Banana bells - keep them on the bunch

I know most people say to remove the banana bell (the flower head) but I would encourage you to leave it on (unless you are going to eat it) for four reasons:

  • Most important - the honey eaters love them. Once they find your bell, they will visit twice a day, every day until the bell stops producing flowers. There is so little food out there for them. Every bit helps.
  • The bell can tell you when the bunch is ready - when it starts looking small and the distance between the bell and bunch is about 50cm (I have lady fingers and pink pisang)
  • The bell stem gives you something to grab - to pull down the bunch so you can cut a hand of bananas.
  • Its one less time you will get covered with that oh so wonderful (not) sap.

PS These are the birds that visit my bunch - blue faced honeyeaters - very pretty. This is not my photo though. I downloaded from the net.

                 

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Comment by Vanessa on December 24, 2012 at 10:38

I dont think the native bees will mind too much if they dine on exotic nectar. It all helps. Your dragon fruit flower is pretty amazing. 

Comment by Liz Woods on December 19, 2012 at 6:28

Hi Colin, this is a beautiful pic of your pittaya flower!

Comment by Colin Westwood on December 5, 2012 at 13:01

Thanks Vanessa,

Will leave the flower bell on in future as I am pretty confident that my native bees will also enjoy the nectar, as I see they love my Dragon fruit flowers very much even though these are not native to our region.

Comment by Toni Stowers on November 30, 2012 at 21:45

Thanks for this info. We cut a flower off, I cooked and ate it. Will try leaving one on as well & see if the birds come.

Comment by Trinette on November 29, 2012 at 17:20

I read this article about 5 minutes after chopping off my banana bell!! Next time I will leave on to see the difference!

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