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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Other Crafts Banana tree pruning question
Banana tree pruning question
Tiki Zen
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Joined: Mar 15, 2007
Posts: 352
From: Too far from the beach Bowling Green, KY
Posted: 2010-06-16 1:02 pm   Permalink

This is my fourth season growing banana trees - started with three and now have about a dozen. Each fall I've cut the trunk/stalk back to about 6' high, dug up the bulb, separated off the bigger pups and stored them in the garage to hibernate over the winter. When I replanted in the spring I cut a bit more off the stalk to get to viable tissue and they've leafted out from there. I've left the stalks fairly long so that the trees are taller from the start.

This winter was hard on them and the stalks were pretty soft. They've now been back in the ground several weeks and are shooting up quite a few pups from the base, but only one has leafed from the old stalk, despite cutting way back to find more viable material.

So, I've got a bunch of little pups and leafless, 4' stalks. Several of the stalks still feel fairly firm toward the bottom - can I go ahead and cut the old stalks down to about ground level, or are they still contributing something to the pups?


 
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littlegiles
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Joined: Jun 08, 2003
Posts: 665
From: Lancaster, SC
Posted: 2010-06-18 4:44 pm   Permalink

Wish I could help you with your Banana tree issues.

There is a website called Gardenweb Forums that might be helpful. Here is a link to the palms section, but you might look around and see if there is a more apropriate section.

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/palms/

Good luck.


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TikiTres
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Joined: May 28, 2008
Posts: 263
From: Forney, TX
Posted: 2010-06-20 08:11 am   Permalink

It sounds like you're doing everything right. The main rhyzome will die off eventually as yours has and you have to foster new growth from the pups. Typically if it fruits then the main rhyzome will reduce in size and won't come back the following year, but that can happen even if it doesn't fruit.

You might play with cutting the main stalk back more, you mentioned leaving them taller so that the plant is taller but in fact it usually has the opposite effect. A buddy of mine had 3 growing in a row that he wanted to have staggered height, so he cut them off at different heights. But when they grew back the one he cut the shortest actually grew the tallest and the tallest cut grew the least, so his stagger was the opposite of what he intended!

Quote: "So, I've got a bunch of little pups and leafless, 4' stalks. Several of the stalks still feel fairly firm toward the bottom - can I go ahead and cut the old stalks down to about ground level, or are they still contributing something to the pups?"

Yes, cut them back. If they haven't sprouted but you're already getting pups then the main stalks are dead and probably the rhyzomes as well.

[ This Message was edited by: TikiTres 2010-06-20 08:12 ]


 
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Tiki Zen
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Joined: Mar 15, 2007
Posts: 352
From: Too far from the beach Bowling Green, KY
Posted: 2010-06-21 09:05 am   Permalink

Thanks for the advice!

 
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bananabobs
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Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 824
Posted: 2010-08-05 10:10 pm   Permalink

There is a variety called, "Giant Dwarf" it only reaches 6' tall and is plenty hardy and fruits a full size stalk, but I don't think you will ever get fruit there. I bring it up because it would take less time for it to regrow each year.
Somehow, I always think of Groundhogs Day when I read this post.


 
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Tiki Zen
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Joined: Mar 15, 2007
Posts: 352
From: Too far from the beach Bowling Green, KY
Posted: 2010-08-06 11:48 am   Permalink

I did cut the stalks back to ground level shortly after my last posting, with no ill-effects to the pups. They do seem to be growing more slowly this year than in the past.

On a different issue for you banana-philes: Is it better to split the pups off at the end of the season when the bulbs are dug-up for storage, which is what I have been doing, or store them attached to the main bulb and split them off right before planting in the Spring?


 
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Bora Boris
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Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2595
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2010-08-06 4:02 pm   Permalink

Post has been moved to other crafts.

 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7398
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2010-08-06 4:09 pm   Permalink

Since when is gardening a craft???!!! Move it to BILGE!!!


 
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RevBambooBen
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Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7476
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2010-08-10 8:27 pm   Permalink

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=37456&forum=12&3
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bananabobs
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Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 824
Posted: 2010-08-10 10:04 pm   Permalink

Nice de-rail Ben...
Split them early enough for them to get a little established on their own before winter.


 
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ka'lenatiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 13, 2009
Posts: 194
From: redding ca.
Posted: 2010-08-13 09:31 am   Permalink

ok... so for those of us new to the bannana plant thing ( I seem to have ended up with 2 of them,)I have not found alot of info on growing them out of the tropic zones. so the question is, how old are they when they start spreading out? And, is it better to dig them up every year, pot them with big pots, or cut, then cover the stalk at the ground for the winter? We normaly only get down to low 30's but like many last year we made it to 3 days in a row @ mid teens. I'm working on a small green house now to store some of the less cold items.

 
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bananabobs
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Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 824
Posted: 2010-08-13 7:49 pm   Permalink

When you say "spreading out", I assume that you mean sending up "pups" or new shoots, it varies but most do about the 3rd year. Your soil must drain well or you will rot the tuber. I would leave them in the ground given what you said about the temps there, if it was to stay in the low teens for a few days at a time you might get a die back but only at the top of the plant and at worse it will die back to the ground and start back up in the spring. Your plants will do so much better in the ground than in pots but ya do what ya gotta do! If you have considerable winds, the leaves will "shatter" and look kind of ratty but again will pick right back up in spring. The bananas will do great under a shade structure during the winter. Good luck
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TikiTres
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Joined: May 28, 2008
Posts: 263
From: Forney, TX
Posted: 2010-08-13 9:59 pm   Permalink

People in colder climates typically winterize banana trees by cutting all the leaves off, digging them out of the ground, shaking all the dirt off of them and storing them in a cool, dry place. I'm near Dallas and have always left mine in the ground and mulched heavily over them. BUT... we had a very cold winter last year and every one of mine died. This year I replaced them with Musa Basjoo which is a very cold tolerant variety. I really miss the beautiful Maurellii we had though, so I'm growing two new ones which I do plan on removing each winter.

www.gardenweb.com/ is a great forum if you have any more specific questions.

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ka'lenatiki
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Joined: Nov 13, 2009
Posts: 194
From: redding ca.
Posted: 2010-08-14 7:55 pm   Permalink

May try to put them in the ground then. Been waiting to get past the real hot weather so as not to shock them to much. They are sitting in part shade right now due to the 100+ weather burning the leaves, lowes (were I bought them ) said this was due to the black pots. we will see what happens. I ended up with a musa maurell and a cardaba. I live in a area that is river bottom loam so it drains good but I added sand to the mix with the palms.

 
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