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Adventures with red bananas

Posts: 315
Location: North Coast Dominican Republic
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Looking through my pictures, I came across one of a very strange formation that appeared on my red bananas: there is the normal hand of bananas, then a stretch of empty stem. All this is as expected. But then came the unexpected: a tight mass of stunted bananas, forming a ball. I asked my local friend about it, and he said that it means that something must have physically damaged the stem at that point, so that not enough sap flowed to the end. He further advised me that normally, the way people there manage bananas, they would cut off the flower as soon as they see the empty stretch of stem; that way, the plant will put its energy into enlarging the bananas that are there, instead of growing more flowers.

I really hate food waste, so I kept the strange mass. Sure enough, in time, they all ripened, and tasted the same as regular red bananas, albeit one bite each.

When Hurricane Irma came through a few years ago, it wind threw the red banana plants. But, not one to give up easily, I found that by cutting off all but the top most leaf, I could get them to a light enough weight for me to lift them manually back upright. They recovered nicely -- and as an added bonus, when Hurricane Maria came along a week later, their lack of large leaves permitted them to avoid being wind thrown again.

I prefer the red bananas because they are sweeter than the yellow, and so I have preferentially propagated them more, but I do also have the yellow ones, and also plantains, each kind in its own grove. It's a good thing I'm so bananas for bananas, because on my 1/8 acre, they take up a substantial amount of space.
A very strange banana formation
A very strange banana formation
Posts: 836
Location: Piedmont 7a
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I’m jealous!  Always thought it would be wonderful to be able to pick bananas in my back yard.  Just never lived in the right zone.

Have never tried a red banana ~ will look for a bunch at my next market visit.
Posts: 1818
Location: South of Capricorn
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red bananas are my favorite too. I can never remember when the season is, and I can only find them in a few places where I buy directly from the farmer, so it becomes almost like a constant scavenger hunt!
What a stench! Central nervous system shutting down. Save yourself tiny ad!
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