We might consciously try our best to keep pests and diseases away from Banana plants. But mold patches on the Banana stem can grow even after proper care.
Besides, you can help control and prevent the fuzzy growth with a few alterations in the surrounding of Bananas.
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What Does Mold On Bananas Look Like?
Mold on the Banans stem can have various appearances depending on the type of mold. Also, its stage and the environmental conditions.
Similarly, you can also witness green or black spots on the Banana surface, which is a mold type. But these spotty molds have a slightly raised bump-like appearance.
While healthy Banana peels are a great source of potassium, calcium, and magnesium, helping the plants grow. The molded peels are, however, of no use as they may potentially carry the molds to your healthy plants as well.
Molds from Banana stems can interfere with the flow of nutrients and water from the plant’s root to the fruit. As a result, the fruit fails to develop its size, leading to stunted growth.
Moreover, the molds reduce the shelf-life of the harvested Bananas, which eventually causes huge yield loss.
Causes of Mold On Banana Stem
Molds on the Banana stem grow when the fungus spores get suitable environmental surroundings to germinate and grow.
These spores are tiny reproductive structures of mold that are highly resilient and can easily be dispersed via air.
Generally, if you have fungus growth around your Banana plant, the molds are likely to attack your plant too. In such cases, mold growth is common in most of the Banana plant varieties from Musa AeAe to Pisang Raja.
Further, here are some common environmental factors favoring mold spores’ growth.
- Prolong dampness: If your banana stem is constantly exposed to rain or in direct contact with water, it provides necessary growing conditions for mold spores.
- High humidity: A dense canopy of the Banana plant obstructs the air circulation, increasing the humidity in the plant. This causes favorable conditions for the mold to thrive.
- Insect pest invasion: Pests like mealybugs and aphids produce honeydew, which is a sugary substance attracting the fungus while nurturing their growth.
- Wound or injuries: Any physical damage or injury to the Banana stem, like cuts or scratches, allows the entry point for the mold spores. Once inside, the spore tends to multiply and form visible old patches.
Can You Eat Bananas With White Mold?
No, it is not recommended to eat a Banana that is completely infested by molds due to the potential health hazards.
Unfortunately, mold poisoning can elevate up to being fatal, overshadowing all the Banana benefits.
Even if you plan to cut off the moldy part of the Banana, there are chances that the spores have already covered the entire Banana.
And you might believe that baking could be the alternate way to consume such Bananas. But, no, you cannot use a Banana with mold on it for Banana Bread.
Despite the precaution, if you happen to consume moldy fruit, it is important to seek medical attention.
Tips To Prevent Mold On Banana Stem
Now that we are aware of the severity of mold or fungus poisoning, you might want to avoid it.
So, the following are some tried and tested tips to prevent mold in Banana stems.
- Plant the Banans saplings in an area of your garden or farm that gets plenty of sunlight and air circulation.
- In case you get them from the store, carefully inspect for any sign of mold growth, like white powder around the stem or brown patches.
- Make sure to store the Banana in a well-ventilated area to avoid humid and stagnant conditions for mold growth.
- Try to bring the humidity around the stored Bananas to 55-65%, which is less likely to favor mold growth.
- If any Banana starts to develop mold, separate it from the bunch to halt the spread.
- Wrap the unmolded Banana stem individually with cling film or aluminum foil for prolonged storage. This helped to prevent moisture from getting to the peel and mold the Banana stem.
- Handle Bananas gently to avoid physical injuries like bruises creating no areas for mold entry.
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Avoid Chemicals For Molds!
Preventive measure is found to be effective against mold on Banana stem. Also, Bananas are naturally mold-resistant fruit.
Most chemicals that can kill mold will also alter the flavor and texture of the Banana. So, we do not recommend using them.
Moreover, chemicals are harmful to human health.