Discussion in 'EDIBLES AND SUSTAINIBILITY' started by Moose, Apr 8, 2012.
A rare fruiting occurance in my garden. Can't wait to eat 'um!
Update Moose? You eat any of those Ae Ae 'naners yet? Nice looking fruit ~ enjoy it.
Rich - they are not ready yet. Unfortunately they are catching the eye of many a passerby. This banana is growing by the sidewalk.
I checked my original planting area and ... hey I gotta a back-up bunch.
You better get a net around those to stop the birds....
Allan - I am more concerned about "two legged ground squirrels" than the birds. The banana stalk in the first post was growing very near my fence. A pick-up truck could have backed up to the fence, some loppers and be gone in 15 seconds. Since the Tropical Fern and Exotic Plant Society was having their show, my son James and I harvested the stalk. It was displayed at the cash register table in the Members Section (see photo).
It weighs about 70 lbs. and they should be ripe very soon. Harvested last Saturday.
Moose - I'll have to experience them vicariously through your tasting. The local pheasants find mine way before they are ready for me. Reportedly this variety was reserved for the Hawaiian royalty. You will have to tell me if they are they are that special. Sure are is an eye catcher - both the fruit and the plant.
And now the daughter is fruiting ...
I'm noticing that some of the white areas are blushing a creamy yellow coloring. My in-laws are visiting from Iowa, so I'm gonna harvest tomorrow so they can take some with them. Pretty certain they are ready.
I've got 75 mangos (Hayden) peeled & cut up in the freezer for them. My Mother-in-law saw my Keitt Mango tree loaded with fruit and went bonkers.
oops - what happend to the pics?
Moose, those are some amazing bananas! I have had difficulty figuring out what conditions these are happiest in, and have lost a few plants in the process. My plant is wimpy compared to yours, but I can have hope yet. They seem to want some direct sun, but not too much, unlike most bananas that want to bask in all day sun.
Tim - this is a very difficult plant to place. Being a banana it wants sun. Having all that white variegation - it will burn rapidly and brown. Hey, this banana originated in Hawaii. Hawaii has more cloud cover and a much less harsh sun although its situated closer to the equator. They can grow Vershaffeltia splendida in full sun there, it would be toast here. The best I can tell you is place your plant where it gets strong sun light for a couple of hours a day, fused sunlight for the rest of the day. Perhaps between some palms. I do not think they will fruit without a decent amount of sun exposure.
Sorry I can not provide a more definitive answer. There is a reason why they are a difficult grow and even harder to fruit.
Wow I can't believe it. From post # 9, dated June 6th of this year - a sucker exploded after this banana bunch got harvested. Now look at it, its fruiting 6 months 21 days later. Photo taken this evening. This is the Grand Daughter
Greetings all! I acquired one of these variegated AeAe banana plants online and it's on its way to Guam! I am curious if anyone else in the tropics is growing this and any tips/suggestions or observations on growing this sexy banana.
Just a little info on our banana trees. Here at our "ranch" we grow several different types of bananas. A dwarf Cavendish cultivar locally called chotdan guåhú (tsotdan gwah-HU), the Praying hands banana chotdan bendito, some type of dessert banana which we call "Saba", a banana which is very starchy and used in for cooking and is locally referred to as chotdan tanduki, another cooking banana called chotdan long, a red skinned banana of some sort, chotdan agaga', a banana called "Fiji" in English and locally as chotdan Palau (which literally means banana plant from Palau haha---which is not in Fiji), and a small banana only 3-4" in length which we call Manila bananas, chotdan Manila. Oh, chotdan just means "banana plant". I also got my hands on a really cool looking red colored decorative banana plant at the local nursery called "Royal Siam" but it does not have a local name. Not even sure if the fruits are edible.
These plants we have here aren't too finicky, make sure they get established and let them go bonkers. I've seen some very conflicting information on the internet about these AeAe banana plants so I was curious to see what you guys have to say experience wise. Thanks in advance!
The challenge with these bananas in south Florida is they prefer an acidic soil. Lots of mulching needed here to lower the pH level. They are need a tropical climate. Can withstand only short minor cold spells.
Unfortunately, mine is coming out today. I recently discovered a terrible pest here that I determined is the cause of some recent palm deaths of some very rare and mature palms. And after a lot of research, and the hanging of some special pheromone traps from the Netherlands last night, the culprit is the banana moth that looks like it has taken up a breeding population in my large Ae Ae.
These are very tricky critters, and it appears as if many palm, ti, heliconia, etc. problems I have been experiencing lately is this moth, or more specifically the larvae - which are super hard to detect - as they burrow into the heart, and by the time you see any damage it is bad news.
So anyway, I may save a few suckers and start over with more careful monitoring - now that I know what to look for. So anyway, here are a few pics.
Dean - that is most unfortunate. You definitely need to protect all your rare palms. So far I've been lucky, no evidence of Banana Moths here so far.
Here is a first for me. Two stalks of fruit that I can fit in the picture frame. Good thing these are way up high, many passerby's eye ball them - and not just because they are unusual looking for a banana. Cigar Stop
Here is the newer stalk that is still flowering. Its done producing any more bananas. The rule of thumb is to let the flowering buds to continue until the is a 12" separation from the last fruit that took. If it is not removed, energy and nutrients are consumed that could be devoted to developing robust fruit.
This is the mature stalk, the same one from post #12. I need to harvest this stalk now. You can see some fruits are blushing some yellow and I found one fruit up at the top that has split. This is my largest stalk of fruit I've ever had. I am guesstimating that it is easily 100 lbs. These fruits have grown all they are gonna grow. Sorry
Need my son to help, can't navigate being atop a ladder, using loppers and catching the stalk simultaneously. Wacky
Great Job --- Two Questions:
- How would you describe the flavor of these guys. Are they really as special as the Hawaain Royalty thought?
-Have you found it difficult to take the suckers and start new plants? I believe people are still getting high prices for small plants, and I am not sure why. I seem to have plenty of suckers, and I don't find it that difficult to get them going.
And as to those Banana Moths - they are in Florida. So I would encourage you to pull apart and examine any dead plants (palms, ficus, bananas, orchids, ti plants, etc) and do an autopsy looking for these larvae. I believe I had these things for many years before I pulled a dead plant apart and actually started looking for them. If they are there, and you don't find where they are, then the larvae (which also feeds on, in fact prefers, dead plant material) pupate and then you start to get a population going.
Dean - establishing the suckers have been problematic for me as well. The suckers do not seem produce many roots unless the the mother stalk is cut down. I don't grow the plant just to propagate it, we enjoy the bananas. The flavor does have a subtle difference, but nothing to roll your eyes into the back of your head. The flesh has a very pale pastel orange tinge. This is not a very easy banana to grow here in Florida. So it feeds my ego that I have been able to get it to fruit here. It is also enjoyable having people driving by stop and marvel at it.
The second bunch is ready for harvest.
Thursday night storms helped in the harvesting - no need for the ladder. The school I work at was having a Luau Friday morning so a leaves were trimmed to be used for decoration. We displayed the bunch of bananas to add to the ambiance.
Now that I know what is happening, and bought some pheromone traps and placed them around, the new stalks on my Ae Ae look a lot better. Too early to rejoice, but a step in the right direction. I had forgotten how nice it looked when healthy. Also it's nice to know exactly what is wrong with something, even if it's something you can't cure.
Dean - Since I have calcareous soil, not your fabulous volcanic soil, I have to do whatever I can to lower the pH level. When I peel my mangos, I save them in a 5 gallon bucket and spread them around the base of the banana stem. The microbes will attack then the happy earthworms will feast.
Don't tell me you just ate all those.
I just returned from Costco where they were giving out free samples of Mango - I made a few passes.
No -did not eat them. They were packed into sandwich baggies and tucked into the freezer for future consumption and mango smoothies. Only have a gallon and a half in the refrigerator for the family. I usually "clean" off the seeds while cutting them up which leaves me full. Another storm passed just after my last post. Got another 25 to prep for the freezer.
And now the next pup has produced fruit and is ready for harvest. Seems like the timing is a new bunch every 6 months.
It will be a bit of a challenge to harvest these bananas since this is the tallest stalk I've grown. I'm gonna need my son to assist me. I figure I'll have to back up my truck to the fence and put the set up the eight foot ladder in the bed to get at them. They have considerable weight and its a bit precarious atop the ladder. They are about 14 foot up from the ground.
The gift that keeps on giving.
A disappointment for me as they are a favorite of mine and they grow well here. But the banana moth made a home there last year and made babies that spread throughout the garden. And if I use poison, then I can't eat the fruit - so I'm in a bit of a quandary what to do with mine as it is coming back with a vengeance.
Get a pole pruner. Standing on a regular 6' ladder for a boost if you need to be closer to see.
Stan - cutting the bananas is not the problem, I have a pole saw that would do it easily. Its the collection of the fruit that is the problem. Its hard to envision from my pictures, its even difficult to envision in person. When you get up there its when it is realized how big the stalk is. Its fighting gravity that is the largest obstacle retrieving them, that stalk easily weighs over 70 lbs. The crash, mash, split crack and snap when falling from that height - they have to be lowered. If you see the stalk extension (lowest end), I thought oh, I'll grab that as a handle and swing them down at I cut the stalk above. With that weight, it snapped right off and went crashing to the ground.
There are about 150 bananas up there, 14+ feet from the ground.
Moose - I believe the main plant will die anyway - so why don't you just cut the trunk it is on and let the whole thing slowly "timber" to the ground?
It may even encourage more "pups" sooner that way.
At first I thought your photo was of a great new salsa or recipe you had cooked up - it looked so good.
Earth worm salsa They love it!
Nice cool morning and it was garbage day. Perfect time to harvest those bananas. Notching the tree, it was leaning ever so slightly so I went to retrieve the camera. Fully expected that further notching would be needed to coax it over. Back in two minutes and this is what was found.
The fruit tucked beneath
This best tool I have found to rapidly remove all the leaves is just an old serrated steak knife.
Took less then 10 minutes to cut up the leaves - they filled both cans to capacity.
That is the reasoning to do it on garbage day. I can hear the truck circling the neighbor hood already - the cans will be empty shortly.
Now I can get to the banana stalk for removal of the fruit. Its difficult to see but the stalk actually split and folded back underneath itself during the forced landing.
Fist for scale to see how wide the stalk is near the top where it attached to the plant.
Fruit stalk is severed by using loppers. Stalk had to be cut where is was cracked and folded over.
There were casualties, but an acceptable number.
Here is where the main stem was notched then gravity took charge of the operation.
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