Banana is traditionally propagated vegetatively through suckers or rhizome or tissue culture plants. Sexual propagation is not possible due to Parthenocarpic nature of fruits.
Banana produces two types of suckers
- Water suckers.
- Sword suckers.
Water suckers: Water sucker is one which is characterized by broader leaves which do not produce a healthy banana clump, with slender pseudostem. Rhizome/corm is not well developed. It takes more time (more than 18 months) for yielding. Yield also less. These types normally develop from shallow buds away from pseudostem near the soil surface.
Sword sucker: Sword sucker is one with well developed rhizome, well developed pseudostem with sword like leaves. It takes 12-13 months to yield and gives bigger bunches. Sword suckers are closely associated with the mother plant and therefore develop strong thick rhizomes of their own.
- The orchard/mother block should be disease free.
- The weight of the suckers should be 1.0- 1.5 kg.
- The mother plant should be heavy yielder.
- Always select sword suckers for planting.
- Select the suckers free from rhizome weevils.
- Age of suckers: 3-4 months
The whole or split rhizomes can also be used when suckers are not available. Bits of rhizomes may also be used as a planting material.
Tissue cultured plants were also used as planting material on commercial scale.
Pairing & Prolinage
- It is the removal of older leaves, roots, adhered soil and other particles on the surface of rhizome and top portion of the suckers leaving 15cm from rhizome should be removed and immersed in cow dung slurry, sprinkle phorate granules @ 10-15 g/rhizome in order to avoid soil pathogen & rhizome weevils.
- Also rhizomes are dipped in fungicide solution by giving a slant cut.