A Tale of Shoots and Corms

bearstate(9A)September 6, 2007

Some time ago, I picked up my first Banana plant for $3.95 from a discount grocer, Food Maxx, here in BKF. It was ragged and I transplanted it into first, a 1 gallon pot and soon after again, into a 5 gallon pot.

I marvelled at how fast it grew and its 'folding leaf behavior'. And soon, I went Bananas and ordered 60 seeds of several varieties.

But my original Musa Acuminata "Novak" that I purchased for just $3.95 and has just now experienced its first Summer heat browned leaves, has just treated me to a new Banana experience ...

Yes indeed, I've got my first offshoot.

Here's another view ...

And I thought that the next thing I'd be doing with this Banana would be to put it into the ground come Spring! Now, by the time Spring comes round, I'll need to learn a thing or two about corms!

I only hope I don't need to go looking for a 10 gallon pot.

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2! 2! I got 2 new shoots now! :-D

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 9:27PM
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My first pups and my bananas survived the summer. Today is the first day under 100 deg in phx AZ.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 1:45PM
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Hi Gadget,

They look great!

Look what I just went and did ...

It looks a little tattered because Home Depot had it crowded onto a platform with several others and some of the fronds got bent. But I'm sure it'll recoup.

And look what we have at its base ...

Here's another view ...

This Musa x Paradisiaca 'Blue Java' Ice Cream Banana is lousy with suckers and cormlets. These are edible fruit bananas. I'll give them a couple weeks to settle into their new environment and then split them up.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 6:11PM
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Yikes! I think I just learned the difference between a sucker and a cormlet. I had assumed that they were the same thing.

I took my handy dandy trowel and dug out one of the baby bananas in the photo above and found it not to have a corm or roots, but was cut straight away from the trunk of the main banana.

I have planted it in a pot, but I have no idea whether or not it will grow.

Help! Can anybody suggest how to save this baby or is it a loss?

I'm putting some B1 on the base of it to help stimulate it to root.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 7:33PM
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Your sucker will only survive if it contains rhizome (The "corm" of a banana is actually botanically classified as a "short rhizome") from the parent. The best way to do this is to wait until the sucker is well developed, and to cut at an angle toward the parent plant, not straight down. Banana leaf-sheaths have no regeneration potential, so if you see concentric rings of sliced leaf-sheath at the base, nothing can be done. Don't feel bad, there will be lots more suckers where that one came from.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 9:34AM
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I may be ok then, as I did cut into the parent corm just a bit and got about 1/4" of rhizome. I'll have to see how this one does transplanted before I go after the other big one.

I was surprised because the new shoots on my Super Dwarf are not right up next to the main stalk, but about 3 to 4 inches away from it. I saw some 'red' banana at HD and they too had secondary shoots that were distant from the main corm. The new 'blue java' has the shoots right up against the parent stalk.

Will the Super Dwarf be easier to divide? That is, will the new plants have their own rhizomes instead of being attached to the parent? If they are attached, do I have to cut back to the parent to get a piece of it?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 10:53AM
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Well I went to water my plants today and found one of my plants leaning over. My neighbors took out a tree on the opposite side of the wall; I think this is the cause of the death.

But the rest look good

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 1:47PM
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It survived!

You can't tell from this digital photo, but it's pushing up a new frond.

The division from the parent obviously created some trauma for the pup, but happily, it seems to have rooted and is slowing putting up a new frond.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 1:05PM
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Hey again folks,

This pup is trying hard to push up that new shoot, but it seems to being constipated or something. It's been nearly a month since that last photo and progress is like Hunts Catsup coming out of a bottle. Anticipation is making me wait.

Is there anything that can be done to jump start this critter?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 5:29PM
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