Hi my name is Byron Martin, here at Logee’s Greenhouses, and today we’re going to be talking about Bananas. Particularly, one of our dwarf varieties, called ‘Dwarf Lady Finger.’ Bananas are actually… not trees. But, they are members of the grass family, and produce a trunk which is called a ‘pseudostem,’ and although we think of them as banana trees, they are actually not trees. Though many of them can get quite tall. This particular cultivar that we’re growing… is really a dwarf, and it’s probably the smallest… growing banana that we found, that will produce fruit. There are some smaller ones, but most of them are used ornamentally as… ground covers, or as– just for the foliage and the plant. So this particular variety grows to about… in a pot… it’ll grow to about 4 or 5 feet tall. A little bit bigger if you plant it in the ground, and the bananas are very small; they’re about as big as your finger, so they really are a lady finger banana, and quite delicious to eat. This, here, that I have in my hand, is a young Banana plant, and its ready to be repotted so… We can look at the root system– a very healthy root system on that, it’s in active growth. You have to remember that bananas grow very fast, particularly under long days and warm temperatures. This particular variety… here I have a clone of our Dwarf Lady Finger, this happened in our tissue culture lab. And it became variegated, so this is a spore or a genetic mutation. Eventually, we hope to have this for sale, but it has the most beautiful leaves to it… white and green variegation. But it gives you an idea of what a young plant looks like… and this is a 14 inch pot so… from a little plant like this, it takes probably about 6 to 8 months under good growing conditions. Here in the North… to get there. And it’s about a 2 year project to get from this… to a flowering size Banana. The Banana actually starts out with a central lead, like this. And then it grows up, and each leaf puts a thinker stem on it. There are more leaves coming out, that are creating this pseudo-stem, and then an offshoot will start. And this is the next Banana to grow. So, what happens is, as this plant grows, it will finally get large enough… that it will go into flower. And this is really like a bulb. So there’s a bulb underneath the ground here, a Banana bulb… much like a Tulip bulb, and at some point, and it happens very early on in the growing cycle, even as small as this, it will decide to flower. And that flower bud will emerge from the very base of that bulb, and shoot out right up to the top as a Banana flower, on which our hands of Bananas form. So it’s really important, when growing these, to give them the maximum amount of light– they’re a full-sun plant. And to be sure that your fertilizer and water is adequate during that initial growing stage. That’s where your bananas will actually be created, during that very young stage… And then of course as it grows on, you keep feeding it and the plant gets larger and larger. Until… fruit and flowering occurs. So, here’s a specimen that is one of our mother plants of the Dwarf Lady Finger. You can see, this is the flower spike on it. There’s the young bananas forming up here, and… really… this is a very small hand of bananas. Normally… under very good growing conditions, this would produce maybe 3 times as many bananas. This particular greenhouse is pretty shady; this is really what we call our… Fern house, so the light level is low. Although it does grow a beautiful Banana plant, as you can see the leaves are lush and so on… the fruit production is reduced, mainly because of the lower light conditions. This is the flower stem as it comes out. These are all male flowers that form down, and this will keep draping down, as time goes on, but no more bananas form. So it’s the female flowers that come out first that create the fruit that we eat. And one of the things that we see, when a banana first begins to go into the fruiting cycle, they throw out this leaf, you can see this funny little short leaf here. That’s an indication that… it’s actually going into fruit, and back down here, you can see the pseudo-bulb on this… with some other younger ones, there’s one right next to it here, and there’s some even younger ones. Once this is done fruiting and we’ve harvested the fruit off of it, this is cut off then these younger shoots, or this one right here, would be allowed to grow and would become the next cycle of fruiting. So, thank you for watching today. There’s a little information on how to grow our Dwarf Lady Finger Banana. If you would like any more information you can go to Logees.com