's always looked rattier, yellower, weaker than the one on the right, although, at least in this photo, it seems to be catching up a little bit? Oh well, doesn't matter, looks well enough that I won't worry about it, I'll just give it a little extra fertilizer.

Which brings me to my question...

Any idea when I might expect fruit? Assuming of course that a freeze doesn't take them out this Winter. Is it possible that I might get fruit in December?

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Bamatufa(7 - Trussville, AL)

From what I read from other more experienced growers is that they will fruit when they are ready.I have two Bajoos with a dozen hands of fruit , inedible of course, and an Ice Cream on its third year, massive size doing nothing but growing and putting out one pup after another.No fruit yet from my IC, or Namwa I was told.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 9:23PM
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Richard (chuggerguy)

Thanks bamatufa. I suppose it will be a "wait-and-see" deal then.

BTW, the two "babies", also along the fence, are Ice Creams. Sounds like I'll really have to be patient with them. :)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 6:57PM
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Bamatufa(7 - Trussville, AL)

You are in Vero Beach, Fl. ? Below the frost line ? Lucky you! If no frost then probably 6-12 months.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 8:50PM
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Bamatufa(7 - Trussville, AL)

You are in Vero Beach, Fl. ? Below the frost line ? Lucky you! If no frost then probably 6-12 months.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 9:00PM
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Bamatufa(7 - Trussville, AL)

You are in Vero Beach, Fl. ? Below the frost line ? Lucky you! If no frost then probably 6-12 months.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 9:06PM
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Richard (chuggerguy)

Kinda right on the line I think. When I first moved here(from Ohio), Oct. 2010, the Realtor pretty much assured me it would be safe to plant tomatoes and we promptly had the coldest December on record, lots of below freezing nights/mornings. http://classic.wunderground.com/history/airport/KVRB/2010/12/1/MonthlyHistory.html#calendar And it often gets a couple degrees colder here(7 miles inland) than the airport(maybe 2 miles inland).

Last Winter was mild all Winter right up into March and then frosted. So, I guess you never know here.

I was here over two years before I even thought of bananas, and then only because I noticed them growing in neighborhood yards.

I need to find something I can grow, I sure don't much luck with tomatoes. :)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 9:34PM
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bananafan

Chuggerguy,

Your two bananas look pretty healthy there. Usually bananas require 2-3 years' time to establish themselves into a mat (a family of mom and one or more pups) before the mom sends out her first bloom. If they fruit early on in the summer, it's the best because the harvest which is about 4 months from when it starts to bloom will be before the cold weather arrives. I have had some bananas fruited in the late summer--only to meet with the fruit destruction when the weather freezes. Also, when the cold weather comes, their growth rate will all slow down. Here in the bay area, we do get the light freeze that will damage most of the bananas except for some cold hardy varieties. That happened a lot in the past years. When that happens, all the bananas have to start from scratch and build up their family mats all over again, but thankfully last few years we had very mild winter and so many of them were able to survive and some did send out blooms.

With that said, however, there are simply some varieties that are more willing than the others to fruit under the right condition. Many of the varieties I have here haven't even fruited once for me, but I've seen Raja Puri and Lady Finger fruiting every growing season. The less frequent ones are the Praying Hands, plantain, Mysore, Valery and Mona Lisa.

I have both the Gran Nain (with green leaves) and a Sumatrana (Gran Nain cross) which has red/green variegated leaves. I haven't seen any of them fruit since planting them many years back. It could be that I haven't given them enough water and nutrients. I'm guessing some varieties will need extra care for water and nutrient needs than the others ... I just don't know the reason yet, but I just find that among all, Raja Puri and Lady Finger are the least demanding of all.

Enjoy your beautiful bananas. I'm sure in time to come, they'll all grow into nice, big and healthy plants and you can look forward to their first bloom. By the way, you'll know when they're about to bloom. They'll send out a flag leaf which is a tiny little leaf to announce that the bloom is forthcoming. Within a week, or so, the bloom will peak out and the banana will stop sending out leaves and concentrate on the fruit development. We're always happy to see a flag leaf showing up.

Picture below here shows a flag leaf.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 11:18PM
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bananafan

Flag leaf and bloom on my Mysore.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 11:19PM
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Richard (chuggerguy)

Thanks bananafan.

Yes, I do enjoy watching them grow. I walk out first thing every day... right after starting my coffee that is, just to see how much they've grown. :)

Your plants look great. It helps knowing what the flag leaf looks like.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 3:12AM
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