Wednesday, December 28, 2011
The plant has an upright growth habit, reaching a height of about 1 1/2 feet. Leaves are solid green on the upper surface and the underside shows some random banding patterns in the trichome arrangement. The leaf margins have small spines along the entire length.
Several hours at 26°F hasn't bothered them during winter cold snaps.
Related species profiles:
Thursday, December 22, 2011
According to the California Rare Fruit Growers, most bananas flower after forming approximately 44 leaves. Dwarf varieties still send out the same number of leaves before flowering, they simply have shorter stems than tall-growing varieties. When the flower bud emerges from the top of the stalk, it is a massive arrangement of overlapping purple bracts that may weigh several pounds.
Plants can bloom at any time of the year, but they will need 4-5 months of warm weather after flowering for the fruit to fully develop. Once the first bananas start to ripen, the entire stalk is cut and brought inside for easier daily picking of the ripe fruit.
Bananas are native to southeast Asia, but are grown in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world. They are durable plants that survive heat, drought, flood-waters and freeze, but they perform best in a consistently warm, moist environment. Plant in nutrient-rich soils and full sun for best growth.
Here's a short video of one of my banana plantings:
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Given a tall enough tree, the vine can climb 70 feet or more.
In locations where Monstera is successfully grown outside, they flower and produce an edible fruit. The bloom is a large white spathe and spadix arrangement typical of most members of the Araceae family of plants. Flowering occurs in summer and, unlike many tropical plants that quickly mature their fruit, this species takes 14 months from bloom to edible fruit.
The fruit itself grows to about 8-10 inches in length and is covered with green hexagonal scales.
When the scales start to separate, it's time to pick the fruit and bring it inside.
Monstera deliciosa is native to the tropical jungles of Central America from southern Mexico to Panama. As a houseplant, it is quite tolerant of dry air and moderate to low light levels. As a landscape plant, it is recommended for USDA Zones 10-11. Mine are quite successful in Zone 9B, and regularly produce fruit anytime from summer to late fall. Bright shade and evenly moist soil produces the best-looking foliage.