echobellyApril 22, 2013

I planted a couple of varieties of bananas last spring, and just harvested the first bunch of bananas (hand?). They were just starting to yellow, and the squirrels decided they were delicious. They are now sitting in my pool cage (covered with fruit flies). My question is, should I cut down the stalk that had the bananas? If I leave it, will it just die, or put out more leaves?

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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

A banana plant that has fruited is dead on the stalk and just doesn't know it yet. It'll never produce another leaf on that pseudostem. Feel free to cut the pseudostem down to two or three feet and await additional pups.

In the future, one means of protecting ripening fruit is to slip the hanging fruit into a slitted bag, and tie it closed. You want the fruit to be able to "breathe", but prevent animals and larger insects from pestering them.

What type of bananas have you been growing?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 9:06PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

I do not wait for bananas to turn yellow because the 1s I grow (Mysore) crack @ the stem when ripe. Rather, as soon as they reach full size & turn pale green, I cut them down, wash & cut apart & let them finish ripening in a large bowl inside.

Many people cut the stalk & hang the entire thing up inside to finish ripening, but I got tired of the soft fruits breaking off their stems & the exposed flesh spoiling.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 9:30AM
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Carol, I think I'll try your method this time around. I always cut the entire stalk and hung it but like you lost a lot that way. :o)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 11:57AM
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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

First step is to watch the flower. As it unfolds another hand appears. Over several days many hands appear. Finally when you see the next hand to show is tiny, those will never get large. So cut the red flower off. This will allow the mature ones to be sweet, plump, and moist.

Next a couple of months later the top hands start to turn yellow. Cut the whole stalk down. But first prepare a small rope, I use 1/4", In my carport area there is a shady spot I tie the rope with a loop that slides tight. I want that ready in advance so I wont break any bananas. Next I climb my ladder and cut the stalk as close to the tree as possible so the stalk has a loop at the top much like a cane. I cary it down the ladder, don't set it down because it will break bananas, and tie it on the slip knot. The whole stalk will ripen much faster than you can eat them. My neighbors know this and are always accept any offerings.

I use a pruning saw to cut down the stalk and the same tool to cut the hands off the stalk. If you had grown the perfect stalk it may be too heavy for one person to do this. Be careful up on a ladder with a heavy stalk. Can be dangerous.

One more thing after harvest. Cut the entire tree down.

Good luck

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 2:47AM
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