Adopt a Banana Pup

San Diego, ever wanted to grow your own bananas?

My wife and I “installed” 2 bananas plants in February, 2016.

They looked like this…

One Manzana (left), one Cavendish (not left)

Now they look like this…

You’ll note there are several more than one Manzana and one Cavendish…

The bananas grow off of a stalk, called a peduncle. The fruit emerge from a burgundy missile, a type of inflorescence named a thyrse.

Once the plant can’t support more fruit, the rest in the chain fall off.

They don’t go to waste, though. Back into the circle of life (aka my compost pile).

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Back to the fruit…

2 Manzanas

Cavendish

Cavendish foreground, Manzana background

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Banana plants are more like ginger or grass than trees. What looks to you like a tree is more like a productive blade of grass that grows on a mat, with other “blades”, off a single rhizome.

The same rhizome produces more grass, each blade called a “sucker” or “pup.” Left unchecked, the plant will produce so many pups that none can be productive.

So every now and again one has to meet with an accident.

The bigger pup should take to replanting with that hunk of root system.

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If you know anyone with a banana plant, the pups are easy to replant:(https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/banana/dividing-banana-pups.htm).

They require as much sun as San Diego offers, and regular watering.

Mine are planted in clay, which is great for retaining water and nutrients, however it requires a thorough gypsum-thick soaking a couple times a year.

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For more about bananas, check out the following links:

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/8-things-you-didnt-know-about-bananas

http://www.promusa.org/Morphology+of+banana+plant

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Thanks for reading and stay tuned!!

3 thoughts on “Adopt a Banana Pup

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