Banana Plant Nurtition # 3

Calcium, Ca2+, is a pervassive element in plants and is involved with a myriad of functions - it is crucial with-in the plant and in the environment in which the plant lives, i.e. the soil. While it was known for some decades that Ca2+ was an essentail cellular regulator it was only thiry five years ago  the enormous role that Ca2+ plays in the regulation of plant growth and development was established.

This has the potential to become rather technical and run the risk of losing focus. All we need to remember is to maintain good levels of calcium in the soil without raising the pH above 6.5 and aiming for a base satuarion of 60 - 70%.

On a practical level this means, depending upon your situation, applying calcium to the plantation every two to three months. It is especially important that plants have access to adequate amounts of calcium going into the colder months when plant growth slows and there may even be periods of dormancy. Moisture and root growth are required for calcium uptake.

One of the symptoms of calcium deficiency is deformed fruit along with hard areas within the central core of the fruit which make it unpalatable and almost inedible. However, this can also be the result of a Boron deficiency and I suspect the latter is mostly the reason for this. Given that the symptoms of both these minerals are similar it pays to identify the cause(s). If too much boron is applied the symptoms will resemble a calcium deficiency and it can be resoved by applying calcium as a foliar feed and to the soil.

David Colley

Posted: Fri 17 Sep 2021