Ensete ventricosum Montbeliardii History

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Dave Brown
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Ensete ventricosum Montbeliardii History

Post by Dave Brown » Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:45 am

Having read about the Ensete ventricosum cultivars bred by the Ethiopians as food crops, these wonderful plants are a lot tougher than you might think. I was always worried about digging up and getting enough rootball etc. However, it appears that many Tribes, if that is the correct term for them, transplant their ensete crop several times during their lives before untimately harvesting them for the Bulb/corm, or as donor plants for propagation.

I now have no fear of digging up, removing the soil and leaving the pseudostem dry overwinter. I was worried about doing this last year and left the big 'Montbeliardii' out protected with fleece. Unfortunately it did not make it as the winter was just too cold and wet.... lesson learned the hard way :roll:

This is a brief history of my current Ensete ventricosum Montbeliardii this year. It started off well having survived -4C in my covered area left dry in it's pot over last winter. Here at the end of April 2009
300409 Monty.jpg
A week after planting out in mid June starting to put on some growth.
140609 Monty.jpg
As we moved into high summer which are ideal Ensete ventricosum growing conditions growth accelerated appreciably. Here 5 weeks after planting out
170709 Monty 01.jpg
As we went though August, summer really kicked in and 'Montbeliardii' approved icon_thumright
270809 New Bed 1209.jpg
Now we fast forward to 25th October when preparations started for overwintering. The noticablr thing for me was that not one leaf had died off during the whole summer and as it was in the middle of a large bed they did not need to be removed. Most older Ensete leaves die back in my experience. Also the Maurelii had the same zero leaf loss and put this down to ample water and constant supply of nutrients.
25/10/2009 'Montbeliardii' before winter preparation.
251009 Ensete Montbeliardii 01.jpg
Pseudostem showing all leaves still in good condition
251009 Ensete Montbeliardii 02.jpg
Pseudostem all leaves removed
251009 Ensete Montbeliardii 03.jpg
Then there was a 2 week delay as time was short and other workload got in the way. As can be seen the 'Montbeliardii' has grown about 15cm in that time.
081109 Monty winter prep 01.jpg
We had 8.9mm of rain in the 12 hours before so the soil and pseudostem were drenched and not ideal conditions for digging out.
081109 Monty winter prep 02.jpg
With the soil on the rootball I could not lift the 'Montbeliardii' at all so had to remove most of the soil to enable lifting. Laid on it's side with most soil removed
081109 Monty winter prep 03.jpg
Lifted out of the bed for tidy up
081109 Monty winter prep 04.jpg
laid down the steps for several hours to allow excess water to drain out
081109 Monty winter prep 05.jpg
Finally brought into the conservatory for further drying out prior to storage in the garage. I will store upright for space reasons but will invert occasionally to drain any accumulated water. Here the dry air from the dehumidifier is wafting over the 'Montbeliardii' to dry it out. I really could have done without heavy rain just before digging out :roll:
081109 Monty winter prep 06.jpg
So there you have it. Ensete ventricosum Montbeliardii prepared for winter storage :wink: :wink:
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Dave
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mushtaq86

Re: Ensete ventricosum Montbeliardii, 'Montbeliardii' winter prep, Bananas

Post by mushtaq86 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:40 pm

Dave i have read on bananas.org if you lay them down horizontal there is a chance it might start to rot when you plant it back in spring,or the new leaves start to shoot out of the side of the p-stem.it is supposed to be much better if you hang them vertically upside down,or vertically straight up.

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Re: Ensete ventricosum Montbeliardii, 'Montbeliardii' winter prep, Bananas

Post by Dave Brown » Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:37 pm

Hi Mush, I'm not planning on leaving it flat. I don't have the room to start with. it is just drying off at the moment The plant also may feel it has fallen over which might stress it. In the US they get colder winters and the plant will be dormant for longer. Here there are periods during winter when it may try to grow so better off upright :wink:
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Re: Ensete ventricosum Montbeliardii, 'Montbeliardii' winter prep, Bananas

Post by simon » Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:57 pm

I thought the Americans laythem in the crawl space under the house and they are left laying down all winter icon_scratch .

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Re: Ensete ventricosum Montbeliardii, 'Montbeliardii' winter prep, Bananas

Post by Dave Brown » Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:14 pm

Yes they do Simon, but I recall quite a few posts on UKO where UK people said they had lost them laying down as they seemed to rot from the bit in contact with the base. We are more mild and humid than the states in winter, so I feel happier standing it up as I have vertical space but not horizontal. :wink:

Mine is now upright in a pot but without any compost. It spent 4 days drying in front of the dehumidifier until none of the cut surfaces are wet
101109 Monty upright.jpg
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mushtaq86

Re: Ensete ventricosum Montbeliardii, 'Montbeliardii' winter prep, Bananas

Post by mushtaq86 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:27 pm

Good to see you have put it up vertically Dave. icon_thumleft icon_thumleft icon_thumleft

musa_monkey

Re: Ensete ventricosum Montbeliardii, 'Montbeliardii' winter prep, Bananas

Post by musa_monkey » Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:08 pm

ok Dave i surrender, how are you managing to keep it upright with no soil ?
Is it just sitting on the rootball ?
Or is is that you just sized the pot right for the rootball mass and its balanced ?

I ask because mine is stored similarly to yours in the garage (as is my e.perrieri) but it flops over to touch the sides of the pot. This bothers me as it will restrict air flow and encourage rot. I considered wedging around the rootball with fleece to keep it upright.
Thought i would ask what you did first though. icon_scratch

musa_monkey

Re: Ensete ventricosum Montbeliardii, 'Montbeliardii' winter prep, Bananas

Post by musa_monkey » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:45 pm

After much trawling around t'internet i note a few people use polystyrene to lightly brace them against the sides and keep them upright in a pot dry root. This seems like a good idea as its warm and non absorbant. I will give that a go.

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Re: Ensete ventricosum Montbeliardii, 'Montbeliardii' winter prep, Bananas

Post by Dave Brown » Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:02 pm

musa_monkey wrote:ok Dave i surrender, how are you managing to keep it upright with no soil ?
Is it just sitting on the rootball ?
Or is is that you just sized the pot right for the rootball mass and its balanced ?

icon_scratch
Hi Musa, I left the roots sticking out and they are wedging it upright in the pot, which is a fairly snug fit :wink: more luck than judgement :lol:
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musa_monkey

Re: Ensete ventricosum Montbeliardii, 'Montbeliardii' winter prep, Bananas

Post by musa_monkey » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:40 pm

There was me thinking you grew it to the precise pot measurements to :lol:

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Re: Ensete ventricosum Montbeliardii, 'Montbeliardii' winter prep, Ban

Post by Dave Brown » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:32 pm

March 2010 Update

The E Montbeliardii stem was left dry over the winter and towards the end of Feb there appeared to be some movement in the roller. The dead bits were trimmed and tidied, and the stem removed from the pot for an inspection. New roots had started to grow.
20100226 E montbeliardii.jpg
20100228 E Monty roots.jpg
The stem was then potted into the pot it had been standing in all winter with 50/25/25 MP Compost/grit/vermiculite mix. This was dampened but not wetted.
20100228 E Monty potted.jpg
4 weeks later with the conservatory warming up to the mid to high twenties most days the pot is now watered and the first feed/maxicrop given.
Today 24th March pics
20100324 E Monty in growth.jpg
20100324 E Monty new leaf.jpg
It will be another 6 to 8 weeks before planting out so height may become a problem :wink:
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sanatic1234

Re: Ensete ventricosum Montbeliardii, 'Montbeliardii' History, Banana

Post by sanatic1234 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:00 pm

EXCELLENT JOB DAVE!! You really do know your stuff! And also do you sell plants as buy looking at your conservatory you have a bit of a nursery going on there. Or are these all plants brought inside for the winter?

If you don't mind me asking have you taken courses on tropicals? as all your information is so detailed it really is good. I learn a lot from it :D

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Re: Ensete ventricosum Montbeliardii, 'Montbeliardii' History, Banana

Post by Dave Brown » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:50 pm

I've not done any courses. I learn form mine and others sucesses and failures, observe and document, and use logic to fill in missing gaps. And I read the internet..... but you have to look at dates to see what supercedes everything else.

The Ensete tribe are really interesting in that the cultivars are not bred by plant companies, but by Ethiopian farmers as a food crop. There is very little written as they all learn by word of mouth. I have a full analysis on how to grow Ensete, but have not had time to write it up yet. Basically an English summer is ideal growing conditions for Ensete but with much less rainfall. So an English summer with lashings of water will grow them huge and quick :wink:
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musa_monkey

Re: Ensete ventricosum Montbeliardii, 'Montbeliardii' History, Banana

Post by musa_monkey » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:12 pm

Nicely done Dave, sorry to report my dry storage experiment of a e.maurelii and e.perrieri
failed miserably with both succuming to rot in the unheated garage. fortunately i pupped a maurelii last year so have a few replacements.

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Re: Ensete ventricosum Montbeliardii, 'Montbeliardii' History, Banana

Post by Dave Brown » Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:46 pm

I think drying them out is important. I drained mine for several hours upturned on the steps, but then dried it off for several days in front of the dehumidifier. Eliminating water from between the leaf bases is important. :wink:

Here is 'Montbeliardii' with an almost full size leaf.
20103028 E montbeliardii 01.jpg
It has grown a 3 foot roller since that pic was taken :wink:
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