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Questions on Musa Growing From Newbie

15 years ago

Hi, I recently purchased two packets of Musa seeds from Thompson and Morgan, and just received them. I've been reading this site the last couple of days, to find out more information on them, especially germinating. I have a bunch of questions. Sorry, so bear with me.

For germinating, the directions they gave was to soak the seeds in polyethene bag for 24 hours, and then plant in peat based compost. It can take 1-6 months to germinate. I've read in some posts on this site that the germination rate is low (maybe around 40%), and you need to have variable temperature in order to achieve this. The recommendation has been to use a heating mat. I recently grew a bunch of tomatoes from seeds using a heating mat, seeding tray and growing light. Can I use the same setup here? Can I use Miracle Grow Seed Starter or do I need to create my own peat based mix? If anyone has any recipes for this, please let me know.

After it germinates (if it does), do I just pot up and keep it under the growing light? Can I use Miracle Grow Potting Mix for the pot up or do I need a special recipe here too? Does it also need a hardening time when moving outdoors?

I've read a lot of discussion on pups and pseudo-stems. What exactly are those?

Also, has anyone bought these seeds from Thompson and Morgan before? The seeds I purchased are at:

http://www.tmseeds.com/ilist/group/banana.html

I got the Musa Sikkimensis and the Musa Species Mixed. Does anyone know what the Musa Species Mixed is and whether it is the Basjoo? Even better, has anyone purchased these from T&M and tried to grow them and what came out? I called T&M and asked them what type of Musa and whether it was the Basjoo, and they said they didn't know. They said the packet contained mixed seeds, so they were different types of banana seeds in the packet, and one seed could be a completed different type of Musa from the other. Just wondering if anyone ever got these before. The description seems to say that these Musa will grow 20 feet tall and is for Zone 11, and that the Sikkimensis only reaches 12 feet for Zones 8-10. Anyway, if anyone has any ideas on this, please let me know.

Finally, I live in the SF Bay Area. It's fairly warm, and doesn't really frost, so I'm hoping the Sikkimensis will overwinter easily. Anyone else from this area have good luck growing them?

Thanks!

Gary

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