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Palmfarmer

Can i cut of most of the lower leafs on my bananas?

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Palmfarmer

Just wondering if it is fine to cut of most of the lower leafs/fronds on a bananatree? want to do it to get a bit more sunlight for a palmtree. 

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lzorrito

They are perennial, do cut leaves only when dry, unless you want to do it for aesthetic matters.

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PhilippineExpat

I'm not sure how the climate is where you live, but bananas are basically immortal here in the Philippines. I can chop off as many of the leaves as I want and the bananas don't miss a beat. I tend to leave them alone, though, because I'm guessing the more leaves the more energy for producing bananas. I've even chopped entire banana trees in half leaving no leaves at all and a massive exposed wound and the bananas grow right back out of the center of the trunk pretty fast. I've even completely removed the banana trunks and dug out the root ball, tossed the root ball on top of the ground exposed to the sun, and new banana trunks sprouted from it. Pic of one below the has sprouted a couple of pups. 

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Edited by PhilippineExpat
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Palmfarmer
9 hours ago, PhilippineExpat said:

I'm not sure how the climate is where you live, but bananas are basically immortal here in the Philippines. I can chop off as many of the leaves as I want and the bananas don't miss a beat. I tend to leave them alone, though, because I'm guessing the more leaves the more energy for producing bananas. I've even chopped entire banana trees in half leaving no leaves at all and a massive exposed wound and the bananas grow right back out of the center of the trunk pretty fast. I've even completely removed the banana trunks and dug out the root ball, tossed the root ball on top of the ground exposed to the sun, and new banana trunks sprouted from it. Pic of one below the has sprouted a couple of pups. 

20200908_105329.jpg

interesting, i live in desert in the mountains very similar to phoenix climate. bananas do fine here as long as they get some extra irrigation in the dry times. it will probably be 2 years before mine produce any fruit. How long does a banana take to produce bananas in the Phillipines? The reason for wanting to cut down a lot of the lower leafs is to let in more light to the pups so they grow faster and my clump of bananas is also shading a palm tree a little bit too much. 

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PhilippineExpat
2 minutes ago, Palmfarmer said:

interesting, i live in desert in the mountains very similar to phoenix climate. bananas do fine here as long as they get some extra irrigation in the dry times. it will probably be 2 years before mine produce any fruit. How long does a banana take to produce bananas in the Phillipines? The reason for wanting to cut down a lot of the lower leafs is to let in more light to the pups so they grow faster and my clump of bananas is also shading a palm tree a little bit too much. 

Oh wow 2 years! I think it takes about a year here from little pup to harvestable fruit. There are lots of different banana varieties right around where I live and I think some fruit sooner than others. The bananas here don't get any supplemental irrigation in the dry season yet will still fruit throughout the entire dry season regardless. The Philippines is super humid so that likely helps (plus the bananas store a ton of water in their trunks). For your case, I would wonder if the pups would really benefit from more sun because they are part of the same plant as the bigger trunks in the clump; but I think it could be worth pruning for the sake of your palm. If you have a whole clump of bananas then I think your banana should be have a good supply of nutrients and water stored underground and you should go for it and prune a few leaves. The real banana plant is underground and losing a few leaves on one of its trunks shouldn't be a big deal. That said, this advice is coming from a guy living in their ideal climate, so maybe see what someone else from a similar climate would have to say. 

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lzorrito
On 9/8/2020 at 3:52 AM, PhilippineExpat said:

I'm not sure how the climate is where you live, but bananas are basically immortal here in the Philippines. I can chop off as many of the leaves as I want and the bananas don't miss a beat. I tend to leave them alone, though, because I'm guessing the more leaves the more energy for producing bananas. I've even chopped entire banana trees in half leaving no leaves at all and a massive exposed wound and the bananas grow right back out of the center of the trunk pretty fast. I've even completely removed the banana trunks and dug out the root ball, tossed the root ball on top of the ground exposed to the sun, and new banana trunks sprouted from it. Pic of one below the has sprouted a couple of pups. 

They do just great here. Basically immortal also. You can shop them and they will grow again, no problem. Like I told before, I only cut banana leaves for aesthetic reasons. Mine are potted but they sucker like crazy , flower and fruit perfectly.

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Brad52

Speaking specifically to 'apple' bananas, a grower/supplier to my store on O'ahu always answered '28 leaves' when I asked him how long it takes the bananas to fruit - the 28 is likely not correct but is close, I don't recall specifically, but he said it was relative to leaf production rather than time.  So how long in a given climate to produce 'X' number of leaves?

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PhilippineExpat
5 hours ago, Brad52 said:

Speaking specifically to 'apple' bananas, a grower/supplier to my store on O'ahu always answered '28 leaves' when I asked him how long it takes the bananas to fruit - the 28 is likely not correct but is close, I don't recall specifically, but he said it was relative to leaf production rather than time.  So how long in a given climate to produce 'X' number of leaves?

That's interesting. I wonder if pruning them would encourage them to put out more leaves and therefore fruit faster. I also wonder if that would impact how many hands per bunch you get, but unless you are a seller maybe fewer hands is better lol. My wife and I have been making a TON of banana bread and "maruya" (a Filipino banana dish) because we had like 90 Saba bananas to consume.

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Palmfarmer
6 hours ago, Brad52 said:

Speaking specifically to 'apple' bananas, a grower/supplier to my store on O'ahu always answered '28 leaves' when I asked him how long it takes the bananas to fruit - the 28 is likely not correct but is close, I don't recall specifically, but he said it was relative to leaf production rather than time.  So how long in a given climate to produce 'X' number of leaves?

What if the Banana gets a bit of frost and the leafs die of but it starts of at the same size again in the spring. is it back to square one? 

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Brad52

I don't think frost had a negative impact, the past 2 years in CA I had bananas that were frost nipped and lost foliage, go almost immediately into flower in spring and set fruit.

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Palmfarmer
On 9/10/2020 at 2:07 AM, Brad52 said:

I don't think frost had a negative impact, the past 2 years in CA I had bananas that were frost nipped and lost foliage, go almost immediately into flower in spring and set fruit.

i have 2 that is slightly over 2 meters now, is it likely to bloom next year? How long does it take in California? My neighboors banana is huge and has been in ground for 2 seasons and still no fruit its a bit over 3 meters tall, he does not want more than 1 at the time so he gives me all his pups, my garden will be full of dominican Bananas soon :D 

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Will Simpson

In North Carolina Musa basjoos flower in three years . I'm getting hungry for some Musa pie  . 

There are so many varieties , and many won't live here  outside over the winter  , but the ones that do can get huge . It's gonna take a few bunches to make my Musa pie :yay: .

Feel free to cut off the leaves . They love water and thats all they'll need to be happy  , plus a little fertilizer .

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Will

Edited by Will Simpson
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Palmfarmer

Beatiful! maybe i should try some basjoo here just for the looks of it since it might grow fast year around in my climate? You really eat them or was that a joke? 

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Will Simpson
14 minutes ago, Palmfarmer said:

Beatiful! maybe i should try some basjoo here just for the looks of it since it might grow fast year around in my climate? You really eat them or was that a joke? 

I'm joking because there is so little flesh inside those little  bananas . I think monkeys in Japan eat them .  The bananas with the fat guy are Mekong Giants . They spread fast so be careful where you put them . I would think you could grow many different varieties in Mexico so the sky is the limit for you . Musa basjoos stay in a pretty close clump , but those Mekong Giants can get crazy . That  one other picture  is an Enseste maurelii , and it stays as a single stalk . Next year that one should be really huge . 

Will 

Edited by Will Simpson

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Palmfarmer
21 hours ago, Will Simpson said:

I'm joking because there is so little flesh inside those little  bananas . I think monkeys in Japan eat them .  The bananas with the fat guy are Mekong Giants . They spread fast so be careful where you put them . I would think you could grow many different varieties in Mexico so the sky is the limit for you . Musa basjoos stay in a pretty close clump , but those Mekong Giants can get crazy . That  one other picture  is an Enseste maurelii , and it stays as a single stalk . Next year that one should be really huge . 

Will 

Yes i Can Grow most strain of banana i think but the winters in this place is a bit on the cold side since i live at 2000 meters elavation. Love those ensete "bananas" been looking around the nureries here, but no luck yet 

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Merlyn2220
7 hours ago, Palmfarmer said:

Yes i Can Grow most strain of banana i think but the winters in this place is a bit on the cold side since i live at 2000 meters elavation. Love those ensete "bananas" been looking around the nurseries here, but no luck yet 

I think the Ensete Maurellii (the red false abyssinian banana) are not too cold hardy.  I had 7 of them in my yard in 2018, they all survived a couple of cold days at 33F with no serious damage.  But they did leaf-burn a bit and I don't know if they can handle a freeze or not.  I had to rip all of mine out due to crown rot.  They don't like being drenched with 60-80 inches of rain and high humidity.  Water just sits in the bases of the leaves and crown and they just rot apart.  The same thing happened with my dwarf Ensete.  If your weather isn't daily thunderstorms and humidity this might not apply to you.  All of my regular bananas have been fine, no issues with rot of any type.

If you are in a cold area you could check out Basjoo (plain green), or Bordelon (red undersides).  There are others supposed to be pretty cold hardy, but I don't usually go much below 30F so I haven't really cared too much about that.  The only ones I know are NOT cold hardy are Margarita and Siam Ruby.  I have a couple of "Mekong Giant" aka "Musa Xishuangbannaensis."  They aren't big enough yet to spread, so I don't know how invasive they are.  I read that they can put out underground runners up to 5-10 meters away from the trunk, and that might be a mess...I guess I'll find out!  :D

Edited by Merlyn2220

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Mikelzz

When I lived in Stamford CT , I grew Basjoo bananas for years ,,one of the few things that were deer proof . ,,, they would freeze back each year and then return  .. as long as they are not sitting in cold water for months .... that happened after a long,, wet Spring , and they rotted before they were able to recover ,,  The red leafed Ensete Maurellii also grew well here in the summer with all the rain, heat and humidity that Connecticut has in the Summer . ,,   this one was planted out in a 5 gallon pot in June and was frosted Early October  ..    Keepinghte leaves trimmed and the stalks smooth helps prevent the water from staying in the leave bases and rotting them

ss babana gd.jpg

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Palmfarmer

Beatiful Palms @Mikelzz .

@Merlyn2220 Winters here are super dry so rot is not a problem. It is no Problem to grow regular bananas here something i do, i was just thinking about trying basjoos since they might grow fast in the winter as well. There is bananas all over town here. The red Absidian should not be a problem. I think on what i can find online they definitly can handle way lower temps than what you listed, but since its so humid in florida the cold will be way worse at the same temprature. it can get -2 here for a brief period of time at night but it is so dry frost does not occour at least it is really rare. 20% humidity is nomal here most of the year, sometimes 10%. Most "Tropical" thing i see people grow here are Royals and they look pretty healthy.  Half of my Bananas are Dominican ones and the other half is an unknown but edible strain. 

 

@Will SimpsonYour crop is really impressive and huge. I read some places that basjoos are a delicacy in Japan. You whould try making a Banana cake or Pie from them for the heck of it. How you think they taste by the way?

Edited by Palmfarmer

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Merlyn2220

The fastest and biggest banana plants (with tiny little edible banana fruits) I have is "Ice Cream" a.k.a. "Blue Java."  Here's a clump that grew from a single 8 foot tall offset.  I planted ONE banana tree here last November.  It is utterly monstrous now.  Trunks are about 12' tall at fruiting with leaves 15-20' maximum.  I think there are 8-10 mature trunks in there, with two fruiting right now.

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Bordelon is a bit easier to manage, but tiny unedible bananas.  It's pretty though, and definitely cold hardy to -2C.  These are one of my 3 clusters, about 8-9' tall trunks and 10-14' maximum height on the leaves.

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Palmfarmer
1 hour ago, Merlyn2220 said:

The fastest and biggest banana plants (with tiny little edible banana fruits) I have is "Ice Cream" a.k.a. "Blue Java."  Here's a clump that grew from a single 8 foot tall offset.  I planted ONE banana tree here last November.  It is utterly monstrous now.  Trunks are about 12' tall at fruiting with leaves 15-20' maximum.  I think there are 8-10 mature trunks in there, with two fruiting right now.

257347905_P1060490cropped.thumb.JPG.128ae188de4d61199b5e5bcb87921cd8.JPG

Bordelon is a bit easier to manage, but tiny unedible bananas.  It's pretty though, and definitely cold hardy to -2C.  These are one of my 3 clusters, about 8-9' tall trunks and 10-14' maximum height on the leaves.

1868810456_P1060491cropped.thumb.JPG.57ee679d14fc18e2f1dea52f7bbd3fa9.JPG

Extremly impressive! back to the topic i am i fine to cut of some of the lower leafs on my bananas to allow more sunlight to get through a palm nearby?

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Tracy
44 minutes ago, Palmfarmer said:

Extremly impressive! back to the topic i am i fine to cut of some of the lower leafs on my bananas to allow more sunlight to get through a palm nearby?

If you have a bunch of offsets growing at the base, what do you have to lose.  My guess is that if it sets the plant back in growth it would still survive.  Here in California, it depends on the year how fast they are to fruit, as it depends on the amount of heat.  I get green fruit somewhere between 1  and 1 1/2 years, and depending on weather when the fruit sets, it can be 3 to 6 months for the fruit to ripen.  The number of hands that are viable is directly correlated on when the flowers are opening here.  If it's cold and late in the season there are fewer hands.  If it's earlier in the season and hot, I get more.

20200925-BH3I1189.jpg

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Palmfarmer

@Tracyi understand, looks like some nice food soon. my climate is very similar to phoenix. I believe the reason it takes a long time here is that the bananas might get set back a bit by the cold every winter. 

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Mikelzz

 

When I lived in California ,I was in Sonoma County , and the Abyssinian Bananas would get frosted in the winter and most of the leaves would need to be cut, and they recovered quickly once it warmed up. ... I also lived in Marin county across the bay from San Francisco,  Fairfax,  on a southeast facing hill , where the ocean, and redwood forests  influence modified the weather and it was virtually frost free . Cold, damp and miserable ,, but frost free !   ..... lower temps mostly in the upper 40's/50's ,  ,, The were giant ones in Golden gate Park ,, with perfect leaves in both red and green varieties. 

 the ones that I have seen in cooler , frost-free climates seemed to do better 

 

 

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Silas_Sancona
31 minutes ago, Mikelzz said:

 

When I lived in California ,I was in Sonoma County , and the Abyssinian Bananas would get frosted in the winter and most of the leaves would need to be cut, and they recovered quickly once it warmed up. ... I also lived in Marin county across the bay from San Francisco,  Fairfax,  on a southeast facing hill , where the ocean, and redwood forests  influence modified the weather and it was virtually frost free . Cold, damp and miserable ,, but frost free !   ..... lower temps mostly in the upper 40's/50's ,  ,, The were giant ones in Golden gate Park ,, with perfect leaves in both red and green varieties. 

 the ones that I have seen in cooler , frost-free climates seemed to do better 

 

 

Would agree w/ this...  Grew up a tad further south than you ( Mikelzz ) in South San Jose and noticed similar growth patterns w/ Abyssinians.. Cooler spots/ well irrigated yards around town? these grew great, looked good..   Hotter/drier areas/yards,  not as great looking, survived ..but would look a bit beat up some years.  Hot/ and coldest ( winter ) parts of the area, ( Morgan Hill, Gilroy, etc.. ) survive but get knocked back easier, sometimes completely after a particularly cold winter.  On the coast, say Santa Cruz/ Capitola, they did great.. At least those i personally observed..

Other Bananas? ( no idea on which varieties.. Wasn't really into exotics at  that time. Admittedly not my first choice fruit either, lol ) back in the early 90s, A family friend would get fruit off theirs at least every other year.. Know of many other people who grew/fruited them as well..

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Merlyn2220
18 hours ago, Palmfarmer said:

Extremly impressive! back to the topic i am i fine to cut of some of the lower leafs on my bananas to allow more sunlight to get through a palm nearby?

I'd say yes, without a doubt.  It might set back the growth rate or chances of fruiting this year, but it's unlikely to hurt the plant.  Just follow the same sterilization of tools rule as with palms, always sterilize between plants!  I use a clippers for the smaller bananas and a machete for the big ones.  Most of the time I just let the old leaves dessicate naturally and then snip the dried ones off with scissors.  But I've thinned out clumps and dug out offsets with no noticeable damage to any of the plants.  I dug out 4 offsets from the Kandarian to the right of the Miata in my photo.  It stopped growing for ~1 week, then kept right on going like nothing had happened.

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