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Banana starting to flower

Posted by tropicbreezent (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 22, 13 at 11:41

Just noticed the swelling when the new leaf came out short.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Banana starting to flower

I'm going to have to remove a lot of the suckers that are crowding the bottom to give the fruits a better chance at developing.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

tropicalbreeze,

That's really nice. I'm always happy to see a banana blooming. Do you know which variety it belongs to? I started planting a lot of varieties back in 2005. With my weather here, I've found that only Raja Puri will bear fruit for me every year.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

Thanks Bananafan. It's what's called Lady Fingers here. They're very common, grow tall but produce small bunches of small fruit. But it's very sweet. That's why some people call it Sugar Banana.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

Hello bananafan & tropibreeze!

I inherited two banana colonies at the end of my property at the waters edge. I live on a canal here in West Ftl. When we first moved in we thought they were only Ornamental palms but as i started gardening and fertilizing, more and more cannons started to develop. The trees are a dwarf variety. I am pretty sure i have two types. With one slightly larger and more plump than the other. All the same both are delicious and grow well together. They get their own water from the canal, the suckers grow up and replace the stalls that must be cut once it bares a cannon. Extremely ornamental & delicious!


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RE: Banana starting to flower

Vince, you're lucky to have had someone already pick out a couple of good varieties for you. And then to have water right at your feet, so to speak. Well, at the feet of the bananas, they do like a lot of water. I have to do a lot of irrigating during the dry season, my soil just doesn't retain moisture, and our dry season is very dry.

This is today's photo of the developing bunch. Being "Lady Fingers" they won't develop a big bunch anyway.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

Thanks Tropic!

Yes, I love having the variety that is already there. They def do taste different from the store bought Cavendish variety. They are a small variety of fruit with stalks that rarely get over 4 feet on one variety and 6 ft on the other.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

Tropicalbreeze,

Yes, Lady Fingers do produce small bunch of berries and they're sweet too. Even my bunny loves it! It actually is a more willing fruit producer than the others, but less so than my Raja Puri which fruits every growing season. I started out collecting more than 20 varieties of bananas when I started my tropical planting and that's how I got my name :) Over time, I narrowed down to a few varieties that will fruit more regularly for me as I'm running out of space for them. They need a lot of space to spread out when their mats grow larger.

My Lady Fingers did fruit in 2011 and last year too and they're in a small mat of 3-4 now. Here's a picture of one taken in 2011.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

Vince,

Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures of your bananas. You sure did inherit a treasure in your backyard. The water way truly is a natural way of irrigating the bananas which they love all the time. It also can provide humidity in the warmer days and and warm up the surrounding temperature a tad during the colder weather days.

I'd like to think that yours are the dwarf Cavendish, but since you said they weren't, I'm wondering if they are a Raja Puri which is what I have in my yard and that grows 4-6 ft in height.

Anyway, here's a picture I took of my Raja Puri. Does any of yours look like them?


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RE: Banana starting to flower

Hi banfan!

To be honest, I don't know for sure. Your beautiful picture of the banana's flowering look a little different than mine. Maybe it is a dwarf Cavendish, or raja puri. One type is a small stalk and tiny fruit, the other is a little larger at about 6ft with hand length slightly plumper fruit. Both are delicious!


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RE: Banana starting to flower

Vince,

The fruiting picture I posted earlier was a Lady Fingers.

The picture you posted here shows a plant with thick stem--much like my Raja Puri. Bananas do look so much alike and it's hard to decipher one way or another. Some are able to tell apart one variety from another, but not me lol. Anyway, your bunches of bananas look healthy and plum there. You should be having some nice tasting fruit soon.

Here's an older picture of my Raja Puri fruiting.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

The flower bud has stopped developing fruit so I've cut it off. Lets the energy of the plant go into the existing fruit rather than being dropped as waste (or mulch, which isn't really waste).


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RE: Banana starting to flower

The flower bud just before removal.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

Wow! So beautiful! Like works of art!


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RE: Banana starting to flower

Update on the bananas, last nights photo. I cut out all but 2 of the suckers but now another 2 have started up.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

That is very awesome!! I can't wait for my dwarf to start producing!! Grats!!


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RE: Banana starting to flower

The berries are looking nice, tropicalbreeze. They sure have grown a lot in the short period of time. I'm sure you're looking forward to the first harvest of your own home grown nanas.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

iKandyXotics, thanks. Feed it well and it'll do well.

Bananafan, that first part is always fast, now they've settled back into a slower pace. I've actually been growing my own bananas most of my life, off and on. Some places where I've lived it hasn't been practical to do it. I also like drying them, after they've been soaked in lime (or lemon) juice.

Today's photo. We're only a few weeks off winter so the wind is really getting to the leaves and making them look tatty.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

Still a long way off from ripening.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

Just updating again. We're almost on the shortest day and approaching mid winter. The bananas don't seem to be doing much, still haven't filled out. The largest pup is now close to the size of the mother plant. Wouldn't be surprised if it starts flowering, before the mother's finished fruiting. I've been spreading some wood ash around them which they like. Also have to start thinking about covering the fruit. Flying Foxes and birds like to start taking bites well before they ripen.

Yesterday's photo.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

They are looking good Tropicalbreeze. I hope the flying fox and birds don't get to them before you cover them. What kind of cover do you use?

Back in 2009, we saw some rats running around our Raja Puri and I didn't want to take the chance and harvested the stalk while bananas were still green. A week later, they all turned yellow. At harvest time, they berries were exactly 4 months from bloom time.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

I'll just put a fertiliser bag around them (cut through the bottom, put around the bunch and the end tied around the stalk). One end stays open to allow air exchange and stop them over heating. The birds pick out the colour difference and then investigate. Flying Foxes are night foragers so rely more on scent. But they still pick out fruit while it's still green. They really get nto my mangos while they're still as hard as wood. The bag seems to confuse them so they give up and fly off to find something easier.

The pup's trunk is now nearly the height of the mother plant, but it's thicker at the base. The leaves are more upright than the mother's, makes it look taller. I'm looking for the shorter new leaf and lump near the top of the trunk now. I think it'll be coming soon.

This one started flowering around mid March, so that's 3 months now. I try to leave them as long as possible. If you pick too early you end up with the same as shop bought ones, LOL.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

In a month's time or so, you should be able to have many nice and plumb bananas to enjoy :) as it's producing many bunches there for you. I haven't been able to get mine to produce so many. You must have fed them something they like. I should try to fertilize it more often though. I only use fish emulsion as I want to keep my fruit trees organic. I wonder if the feeding should stop after they bloom?


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RE: Banana starting to flower

Bananafan, haven't seen this variety producing full bunches, so this one is doing quite well having all those hands. I give them aged poultry manure and wood ash. But also mulch them a lot. I have a number of waterholes on my place and I get water weed from them for mulch as well

I've another tall growing one still in a pot that normally produces huge full bunches. Still have to find a spot to plant it out.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

Had strong winds a few days back, making the bananas look very ragged. The largest pup is protected a bit by the mother plant so looks better. Unfortunately strong winds look like returning late in the weekend.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

The bananas are starting to fill out now. Shouldn't be long and they'll be right for the picking.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

Tropicalbreeze,

Nice pix of the banana bunches! It's interesting that your potted banana is producing huge full bunches for you. I have many of them in a 10-gallon pots and one of them is producing only 6 fruit at the moment. So, do you feed your potted banana more regularly? Maybe that's what I should do.

I forgot if you had mentioned the variety of this fruiting banana. The one I have in the pot now is Goldfingers.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

No, the potted one is still too young. Bit of a long story. I have a friend who is a 3rd or 4th generation banana farmer. When I was visiting late last year I saw one variety there that was huge (big as or even bigger than the Lady Fingers) and was producing these huge bunches. So I got a pup off them. He didn't know the variety, it's just always been on the farm.

Because I have a pathogen in my soil that loves banana roots, I put it in a large pot. Hoping when it produces pups itself I can plant them out to see just where the pathogen won't affect them. (This one fruiting now was a test run as well.) I suspect the pathogen is a fungus but haven't found out yet for sure.

This is a photo of the large banana at my friends place. Bit difficult to get an appreciation of the size as there's nothing for perspective. But you could walk under the bunch.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

My "pup" today beside the shade house. The pot is a 600 mm and standing on blocks to prevent tree roots getting into it.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

The bananas have filled out a lot, although still have a bit of ribbing. Won't be long and I'll be picking them.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

On the countdown now.The bananas are losing the darker green and becoming more a yellowish green. And they've rounded out really well. While nothing's getting at them still I'll delay picking to get them as yellow as possible.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

tropicbreeze, is that the same bunch from your first post? Wow, five months and still not ready!


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RE: Banana starting to flower

Yes, same bunch. But cut off now. I was going away for a week and didn't trust the birds to leave me much for when I got back. Looking up at them I didn't realise the size of them. They're bigger than other Lady Fingers that I've grown. I've given most of them away. Always the same with bananas, you either have too much or none.

So 5 months from when the swelling in the trunk became noticeable to ready for picking. That's 2 months of autumn and 3 months of winter. During the warmer months would be a bit shorter. Also, I pick them a lot later than they would on commercial plantations.

The next "pup" is now bigger than the mother plant so I'm expecting it to fruit up soon. It'll have the warmer months to develop.


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RE: Banana starting to flower

I usually try to only have one bunch of bananas growing per clump of plants. This time one bunch started about a month ago and now another is growing despite me cutting out suckers to space them out. I've started giving extra compost to give them a boost.


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