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my big banana plants in the yard

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by no idea on April 14, 2006 02:13 AM

I am an idiot , I listened to some people and decided that I need to trim my banana plants (I was told it's too tall). After I trimmed one plant I started to regret it and went online to see if it should be trimmed at all. It looks like we should only cut it to the ground once it bears fruits. The worst part was, I accidentally (OK so I didn't map it out right) cut the stalk that has flower/green bananas on it). I am not sure if it's edible since they have been like that through out the winter (I live in CA, so not much of a cold winter), but I was sad about it.

What should I do? I see some baby suckers on the ground. Should I leave it the way it is now (I cut most of the parts down to about 6 ft tall), or should I cut it all the way down to the ground?

More importantly, is it true that I shouldn't trim the leaves and just let it fall?

Thanks!! I want to save the plant!
by Longy on April 14, 2006 02:53 AM
Hi No idea. You haven't hurt the plant, just won't get any bananas this summer. Oh well.
If you have cut the bananas off before they were fully swollen then they'll be no good but if they are swollen to full size they may ripen OK.

So what to do.
Select the best sucker with pointed leaves. Cut all the rest off. If you want to make new plants, try and get a bit of root with the suckers you remove and plant them elsewhere. Keep well watered.
If you don't want them, make sure you cut vertical deeply and slice them off, like with a sharp spade. Don't just cut them horizontally at ground level or they'll grow back. Use them as mulch around the clumps.
The one you've cut to 6 foot , you can either leave it and let it die off slowly, this releases water from the trunk to the clump over a period of time, or you can chop it back to ground level and chop it up for mulch.

The idea with bananas is you have 3 plants on each clump. One which is bearing fruit,(you already cut that one down, goodonya) One which is half grown and one sucker. Any more and there will be too much load on the root system and you'll get crap little fruit. So start getting one to half grown height and then allow another sucker to grow. Cutting out all unwanted ones as they emerge.
As far as trimming them is concerned, you can cut off any leaves as they start to look browned and ratty but don't cut out the centre if they have fruit on them. They like a well drained soil but plenty of water and are a gross feeder which means they'll take all the compost and well rotted manures you can give them.

Some bananas are really tall. I have some red ones which are about 18 feet high and haven't fruited yet. Others are only 6 or 8 feet high.. Depends on the species.

Have you ever cooked a whole fish wrapped in banana leaves with lemon, pepper and some herbs and buried in hot coals in the ground. Yummo.

Oh and by the way, you're not an idiot if you make a mistake in gardening. If i had a dollar for every time..........etc etc.
Anyone here ever done something wrong in a garden?
Welcome to the forum No idea [Wink]

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The secret is the soil.
by no idea on April 14, 2006 11:19 PM
Thank you so much. I got the house with the plant, and it was pretty big already. It has about 6-7 plants in that spot already. The biggest one is about 4-5 inches in diameter.

After I cut it (it has been 3 days now), I can see the outside start to shrink (or the middle part growing?). Since I have too many plants in that spot, maybe I should just cut it off completely?

Again, thanks for the tips!! I sure hope the plant will survive and look nice again.
by Longy on April 15, 2006 12:03 AM
I can see the outside start to shrink (or the middle part growing?).
If the middle is growing again, even though it had a bunch of bananas on it, let it continue if you want it. It may fruit again in this case. Cut the other suckers off though and plant elsewhere if you want more. Just leave one. remember, 3 plants per clump. One bearing fruit, one half size and one sucker.

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The secret is the soil.

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