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Re:banana plant losing its tubers

* From: Kirk Melton <triax at bellsouth_net>

I have had a banana plant growing in my aquarium for about a year now. Recently though, it lost all of its tubers. The plant seems to be doing well, has a well developed root system, and 4 very bright green leaves. Periodically it will send up a long stem to the surface that winds up looking like a lily pad. It doesn't seem like it's dying, but, I was wondering if the little "bananas" will ever grow back? I didn't plant them in the gravel - I had the plant anchored to the gravel via a rock and piece of string. The plant developed roots and anchored itself after a while.

Those tubers are food storage organs, and the little banana plant as you bought it is a sort of dissemination form---a method of vegetative propagation. The stored food has pretty much the same function as the stored food in a seed. it allows the little plant to get off to a rapid start and get some leaves up to where the light is good once it gets rooted. Since your plant is well established, the little tubers, whose food supply is exhausted, have fallen off. With good light your plant may produce more vegetative propagation forms with their own little tubers, but it won't grow any more for itself. Aponogeton undulatus reproduces in a similar way. It produces what appears to be a flower stalk, but, instead of producing any flowers, two to four little plantlets grow and after a month or two they have developed pea-sized tubers and they detach. They float for a few weeks, but eventually sink and get rooted.
Paul Krombholz taking a day or two off in sunny central Mississippi