Author Topic: Mona Lisa and Sweet heart Banana's?  (Read 1531 times)

greenbean88

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
    • USA, Trabuco Canyon, CA, Zone 9b
    • View Profile
Mona Lisa and Sweet heart Banana's?
« on: January 07, 2018, 08:38:38 PM »
So if you read my Guava post you know I just took a trip to Exotica Nursery which is one of my favorite places to take my family and just walk around and see all the cool trees/fruits there. I ended up purchasing a few Banana's while I was there for my banana circle project that I am starting soon. I went off the recommendations of Leo and bought Mona Lisa, Sweet Heart and Dwarf Namwah. Does anyone have any first hand experience with Mona Lisa or Sweet Heart?

Thanks
Erik
Erik

Coach62

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 518
    • Naples, FL Zone 10a
    • View Profile
    • Naples Home Inspections
Re: Mona Lisa and Sweet heart Banana's?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2018, 10:20:50 PM »
I have the first and last, not sure what you want to know.  Growing a banana seems to be the same no matter the type - at least to me.

1. build some adjustable braces, shaped like a Y.  Prop up the banana stalks as they grow, or you WILL lose banana plants during wind, etc.
2. They seem to like to feed heavy, at least in my experience.  Extra potassium seems to make them happy also. 

I didn't pay attention to where you're located, if they get frost damage, don't worry, they'll recover quickly.

Timing of the harvest is the hardest thing to master.  They are best ripened off the plant, but pick too early, they won't ripen.  I leave the bunches on until a few of them just start to transition from green to yellow.  This is not perfect, but I've found it the easiest way.  Once mastered, you can harvest a hand or two at a time, slightly extending the harvest.  Or pick the whole bunch at once, my largest stalks have been in the 65lb range, that is a LOT of bananas.

Oh - you probably know this, but once a plant produces, it's done.  Cut it down and use it for mulch to keep the weeds down.

Last, the stalk (can't recall the proper name, it's late and I'm tired) will continue to produce flowers that do not develop into bananas, you will learn to know when.  For this:

1.  The flowers are edible and popular in some areas in salads, read up on how to prepare them. 
2.   If you don't want the flowers, then cut the stalk off just above the flowering part, this allows that energy to be diverted to the bananas.
www.ableinspector.com

Stop New Yorking my Florida!

Bruce

greenbean88

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
    • USA, Trabuco Canyon, CA, Zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Mona Lisa and Sweet heart Banana's?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2018, 04:33:39 PM »
Thanks for the reply. I was really looking for someone in SoCal that can comment on typical height, taste, texture or productivity of Mona Lisa and Sweet heart?
Erik

Coach62

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 518
    • Naples, FL Zone 10a
    • View Profile
    • Naples Home Inspections
Re: Mona Lisa and Sweet heart Banana's?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 09:36:54 PM »
Mona Lisa is excellent, can't speak to sweetheart. I prefer Mona to any commercial banana
www.ableinspector.com

Stop New Yorking my Florida!

Bruce

roblack

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2295
    • Miami, FL 10B
    • View Profile
Re: Mona Lisa and Sweet heart Banana's?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2018, 10:18:29 PM »
Sweetheart is great here in FL. Not too tall of a tree, and fat tasty nanners that freeze well. Definite winner.

venturabananas

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 215
    • USA, CA, Ventura, zone 10
    • View Profile
Re: Mona Lisa and Sweet heart Banana's?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 12:53:31 AM »
Thanks for the reply. I was really looking for someone in SoCal that can comment on typical height, taste, texture or productivity of Mona Lisa and Sweet heart?

Dwarf Namwah is probably the easiest variety to grow in So Cal -- pretty bulletproof by banana standards.  Maximum fruiting height (measured to the top of the "trunk") is around 9', typically in the 7-8' range.  The fruit are extremely sweet and dense when left to ripen fully, with a hint of apple cider and not much at all like a grocery store Cavendish.  Very productive plant, a workhorse.

Mona Lisa makes delicious fruit.  Closer to Cavendish in flavor and texture, but much better, with a slight tartness.  This variety has been very touchy for me in So Cal -- a poor producer.  About the same height as D. Namwah (at least in my yard), but much less robust.  I love the fruit, but I can't recommend it as a productive variety.  Also, be aware that there have been some Mysore banana plants sold in CA as Mona Lisa, so you might not have the real thing.

I haven't grown Sweetheart, but have seen it grown in So Cal.  It is an incredibly robust plant, with a very thick pseudostem ("trunk").  It gets considerably taller than Dwarf Namwah, probably more typically 10-12'.  It makes big bunches of fruit.  I haven't tried them, but I know some people find them too sweet, others love them.

greenbean88

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
    • USA, Trabuco Canyon, CA, Zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Mona Lisa and Sweet heart Banana's?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 03:43:35 PM »
Thanks for the reply. I was really looking for someone in SoCal that can comment on typical height, taste, texture or productivity of Mona Lisa and Sweet heart?

Dwarf Namwah is probably the easiest variety to grow in So Cal -- pretty bulletproof by banana standards.  Maximum fruiting height (measured to the top of the "trunk") is around 9', typically in the 7-8' range.  The fruit are extremely sweet and dense when left to ripen fully, with a hint of apple cider and not much at all like a grocery store Cavendish.  Very productive plant, a workhorse.

Mona Lisa makes delicious fruit.  Closer to Cavendish in flavor and texture, but much better, with a slight tartness.  This variety has been very touchy for me in So Cal -- a poor producer.  About the same height as D. Namwah (at least in my yard), but much less robust.  I love the fruit, but I can't recommend it as a productive variety.  Also, be aware that there have been some Mysore banana plants sold in CA as Mona Lisa, so you might not have the real thing.

I haven't grown Sweetheart, but have seen it grown in So Cal.  It is an incredibly robust plant, with a very thick pseudostem ("trunk").  It gets considerably taller than Dwarf Namwah, probably more typically 10-12'.  It makes big bunches of fruit.  I haven't tried them, but I know some people find them too sweet, others love them.

thanks a lot for your specific experience with these types of banana's. My hope is to make a small banana circle and possibly have a rack or two hanging by the end of the summer. I will try and get some pictures up of the project when I'm done.
Erik

venturabananas

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 215
    • USA, CA, Ventura, zone 10
    • View Profile
Re: Mona Lisa and Sweet heart Banana's?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 01:06:09 AM »
thanks a lot for your specific experience with these types of banana's. My hope is to make a small banana circle and possibly have a

Good luck with your project.  You'll be doing very well indeed if you have bunches hanging by the end of summer.  That would be very fast for So Cal.

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk