Musa Basjoo Problems (Hardy Banana)

AranonMay 25, 2013

Hello, I have been having some problems getting my Musa Basjoo banana trees to grow outside. I purchased them a little over a month ago from ebay and received some healthy baby trees. I then planted them in large pots and kept them indoors due to the bad weather Nebraska has been having lately. The room they were in is a large glass room with many windows but a solid roof so the plants didn't see much direct sun, it was mainly bright light.
Since the weather seemed to warm up nicely and nighttime temperatures were high enough I moved the containers outside to let them adjust to direct sunlight. Needless to say they didn't like that very much and many of the leaves burned, one of the plants burned so bad I had to cut it back and its currently growing a new leaf back out.
It took about a week for them to better adjust so I finally transplanted them outside in various full sun areas of the yard and have been fertilizing them as needed however the plants don't look as nice as they should, the leaves seem to still burn a bit and the ones that don't just look plain bad.
They are a pail greenish color with a hint of yellow mixed in and seem almost deformed. They tend to get little circular burn marks in the leaves. I have attached a picture of the odd coloration on one of the leaves. I have many more pictures but can't seem to understand how to upload multiple.
To answer any common questions, yes I water often, yes I fertilize often every week or so. As for the soil? I'm not entirely sure how well it drains. As for state I live in Nebraska. I hope nothing severe is wrong with them.

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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)



Soil should be moist, but not soggy. Ideally, you can and should go 3-5 days without watering if possible. More time between watering promotes root growth.

Fertilizer: Stop fertilizing until the plant bounces back. We wanna see our Bananas shoot up to the sky, but you stand a better chance of killing the plant than helping it when it's in this state, especially if there isn't too much root on the plant.

Sun: Consider backing off on full sunlight for a week. Mixed/partial shade might be best while it recuperates. When I have young plants, I work in thirds. A week in 50% shade, A week in 25% shade, then finally on to full sun.

Let the plant get back to 'normal', then follow through on your regiment. Things should improve dramatically.

Oh, should have asked earlier, but what are kind of fertilizer are you feeding it?


    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 6:56PM
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How exactly can I shade the plant as its already planted? just put something large next to it? and as for the fertilizer I am currently using Miracle Grow, the powder that you mix in a watering can.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 7:38PM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Brain-fart on my part, apologies.

Most basjoo will bounce back if they're suffering a bit from the sun. It just takes time. Personally, I keep my young (and/or Tissue-cultured stock) in pots until they're around 2' tall. These bananas can certainly survive in the soil sooner, but I've found it's easier to feed them and protect them until I know they're ready to take off.

Over the last year I've probably dealt with 30+ basjoo. I suffered a few losses in the beginning and learned a few lessons along the way.

The plant might get a bit worse before it gets better, but it should pull through. Go ahead and keep watering regularly, just be sure you're watering the soil and not the plant. Sometimes spots on the leaves are an indication of water burn (water on leaves acting like a magnifying glass). I'd hold off on any fertilizer until there are more roots to suck it up. Maybe 2 weeks?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 8:11PM
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Your's looks better than mine. We had 2 frosts damage mine, but they look like they have more leaves ready to push up and cover all the damaged ones.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 11:45PM
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Well nighttime temperatures have been in the high 40's to mid 50's while daytime temperatures have been in the mid 70's to low 80's. I heard that if temperatures stay in the 50's that banana trees will stop active growth or at least slow down drastically which mine have been doing. The plants are producing new healthier looking leaves but extremely slowly, they aren't growing fast at all. I'm hoping that nighttime temperatures will improve and get warmer but they just don't seem to budge. I also have 2 of the Dwarf Cavendish and 2 of the Ice Cream variety that are in pots on my deck and they are putting out large healthy leaves but at a slow pace.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 5:15PM
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Just updating info. my Musas have definitely grown fine and are gigantic.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 2:18AM
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