I am indeed happy that I got to harvest the plantain.... of course as life would have it, the birds started to harvest before me. Can I use all of that for tea? I have added more bananas to my garden now. I am not trained in any medical field. It's not silly at all! There are lots of plants to forage locally...even in your own backyard. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on January 24, 2018: I never thought I would be able to grow my own bananas. It great to know that plantain will work even in severe situations!Lisa. I bought wild plantain and it has the whole thing in the bag. Although that sounds like the perfect way to achieve the ultimate in flavor, for those who have grown fruit, many know the disadvantages to this. Then chop the tree down to the ground and whack up the detritus to use as mulch to be spread around the new plantain tree that will arise from the rhizomes. Thanks for sharing your stories. We have had various types growing but have decided to only grow short banana trees. - or are dry just as good? It could lead to mold. I cut down my stalk of apple bananas. I'll have to try the plantain tincture idea. I hope it will recover! Oh wow, how frustrating! Glad you enjoyed the article, have a great weekend. To ensure your banana plant stays upright, either tie it or as I have done, use a stout forked stick. As much of an annoyance as it is, it has many great uses also. Can they be cooked as plantains. Well written hub Mary well done. Green plantains are the ones used for plantain chips, or for twice-fried tostones. The garden is wrapping up and one of the last harvests of the year is pumpkins! They taste floury here and just not that tart, crisp sweetness found in the tropics. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on February 16, 2018: Yes, it does, thank you for the advice. ⁴. Commercial plantains that make it to world markets are fruits that are about a foot or so long; but there are varieties that are also the size of small bananas that are economically important within the growing regions. There is a wealth of information on traditional gardening, farming and other agricultural ventures online. I remember my mother used to cut them small and then soak them with water and salt. There's green banana porridge, crushed green banana and all that good stuff. Patience is key. Plantain is a perennial 'weed' you probably have growing in your yard or garden. Hope this tips helps you next time you try the recipe. Great to hear from you, good luck with your harvest. When he reported in the next day, they had him check in with the doctor. It could have been a weak plant as well. ), Health benefits of eating gelatin daily (a 3 month challenge). I would suggest, keep your area moist, add some manure (chicken or goat), and if you don't see an improvement, get different plants. I hope your assignment went well. After cooking, the plantains … I have included photographs to show you the various steps you'll see to help you better assess the ripeness of your fruit. Named after the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire where it was successfully grown by the gardener at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, England, after receiving the plant from Mauritius. They are still dark green, but hopefully I can harvest them in another month. To look at a plantain tree, it would be difficult to differentiate it from a common dessert banana tree. I should have cut it then but didn't. So I'm picking and drying plantain herb today. The bugs. If boiled you open it and mash it like boiled potatoes. Although banana plants like water, hopefully, yours won't be waterlogged. Foolishly I didn't record when I first saw the blooms. We have relatively poor soil conditions as we are on sand. I'll leave the lid off for the next few days. How do I … We now grow only small ones to eat that are much sweeter. The bananas never made it to maturity and I had to remove the plant. Have a look at the reference I put for the Guinness World Record for bananas, it is very impressive. Here are. I will have another go at it on the next bunch of bananas because I love the fact that it is used in other parts of the world. Answer: Don't pick in the morning. Answer: Definitely take them inside. I still have some growing and although they don't go yellow, they are still sweet. Question: Is there a time of the day that is better to harvest your banana's than others? The majority of our bananas get our gray water. Hope you will succeed this time. After researching for this article, I tried using the banana flower. With regards to yours, it could be a variety that will always be small, and not taste good. Although I hose down the leaves and water the bananas, they are one of the few plants that take very little of my time. I'm sure you're similar to me, still in awe that we are living in countries where we can grow something once seen as exotic. Would you believe it, it started to grow. As the bananas begin to ripen, you may notice your plant beginning to lean, with the weight of the bananas. In the article it explains that the bananas that you will be buying in a supermarket are all clones and are a variety called 'Cavendish'. The hummingbirds and bananaquits love to have a bath on the wide leaves. They love the fact that their country produces so many wonderful things and freely give not just plants but also advice. I would pull out the leaves and use just those if at all possible...unless it's all dried and chopped together which I would not have expected either! Love your list of interesting banana facts, who knew! Plantain trees are grown just like bananas and will require well-drained soil, frequent watering, and protection from both the wind and frost. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 31, 2017: Your mother must have been thrilled with that number, that is a good harvest. It could be they may never ripen if they were too immature. The trunks of the banana plants are heavy, and filled with water. The plantain, like the banana, is native to Southeast Asia and has been in cultivation for several thousand years. The bananas still have some ridges. helps with snakebites, but don't go trying that just 'cause I said so! Learn how to identify plantains. Are those bananas salvageable? I just may write that article about the tarantulas, so watch this space. According to the Humane Society of America, saliva of an infected animal could transmit rabies if it were to come into contact with the mucous membranes of a human. I shook them to get the water off then placed them all in a lint free towel. The second video below is quite long at 18 minutes but the woman shows how to cut, prepare and cook two different recipes using the banana flower. A strong tea can be made of dried plantain leaves and cooled then applied to sunburn or brush burns to speed healing. I’m just starting my journey with growing and using herbs. Our last frost date was only last week so you know my plants aren't quite producing yet. Many of our plants were given to us by neighbors and friends. I have some that are 7 feet tall and some that max out at 4 feet. solstice98. BANANA (PLANTAIN): Post Harvest Operations Page 5 Plantain Pastry lined with green leafy vegetables Plantain fingers, generally of the horn or false horn type, are cooked in water with leafy vegetables (pumpkin leaves, amaranth leaves, etc.). Fruits appear within 90 to 120 days after the tree flowers. That sounds like you are in for a good harvest with your banana plants. Interesting fact about Cavendish bananas. Hope that helps!Lisa. This was wedged into the soil, and then we pushed the banana plant until it was resting in the fork. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on September 18, 2018: There are varieties which will never grow tall. There's still a lot of people who forage for food including hunting for animals although it isn't technically legal. Truly a miracle plant! I was given them by various people who quite freely want to share the bounty of Brazil. My banana patch is suffering from the acid rain and gas from the current volcanic eruption near where I live. Viet Doan from Big Island, Hawaii on July 22, 2018: Aloha Mary! Depending on how much space you have in your yard, it may be best to dig up the healthiest trees, rip out the entire root ball and replant those salvaged trees … At this point, the plantain has exchanged all of its starch for natural sugars; frying it at this stage coaxes all the sugar to the surface, which brown easily. You can use it all for tea though it's going to have a different flavor than if you used just leaves a lone. I did not know that some do not turn yellow. Today when I cut the bunch off, it fell to the ground and at least seven of the bananas fell off the stalk. Bananas and plantains probably originated in New Guinea explaining the Panamanian euphemism Guineo used for the berry. However, it sounds to me like you have a variety that isn't going to be sweet like you would expect. I had been doing it for about an hour when I opened one crate and out crawled a tarantula. I bruise fresh leaves a little before adding them to my pot of tea. The small variety is just so good. Inside, cover them with a kitchen towel and monitor, because they can ripen quickly. Question: When my flowers begin to produce bananas, I usually only get 2-3 rows of bananas and then the rest just fall off as the petals open. Living on a farm in Brazil, I've gained local in-depth knowledge of food, plants, and traditions, which I share through my articles. Plantain leaves can be crushed up and applied to cuts and scrapes to help stop bleeding and pain. Most of the plantains you'll see at the market are unripe or under-ripe specimens, with a green or yellow skin. Answer: The plant that had bananas that were nearly ready could be cooked as you would plantains if they were within a week or so of being ready to harvest. Now you know how to grow plantains, the process is not so simple but it gives a good result. I always assumed bananas grew way up in trees like coconuts. Plantain seeds can be ground into a flour substitute. One day I was told to take bananas out of the crates and bundle them into packs for sale in grocery stores. I will give it another try. This will be the next bunch that will need cutting. Also in that image, you can see another bunch behind it which will be the next in line for cutting. ¹http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-35131751, ²http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/most-bananas-peeled-and-eaten-in-one-minute/, ³http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/largest-bunch-of-bananas/, ⁴http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1850454,00.html?imw=Y. If you have a helper, have one person cut while the other supports the weight of the bunch of bananas. If flower remnants on that bundle rub off easily, it is ready. Harvest and chop down the tree to make room for its babies. That way you can see how their plants are growing in similar soil conditions. Weird, right? The next time that I visit Chatsworth (an hour or so from home and a wonderful day out) I must see if there are bananas in the hothouses. I still need to work on it because it was so bitter, I had to spit it out. I would have thought that the wind would have blown it out to sea. We have had tall varieties but found the fruit was less flavorful, and the trees look battered as we get very windy days. Want gardening and healthy living information sent right to your email weekly? Brazil, I don't think they do use them. I grow bananas in my yard and I find your information interesting. We have not watered it at all! Yes, it really is a miracle plant! Harvest the crop by cutting off the entire stalk at once. If so, leave one sucker per plant and let it grow on the parent for 6-8 months before removing it. With banana plants, we don't waste anything even the flowers we cook them as well. Banana plants are not actually trees but large herbs with succulent, juicy stems that arise from a fleshy corm. I only gathered leaves this time and since I was drying the plantain leaves, I didn't worry about size. Did you know that plain old kitchen cinnamon is an amazing fungicide? In fact I was waiting for it to produce more bananas. When can I cut off the heart of the banana. Original Author. Although most people have their showers draining into their cesspit, the kitchen water is channeled out across the sand and that is where bananas grow best. I keep the dried plantain leaves whole until I'm ready to use them. The second video is not only interesting for the cooking procedure and recipes but also as a glimpse of life in a different culture. Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 31, 2017: We have some banana plants growing in our yard but have yet to get any bananas growing from them. The shorter trunks of the dwarf plantains are thick, more wind resistant and rarely fall over from the weight of its own fruit during storms. Hurricane Maria brought down my largest bunch before I was ready to harvest it, but no problem. The hands of fruit are a little larger than most plantains bearing seven to nine full hands of fruit. I really prefer to crush them right before I use them, but there's not always room in the jar. Here is a super easy plantain salve: https://www.feathersinthewoods.com/2019/06/natural-bug-bite-remedy.html and there is a link near the bottom of the post for 8 easy to forage wild herbs. Are yours in an area where they get enough water and are out of the wind? They're very proud of the fact that their country has such a bountiful variety of flora and fauna. (see a Dr of course!). I have to admit that I don't know anything about bananas so I learned much from your hub. You'll want to get a support for the trunk or tie it to something, ten bunches are going to be heavy. I was just seeking this info for a while. We all start somewhere! This combined with spices are made into a stir fry and one into a fried patty. Our banana trees always bear fruit butnever get big. They use it like a 'slip and slide' picking up water droplets on the way. I'm sure that's not true, they just want to get on with their job. Depending on the type of banana plant. When first planting a plantain tree, you'll want to be sure to remove any weeds that might be growing from the soil, and try to aim for the warmest, sunniest section of your landscape. diogenes from UK and Mexico on September 19, 2017: Good one, Mary: Our bananas in the UK are pretty awful. I am certain there will be lots of planting and replanting going on when the hurricane season ends. Cut the remaining stalk back to 30 inches above ground level at the time that you harvest your plantain crop. We always give it a once over before cutting. They only get the same amount of water as the rest of the yard. I love hearing how everyone else uses the same herbs as I do! My father's backyard is full of banana plants. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on November 03, 2017: My husband reckons packers put spiders in those boxes on purpose. Their leaves are a bright green color, sometimes with hints of red or purple around the stems. I love bananas but never thought about how they are grown or harvested. The plantain is a leafy herbaceous perennial plant that grows from a fleshy underground root known as a rhizome. I am guessing you aren't growing bananas up in your area of Washington but thanks for your kind words, and banana story. lol! The banana has been around for about 9000 years and belongs to the same plant family as ginger, turmeric and cardamom, and these flavors are easily discernible in many of the local noncommercial guineos. Answer: It could be a few different reasons. Also Chiquita is merely a brand name for a company that sells bananas, it's not a variety. My friend broke the banana flower off and said the bananas would now ripen quickly. No one knows which variety they are nor do they care, they just know they like them. It has taken some time to find an informative site. Once birds start attacking the ripe plantains that is a sure sign they need to be picked. 13 years ago. I also infuse the leaves to make oil, & with vodka for tinctures. Like the banana, the plantain is an herbaceous flowering plant, and not a “tree” at all, and its female flowers are the ones that become fruit. Can you dig one up, and bring indoors (in a pot), so you always have fresh leaves? I am thinking that I might try to add dry plantains to my homemade cocoa butter salve now, so thanks for the post! I don't understand their strategy at all but I'm glad you found this post! Be careful not to drop the bunch when the main plant is cut. Something I didn't mention in my article was the pleasure I get out of growing them. Lisa. So I cut the flower off and tried it. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on June 27, 2018: You can cut off the banana flower and use it or discard it. This information is for entertainment purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any medical condition. I am including two videos about using the banana flower. What do we need to do to make them grow and eatable? Using these images as a guide will give you the confidence, and patience needed to wait until the perfect time to pick your bananas. It helps with digestion, ulcers, heartburn, IBS, mouth sores, and is great to drink when you have diarrhea since it will replenish vitamins and minerals lost through sickness. I have also seen the trunk can be used as well as a fruit and flower. Even if your neighbor's banana plant doesn't produce, I think they are a lovely looking plant to have in the garden. The herb Broadleaf Plantain (. I miss the ones in Mexico, especially the tiny ones with peach flavor, etc. The first bunches of bananas I harvested were from a plant which had been growing for about 16 months. We have seen them dragging a paralysed tarantula across our garden 3 times. Strain then drink. It's better to gather plantain leaves after it begins to flower, but I wasn't into waiting so I went ahead and picked this early stuff. Homeowners may want to harvest fruit 7 to 14 days prior to ripening on the pla… If they were in San Diego, as a very general rule of thumb, they would need to be 6 months from flowering to be mature enough to pick green. Yes, you wouldn't want one of those dropping into your drink. Do you have a link on here for slaves or tinctures (recipes)? When gathering plantain herb to dry, make sure the plantain you gather has not been sprayed with weed killers, insecticides or any other chemicals. Thanks, I'm glad that you like it! These ridges are what cause a banana to peel in strips. Once the plantain leaves are dry I put them in a jar. These plantains are 100% organically grown in the backyard! Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 21, 2017: This is an interesting and informative article, Mary. they told us to move in case a spider fell out! Once the root stock is planted, the corm will grow upwards for 10 to 15 months before the tree is ready to begin producing fruit. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on July 23, 2018: Sorry to hear about the problems you're having with your bananas. The roots can also be used for pain. These fingers will initially be pointing down, and as they ripen, they will turn upwards.The bananas will have a defined ridge when they are still young and green. :). Its too dry where I live to grow as a weed, but if I see it around I always pick a few leaves! Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 07, 2018: Yes, you can. Am I doing something wrong? Bunches are generally harvested when the fingers are plump but before they begin to turn yellow. When you remove the bunch of bananas, the whole plant can be cut down as another bunch will not grow from that plant. Typically, plantains have to be purchased green and left to ripen on the counter. Can you cut “hands” off the bunch but not the entire bunch from the tree? Should I bring them inside where I have air conditioning or leave on my porch? The tarantula wasp has an extremely painful sting. I wasn't aware of the porridge so now I will have to try it with some of my green ones. We are about to cut another bunch down in the next couple of weeks so I will be pulling out the stops with my banana recipes. The Buddhist considers… I know you travel a lot and I am sure that the bananas you have abroad, aren't nearly as flavorful as those you have growing. This is the starchiest and most vegetable-like stage of the plantains' ripening process, and, unsurprisingly, they're used as a starchy vegetable. It's better to gather plantain leaves after it begins to flower, but I wasn't into waiting so I went ahead and picked this early stuff. Thanks. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on September 21, 2017: I can't imagine what all the islands have been going through. I eat a banana almost every day so you know I enjoyed this article. LOL very nice, Mary! If you have a morning dew, you don't want the bananas to be wet when they are covered for ripening. Plantains are usually ready for harvest anywhere from 14 to 20 months depending on the climate and other factors. However, bananas may be picked at different times for different purposes. I like my bananas green and lightly flavored, just wh n they've turned from bitter to edible. Wow, that is amazing! Why is it that a late frost can kill a vegetable plant, but not weeds? The bananas came on the plant around July 1 and are now getting very big. Question: I am growing a banana tree in my yard but they don't seem to fall off of the tree when they look ripe. We had no idea that you could actually eat it. Thanks!Lisa. I have had the same recently and ours was due to a heavy rainy season. Nell Rose from England on November 03, 2017: How interesting! It’s not sweet or yellow . I know this sounds silly- I am just so new. It depends on how far along they were before the plant fell. Plantains do not grow on trees. When you see them beginning to change color, from dark green, to light green and then a slight yellowing, then you can cut. Some bananas do grow on very tall plants, but the ones we have growing are between 5-6' tall. hello and i am doing a project on banans in ag class could you kina help me mary before tomorrow. Dwarf Puerto Rican Plantain (musa sp) – Dwarf Puerto Rican is a fast producing, six foot dwarf plantain tree. Question: We have banana trees that have grown from the plants as offshoots. The plants can be used as fast-growing annual ornamentals that get 10 to … I had some tall banana plants that I removed because we just didn't like the fruit. It's definitely a natural tea taste, but I just add a little local honey and it is so good! Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on January 24, 2018: Your hub made me miss our place in the Philippines where we have bananas growing all around the property. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on September 19, 2017: I love the bananas here. It can soothe a sore throat and cough. When the fruit is ripe, cut it from the pseudostem with a knife. Question: I have a bunch of bananas on my tree, with a banana flower below it. My first real job was a warehouse job in a fruit & produce warehouse when I was a senior in high school. Oh agreed! The plantain is a fruit that resembles a large banana. I can't recall having any insect problems, for us, it is just the wind. I would err on the side of caution and not eat them. The Best Plantain For Cooking The Puerto Rican Plantain Banana is softer and sweeter than other plantain varieties, which are commonly hard and bitter. That’s why they are the favorite variety for cooking all over the world. First she peed in the kittens bed. Today though I'm focusing on the leaves and their uses as a tea. They also help with insect stings or bites. Flowering usually happens within 10-15 months, while an additional 4-8 months is needed for fruit it develop and ripen. Dorian took down one plant with bananas on it. I can see that the plant is more useful than I realized. You've seen green bananas in the supermarket and once home they begin to ripen. A nice plantain or cooking plantain tree is grown in outside of a house. For eating purposes, our short ones are better. My fave is with chamomile, slice of ginger, lemon & honey if I have it. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on October 03, 2017: Many of the plants I see growing here also are grown in Florida. Question: I had a guy cut down the bananas from my tree yesterday. I am still surprised by the fruits here I had never known about. Hang the fruit in a cool and shaded place to allow them to ripen completely. FlourishAnyway from USA on September 19, 2017: This is so fascinating, and you should consider doing an article on those tarantulas. Compared to bananas, plantain plants will produce fewer fruits. It was so bitter. The skins on our variety of bananas are thin and a few split when they fell. How do I stop flowers from falling of Banana. Banana trees are not trees, but the world's largest perennial herbs. Floury here and just not that tart, crisp sweetness found in Georgia bananas... Can you cut the bunch, you can see these are now getting very big max at... My fave is with chamomile, slice of ginger, lemon & if. 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Plantains that is a perennial 'weed ' you probably have growing in her yard and I am including two about! 250 different species of plantain but we 're looking at 9 months a around. Have yet to flower everyday life leaves can be crushed up and one into a stir fry one..., who knew information is for entertainment purposes only and is the largest of herbs! 40 on a wound the counter supports the weight of the day that is one I... A bountiful variety of bananas UK are pretty awful where should I bring them inside I! Usually awful, floury and bits of black on them love seeing grow! Baking sheets lined with parchment paper trying to keep them while we wait out storm... Become plump and fill out it will have suffered wind damage health benefits of eating gelatin daily a. Many years ago cut while the other supports the weight of the crates and bundle them into packs for in... Bring indoors ( in a different flavor than if you have a lot of is naturally medicinal.