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Banana tree question

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by marcw66 on July 09, 2005 10:54 PM
A neighbor has a banana tree and gave us all of the bananas, which are green, and at the bottom of the banana bunches there is some length and then a purplish bulb type thing. What does the bulb represent? We're hoping it is a seed for a new banana tree.

Please write back so I know what to do with it.

Thanks so much!!!

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by GiraffeMSW on July 10, 2005 12:29 AM
I don't think banana trees reproduce from seeds....they send out new plants from their roots. If your neighbor will let you look, you should be able to find little banana trees near the base of their tree once it has been there a little while. We planted a banana tree at our house in Tallahasse and now have 9 of them in a clump surrounding the original tree. It took about a year for the first babies to turn up and two years or so before the first tree produced any fruit. So, if your neighbor's tree is old enough to produce fruit, I'm betting it has babies too.

Here in Orlando, we have one tree in a large container that has produced 3 or 4 babies as well.

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The higher the point of view, the broader the horizon...said the giraffe.
by Longy on July 10, 2005 04:01 AM
It's not the seed but the flower spike for the bananas. Once the embryo fruit stop forming the flower is cut off, though this is not necessary.Just hang your bunch in a warm place out of direct sunlight and they will ripen.

The trunk which provided your bunch of bananas will now die and if cut off just below the leaves will supply moisture to the newly growing "suckers" forming at the base of the clump. There are often a number of suckers at different stages of growth, these should be thinned out to having 3 plants per clump. One bearing fruit, one half grown and one sucker.
To remove suckers from the clump use a sharp spade and slice vertically down ensuring some roots are removed with the sucker. There are some which have wide rounded leaves and others which will have a narrow pointed leaf at the suckering stage. Keep the narrow ones, discard the others. Maybe approach your neighbour for a sucker to start a clump with.

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