Thusitha Karunaratne . I grow bananas in my yard and I find your information interesting. FlourishAnyway from USA on September 19, 2017: This is so fascinating, and you should consider doing an article on those tarantulas. We have relatively poor soil conditions as we are on sand. They're also diced and used as a vegetable in soups or … Something I didn't mention in my article was the pleasure I get out of growing them. LOL very nice, Mary! In my region, most homes have bananas growing and this is near the runoff of gray water from the kitchen. We have seen them dragging a paralysed tarantula across our garden 3 times. I wasn't expecting that when I purchased it. We always give it a once over before cutting. These fingers will initially be pointing down, and as they ripen, they will turn upwards.The bananas will have a defined ridge when they are still young and green. The herb Broadleaf Plantain (. Let's compare the images to see how you can tell when your bananas are ready for cutting.First, the flower* will form, and then the fingers will come out with the flower dangling below. They're very proud of the fact that their country has such a bountiful variety of flora and fauna. Often this protection comes from other banana plants or a wall. You'll have to report back and see if they still have them or if they mention that on a sign or on a tour. I love learning about alternative ways of cooking foods I know and love. Typically, plantains have to be purchased green and left to ripen on the counter. The leaves, flowers, seeds and I'm sure roots. Today though I'm focusing on the leaves and their uses as a tea. I used to live in Nottinghamshire so have visited there a few times over the years. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on September 20, 2019: I'm afraid I've seen your question a little late. As much of an annoyance as it is, it has many great uses also. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 26, 2020: Yes you can. The banana or plantain is not a tree but an herb and is the largest of all herbs. When can I cut off the heart of the banana. In the image above, you can see these are now turning light green and filling out. This combined with spices are made into a stir fry and one into a fried patty. In the first, the host explains very clearly how to prepare the banana flower for use. A strong tea can be made of dried plantain leaves and cooled then applied to sunburn or brush burns to speed healing. Strain then drink. Now you know how to grow plantains, the process is not so simple but it gives a good result. For those who have never grown bananas, knowing when to harvest can be confusing. The tree will die once it has produced one crop, though new shoots usually spring up around the tree very quickly. Can I use all of that for tea? Enjoyed reading it. Either slice and fry or boil them in their skins. Bunches are generally harvested when the fingers are plump but before they begin to turn yellow. Feel free to message or comment with any questions you have....and let me know if you didn't get the medicinal teas download.Lisa. More recently my son's (same son) friend was spending the night and was also bitten by a spider. Question: I am growing a banana tree in my yard but they don't seem to fall off of the tree when they look ripe. As they begin to mature, the fruit will become plump and fill out. When you remove the bunch of bananas, the whole plant can be cut down as another bunch will not grow from that plant. Plantains do not grow on trees. Banana trees are not trees, but the world's largest perennial herbs. When you cut the 'hands' off, lightly cover them with a kitchen towel or a bag. I would have thought that many of the plants would have developed somewhat of a protection from it. I wasn't aware of the porridge so now I will have to try it with some of my green ones. Depending on the ridges on your bananas, they may not ripen as you would hope if they fell or were cut too early. Dwarf Puerto Rican Plantain (musa sp) – Dwarf Puerto Rican is a fast producing, six foot dwarf plantain tree. The bugs. To look at a plantain tree, it would be difficult to differentiate it from a common dessert banana tree. It can be. It could lead to mold. I also infuse the leaves to make oil, & with vodka for tinctures. Insects, bats, rats, birds and other animals also love the sweet fruit, often stripping a bunch of bananas in the night. I now have two flowers and plan on incorporating them into patties. I really prefer to crush them right before I use them, but there's not always room in the jar. Mary, the banana flowers need soaking more with salt and water to get the bitterness out. I always assumed bananas grew way up in trees like coconuts. They also help with insect stings or bites. I did not know that some do not turn yellow. Regardless of its origin, the plantain was a popular trade food many years ago. There's green banana porridge, crushed green banana and all that good stuff. I'm sure that's not true, they just want to get on with their job. Nell Rose from England on November 03, 2017: How interesting! The plant can grow to 20 feet tall. However, don't be caught out because there are some types of bananas that don't turn yellow. helps with snakebites, but don't go trying that just 'cause I said so! The countries listed in the comments range from Brazil, France, Pakistan, and the Philippines. I use plantain oil for so many things. So I cut the flower off and tried it. (They don't lose any benefits or properties? For eating purposes, our short ones are better. I am including two videos about using the banana flower. Our banana trees always bear fruit butnever get big. Copyright 2011-2020 Feathers In The Woods. Harvesting. There is a wealth of information on traditional gardening, farming and other agricultural ventures online. see a Dr if you are ill. 8 Reasons why plants love cinnamon (These really work! Sort of a big compost pile. They stay very small. Glad you enjoyed the article, have a great weekend. It's not silly at all! Scared the holy snot out of me. The bananas never made it to maturity and I had to remove the plant. They were finger sized and delicious! Interesting fact about Cavendish bananas. How long before banana tree's bear fruit. When my son was little, he was bitten by a brown reclus spider. Lisa. This was wedged into the soil, and then we pushed the banana plant until it was resting in the fork. Locally I have seen people use a piece of fabric to support the bananas when being cut to keep them from falling to the ground and becoming damaged. Yes, you wouldn't want one of those dropping into your drink. Depending on the type of banana plant. Have a look at the reference I put for the Guinness World Record for bananas, it is very impressive. We are about to cut another bunch down in the next couple of weeks so I will be pulling out the stops with my banana recipes. Have fun learning all about herbs!Lisa. When he reported in the next day, they had him check in with the doctor. Don't worry about breaking off the stems, they can be left on. The plantain is a leafy herbaceous perennial plant that grows from a fleshy underground root known as a rhizome. Plantain is a perennial 'weed' you probably have growing in your yard or garden. Depending on how much space you have in your yard, it may be best to dig up the healthiest trees, rip out the entire root ball and replant those salvaged trees … Some bananas do grow on very tall plants, but the ones we have growing are between 5-6' tall. We are a target for all sorts of unwanted immigration! Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on January 24, 2018: Your hub made me miss our place in the Philippines where we have bananas growing all around the property. I am certain there will be lots of planting and replanting going on when the hurricane season ends. When you see them beginning to change color, from dark green, to light green and then a slight yellowing, then you can cut. Sometimes they are only grown by local people for their own consumption. I know you travel a lot and I am sure that the bananas you have abroad, aren't nearly as flavorful as those you have growing. Or a banana sandwich. You'll want to get a support for the trunk or tie it to something, ten bunches are going to be heavy. To ensure your banana plant stays upright, either tie it or as I have done, use a stout forked stick. I have always had a good amount of gelatin in my diet. I remember the ones in Mexico were delicious; avocados as well. I have several banana plants and currently, I have three with bunches of bananas. It is also drank as a tea to help with kidney and bladder problems. I am simply passing on information that has worked for me. I planted a variety of them including the popular Hawaiian Apple banana (sweet and fragrant, good for eating) and Red Cuban (good for cooking, makes great dessert: fried banana topped with vanilla ice cream). For excellent fried plantains, you will want to choose a plantain with skin that is dull yellow with patches of black or completely black—this is when a plantain is at peak ripeness. Viet Doan from Big Island, Hawaii on July 22, 2018: Aloha Mary! I was told by a gal who worked for me at the time who knew a LOT about herbs and their remedies to find plantain, have him chew it and apply it directly to the bite. Yes, narrow leaf plantain can be used in the same way as broad leaf plantain. I am thinking that I might try to add dry plantains to my homemade cocoa butter salve now, so thanks for the post! Crush the dried plantain and mix it with a little coconut oil or water to make a paste and smear it on the affected area. The picture above was taken yesterday and as you can see, one banana has begun to turn yellow. I found it interesting because I am growing a lot of banana plants around my house. Bananas do like water but the odd thing is, we dug up some banana plants and threw them into a gulley that we are filling with garden vegetation. I should have cut it then but didn't. I let them sit a few minutes while I got the oven set to convect at 170 … My father's backyard is full of banana plants. Today when I cut the bunch off, it fell to the ground and at least seven of the bananas fell off the stalk. Answer: The plant that had bananas that were nearly ready could be cooked as you would plantains if they were within a week or so of being ready to harvest. What am I doing wrong for them to not fall off of the tree? I love seeing them grow because they do look so tropical. I am not a doctor or other health care professional nor do I claim to be. Anyway, the one thing I do have a lot of is naturally growing medicinal plants like dandelions, plantain and lambs quarters. Answer: Definitely take them inside. These plantains are 100% organically grown in the backyard! I am a very frustrated gardener right now. Bananas also like to have a protected area from the wind. Harvest and chop down the tree to make room for its babies. Question: I had a guy cut down the bananas from my tree yesterday. When gathering plantain herb to dry, make sure the plantain you gather has not been sprayed with weed killers, insecticides or any other chemicals. The plantain is a fruit that resembles a large banana. Can you cut “hands” off the bunch but not the entire bunch from the tree? I'll leave the lid off for the next few days. - or are dry just as good? For cutting off the bunch, you want to let the bananas fill out into that sharp ridge. Use a knife to cut the light green, almost ripe bananas from the tree. If flower remnants on that bundle rub off easily, it is ready. We all start somewhere! I was just seeking this info for a while. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on September 22, 2017: I didn't know about using them either, in fact, in my region of. It was so bitter. The skins on our variety of bananas are thin and a few split when they fell. Dorian took down one plant with bananas on it. In case there's any moisture left in them it will have time to evaporate off. Do you know of other medicinal weeds found in Georgia? Too much water can cause waterlogged soil, or in my case (we are on sand), the nutrients drain away. It's better to gather plantain leaves after it begins to flower, but I wasn't into waiting so I went ahead and picked this early stuff. Do you have a link on here for slaves or tinctures (recipes)? Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on February 16, 2018: Yes, it does, thank you for the advice. I'm so glad I could help!Lisa. Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 31, 2017: We have some banana plants growing in our yard but have yet to get any bananas growing from them. After drying plantain, do you keep the leaves whole, or grind them up? Once here, plantains in Southern California do well in spots with warm ocean breezes. This will be the next bunch that will need cutting. Thanks for your article. Good luck with your new herb adventure!Lisa. I'm new to medicinal herbs/teas. That’s why they are the favorite variety for cooking all over the world. Thanks for the input. diogenes from UK and Mexico on September 19, 2017: Good one, Mary: Our bananas in the UK are pretty awful. 13 years ago. I bruise fresh leaves a little before adding them to my pot of tea. Plantains are usually ready for harvest anywhere from 14 to 20 months depending on the climate and other factors. ), Health benefits of eating gelatin daily (a 3 month challenge). Love your article. HTH! These ridges are what cause a banana to peel in strips. The risk of rabies in possums is low, however. The bananas will turn yellow, brown or red, … Wow, that is amazing! There are lots of plants to forage locally...even in your own backyard. If boiled you open it and mash it like boiled potatoes. Can they be cooked as plantains. Are yours in an area where they get enough water and are out of the wind? Will def try the dry leaves now. If cutting a large plant, take care not to get hit by the falling plant or the bunch of bananas. They can either be broad or narrow, but almost always taper in a spade-like shape and feature multiple parallel veins lined up across the leaf. I remember the only time I have ever seen a banana tree was when I was sat underneath one in Morocco! Once birds start attacking the ripe plantains that is a sure sign they need to be picked. It seems time-consuming but I love the fact that I can eat from plants in the garden. I have removed these. You can experiment and cook them as you would plantains. I've used plantain for all kinds of scratches and bites but nothing that bad. Truly a miracle plant! Then I placed them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper trying to keep them from touching, and put them in the oven. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on December 31, 2017: Your mother must have been thrilled with that number, that is a good harvest. Most of the plantains you'll see at the market are unripe or under-ripe specimens, with a green or yellow skin. I would suggest, keep your area moist, add some manure (chicken or goat), and if you don't see an improvement, get different plants. Our last frost date was only last week so you know my plants aren't quite producing yet. Do I need to harvest the bananas before the storm or protect them somehow? For most people, they think it's better to pick tree-ripened fruit. Answer: I hope your bananas survived. Bananas and plantains probably originated in New Guinea explaining the Panamanian euphemism Guineo used for the berry. The roots can also be used for pain. Commercial plantains that make it to world markets are fruits that are about a foot or so long; but there are varieties that are also the size of small bananas that are economically important within the growing regions. It's definitely a natural tea taste, but I just add a little local honey and it is so good! I hope your assignment went well. After researching for this article, I tried using the banana flower. Appearances begin to become apparent when the fruit reaches maturity. I would err on the side of caution and not eat them. They love the fact that their country produces so many wonderful things and freely give not just plants but also advice. We had no idea that you could actually eat it. Great post! I'm sure you're similar to me, still in awe that we are living in countries where we can grow something once seen as exotic. First she peed in the kittens bed. Original Author. Because we don't grow bananas here this was especially fun to read. The farmer needs between 8 to 9 months for all precautions and care to get the first harvest. Be careful not to drop the bunch when the main plant is cut. There are about 250 different species of plantain but we're looking at '. Suckers continually spring up around the main plant with the oldest sucker replacing the main plant as it fruits and dies. What are we supposed to do if we want the fruit to be edible. We have not watered it at all! So I'm picking and drying plantain herb today. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on August 07, 2018: Yes, you can. No one knows which variety they are nor do they care, they just know they like them. Plantain leaves can be crushed up and applied to cuts and scrapes to help stop bleeding and pain. I have some that are 7 feet tall and some that max out at 4 feet. Depending on the banana species, you can grow a banana tree in USDA zones 4 … I just may write that article about the tarantulas, so watch this space. Love your list of interesting banana facts, who knew! Even if your neighbor's banana plant doesn't produce, I think they are a lovely looking plant to have in the garden. Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on September 20, 2017: I was so surprised when I read about Chatsworth House and the Cavendish bananas. Though the stories have varied somewhat, this fruit is thought to have been discovered as early as 327 B.C. The banana has been around for about 9000 years and belongs to the same plant family as ginger, turmeric and cardamom, and these flavors are easily discernible in many of the local noncommercial guineos. Did you know that plain old kitchen cinnamon is an amazing fungicide? Should I bring them inside where I have air conditioning or leave on my porch? There are more than 1,000 varieties of bananas. It's likely your other banana plants will have suffered wind damage. Oh agreed! Then chop the tree down to the ground and whack up the detritus to use as mulch to be spread around the new plantain tree that will arise from the rhizomes. Great post and good comment section! There's still a lot of people who forage for food including hunting for animals although it isn't technically legal. It could be they may never ripen if they were too immature. I have included photographs to show you the various steps you'll see to help you better assess the ripeness of your fruit. This is a fruit that graces fruit bowls in many countries, but how many of these facts did you know? Hope that helps!Lisa. Thanks for sharing your stories. The fact that you are asking shows you are concerned. Many of our plants were given to us by neighbors and friends. Also Chiquita is merely a brand name for a company that sells bananas, it's not a variety. The second video is not only interesting for the cooking procedure and recipes but also as a glimpse of life in a different culture. I can't recall having any insect problems, for us, it is just the wind. The ingredients included finely chopped banana flower, chili, garlic, onion, curry leaves, coconut, coriander, and salt. As the bananas begin to ripen, you may notice your plant beginning to lean, with the weight of the bananas. I am now wondering if I should plant more bananas down there. It has taken some time to find an informative site. Hurricane Dorian is three days away from us and will likely pound our area as a Cat 1 or 2 for 24 hours. ¹, Panama disease, which annihilated the previous commercially grown variety of bananas, is now affecting the Cavendish bananas.¹, The most bananas peeled and eaten in a minute is 8.², The largest bunch of bananas weighed in at 130kg (287lbs) and held 473 bananas.³, In 2008, the Morning Banana Diet created banana shortages in Japan as everyone flocked to buy them clearing the shelves of every last banana. *See videos at the end of this article for information about preparing and eating the banana flower. Any time I want to make a tea I just crush up about a tablespoons worth and steep as normally for tea. They taste floury here and just not that tart, crisp sweetness found in the tropics. It’s not sweet or yellow . The trunks of the banana plants are heavy, and filled with water. They use it like a 'slip and slide' picking up water droplets on the way.