yes, we have bananas today

inuloverAugust 12, 2012

This is the mystery banana that I inherited. The stalk was killed almost to the ground when we baught the house, then all of the leaves were killed last year, but my faith has been rewarded... and it is flowering early enough that I just may get ripe ones.

The plant is 8 or 9 feet tall. The bananas in the hands that are exposed are about 5 inches long and triangular. Any ideas as to variety? My guess is a dwarf Cavendish, just because its so common. I just hope it isn't a plantain of some kind.

Larry

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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Dang Larry, I thought somebody would be along by now. I hope that whatever they are you get some before you get frost, bear in mind that they still have several months to maturity in our climate.

Tom

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 6:23PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Mine is blooming also but there is not enough time to ripen the fruit unless we would go frost free which is unlikely.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 7:21PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Larry, I don't know what variety you have because a lot of them look similar when young. But don't think that the plantains are all like in the supermarket generic kind, that one is only used for exports. One of my favorite cooking bananas is one that is almost as big as my arm and can be eaten in dishes or fresh when ripe. I also like the Hua Moa from Hawaii, that one is square shape and can be used in cooking or fresh.
Green eating bananas when fully developed can be used in cooking like a vegetable.
If you have space in your garden, next time that you come to a party in my house can give you some pups, the dessert kind not the plantains.:)

Silvia

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 8:02AM
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pawsnplants

Larry, my best guess is you have an Orinoco. It looks like the one I have which was also inherited so I'm not sure. It produces reliably, so I hope you like it. Here's the description I found.

"A dwarf cultivar suited for small gardens and indoors. It is wind and cold resistant. This is the banana of choice for making tostones, it originates from the Orinoco-river valley of Venezuela. It will produce heads of fruit as much as 65 pounds. It has a triangular shaped fruit and it is actually half banana and half plantain. When fried it makes a great breakfast treat or serve them fried for dinner with black beans and rice. When ripe it turns gold-yellow and the banana is super sweet, delicious eaten out of hand, when eaten green it is like a vegetable. This is the most versatile banana of the lot."

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 11:28AM
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shuffles_gw

I have a similar banana I received as a gift almost 30 years ago. However, these usually go to about 25 feet. Otherwise, the description matches the Orinoco. These made it through hard freezes last winter.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 2:40PM
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babalu_aye(zone 9b - St Pete FL)

If your plant is 8-9' tall, my guess is that it's not a Dwarf Cavendish. Mine produces fruit when it is about 5' tall.
John

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 6:59PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Larry, BR's close to you, I honestly don't think your fruit stands a chance, at a minimum THREE months to maturity and you'll probably have frost by then, in which case those hands will be toast :-(

Tom

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 7:08PM
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inulover

OK, you all have a lot more experience with the weather here than I do. The average first frost for this zip code is 12/21... whatever average is. That should give me 4 months. Certainly I should get 3 months.

And aren't bananas routinely harvested very green and ripened on the shelf. My grandfather was a longshoreman and he used to bring home a whole stalk of green bananas to ripen in the pantry.

Larry

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:48PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Larry, I pick the dessert bananas when the first one is yellow, after that they ripen very fast. Plantains get picked when they reach full size and are still green.

Last May FHIA-23 made the best ever banana cream cake for a party! I have another one on the tree almost ready.

Silvia

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 7:59AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

inulover,

I see we are both from Inverness, cool.

Here is the problem, well problems. First it takes 3 months MINIMUM but some varieties take 4-5 months.

The second problem is that 3 month minimum is at summertime temperatures. Once our weather starts to cool off the banana slows way down and that delays the fruits growth. Those cooler nights stop the bananas growth or at minimum cuts the rate in half and that will turn that 3 months in to an easy 5 months and that takes you way best our frost date.

The third problem is that 3 month minimum timer does not start until the flower is done blooming and all the hands are out.

The bananas are picked for shipment when they are full size and green and then gassed just before they are sent to the stores which triggers ripening. They are pros....we need to wait as Sylvia said till the first banana colors up then pick the whole bunch.

Not trying to be a downer and your fruit I hope does ripen. My neighbor does get fruit from their dwarf bananas but they seem to bloom earlier in the season. My icecream banana that coffee mom gave me grows wonderfully and gets huge but always blooms about August 1......way too late. I am on a lake and that gives me an extra buffer from the north winds but out of 4 blooms now I still have not got a single banana lol. The plant itself is gorgeous though at 20 feet or so tall and I love it just for the foilage.

Floralcity Lou gave me a dwarf and it has not bloomed yet so have high hopes it will bloom early next season.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 9:15AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

In your picture of the fruit is the banana really starting to yellow already or is it just the camera? In my very limited experience the bananas that start to turn yellow right after the bloom tend to turn black and dry up....but I only have experience with 3 varieties so could be wrong.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 9:19AM
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flyingfish2(9b w stuart)

Been away from gardening for a while, but am back now.

Here are some namah dwarf bananas just harvested and have another stalk of some minature bananas that are now ripening and have a brazilian dwarf with a large stalk that should ripen before frost.

[IMG]http://i1222.photobucket.com/albums/dd495/flyingfish2/gardening/DSCN0504.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1222.photobucket.com/albums/dd495/flyingfish2/gardening/DSCN0505.jpg[/IMG]

OK, do I need help getting the photos to post??

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:32PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Flyingfish,

You can now upload directly to gardenweb no photbucket needed. Just look for the "Image file to upload (optional):" button above where you type in the file.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 7:28AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Bernie, nice to see you posting again, not seeing any post from you I've been a little worried and afraid to call.... Welcome back!

Like BR said, post a picture directly, you can only do one though.

Tom

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 5:28PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Bernie!

I am glad to hear some news from you! I didn't think like Tom.:) I thought that you were having good time vacationing somewhere,lol

Post some banana pictures so we can see. I remember that you didn't like photobucket, the new way is probably good for you.

Silvia

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 5:40PM
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flyingfish2(9b w stuart)

Hi Guys,

We lost our 55 year old genius son-in-law to suicide, so have been spending lots of time in Memphis (Germantown) with daughter and 2 grandsons (14 and 17). He was clinically depressed but would not seek help, always said he would take care of it himself.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 2:08PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Bernie, I am very sorry to hear what happened.

Nice looking banana bunch!

Silvia

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 5:32PM
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inulover

The bananas will not progress until the whole flower has bloomed? That certainly cuts into my remaining hot weather. What would happen if part of the flower were removed? Would the plant's energy go into the erupted fruit and cut my time to harvest. I doubt that I can eat anywhere near the whole stalk fast enough any way.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 12:20PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Inulover,

I have heard that some people cut the bunch after the last hand of bananas before the male flowers start but others say it makes no difference. If you cut the bunch they will bleed a LOT.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 8:48AM
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coffeemom(Broward z10)

Bleed a lot and stain everything you are wearing. No it won't wash out .

Sorry to hear the Ice cream banana isn't co-operating BR. Mine flower much earlier than Aug.I have 3 bunches now but have been hit with whitefly. I need to go out there and pressure spray the leaves but it's been so darn HOT!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 8:29PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Coffeemom,

One of these years it will produce fruit that ripens before frost.....or we will have a frost free year here which does happen sometimes. Last winter was just 2 frosty days but that is still 2 too many.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 9:22AM
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inulover

The thrill of having a bloomin' nana has given way to consternation. The first 3 hands are beautiful, but the next 5 hands were shed and lie rotting on the ground. I have no idea why that has occurred... except it has been a daily monsoon up here.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 11:26PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Inulover,

You sure those were not just male flowers?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 7:19AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

With the big winds that we had around here, the banana stalk with the fruit fell down, what a mess! a lot of clean up to do after the rain stopped.
We picked the bunch to ripen indoors, they are almost ready but still green. If they ripen by Labor Day, I know what I am doing for a party that I am having that day, something bananas and rum.:)

Silvia

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 8:01AM
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inulover

No, I'm not sure. I've never seen a banana blossom before this one. The first 3 hands contain 24 bananas. 5 petals have come off since and all of the little flower looking things have fallen off.They could be male flower parts, or bananas that never formed. This is a picture before the fall.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 10:58AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Those are male flowers:) They are supposed to fall, no worries. The bananas you have now on the plant are it...now they just need to grow and ripen.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 11:14AM
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inulover

Tonight I really did have bananas. I cut the stalk down when the night temperatures started dropping below 40. The picture is some of the bananas that greeted me when I got home from a holiday trip. There are more of the same in the lanai. I ate two... tasted like a banana. I'll probably have to make banana bread. They are ripening way too fast to eat them one at a time.

Larry

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 9:41PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Congratulations Larry! It is good to have bananas.

Silvia

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 8:29AM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

I have a bunch on a Raja Puri plant that are about half the size they should be. I think it is going to freeze hard (live in NE FL) and has already got to 30F before they get to full size. Will this variety taste okay if I pick them small and let them ripen?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 2:52PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Cool Larry, how many hands did you get? If too many to eat before they go bad you can always peel and freeze them for smoothies or bread. I remember having all at once :-) :-(

Tom

Here is a link that might be useful: Tom's banana adventure

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 4:02PM
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inulover

I only got 3 hands of 7, but that's 21 bananas. I will be making a couple batches of banana bread. Thanks for the idea to freeze them. The wife won't eat bananas so it's all up to me... one of those dirty jobs we have to do on occasion.

Tom, do you still have any of the red limes you had at the side of the house? I was down to within an hour of Excaliber over Thanksgiving, but I couldn't bring myself to fork over $150.

Larry

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 9:22PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Tom, do you still have any of the red limes you had at the side of the house? I was down to within an hour of Excaliber over Thanksgiving, but I couldn't bring myself to fork over $150.

Sure Larry, I gave one away Sunday but still have eight left in 6" clay pots, they're about 8-10" tall now and just turning into hardwood, this is their fate in pots or they would be four times as large by now in the ground. If you want a few let me know.

Tom

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 6:29PM
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