0
Your shopping cart is empty.
fglavin

Tissue Culturing the variegated AeAe? Soon!!

fglavin
April 29, 2006

Those of you that sell AeAe banana plants take heed: Sell as many as you can for as much as you can, as fast as you can! I have it from a reliable source that someone may have cracked the code to tc'ing AeAe. We should know something definite later this year or next. Soon, AeAe will be selling for $20! :-)

Comments (42)

  • gardenguy_

    Wow, normally I'd say for you to spit out some proof, otherwise, it's BS. But since you're a regular here with good advice, I'll take your word for it. From what I understand, AeAe is a little tempermental and very sensitive. This isn't an orinoco that we are growing here, or is it? How hard is it to grow an AeAe? I would LOVE to have one. BTW, did you hear this on a university message board by chance?

  • tropicallvr

    I was thinking proof too, but there are probally some good reasons not to give much away. I'm hoping that now we can get some M.basjoo varigated, M.orinoco varigated, and maybe even the E.ventricosum maurelli with white stripes. Cistus in Oregon said that they cracked the code, but they still keep moving the date farther back. I hold out hope even if they haven't succeded!
    Is Musa Dwarf Namwah 'Pearl' a sign that the code CAN be cracked?
    Thanks for the update,

  • fglavin

    All I have to go on is that I got it from a reliable source, who so far hasn't ever told me something that didn't come true. He did say that someone may have figured it out, not that they definitely did. That being said, I won't be one iota surprised if we see tissue culture AeAe next year. No, I didn't hear it on a university message board either. This guy has buddies in the tc business who hook him up with cool stuff that would normally be discarded. Why can't I find buddies like that?

    As far as how easy it is to grow, I got one through the winter in my unheated garage, watering about 2 times (maybe three). It looks pretty ragged, but started forming a pup last week!

    Someone's bound to figure it out sooner or later. Too many bright minds and good technology out there for it not to happen. I guess it's just a matter of putting the right minds to work on it, and giving them the necessary resources to do it. You would think that 'Namwah Pearl' is proof that tc'ing variegated bananas can be done. It is interesting stuff, for sure. I'm actually going back to school here at UT Knoxville to learn how to do that very thing.

  • gardenguy_

    So if I were to store AeAe dormant in a garage or basement , it would need some watering?

  • fglavin

    The only one I have was/still is relatively small, so I didn't want to chance putting it under the house with the rest. It cam in the garage with a few other small bananas. I imagine, and will find out next year, that one with a decent sized corm would store ok under the house. Since I paid $100 for this plant, I wanted to make sure I got it through the winter. It lost every leaf except the newest one, but is growing back nicely now.

  • gardenguy_

    fglavin, do you by chance have any pics of your AeAe banana?

  • fglavin

    Here's a picture I took last June. Not too much to look at now, just one leaf and one on the way. Got a pup too!

    {{gwi:407381}}

  • joereal

    Ae-Ae is not cold hardy, it will die to the ground and never return in our zone. It doesn't even taste that good, so why bother with this? I don't want to take part in squeezing other people out of their money, if I'd had it, I'd share it for free, so that people will learn it is just an ordinary tasting banana. Not even suited for landscape outside the yard.

  • gardenguy_

    Minus Musa Sikkimensis and Basjoo, what bananas are cold hardy? Joereal, do you get frosts in your zone? If I had that banana, I would not expose it to the cold.

  • fglavin

    Joe, I wouldn't even attempt to leave that banana in the ground. That would be a waste of money. I guess I just got one for curiosity's sake, and had money burning a hole in my pocket. So, now that I have it I'll try to get a bloom out of it. Might take a while, but what the heck. I've got time. Even if I never got fruit to ripen, I'd probably still get some nice pictures and something to look at in the garden every day.

    Gardenguy, the other very cold-hardy banana is musella lasiocapra. It's also more than likely THE toughest banana out there today. Other zone 8 bananas, which would do ok in zone 7 with some added protection in the winter, include m. mannii, m. coccinea, m. 'Royal Purple', m. itinerans, m. velutina, and others that haven't ever really been put to the test.

  • joereal

    Certainly I have more edible bananas that can survive our winters and fruit outside in my yard without added protection:
    California Gold, Dwarf and Tall Orinoco, Dwarf and Tall Brazilian, Golden Rhinohorn, Sweetheart, Manzano, 1K fingers, Misi Luki, Dwarf Namwah, Dwarf Namwah Pearl, Raja Puri just to name a few from my own collections.

    I've been giving away for free my California Gold pups (sometimes as expensive as Ae ae), either as exchange or for someone who signs up and comes to my yard to dig the pups out. The waiting list for my California Gold is about 4 seasons long. If Ae ae's here can survive the winter outdoors, I may have given the pups away for free too, but unfortunately they are cold sensitive.

  • joereal

    BTW, Musella lassiocarpa is one very ugly banana, no offense to people who owns these, but these are the opinions of my friends here. It grows like a weed and as ugly as a weed. Anybody crazy for these, feel free to visit us and dig them up, they are free, we will appreciate you weeding out my friend's yard of these pestilence. He has tons of them and they still sprout every now and then. No, we will not ship them to you even if you refund us for their shipment, but they are as free as you can carry if you come and dig them out.

  • jetstream

    As far as cold hardiest of the AeAe...mine took 30 deg in the ground with very little leaf damage. We had quite a bit of frost the middle of Feb and two very cold nights in a row. I don't think it took any frost, since it's planted next to some other taller bananas (Ice Cream) and some Chungi boo, that took the frost. The Ice creams were severely burned by the frost though...but they've come back nicely...Z

    ...photo from last Fall

    {{gwi:407382}}

  • austinl

    Joereal,
    I must disagree about musella lasiocarpa. I think it's a very nice banana with stiff, gray leaves that don't tear in windy conditions and their flower lasts forever. For a colder area such as zone 7, it really can't be beat. I bought a 3 gallon one this year, and it just put out its second leaf. So far, I like it a lot because it's much different than orinoco or basjoo. I do understand why you don't like them because you have a lot more options in a warmer climate. For beauty, nothing beats Ae Ae, but I won't be growing it because it is too tender.
    Austin

  • miamimax

    I seriously doubt if they will 'crack' the code to TC for the AeAe or any other somatic variegated banana. Agristart's Nam Wah 'Pearl' is a good example. They've stopped production because they don't come true and are so weak. I have'nt heard of anyone growing them up from TC and all of the people who I know of that bought liners of them have lost them all due to the weakness of the plants. None of them looked variegated either. I have one left out of 180+, its about 2" tall and 2 yrs old!!!They are just a very weak looking pale whiteish/yellowish/green (depending on amt of light). These variegates CAN be TC'd, but you get the same results that you get from the AeAe parent's suckers- all whites which die (etiolates), all greens-which who cares?, and a small percentage that have varying degrees of variegation-just like the parent plant's suckers. These are somatic variegates. Only genetic variegates will TC true and only genetic variegates come true from seed. I have several variegated Nam Wah, but they were imported from Thailand. One looks just like "Pearl", the others look more like AeAe.They are the same plant and can produce suckers that resemble any of the variegated 'types', including normal green. It all depends on where the mutant tissue is, and how much of it is at the apical meristem where the sucker on the corm will be produced. Sometimes, as you probably know, TC will randomly produce variegates. I have a feeling this is what happened when they were cloning reg. Nam Wah. They got a good variegated one, grew it up, cut it up,and then put it into production and what resulted? Weak, poor variations of a non-stable variegate.

  • miamimax

    photo of Musa Nam Wah 'Pearl'-not tissue culture, but sucker imported from Thailand

    Here is a link that might be useful: {{gwi:407377}}

  • miamimax

    photo of Musa Nam Wah albo variegata. Both 'Pearl' and Nam Wah albo variegata can produce suckers of either type of the variegated patterns, they are the same Nam Wah musa. Again, it depends on where the mutant tissue is, and in what proportions as it revolves in the apical meristem at the point where the sucker is developing in the dorm.

    Here is a link that might be useful: {{gwi:407378}}

  • miamimax

    This one came to me as 'Giant Tanna' from Thailand, and was told it was a common native banana that grew quite large and was used for fiber. The green in the leaves is a very dark emerald and the leaves are very glossy. The variegation is of clear white and it seems to be a quicker grower and a very sturdy plant. The stalk is slender so far and there seems to be more length in the petioles compared to AeAe. I cant wait to see how big it will get!

    Here is a link that might be useful: {{gwi:407379}}

  • Eggo

    Miamimax, I have to say I am completely jealous of your collection. As a big Namwah fan I would of love those varieties you got. I'm currently growing two variegated varieties of Namwah a tall type and a smaller dwarf type. The dwarf one was suppose to be white/green and the pup that was sent was of white/green coloration but since I started growing it has shown a yellow/green variegation probably due to its unstable nature. Also that 'Pearl' variety of yours is amazing. I've been attempting to grow some of the TC ones that have been offered on ebay last year. Extremely slow growing and extremely frustrating, I think due to being a combination of TC and variegation. I have heard from many others that most of the TCs of this variety end up dead. I guess I should be fortunate that mines are still alive. =)

  • miamimax

    Eggo, Post pix of the 2 forms you have, or send them off to me miamimax@bellsouth.net Id really like to see the differences!

  • bananafan

    joreal and austin1,

    What this Musella lassiocarpa in discussion? Can you post a picture of it?

  • jon1949

    Miamimax, Is this your auction?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Variegated-Banana-AeAe_W0QQitemZ250096395694QQcategoryZ2033QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    If it is I see why you don't want to see AE AE to be so cheep. john

  • miamimax

    Yes, it was my auction. By the way John, "cheep" is the sound that baby chickens make. I've sold quite a few over the years and continue to sell many propagations from my collection to private collectors, institutions, and Botanical Gardens all over the world. I collect rare variegated tropicals and have done so for about 25 years now. Its just one of my hobbies that I absolutely LOVE.(It is a hobby- I have 2 jobs). I can't begin to tell you how much $ I've spent (and lost) over those years on one of kind variegates from all over the world-some which perished within a short time and others that I still have in my collection. Live and learn! I lost the first 6 AeAe I bought-an easy $600+ in the mulch pile. Then I started asking growers and collectors questions, and reading up on everything about them that I could find. Now, I rarely loose an AeAe due to my ineptitude or lack of knowledge. I never allowed money to get in the way of obtaining any of these rare or variegated plants I found available IF it was in my grasp, even if I didn't have a clue as to how to grow it. With me its truly an addiction! Trust me, quite a few times I spent my hard earned cash on these gems when I should have been paying my bills! The money I receive from the propagations I sell and/or trade from my collection go right back into buying more and building my collection further. By no means am I getting rich doing this. Its just a way to help support my habit and also to provide other collectors with the availability of a plant they wish to add to their own collection. I have a few tropical variegates that are probably close to being one-of-a-kind and when I have propagations I usually sell them for below my original cost. I haven't seen any AeAe available for less than $100 for many years. (Opening bid on this auction was $99.99 for a fully rooted out 3 gal.) And believe me, I check around. I hope that AeAe can be successfully TC'd someday, but from what I understand, it isn't likely seeing that its a somatic chimera. Isn't it great that there are still new and rare plants being discovered (albeit maybe really really expensive) still out there for us to dream about growing? Actually what I WANT is really the same thing YOU want...AeAe for FREE!!!! So if anyone out there will send John and me your AeAe (or any other rare and/or variegated plants) for free, please don't hesitate!!!

  • jon1949

    Miamimax,You have grown tropicals for years in south Florida. How many Ae Ae's that you have sold have die.In another thread "Don't buy Ae Ae" you said you had your first six died.You know bananas and live in a warmer climate than 99% of us and you had trouble growing AeAe.What chance does a newbe have growing them elsewhere in the US?Two people who objected the most about the Don't buy thread were you and another Florida Ae Ae seller.My guess is that most of the people you have sold AE AE's over the years have killed them within two years.john

  • minibim

    Did I miss the post from Miami Max DEMANDING that everyone MUST buy an AeAe Banana?

    It is a rare plant, but hardly the only rare plant in existence and as with any rare plant, comes with a hefty price tag. I also wouldn't consider any rare plant the ideal plant for a novice gardener. The plant wouldn't be rare to begin with if there wasn't something about it that made it difficult to grow, seems kind of obvious to me.

    Before you stick your foot in your mouth with how rich, some sellers are getting selling rare plants - why don't you just for the heck of it, check into importing a plant from Thailand, Malaysia, Australia etc.

  • minibim

    Did I miss the post from Miami Max DEMANDING that everyone MUST buy an AeAe Banana?

    It is a rare plant, but hardly the only rare plant in existence and as with any rare plant, comes with a hefty price tag. I also wouldn't consider any rare plant the ideal plant for a novice gardener. The plant wouldn't be rare to begin with if there wasn't something about it that made it difficult to grow, seems kind of obvious to me.

    Before you stick your foot in your mouth with how rich, some sellers are getting selling rare plants - why don't you just for the heck of it, check into importing a plant from Thailand, Malaysia, Australia etc.

  • jon1949

    minibim,from Florida do you sell AeAe also?The average member on this forum can afford to spend $1600 on bananas they have died as miamimax says in the don't buy Ae Ae thread. I'm trying to let everyone know that they might lose they $100 + on an Ae Ae.I'm not making a dime or a friend with my advice.I don't recall saying he is getting rich but I'm saying he is getting good money for a plant he knows is very difficult to grow by his own admission.I do know about importing.My permit # is 37-86304 to import plants and plant products.PPQ FORM 597.I imported alocasia robusta.They died.Don't buy Ae Ae or alocasia robusta(9-13-05 thread).I'm in zone 7 trying to grow the same plants as maimimax is growing..After reading your thread I fear my big foot stuck in more than just my mouth. john

    Here is a link that might be useful:

  • miamimax

    Well, IF I MUST interject, I MUST; I grew my first AeAe in my bedroom (it lived there for over 2 years) where I grew up in Pennsylvania-along with lots of other tropical houseplants-my bedroom looked like a jungle! I got it as a very tiny 2" sucker while in Hawaii on vacation. The AeAe and a few other favorites I gave to the Biology dept at the local college which they put in their greenhouse-descendants might still be alive, who knows? I moved to the USVI and gave away my other plants to friends. I then bought more and planted them outside in full sun and these were the original first 6 I killed. I must have planted them in the wrong place, or more likely, over watered them and they perished within a few months time. (Obviously I didn't know what I was doing at that time). Finally I bought another and planted it in a pot, got it established and growing, and then planted it in the ground in the shade in my side yard where it grew, suckered, and produced fruit for many years...... until I lost it, and most everything else, during Hurricane Hugo. Living in Miami now for about 10 years Ive grown it and sold and traded suckers almost the entire time. I have one planted in the ground, the rest I keep in my shadehouse which are grown in pots. Granted, tropical climates are naturally conducive to growing tropical plants, but it is the knowledge and experience in growing some of these varieties that can make the difference. I can kill any plant anywhere if I don't provide the proper basics. It may interest you to know that I have customers as far north in the US as Maine, and also Germany and France growing AeAe purchased from me to this day. They are repeat customers and e-friends and we keep in contact. My opinion is that as a 'newbie', you should first read up on growing any particular plant with a reputation for being more difficult to grow, before you buy them. As for how many AeAe have died that have been sold, who knows? How many have lived? Who knows? How many other plants have died that have been sold due to lack of proper experience, knowledge, or care? I believe that one reason that the AeAe in particular might be more difficult to grow for novice hobbyists is because it is a somatic variegate. ANY plant with an excess of mutant tissue is more difficult to grow because it lacks chlorophyll in it's non-functioning variegated tissue, and the 'normal' green tissue in it's leaves must support it, which naturally makes it a weaker plant compared to it's normal green cousins. With knowing these factors and providing it with at least the basics it requires, I really don't find it difficult to grow at all. As far as making 'good' money off these, please......'good' money to me would be making at least triple what they are currently going for on the open market just to break even. Considering the amt of variegated suckers you get from this somatic plant; on average, only about 1/3 of these suckers are nicely variegated. AeAe produces all white suckers (etilolates)- which die due to lack of chlorophyll, and all green ones which are worthless to variegate collectors. Factor that into the equation and how much profit do you think there is in selling them? Thanks to growers and hobbyists that don't give up, these rare and beautiful plants are available to those of us who want the chance to grow (and even kill) them!

  • miamimax

    A footnote to my post above; I am by no means trying to 'boost' my AeAe sales from posting messages on the subject of growing AeAe. My intent is solely to provide my personal experiences, and limited knowledge, in growing them for other hobbyists who care to grow this or any other rare variegate. I can hardly keep up with demand just from word of mouth and sell out quickly when they are available. I cant even come close to demand for them and doubt any single seller ever will, no matter the cost.

  • Eggo

    man folks. Selling plants combine with being on this board seems to be a very sensitive subject. There's a number of post I've read on this subject. Another gardenweb member(by the way a great member) some time ago was getting bashed on here because he sold some AeAe on ebay that ended up going for something like $150.

  • tophersmith

    Hey miamimax do you have any AEAE pups available, I would be willing to purchase one here in zone 7. You also have a Phaius Tankervillea albo variegata listed on your sight is that releated to the nuns orchid, if so how cold tolerant is it Zone 8?

  • fglavin

    Seeing as how I started this thread some time back, I feel compelled to say a couple of things. First of all, I don't think that the AeAe will be tc'ed anytime soon. I know, I know...but the guy that told me this (a respected nurseryman) had heard it from someone in the TC business. I got a bit excited when hearing the news, but I've learned more about kinds of variegation since then. There are periclinal, mericlinal, and sectorial arrangements in the apical meristem that can produce variegation. Periclinal arrangements are where a layer of mutated tissue completely surrounds an inner core of nonmutated tissue. Mericlinal arrangements are where cells that carry the mutant gene occupy only a part of the outer cell layer of the plant. Sectorial arrangements is where the mutated tissue involves a sector of the stem but extends all the way from the surface to the center. This type is rare, usually only occuring in an embryo or root tip, and quickly reverts to either periclinal or mericlinal chimeras. I believe that the AeAe fall under the mericlinal category. I'm not really certain what somatic variegation is...although I thought it had something to do with tissue culture. Anyhow, tissue culturing a mericlinal chimera would result in an all-green or all-white plant it would seem, depending on where the tissue was taken on the apical meristem.

    Regarding John's comments on "don't buy an AeAe": How absurd. The AeAe has been a coveted banana for eons, going back to ancient Hawaiian history. Of course people are going to want it also, John...have you seen it? It's a pretty attractive banana! I have two (from the one in the earlier picture above) that I've managed to keep alive for over two years now, and I don't find them that difficult to care for. They are slower-growing than most bananas, but respond well to water and fertilizer. If you live in zone 7, and I do, you should obviously either dig them up in the fall, or keep them in containers year-round. And what do you really care how much people buy them for? Don't blame the sellers! A plant is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it. In this case, the AeAe is worth over $100 most of the time, and probably will be for some time to come. The demand is still very high, supply low. Give these sellers a break, dude. Just because your plant died doesn't mean that other people can't have them too, John.

  • nucci60

    joereal, who cares what ae ae bananas taste like? you can buy great bananas in any market cheaply. You KNOW the whole idea is the fantastic foliage.Who wouldn't want to grow one?

  • funsocaltiger

    "you can buy great bananas in any market cheaply. You KNOW the whole idea is the fantastic foliage.Who wouldn't want to grow one?"

    I think that is highly debateable. People grow different plants for different reasons and one of the big attractors IMO for many people to grow bananas is not only the joy of producing their own bananas but the belief that not only may this allow them access to cultivars which are not in your average grocery store but also that the same bananas home-grown would taste better. I don't know about you but the only bananas at my grocery store are Cavendish unless I want to visit an Asian market. I personally have never seen Ice Cream or any of the other popular fruiting varieties for sale at VONS where I live.

    Laurence

  • jbclem

    "You can buy great bananas in any market cheaply"...I see this type of comment occasionally and wonder if it's maker has ever had a really good banana (you'd probably have to grow it yourself or live in a warm country). I buy organic bananas at Wild Oats and they are better than nothing, but don't have the sugar kick that a good banana has. I did get that kick from some Dwarf Cavendish I grew in Malibu (where 85 deg days are heat waves!), they were in a very sunny spot next to a ridge that blocked the fog and cool ocean air.

    I'd be curious to know if small grocery stores in southern Florida sell locally grown bananas...and how they taste.

    jc

  • nucci60

    I was just commenting on this particular banana.Your right, most of us do not live in zone 9 or 10 nd do not know what some of these bananas taste like. I grow basjoo and sikki for foliage in zone six. I have potted maurelli just for the fantastic looks.The ae ae is coveted for it's foliage and I would think the bananas would be secondary,considering the price of the plant.

  • tophersmith

    Does anyone have a heathty AEAE pup for sale

  • mike-jaramillo

    Anyone have another healthy aeae pup for sale please email me.

  • nyssaman

    I guess I'll just enjoy the next best thing until then - My Canna Stuttgart.

  • nucci60

    nyssaman, ths Canna Stuttgart is really a challenge for me. They get tall and stretched from lack of sun and the white still burns .One lady on the garden web canna forum has luck with it.She grows them in pots without drain holes and keeps water floating on top of the soil. no burn.Ae AE must burn in sun also.

  • ohgirl

    ahhh You Know somethin' folks.....A true gardener never thinks about money when their acquiring their plants, nor when they give them away! Different people have come across my path in the most (unlikelius) ways. It was never a mistake! When I receive my AE AE babies and they grow to maturity........And they will!! Iam going to GIVE them away. For free.How about that! And i will send them to just abt EVERY WHERE! And tell me folks, who do you really think will gain more?

  • Dar

    Sorry I had to bump this...any news?

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268 (Mon-Sun).