The Orchid Forum, for the UK and Europe (previously known as The UK Orchid Forum) • View topic - Bananas
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 Post subject: Bananas
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:00 pm 
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I understand that TV 'This Morning' had someone introducing orchids. I did not see the programme myself but I am told that he advoctated mixing eggshells in the compost to give calcium, and/or 'mulching' with banana (perhaps also a source of calcium)

I have never heard of this before. Can anyone comment on it?
I would not expect epiphytic plants to need a high level of calcium.


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 Post subject: Re: Bananas
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:41 pm 
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If you're using a balanced fertiliser then additional calcium isn't really necessary in my opinion. There are some paphiopedilum which grow in calcareous habitats, which some growers will give some extra calcium to in the form of oyster shell or egg shell.

The words compost and mulching don't fill me with confidence. Epiphytic orchids won't appreciate the loamy soil that comes to mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Bananas
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:16 pm 
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I should add that th euse of the word 'mulching' is my own. I did not receive a clear report of just what the person said he did with the banana.


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 Post subject: Re: Bananas
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:08 pm 
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Fair enough. Rotting banana would probably lead to fungus and the fungus gnats that feed on them though. Not to mention the smell..


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 Post subject: Re: Bananas
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:48 pm 
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No calcium in banana, but it is full of other nutrients, its often used in tissue culture media for that reason.


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 Post subject: Re: Bananas
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:51 pm 
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The use of banana 'juice' along with other plant sources, like coconut milk particularly, which have many beneficial additives are useful for plant tissue culture, but in more recent times the key components of these agents have been identified and are added to tissue culture medium individually and at measured concentrations. The days of adding sterilised plant juice are largely over, thankfully.

A balanced fertiliser will provide everything a plant needs.


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 Post subject: Re: Bananas
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:10 am 
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A number of well known orchid fertilizers are devoid of calcium which is the building block of all plants. You must add calcium at the right pH for it to be used by the plants. Calcium is not transferable from the mother plant to the new growths as are other nutrients. So the addition of calcium either by calcium nitrate or Cal/Mag solution once per month will be very beneficial to your orchids.
Ed



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 Post subject: Re: Bananas
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:41 am 
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SilverShaded wrote:
No calcium in banana, but it is full of other nutrients, its often used in tissue culture media for that reason.


Bananas do have calcium....

Source: Micropropagation of Orchids two Volumes set by Joseph Arditti, Blackwell publishers second edition (2008) ISBN-13: 978-1-4051-6088-9 book 1, page 80, 81, 82, Table 2-4. Composition of banana pulp.

calcium (as Cao) 0.028-0.37% of pulp DW
Calcium 8-24mg 100g-1 edible portion
Calcium 5.71mg 100g-1 pulp

Bananas are very complex vitamin, to print it out it take two and a half 8.5 x 11.5 sheets of paper and use ten pitch letters. It is not truly known why it works well in micropropagation and it's been a constant study since it was introduced in the 1950's.

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 Post subject: Re: Bananas
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:53 am 
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I would first consider the water quality that you will use for your orchids, what is its marco and micro composition. Most city supplied water will have calcium in it same as well water, question is to what existent? Have to face the facts human drinking water quality is dropping and the bad contaminates are rising.
I was in China three and half years before I could drink tap water, and that's only after I installed a water filter to filter every drop of water coming in to my home and a second one at the sink, as added protection. Unfortunately it is good for me bad for my orchids, so now I have to add chicken bone meal and eggshell to my plant food to help make up what my water filters removed.

In Brazil I knew of a man who used banana peels, but let them rot in water and used the tea, and he had truly beautiful plants, he was just a villager and it was cheap and yet seemed to be effective for him.

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 Post subject: Re: Bananas
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:10 am 
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OCRC_Dir_China wrote:
SilverShaded wrote:
No calcium in banana, but it is full of other nutrients, its often used in tissue culture media for that reason.


Bananas do have calcium....

Source: Micropropagation of Orchids two Volumes set by Joseph Arditti, Blackwell publishers second edition (2008) ISBN-13: 978-1-4051-6088-9 book 1, page 80, 81, 82, Table 2-4. Composition of banana pulp.

calcium (as Cao) 0.028-0.37% of pulp DW
Calcium 8-24mg 100g-1 edible portion
Calcium 5.71mg 100g-1 pulp

Bananas are very complex vitamin, to print it out it take two and a half 8.5 x 11.5 sheets of paper and use ten pitch letters. It is not truly known why it works well in micropropagation and it's been a constant study since it was introduced in the 1950's.


Thats interesting. My information came from nutrient analyses used for fruit fly breeding for dartfrogs, where calcium content is allways reported as zero. But i can see on some other websites it reports similar values to those you mention above.


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 Post subject: Re: Bananas
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:15 pm 
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Joseph Arditti, work is the best that I have found on the subject. In our work adding banana to the vitro does seem to help induce leaf growth.

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 Post subject: Re: Bananas
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:53 pm 
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OCRC_Dir_China wrote:
Joseph Arditti, work is the best that I have found on the subject. In our work adding banana to the vitro does seem to help induce leaf growth.

Please excuse my naive understanding of this, my first thought is what happens when the banana becomes mouldy?
But then I assume that 'in vitro' means sterile and if so, how is the banana sterilised without invalidating its beneficial properties?
And then again, I wonder if banana taken from inside the skin is already sterile?


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 Post subject: Re: Bananas
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:52 pm 
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Bernard wrote:
OCRC_Dir_China wrote:
Joseph Arditti, work is the best that I have found on the subject. In our work adding banana to the vitro does seem to help induce leaf growth.

Please excuse my naive understanding of this, my first thought is what happens when the banana becomes mouldy?
But then I assume that 'in vitro' means sterile and if so, how is the banana sterilised without invalidating its beneficial properties?
And then again, I wonder if banana taken from inside the skin is already sterile?


Use a blender and some distilled water, blend about half a banana into a liquid state then add it to the rest of your one liter of distilled water, into a pot add your chemicals heat and dispense what amount you require into the growth vessels and sterilize/autoclave place under clean hood let cool and you are ready.

Bananas cannot be considered sterol enough inside their skins for many reasons.
measure one liter of water, and use just enough to liquidize the banana then add the rest of the water, so you don't dilute your vitro formula. Vitro is the name and yes vitro must be done under proper protocol so as to not contaminate it.

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 Post subject: Re: Bananas
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:56 am 
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Thank you, now I understand.



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