photo: Musa lasiocarpa
2003-10-06. Musa lasiocarpa in flower. Austin, Texas. (Update: The flower closed up during the winter and then reopened throughout 2004. It finally died in early summer of 2005.)

October 9th, 2005
Musa lasiocarpa

Dateline: 2005-10-09
After flowering for two summers, the mother plant died. Slowly its stalk rotted away and the pups (some of which were full-grown plants by this time) began to fall away from the center.

photo: Musa lasiocarpa
2005-07-28. Even in late July, the blue-green banana leaves looked crisp and fresh. They never turned brown or wilted like the brighter green canna. However the number of pups was getting out of hand.

As today was the second of two perfect fall days, I decided it was time to dig up and replant the pups. I soaked the ground thoroughly to make it easier to get through the hardened clay. Then AJM and I began digging around the perimeter and trying to prize up the mass by getting the fork under the roots. The whole mass is fleshy and breaks easily. All we succeeded in doing is snapping the top of the banana plants off the roots.

In the end it was a banana tree massacre. A score of large banana trees lay rootless on the ground. Half a dozen smaller ones came away with a little bit of root. And what about the roots? If I replant them, will new pups spring up? Are banana trees like Tradescantia in this respect. I’ll try it and see and report back.

I was very depressed after destroying my banana plants. I had to keep telling myself that they were all going to fall over and die anyway and they had outgrown the space and were crushing the plants near them. Still, there’s a big empty spot in the garden where once was the most beautiful green.

I started with one and I have more than one now. If even one pulls through the winter, all will have worked out in the end.
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