Bananas

Discussion in 'Tropical Gardening' started by PeterS, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. PeterS

    PeterS Total Gardener

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    Kristen raised a good point on another thread, about how to propagate Ensete Maurelii - but I thought it warranted a specialised thread here on Bananas.

    I understand that most Musa progagates by producing pups. However I gather Ensetes don't pup - so you have to be a bit sneaky.

    I found these three videos on how to do it, easy to follow. You need to watch all three in order.
    1) Splitting the corm


    2) Signs of new growth


    3) Potting up


    At the same time I found these videos on overwintering Ensete dry

    1) Preparing for winter


    2) Bringing back into growth in spring
     
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    • sal73

      sal73 Total Gardener

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      really interesting video PeterS , are you gone try ? my 3 big ensete died this spring but managed to understand my mystake and do not do it again ....overall the few that survived gave me a great display ....

      I know that we can use as annual but the beauty of those plants it`s to see how big they get , then they are impressive
       
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      • PeterS

        PeterS Total Gardener

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        Yes , I am going to have a go at propagating one Sal.

        This time last year I bought 5 good sized Ensete Maurelii for £10 - B&Q had reduced them from £120 to £60 but I persuaded them that they wouldn't last the winter. I overwintered them, I think quite happily, as in the fourth video above, but killed them all when I tried to revive them. I foolishly tried to heat them up in an enclosed space, where they got terribly damp and rotted. An extra one that I had did pull through, and one of the 5 started to grow but then rotted off.

        Its clear that they grow so fast that you will have to keep replacing them. So I welcome the idea of propagating them. Its not just the cost - its the availability. The two large ones I have now were bought in Devon 300 miles away.
         
      • PeterS

        PeterS Total Gardener

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        Well - I have done it. I have cut my Ensete Maurelii into pieces.

        [​IMG]
        This was the plant that had reached 7 feet recently.

        [​IMG]
        Out of its pot.

        [​IMG]
        All leaves cut off and compost removed to show the roots.

        [​IMG]
        Then cut the roots off - these have done their job and new ones will grow as it starts into growth again.

        [​IMG]
        I had to show you the beauty of the crosssection.

        [​IMG]
        And now cut into four pieces as in the first video. I will leave them upside down for a couple of days to drain, and then sprinkle them with sulphur dust to prevent rot. Then pot them up in reasonably dry compost - with no roots they can't take up any water. And put them into my light box. They won't be able to use the light, but they will hopefully enjoy the mild heat - only about 20C.

        When they have dried out a bit and settled down, I think I will put them on a heating pad in the light box. I recently bought some Canna and Hedychium rhizomes from Jungle Seeds in their sale on 15 October. I put them on the heating pad, and they are all growing well. Two of them are now so big that they are hitting the top of my light box.

        I will let you know how my Maurelii bits get on.
         
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        • Kristen

          Kristen Under gardener

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          :hate-shocked:

          Good luck :)
           
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          • pete

            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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            That bloke in the video dont use one word when 20 will do, does he?
             
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            • PeterS

              PeterS Total Gardener

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              Yes :snork:

              I am currently looking at the videos again - when I noticed your post.

              I think I made a mistake. I cut the roots off. I was confusing it with the overwintering technique, wher the roots all die over the winter anyway. After he removed the plant and cut the top off, he left it for a week. For no reason - just didn't have time. He then showed the growth, in one week, of tiny roots off the larger roots. This showed how actively it was still trying to grow.

              I think my sections will still survive, after all the plant grows totally new roots after a dormant winter. But if mine have to grow new roots as well it will slow the process down.
               
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              • sal73

                sal73 Total Gardener

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                the ensete smetime look almost too common , nothing to do with this thread , but it still amaze me what a great plant is

                this picture was done in June

                [​IMG]

                if you look carefull on the left there is a small ensete that survived the spring as I let it grow rathen then overwinter in the cold greenhouse , survived all the cold to look like this in just 5 months

                [​IMG]
                 
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                • PeterS

                  PeterS Total Gardener

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                  Great Sal, and interesting that it survived outside. Lets keep pictures and information on bananas coming on this thread.

                  I have decided to summarise in words here the main stages of the videos. This is as much for me as anyone else. After a time these video links go down and the information will be lost - but GC post last for ever. :snork: I also wanted to record the dates and timings without the need to go back to the videos.

                  This is a summary of what I did with my own plant, following the videos
                  Preparation on 28 October
                  1) Remove Ensete Maurelii from ground or pot. Roots will get broken in the process.
                  2) With a knife cut across stem 4 to 6 inches above where ground level was.
                  3) Good idea to remove and wash out old compost between roots. Not shown on video but removes damp area, and fear of rotting, from the base. Don't remove any more root.
                  4) In the video the stem was left for a week - because he didn't have time. Probably a good thing as it allowed all parts to dry out. During this week there were signs of the plant trying to grow - extension of central leaf and small feeder roots created.
                  5) After the week the stem was cut vertically into four quarters.
                  6) Treat with an anti fungal to prevent rot.
                  7) Pieces were separately potted up with unwatered compost.
                  8) After 2 days, pots watered a bit and kept in a basement at 18C to 20C. Not having any leaves yet, they don't need light.

                  Inspection on 30 December
                  9) One pot was pulled apart, where there was very good root growth. At the top of the cut part of the corm, there were clear callouses and several tiny points of growth.
                  10) Once growth is visible above the compost, the plant will need good light.

                  Potting up on 29 March
                  11) By now the plant was in a much larger pot. Roots were clearly growing out of the bottom of the pot and there were perhaps 20 stems growing as high as 12 to 18 inches.
                  12) A plant was removed and taken apart. Some stems had separate roots and could be potted up individually, but some didn't have their own roots.

                  Follow up 28 August
                  13) All four segments have done well. One segment clearly had the original growing point and is now the same size as the original plant. It had some small pups but I cut them off. There were 20 to 30 viable growths coming from the other segments. They were potted up, though a few were lost as I wasn't able to detach every one with a viable bit of root. The young plants now stand about 3 feet high and look very healthy.

                  14) All in all, a great success which I will certainly be repeating at some point in the future.
                   
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                  • pete

                    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                    I'm impressed as to how many plants he made from each quarter of the stem, previously I've heard of some funny idea of scooping out the growing point after cutting off the top growth, thereby forcing the plant to grow offsets if it wants to go on living.

                    I like this idea better, but assume it needs to be done in Autumn, so some kind of grow lights and heat are required to keep them going through the winter.
                     
                  • pete

                    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                    Just a thought, but I wonder if you just cut the plant down to a few inches and then cut the root in four with a long knife, leaving it still in the pot?
                     
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                    • sal73

                      sal73 Total Gardener

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                      Pete , the answer is yes , I was reading time ago on bananas org , that you can simple cut to the base and do a simple cut across .

                      (picture belong to bananas org )
                      [​IMG]

                      all that it was done time ago as they where really expencive and good money could have been made out of it .....but be honest and no word of a lie I payed mine £1 to £2 for the ventricosum ...what I would like to try is to find a way to overwintering them outdoor ....first step is to make sure they will pass the winter .
                       
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                      • longk

                        longk Total Gardener

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                        • PeterS

                          PeterS Total Gardener

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                          Pete - yes, I suspect the video method needs to be done in autumn. Which, as you say, raises the question of how you look after them over the winter.

                          The video seems to support the idea of cutting into the top, as the growth came from the top of the corm. My first thought was that you wanted seperate pieces with top growth and roots, but then I found this site http://webebananas.com/

                          Way down on the growing tips page they said Plants may also be propagated but dividing up a corm, much like a potato, and planting the "eyes" or small pups which are forming. As commercial growers, I suspect that this refered to Musa pups. But if you have Ensete pups it must work the same. In the picture they showed that each piece of corm had both some root and a top growth 'eye'.

                          Sal - you seem to be so lucky to be able to buy these and very cheaply too. The problem for me is just finding somewhere that sells them, irrespective of price.
                           
                        • Kristen

                          Kristen Under gardener

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                          Any news? Too soon I suppose ?
                           
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