Banana - experiment

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polyantha

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Hi everyone!

I did some testing. I always wondered if banana is really that important in the replate media. See by yourself:

P. philippinense x P. rothschildianum (left with banana - right without)

IMG_20150325_220511_zpslmhyjlge.jpg


P. rothschildianum (left with banana - right without)

IMG_20150325_220610_zpsvkzjnjdj.jpg


The beakers stood next to each other, so same light and temperature. I will replate the ones on the right on banana in a week. They should grow normally from that point.
Alot of seedlings (including the ones shown) will be up for sale soon (worldwide). If you are interested and want some info, parent pics or reservations: PM.
 
A

ALToronto

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Bananas are high in Potassium. Not sure about potatoes, but both also provide sugars.
 

naoki

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It is very clear difference. Thanks, polyanthus. Which media did you use? Do the roots have similar response? Do you use banana for the mother (germinating) flask, too?

I guess that scientists haven't figured out why it works yet (e.g. added sugar or phytohormones/growth factors). According to Aaron Hick's book, it work against for some species (e.g. Cattleya).
 

polyantha

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It is very clear difference. Thanks, polyanthus. Which media did you use? Do the roots have similar response? Do you use banana for the mother (germinating) flask, too?.
P6668. Banana is not good for germination, but I didn't test that.

very good experiment though you should do more that one flask each.
Yes, you are right. But the seed that me and my friends produce is actually too good to be wasted in experiments. That's the reason why I only took 4 flasks so far.
 

Rick

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Bananas are high in Potassium. Not sure about potatoes, but both also provide sugars.

I guess relatively speaking. But

A whole banana contains 422 mg of K. So K contribution is probably not significant unless Polyantha was able to concentrate several bananas into his batch of flasking materials.

Also the K concentration of most flasking formulas is already very high. (Potassium nitrate and potassium chloride are common ingredients in many different flasking media). So most likely the starch/sugars from the banana are the driver in this case.

Avocado, sweet potato and spinach actually have a lot more K per unit than bananas, but Avocado has a lot of unique fats/oils that might be interesting to add to a flasking media.
 

Rick

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I guess relatively speaking. But

A whole banana contains 422 mg of K. So K contribution is probably not significant unless Polyantha was able to concentrate several bananas into his batch of flasking materials.

Looking up some info on banana powder.

100 grams of dehydrated banana powder contains about 1.5 grams of K, but 47 grams of sugar.

Phytotech makes a version of 668 with banana powder added at the rate of 30 gram per liter. (I believe that is final projected media concentration). So that could contribute another 400+mg/L K to the media, but probably more important 16,000 mg/L sugars.
 

Trithor

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I use the p668 with added banana for my replate flasks. When I pour the replates, I often have a couple 100ml left over with no replate tubs available (unless I open a whole new pack), so I pour the left over medium into germination flasks. I try to spread seed on a variety of different mediums (M&S, Knudson, orchidmax) and try an add a p668 with banana as well. Up till now I see no difference in germination on the banana as contrasted to the others. I do see differences between media with or without coconut though.
I have another batch of trials running where I have substituted pawpaw for the banana, and another where I have added dark bok beer to the medium in the place of the banana.
 

gonewild

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As a banana ripens it naturally begins to grow lactic bacteria.
The more ripe it gets the more bacteria it has and also the more lactic acid it contains.

Here is something to consider... Perhaps good results will be seen from using fermented bananas or powdered fermented bananas.
Maybe the results will differ greatly between green and ripe bananas.
Using fermented bananas may be adding the lactic compounds.
 

Rick

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Here is something to consider... Perhaps good results will be seen from using fermented bananas or powdered fermented bananas.

Lance I'm not sure how much control the flasking folks have on the quality of the banana powder they use.

Not doing any flasking myself I thought they may be using raw banana, but after poking around the flasking media manufacturers, they are probably using the banana powder supplied by the media manufacturers.
 

gonewild

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Might not the benefit of the banana be simply the extra sugar (a source of extra carbon)?

Maybe. But I would assume Flaskers have tried simply adding more sugar without banana and it did not work as well as the banana did. If that is the case then it has to be more than simply the sugar in the banana.

And how would the seedlings get the carbon from the sugar in the media?
 

Rick

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Maybe. But I would assume Flaskers have tried simply adding more sugar without banana and it did not work as well as the banana did. If that is the case then it has to be more than simply the sugar in the banana.

And how would the seedlings get the carbon from the sugar in the media?

It depends on the sugar form, but plants make/use sugars before turning it into other carbon compounds in the plant. Cellulose is not much more than a polymeric form of sugar (starch).

So this would just bypass the requirement to manufacture them first (by photosynthesis, which embryonic orchids do not have anyway).

Keep in mind there are a handful of other fert mixes (for adult plants) out there which add sugar.
 

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