Banana fruiting question

L_in_FL(8B/9A Border, NW FL)October 18, 2013

For the first time ever, I have an inflorescence on one of my banana plants. (If it matters, the plants are supposedly Dwarf Cavendish, but these are a good 12' tall.)

The problem is that the inflorescence is very recent, and there are only 4 or 5 hands of fruit showing. First frost is usually around Thanksgiving here.

I'm assuming these baby bananas are just doomed.

But I was wondering: if I cut off the rest of the inflorescence, would the plant mature those 4 or 5 hands any faster? 4 or 5 hands would be better than none.

Thanks for any insight anyone may have, even if it us just to say, "They're doooooomed!"

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I'm sorry your first bloom came at such a bad time. The bananas probably are doomed, but you will likely have pups in the spring and maybe have better timing next year. No, cutting off the rest of the inflorescence will not hasten ripening, which would not happen for several months, even if the plant survived. Btw, at 12' tall, it doesn't sound like a dwarf!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 3:34PM
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My Dwarf Cavendish seem to almost always bloom at the wrong time. The fruit are DOA with even the slightest frost. I have pretty much given up on that variety. One time, many years ago, I did have a huge bunch get ripe. But, it is a handsome plant.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 5:50PM
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L_in_FL(8B/9A Border, NW FL)

Thanks for the feedback. I will leave it be and wait, but expect nothing.

I guess I need to dig the patch out (that should be a fun job!) and get some Raja Puris - they are a more reasonable size and have a good chance of making fruit here.

The current bananas are attractive, but I am trying to reserve the backyard for edibles and plants that attract pollinators or beneficial insects.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 4:02PM
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Yea, I wonder on the dwarf Cavandish as well. I have been growing them in Houston and here since 2004 and the largest one i have had is maybe 8'.

This last hand we had this year took about 6 months to ripen. Started seeing the first flower in March/April and got ripened fruit in September.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 7:15PM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

I am in 9b, and have wrapped the fruiting bunch with 2-3 strings of the old c9 Xmas lights that give off a lot of heat. That was enough to protect fall fruiting bunches through the winter, and they ripened in spring. Not as tasty as those that get a summer hang time. Now I don't bother, and instead control fertilizer levels to get them to bloom in spring. I aim to get the plants to 3/4 fruiting height by fall. The stalks then usually make it through winter and bloom in spring.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 3:12PM
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L_in_FL(8B/9A Border, NW FL)

That makes sense, Sun Worshipper. If we have another mild year like last year I might be able to protect the bunch.

But I am almost a whole zone colder than you, and most years my bananas lose all their foliage. In especially cold years the stalks die at least part of the way back. I assume the annual cold damage that is why they have not bloomed before: last winter was the first time the bananas had some green leaves all winter.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 11:02AM
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