Hummingbird House The Garden Helper
No-dash-here, you've found The Real Garden Helper! Gardening on the Web since 1997
vine bar
Wild Willy
 

Help with a Banana Plant - think its dying

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by sheggers on March 27, 2006 08:11 PM
Hi there

I bought a cracking 2-3 foot high banana plant last week. At first when I got it home it looked fantastic but, over the last few days, the leaves, from the bottom up, have all started wilting and yellowing. It now looks pretty miserable.

The soil is moist, I have misted the leaves regularly and it is in a well lit area.

Can anyone suggest a reason for this dramatic change? I read somewhere that the change in temperature and the shock of being moved may affect it and the old leavers may just die off - is this the case? Will it recover when it aclimatises? Is this how you spell aclimatises? Please help!
by SpringFever on March 27, 2006 09:57 PM
There is a bit of help in the house plant section at the top.. I am not sure how to put the link but it might help you

* * * *
 -
 -
Tonight I am having friends for dinner... Hanibal Lector My Album
by sheggers on March 27, 2006 11:28 PM
Thanks for your reply, but I have read the above and i am doing everything it says - I just cannot understand why it has had such a dramatic downturn in its health. Does anyone know if the banana is particularly susceptible to temperature change?
by SpringFever on March 28, 2006 12:20 AM
Maybe you should spray it at night... maybe the leaves are getting burnt,that is if you are doing the spray in the day [dunno] How much Light does it have? maybe it needs fertilizer..

* * * *
 -
 -
Tonight I am having friends for dinner... Hanibal Lector My Album
by sheggers on March 28, 2006 02:00 AM
It gets plenty of light but no direct sun light. I have been spraying it in the evening and when I watered it I used a house plant fertilizer. There does not seem to be any explanation!
by SpringFever on March 28, 2006 02:20 AM
maybe it will be fine after it gets used to it's new home..

* * * *
 -
 -
Tonight I am having friends for dinner... Hanibal Lector My Album
by Longy on March 28, 2006 02:41 AM
I have been spraying it in the evening and when I watered it I used a house plant fertilizer. There does not seem to be any explanation!
++++++++++++++++++++++
Hi Sheggers, i have a few ideas, and a few questions too. Firstly, Stop watering and don't fertilize anymore.
I see you are in London. So i figure that the banana came from inside a hothouse because it cannot have survived winter in London outside. So in that case, it has been pampered with artificial heat and light and was growing beautifully when you bought it. Fake tropical summer. When you say well lit, it needs at least 8 hrs of full sun to even think about growing well and by watering when it's not growing you are drowning it.
Can you get it into more sun? Does London have sun? (It's a big yellow thing hanging up in the sky).
(Oops, sorry ! I detect some hidden mirth in your original query.)

Bananas are a tropical plant. I live in a subtropical area and they struggle a little in winter here and it doesn't get below freezing more than 1 or 2 nights each winter. They just stop growing and a few leaves get burnt from the cold. I don't water them at this time. You need to copy the tropical conditions as close as possible in order for the banana to grow. That includes plenty of sun, warm soil (very important) and warm air. If you can't copy them yet because it's still too cold, then the banana is resting and will not require the water and the fertilizer. Does that make sense?
PS. Acclimatizes is spelt acclimatizes.

* * * *
 -
The secret is the soil.
by sheggers on March 28, 2006 02:52 AM
Dear longy

Cheers for that - I thought it may be something along those lines. Thankfully I have a southerly facing house with massive windows, so it gets pretty warm in the day. The room is also completely white so the light intensity is pretty good. I will stop watering it, I thought this may be a bad idea. I try and spray it each evening to recreate something of a tropical climate and hopefully this will help it. It doesn't really get much direct sunlight, but the label that came with the plant said it did not want direct light, just good light (?) I could move it closer to the window, but most of the plants I put near the window get burnt as the glass magnify its rays.

Do you think it will start to get better? Most of the leaves have wilted to an extent and some are really yellow and brown - should I remove these or simply leave them?

With each leaf I remove it thins the trunk down - I dont want to remove so many leaves that it falls over!

Thanks again for your help - it broke my heart to buy the blighter then for it to just start dying.

P.S Yes, I think we have a sun, although its rarely visible.
by Longy on March 28, 2006 12:42 PM
I would take off the leaves which are finished, they will continue to go anyway. Just snip them off where they join the stem, don't take the 'wrap' part off. As long as you have a core which is alive, it can regrow. Even if you cut it off at ground level it will come back if conditions are right. So as you said, get max light you can and don't water until you see it starting to grow. You would be amazed to see how much water is inside that stem if you cut it off. 1 metre of stem would hold a litre of water in a 3" thick stem.
Here's a website that deals with growing bananas in the UK. Copy and paste to your browser bar.
http://www.jungleseeds.co.uk/BananaArticle.htm

PS. I heard there was sun in London but i thought it was an urban myth. Thanks for clearing that up;-)

* * * *
 -
The secret is the soil.
by sheggers on March 28, 2006 02:18 PM
Cheers Longy - with regard the sun, we didn't have it in the past, but we used our great colonial might to steal it from someone poor and weak.

Active Garden Forum