[NAFEX] Good tasting banana for a container
gardendiva at charter.net
Sun Feb 5 14:30:21 EST 2006
MessageIf bananas are on the plant (it's not a true tree) and fully formed, you cut off the stalk and hang it in an airy warm area to finish ripening. The hands of bananas ripen from the top down, and you can harvest for a long period. I used to hang my banana stalks indoors in my laundry room to finish ripening, even in Zone 9, because there was less chance of damage from heat, storms and pests.
Before 1940, bananas came on those huge stalks straight from the plant. General stores would hang the stalks near the cash register and cut off the number of hands or bananas a customer wanted.
BTW, if you have a banana plant that is in the flowering stage when cool temperatures arrive (under 50F), you won't get bananas unless you have a greenhouse or plenty of artificial light. And, the blossoms (which have a lovely, sweet smell) have to be pollinated. Hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted by the aroma and do a good job. The blossoms exude a sticky, sweet nectar that both animals seek as food.
If you store a banana plant in its pot on its side, remember to water the root ball every couple of weeks to keep the roots hydrated through the winter. Usually after all the fronds drop from dormancy, you can stand up the plant. If not, slip the plant out of its container and douse the root ball with water. Then put it back in the container or wrap it in burlap to retain moisture and the dirt.
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