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New to banana trees, sorry for some newbie q's

Posted by mobenchain (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 21, 08 at 13:56

Hi all,

I've done some searching of the forum but haven't found exactly what I'm after, or at least if I did find it, I didn't realize it was the answer I was looking for...

We're in western Oregon and bought a house with an indoor atrium a few months ago. Atrium came with a big banana tree- taller trunk (corm?) is about 7 ft before splitting into leaves; smaller one is about 5 ft plus leaves. It's definitely an older plant and I'm really confused about how to take care of it- not the watering and feeding, because I seem to have that down and it seems happy enough (getting big, beautiful new leaves). I'm confused about whether I'm supposed to cut it down at some point, or do I just let them keep growing? I keep reading about pups and corms and I'm getting lost here. I suspect we may have a pup (teeny, tiny little guy peeking up out of the ground near the base of the existing 2 trunks or whatever we call them).

Our situation is a little different from a lot of the newbie posts I found because I've got a very mature plant here, it lives indoors year-round but it's planted directly into the ground since it's in an atrium. So container planting rules don't seem to apply (do they?), nor does it live outdoors and need covering, etc.

I just don't know if I'm supposed to let it keep growing and propagating over time, or if it's healthier for the plant if I cut down the oldest trunk or what. EEK! Sorry for the totally basic questions- I promise I've been searching the posts... will keep looking... ;)

Anyway, any suggestions on maintenance of a mature plant indoors in the ground would be great... ;)

Meredith


Follow-Up Postings:

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Added photos

Here we go (I hope)- pic of the tree. If anyone knows what kind of banana this is, that would be great to know, too!

Here is a link that might be useful: Banana tree pic


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RE: New to banana trees, sorry for some newbie q's

Once the pseudostem of a banana flowers and produces fruit (edible or inedible) it dies. The pups will take the mama's place, grow, fruit and then terminate as well. The corm is the underground part of the plant. The pup is the new offspring, and the pseudostem is the above ground growth (some folks would call it a trunk but it is not) with leaves growing from the pseudostem (which is really part of the leaf). From your description, I would not alter anything you are doing. In particular, don't cut the main plant back because the flower and subsequent fruit will help you identify which banana you have.

Steve


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RE: New to banana trees, sorry for some newbie q's

Okay, I think I get it. Is it possible that it won't ever fruit, and I'll just keep getting taller plants here? Just wondering. ;) I just can't believe anything could grow this large within just a couple of years.

I'm going to try to add a pic (sans link process):
Big ol' banana tree

Thanks for the info!
Mer


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RE: fruit

I guess it's possible that it won't fruit but looking at the picture, it sure looks happy. Bananas grow fast under ideal conditions; fast as in one new leaf per week or 10 days. Some flower at 3 feet, some at 40. They like a lot of sun, water, warmth and fertilizer. When those conditions are met, most bananas will flower and fruit within 18 months of breaking through the soil as a tiny pup.

Steve


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