Musa Basjoo Browing. HELP!

pyratejim(6b)October 9, 2006

I have had my musa basjoo since mid August. When I picked it up from the nursery, it had very minimal amount of browning on the leaf edges. It has since gotten much, MUCH worse and I dont have a clue on what to do. Even the edges of the new leafs are showing a bit of the brown edging before they even uncurl. You can see pics of her at:

I recently brought her inside as the temps started to dip into the low 40's (leaves started to droop some) and she will remain potted for the winter. Late April will find her planted outdoors adn will remain as such.

I have not changed the soil since the nursery planted her as a sucker. Could it be a fungus, a disease? If so, what should I do. What is the best way to treat this? More water? Could they just be drying out? The heat is not on in the house as of yet and she is in front of, or in a corner to a south facing window.

I have no ideas, but know that she needs some help. Somehow.

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mrbungalow(Z8, SW-Norway)

To start a combustible engine you basically need a spark, compression, air, and fuel-vapour.

To grow bananas you basically need good soil, strong light, temperature, and water. Take away one and it won't work. From the photos I can see you lack one or more of these factors.

Diseases etc. is not likely unless you live in Florida or other places where sigatoma and fusarium wilt is more common. I dont even know if it's that common there.

Your banana is WAY too big for that pot. Pot it up a few sizes, use good soil with perlite, and put it very light (A wise man here said "No shade is good shade for bananas) And dont under-estimate the need for water. The term "moist not wet" should be taken with a huge pinch of salt, as long as the light levels are high you can water until saturated. Just don't take your banana "swimming". You should also use a fertilizer, atleast monthly.
Excess water will just dripple out of the leaves at night. A healthy sign of metabolism.

Good luck

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 2:54AM
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All right then, a MUCH larger pot and good soil is on its way. It has its place in the window and unfortunatley, it will have to do till spring time when it gets its final planting outside.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 10:34AM
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mrbungalow(Z8, SW-Norway)

Let me know how this goes! I am pretty sure it will bounce right back again. But again; Bananas love light.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 7:14AM
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Thanks again and will do. It was repotted monday afternoon, fertilized and soaked. It's back inside and in front of the window with nearly 100% southern sunlight and bright dinning room lights in the evening. Being that we are suppose to have high's in the 60's today, 50's on wed., and 40's on thursday with snow in the evening, I'm keeping her in until further notice. In fact, my palms are all coming in as well.

Follow up question: For the areas that are brown and crunchy now, should I just leave them as is, trim the brown areas off or remove the leaves alltogther?

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 8:35AM
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mrbungalow(Z8, SW-Norway)

Just leave it. Anything even slightly green helps metabolism. When the plant has sprouted a few new leaves and is growing properly again, you can cut off the older leaves to make it more attractive. Misting every now and then won't hurt either. You don't want to get stuck with spider mites!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 5:38AM
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I've removed two of the leaves as they were completely brown and dead. Some of the other leaves are drooping and the plant appears to have lost its will to live. I'm thinking the combination of the transplant and coming indoors, not to mention we havent seen any good sunlight uphere for nearly a week with outdoor temps in the 40's (indoors has been in the mid 70's) it is in shock. Any suggestions on how to keep her going?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 9:17AM
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blondboy47(z6b(almost 7) ON,Canada)

Do NOT give up hope! I had a similar situation with a pup that I planted from a mother plant. In fact, I got 2 pups from the plant. The one pup was amazing and grew big and green.

The other one, while not as browned as yours, was droopy all the time and VERY slow growth. Both were planted at the same time and in the same type of soil (potted).

So, in May (or June???) I planted them side-by-side in the garden. The good one went nuts and is around 6 feet tall now.

The stunted one, had not shown a whole lot of promise.... until around September..... then, all of a sudden (so it seemed) it perked up, started to grow faster and just seems to be happy now.

So, patience is probably the key (well, with all the right conditions too, that is) ):)p

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 12:44PM
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Thanks for the words of encouragement blondboy47. I dont plan on giving upon her as she was doing so well. I am in the process of making some space in my home/office and moving a lot of my palms/yuccas/banana to this room. It offers less, natural light (only has a single, east facing window) but I can keep the heat up higher and provide a higher degree of artifical lighting. Hopefully this will help.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 12:56PM
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ohio_banana(z5 Ohio)

Pyrates & blond guys,

From trying to get my pups established, it seems that the main factor keeping them from growing like the weeds we all know they are is the establishment of a good root system with a large surface area. Until that happens, they can't take up water and will look droopy. While you can't preserve all those little microscopic root hairs when you transplant them, the more root structure you can keep with a pup the better and faster it will start growing. Sometimes when I get little or no real roots, I know it'll take a month to get going [I should probably just pitch'em since in Ohio we only have 5 months outside for bananas]. When I pull them out of the garage in the spring with no [=zero=null=zip] roots, I know they'll spend the first month just growing roots - if I plant them in May, they don't really start growing until the 4th of July. If they're in a pot with some roots, they start much faster. Good Luck!! Donn

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 10:38PM
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ornata(London UK (8/9?))

Given that dormant corms can be started into growth by placing them on a heat source, might that work in this case by encouraging root formation?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 4:56AM
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mrbungalow(Z8, SW-Norway)

In this case, strong light is MUCH more important than high temperatures. Lack of good light has almost allways been the reason why my indoor bananas have failed.
If you think about it; How much more light is present above a banana-field in equatorial Nicaragua (where they grow bananas of commerce) than by a window in the middle of the US in October?

I have installed a high power natrium lamp now, and it has made a huge difference for my indoor bananas. Now they are growing too fast, so I have to contain them in small pots.


    Bookmark   October 19, 2006 at 5:29AM
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mrbungalow(Z8, SW-Norway)

So, have they bounced back yet? :-)

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 7:53AM
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Nothing. The best I could do is put her under a room light (ceiling fixture)remove the covering so it is just a bare bulb shining down. I was doing the light for about 16 hours a day, but ahve left it on 24 hours for the last few days. The leaves are continuing to brown and wither and the parts that form the stalk are turning yellow from the tops down. I am beginning to see what looks like spider webs forming in parts of the leaf structure. I dont know if these means I have spider mites or not as I have never seen them or had to deal with them.

I'm wondering what I need to do? Should I cut the plant about a foot or so from the ground (it's still nice a green and "juicy" at this point) and let it start again and if so, do I keep it indoors or move it out into the garage and let it winter over in there? As of right now, it has no green leaves. They all are either browning or have withered to nothing.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 9:31AM
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