The Q&A Archives: red banana

Question: I have some red banana, I think they are ensete, they have green leaves tipped with red and reddish stalk in center of leaves. Well this morning one of them had fallen over, it must have been 15 ft at least, What happened? and how do I prevent this from happening again? Thank God it was in the back yard. HELP

Answer: It must have been quite a shock to see your plant had fallen over in the yard! Banana plants are often called trees because of their large proportions, but they're basically herbs with heavy stems. As such, they are subject to rot at the soil level from poorly draining soils and can topple over without the slightest indication that there is anything wrong with them. Wind can topple them, too. The most serious damage is done by gophers, which devour both roots and rhizome, causing the plant to wilt and finally collapse. This can be prevented by lining the planting hole with galvanized wire mesh.

If the roots of your plant are still alive they will generate a new main stem. I would cut away the fallen portions of the plant and remove them from the garden. If you don't see any new growth this spring, dig out the remaining roots and replace your plant with a healthy new one. I hope you see new growth this spring!

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