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Now what am I doing? Or not doing? These are Dwarf Ducasse in their first fruiting season. Two are almost on the ground and the other is perched precariously on a dodgy wood fence.

Sucker-removal has not been what it should have been nor has trash-removal and I'm thinking that the plants are supporting what looks like quite big bunches and all those suckers. The suckers are gone now but too late, perhaps?

The one leaning on the fence is the subject of this blog; it's the oldest plant being about 6 months in age ahead of the other 3.

So to the growers of Dwarf Ducasse on BLF ... anyone had similar experiences with bent stems? I might say, the Ladyfingers of earlier times might have bent a bit and I did prop the stem up to an extent but then I de-suckered more often too.

This one 'popped its prop' and is currently just hanging.

A different style of prop and last night it just bent right over.

Quite a big bunch around 12 rows - is this normal for Dwarf Ducasse?

The oldest stem, smallest bunch - we hope to get it onto the ground before the fence collapses ;-) This bunch is the subject of the earlier blog.

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Did the trunk break before or after the prop was installed? It's broken at that very point. The bananas look like they're close to being ready. If the core hasn't completely snapped, I think they should still ripen.

With the rain and wind, my banana tree was starting to lean very precariously. So I added this prop:

Which wasn't good enough, plant kept coming forward with each southerly gust. So the prop was upgraded to:

Now it feels solid. As an added precaution, I'm also going to rope the trunk to one of the fence posts on the rockwall. That way I can remove the prop when I need to mow.

12 hands is impressive. Mine has stopped at 8 and now is only producing tiny fingers. 

The top pic really looks like the weight of the bunch is pulling it down. Impressive.

Perhaps the current soggy ground is exacerbating the problem. My last fruiting plant leaned over (a lot like Josephs) but didn't get that bend in it. I propped it until the bunch was ready to take.

I found my recent bunch sitting on the ground yesterday where it had just rotted? snapped? off the plant all by itself. Luckily it didn't have far to fall and landed on piles of grass. It's only a relatively small bunch of about 5 or 6 hands but still quite heavy.

Elaine's tree must have very strong roots. Usually the whole tree topples over - not surprising when a fully loaded bunch can weigh up to 40kg! 

Right well it looks like DDs must be subject to trunk bending; you would have de-suckered yours more carefully than I have done mine, Joseph. The one of mine which is on the ground hasn't snapped (yet!) and a stronger person than we are is coming over tomorrow to adjust it somehow.

I'm seriously considering whether to keep going with the Bananas given the huge quantity of plant material we need to deal with-thank goodness for that circle which we're chucking all the rough stuff into. Great compost to come ;-) I reckon next time that I prop the stem up before the bunch forms then prop up the bunch stem to take the weight off the main stem.

Thank you both for your help - if anyone else has experience with this variety or any other subject-to-bending Banana variety, I'd still like to know more (there's always more ;-).

A little forewarned now for when mine finally has a bunch. I'm leaving all the suckers on mine apart from one that has gone to a loving home.

I dont de sucker - just let them grow - they seem quite happy after a few years

Hello. I grew these dwarf ducasse. Yes, huge bunches were normal.

Two of my plants were prone to bendy trunks. Things I think were co tributingfactors - choosing a sucker to fruit that wasn't vertical, not removing competing suckers soon enough, being in high winds, being on the sunny edge of the banana clump, too much rain during fruiting - stem gets soft. A ladder can be agood prop if you don't need to use it for a whike :)

If your plant's roots arenot strong thr whol rthing will go over.

Excuse my typing - have a new tablet (and I think I despise it). Lap4ops rule.

Ps see how your banana leaves are shredded? In an ideal sheltered spot they remain in one piece. In a perfect world ;)

Yep. Although it's quite sheltered at the back where the Bananas are, recently we've had some quite high winds. These are all maiden plants, the first bunch from tissue culture. I planted them right down to the throat as instructed by Sue from the tissue culture place. So far the roots are quite firm, just the trunks have a mind of their own ;-) How long do they take to ripen? Sue reckoned about 2 months but from early December to mid-March is a tad longer but the first one does have nicely-filled out fruit with rounded edges and although not yellow yet are well on the way.

New tablet. That explains it lol. Thought you were tipsy ;)

I find leaving the suckers on helps support my mother plant. I had one get the leans recently and without the sucker and a fairly useless prop it would have gone over.

I've done a banana workshop with a reputable local expert and been told to remove all bar two suckers, leave the bells on (leave them on, take them off, leave them on..different people, different lore). My own experience when I followed this advice about removing suckers was that the plant simply put out more suckers! So now I let it find it's own balance in the world and they grow and fruit just fine.

'Real' plants might but these tissue culture plants are enthusiastic sucker-makers according to Sue Althaus. The bell issue is another one too, divisions of opinion and no clear way to make a decision. I removed mine figuring that it was just an extra part for the plant to feed. The wealth of plant material and the complexity of the structures in the bell is quite amazing. Plants do take back nutrients for no-longer-needed structures but it never looked as though that was happening with the bell.

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