My banana project

GardenForums.com a friendly and growing community of gardeners. We feature a Garden Discussion Forum and Garden Photo Gallery. It's a fun and friendly place to talk with other gardeners, ask questions, share you knowledge, view and post photos and more! Whether you're a master gardener, or brand new to the hobby, you'll find something of interest here.



Trax

Active Member
I got very interested in banana plants, last fall, when I helped someone save 4 Ice Cream banana plant pups. He gave me 3 of the pups (young banana plants) but the only way I could keep them was as houseplants through the winter. They needed almost no care and I planted them outside this spring. Now they are at least 8 feet tall and very healthy!
What really amazed me was that you could store the plants near a sunny window almost like they were luggage. They needed almost no water so I was able to put them in small pots and lean them against a wall in a back room where they took up very little space. Now they're in the back yard making shade and looking very tropical! :D
Btw, did you know that the leaves of banana plants are edible. So are their huge flowers! I've studied banana plants a lot and talked with professional growers in other countries. If anyone would like to know more about them, I'll be very happy to add more info to the thread. :)
I live in zone 7. Another little known fact about bananas is that they can survive and produce fruit as far north as zone 5! And the fruit is much sweeter than the store-bought Williams & Cavendish cultivars and come in many flavors!
Anyway, here are some photos I just took of a pair of Rojo Zebrina banana plants that arrived, by FedEx, about 1 1/2 hours ago. These get up to 8 feet tall with red splotched green leaves that get as much as 3 feet long! The stem is also very reddish! They will stay indoors for a week with very little water, then in the shade on the deck with more water for another week, then be planted in-ground. This fall I will dig them up, pot them, and store them till spring.



The roots were very healthy:


My bike pump should give you an idea of the size of the plants. There's some spots on the pump cause it had just started raining so I had to hurry:
 

Treva

Member
Wow...Thanks for the Great Thread!!!
I Love anything tropical!! i am in zone 9 so I can leave most things in the ground.
I just planted a orinoco pup a friend gave to me and I have what I believe is a zebrina plant too!
I want to collect as many different kinds as i can.
Heres a picture of mine...maybe you can tell me if it is in fact a zebrina?
DSCN5679.png


DSCN5674.jpg
 

Trax

Active Member
Awesome Treva! The height seems right but I'm more guessing a Sumantrana x Gran Nain cross... which = an edible Zebrina banana! The reason I'm guessing that is because the undersides of the leaves are a little too green and the red splotching isn't as vivid as on the ornamental cultivar (Zebrina). The pink bracts of the flower will make it a lot easier to identify since most cultivars have more purplish bracts. Have you gotten a ripe hand yet? If there are no seed in the banana, then it is very possibly an edible Zebrina! :D
I will check with my own banana plant files and try for a more definite ID.
Btw, that's an awesome aroid in the left half of the photo! :D It doesn't look like a Jack's Giant or a Borneo... which type is it?
 

Treva

Member
Edible!!!! Wow!!! I hope so!
Last year that was its first bloom...It only had a couple of blooms but definetly NO bananas?
I hope you are right!
I am not sure of the type of EE...someone have me a few...now I have Tons!!!
Actually to many constantly pulling them. They get Huge and they grow by runners???
any ideas?
Thanks for your help!
 

Trax

Active Member
I hope it's the edible kind too but I haven't found many photos yet so I still have some checking to do. Btw, I love that elephant ear! :D It looks like it might be a Colocasia since Alocasias usually have leafs that point upward. I'll needa check that some more too!
 

Trax

Active Member
I think you're dead-on with Calidora except that would be Alocasia. I always like to double check the Colocasia/Alocasia thing since Colocasias are edible and Alocasias are very toxic. Thanks for the input! :)
 

Treva

Member
I would be glad to share some with both of you! They are the running type.
My leaves are not like the leaves in that picture??? I dont think???
Heres another picture of mine

DSCN5379.png
 

Treva

Member
I also have what is called persian palm(it looks more like the link you posted), that I got from you Dorothy, and I have some black also from Dorothy, and a green and black from another trade.
 

Dor

Active Member
I lost my Persian Palm also Treva, so any pups you can share with me I would appreciate very much. The cold freeze killed my banana tree but I had a pup and it is about 8 feet now. Last year was the first year I had bananas and a lot of them, but it produced them late and the cold killed them even though we wrapped them up.
 

Trax

Active Member
Sorry to hear about your banana, Dor. There are some tricks you can use that help, though. If you cover the banana tree with mulch, wrap it in plastic, and string Christmas lights around that, it should be able to survive a Texas winter easilly. The only time you'd need to turn on the Christmas lights would be when the temps fell into the single digits. A friend of mine in Ontario Canada used that method and it worked really good for him. :)

Treva: Thanks for the offer! :) But I've already ordered 12 more Jack's giants so I won't have enough room this year. Btw, to explain Colocasia/Alocasia (aroid) plants a little better: They are similar to banana plants. The crown of the plant (that sends up the stems and leaves) sends out new pups (baby EE's) right from the crown itself. If/when you cut pups free (to send to Dor), be sure and dig up under the plant first to make sure that you separate-off enough of the underground plant to provide some good roots for the pup. I always do separations that way and the pups always do great! :)

Just one more thing you might like to know (just disregard anything you already know):
Banana plants are actually herbs. The base of the plant (below ground) is called the corm. You can actually cut the whole top of a banana plant off at ground level, dig up the corm, and store it between 50-60 degrees for the winter then plant it again in the spring. When you plant it, it will send up either a whole new plant or several pups. It acts very much like a bulb.
 

Trax

Active Member
Thanks! :) Treva's really look great (especially that flower)! I did a lot of thinking, last night, and decided to put mine in the ground today. I put them in a partly shady location but once they get big enough, they'll be able to get a lot more sun:



I think it's time to go knock on wood for the rest of the night, lol! They will get some leaf burn but they each have a new leaf just starting to come out so those should do okay.
 

Treva

Member
THANK YOU Trax for all the GREAT info!
Land all for the compliments!
Dorothy you know I Love to share! ;=)
 

Crabbergirl

Super Moderator
Staff member
Mine are just coming back from the horrible freezes we had this year. Now if we don't get a good blow we will be ok;)
 

Trax

Active Member
No prob, Treva! I like to be helpful when I can!
Crabbergirl, it's great to hear that your banana plants are recovering and I hope you don't get any good blows! Cause I really look forward to seeing photos of Florida banana plants!
Btw, I just finished the first post in the bamboo thread you suggested! :)
 

RonsGarden

Super Moderator
Staff member
Very insightful thread guys!
I've never seen bananas in bloom!
Love the photos!
You are a wealth of information Trax!

Treva, all the Adenium seeds are germinating!
Looks like every single one of them are sprouting!
 

Treva

Member
YAY!!!!
Ron I hope they all do Great!
Wanna see pictures!;)
Very insightful thread guys!
I've never seen bananas in bloom!
Love the photos!
You are a wealth of information Trax!

Treva, all the Adenium seeds are germinating!
Looks like every single one of them are sprouting!
 


Gardenforums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Top