What to do now?

apg4September 23, 2012

Last year, a friend gave me a rather stunted, pot-bound banana. No clue as to the cultivar, as it was already "re-gifted" twice.

So I plant it last summer and the thing explodes to 18'. Though the main stem doesn't survive the mild winter, it's pups grow to 22' this summer, and the biggest has just produced a nice flower with bunches of tiny fruit. It's mid-September....

I originally thought it might be a basjoo, and if it was a basjoo, I wouldn't be too concerned about inedible fruit. But it has grown larger than basjoos are supposed to.

How long does it take fruit to mature and are there any ways to encourage the process? (Fertilizer? Steroids? Speed?) Even with global warming and kudzu now being found in Canada, I don't think there are that many warm days left this year....


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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

Too many variables...where are you located, picture would be mega helpful. Probably cut off the bloom stalk and try to ripen indoors. I'd you're in a cold area as we are and it's not basjoo, then dig up the clamp, cut it back and bring it in. If you're in a warmer place then it just depends on what zone.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 3:59PM
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Well, from photos other have posted, it appears to be an Orinoco. (The photo was taken in late August....) It 'set' five or six hands of bananas and though the blossom keeps opening and trying to make more, no more fruit has set. And the bananas that have formed simply aren't getting any larger and are still hard as wood.

It's now mid November and through we haven't had a frost yet, there's no way to dig it up: it's just too bloody huge and is in the middle of a grove. Would cutting off the blossom encourage the plat to direct all resources to the existing fruit instead of trying to make more?


    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 2:44PM
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blownz281(coastal zone 8b)

I would say Orinoco as well. Not sure of your location,but look for the smallest pup and trim it to fit where you can house it for the winter. If your below zone 7 they will not survive anyhow.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 1:31PM
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once the bloom starts setting male flowers ( no more fruit ) chop it off and it should speed up your process. this late in teh season IDK if you will get those to ripen though. since it has bloomed it will die now anyway so your better off finding a small pup to take in for the winter to restart the mat

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:38AM
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Harvested the bananas last night, as it was forecast that there would be a freeze. (There wasn't....) Now that the bananas are inside, what's the best way to encourage further ripening? Light? Warmth? I've placed 'em in a big plastic bag with several apples to capture the ethylene gas....


    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 11:37AM
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...and after visiting the bananas.org site, I learned that the Orinoco isn't a banana, per se, but rather a plantain. My earlier description of the fruits as almost 'as hard as wood' should have been a clue; a description of "angular" fruit was the clincher.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 12:46PM
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