Question for all you banana and EE growers (Jim?)

islandbreezeJune 29, 2011

Is it possible to over-fertilize bananas or elephant ears? I want my bananas to grow as quickly as possible, and I'm willing to fertilize twice a week with miracle gro if needed, but I don't want to burn them. Also don't want to rot the roots by overwatering, which I've been worrying about lately. We've only been in the low 80s recently for highs. My basjoo after 4 or 5 summers in the ground got to 8 feet last summer, the tallest yet, but Jim said his got to 12 feet. Is there something else I could be doing to promote growth other than my weather? What kind of fertilizing regimen does everybody have for theirs?

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If its hot you can put as much fertilizer as you want as long as you water it in. Ive found that tropicals will get burned if the fertilizer is in contact with leaves, stems, roots. If you water after you fertilize it wont harm the plants. If you are using miracle grow its probably slow release so its nearly imposible to over use it. To promote faster growth I would water everyday that it is 80 or above and it doesn't rain.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 11:51PM
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Yea I agree in principle,never overwatered a Banana in summer!

They will/can burn in my experience even with what they recommend on the M-Grow box.

I think half strength as much as you want would work well.

How are they looking now???
Mine are basically where they were last year(one of few plants that are)
but I think only because they are better established.

Might be worth trying to cut them back less and save some more trunk,
they should come back faster(or at least bigger),
this is the case with one of mine that came back from the trunk.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 12:35AM
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I wish I could slow down the growth of my bananas this time of year! They are perfect height in lining my back porch. By August they're getting close to the porch roof and by the time the first frost gets them in mid November they're about 12' tall. A bit more than I've bargained for!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 11:16AM
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They're probably just short of 3 feet tall right now, and it's already the end of June. I guess I just expected them to be a little bigger at this point. However, my elephant ears, Thai Giant included, don't seem to mind the cooler summer, and look like they might start shading out the banana pups that are planted close by.

If your bananas are getting too tall, you can cut the pseudostem down and let the leaves regrow at a shorter height. I do all I can to get mine as big as I possibly can, that's the fun of a banana!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 9:34PM
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Ryan how is your Thai giant doing???

My small one is up to 10" leaves,way behind what it did
last year for sure,however............................
the big one has a 35" leaf on it,it grew 2" two days
ago and has grown 3" today.

All I can say is,what a monster!

My biggest Basjoo is around 6'.

It's only the end of June-they will certainly put out some
serious growth in July!

Really just now getting to the good growing part of the season!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 10:16PM
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butiaman(8a Douglasville,GA.)

I give my bananas 19-19-19 Southern States fertilizer once a month.I also give them Epsom Salt at the same time.I dont measure either one.I just sprinkle both very heavily all in the bed,and then water in.I also spray them with Neptune's Harvest and Superthrive once a week.I flood them with water every other day.I've never had any rot on them or fertilizer burn.From my experience bananas eat fertilizer like kids eat candy,and they love water.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 11:45PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Mine gets Miracle Grow all purpose 1/2 strength once a week and water just about everyday now that we are hitting 90 degrees plus. It has grown 4 feet in 2 months.


how do you overwinter your Thai Giant. Is yours in ground. I just got one about 3 weeks ago. its growing fast and its leaves are about 24" long. Mine is in ground and I have a greenhouse I can move it to. I just can find any info on if they form a tuber that can be stored dormant.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 10:05AM
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My Alocasia Borneo giant withered away to nothing inside
and I quit watering it,I was surprised to see it was alive
like an EE bulb in early was still in my room!

I think because I stopped watering it that it was preserved!

The Thai giant I dug up and put in my room(west window)
it slowly deteriorated(shrunk) over winter but still held 2 leaves.

Pretty easy to overwinter IMO,the only prob with it being
in your greenhouse is the huge leaves may take over but certainly doable!!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 10:43AM
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I water almost every day as long as we're in the 80s or hotter. I've been fertilizing with miracle gro granules when first planted, milorganite, coffee grounds, and liquid miracle gro so far twice this growing season.

Jim- My Thai Giant from last year died in March, slowly declined to nothing. I was watering it frequently to keep it growing, and because I understand that EEs love water, and can be grown in bogs or standing water. I figured it couldn't hurt, but maybe I was wrong. How often did you water yours?

I bought 2 new TG's from Brian's and planted them a little over a month ago. One is outperforming the other though. The smaller has 16" leaves, and the larger has 20". Both just finished pushing up a new leaf yesterday, so once those open, I can get new measurements.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 9:28AM
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...And some pics!

Thai giant should be kept drier over winter in soil...
there are some that store the bulb in water though.

My biggest one put out a 30" leaf,the next day it was
32",day after 35"(we had a low of 80f that night)and yesterday
it was 37"...haven't measured it today yet.
It also put out a flower spathe with this leaf unfortunately...
but we'll see-still very early in
the season!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 12:47PM
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