I posted about this banana plant a while back, and that issue has been resolved (it was a very-hungry-caterpillar problem). However, it's still looking unhealthy; in fact, I think it's getting worse and worse.
I purchased the plant in May/June and potted it in its current ceramic container. It's been in the same location since then. The plant is on the southern side of the house, but due to shadows and such it gets about 3 hours of full sun a day, indirect the rest of the time. The plant is about 4 feet high from dirt-level. I water it about twice a week, sometimes three times if the weather is really hot. FYI I never expected to get actual bananas from the plant, I simply bought it for the foliage.
Here are the pictures:
As you can see, the lower leaves turn yellow and unhealthy-looking, then dry up. I know that it's normal for banana plants to have the lower leaves slowly shrivel and die, but I'm worried about the yellow-ness, and also about the black spots that are starting to appear on the leaf in the last picture. I'm also concerned about the black sooty-looking stuff on the stalk (is that what "sooty mold" is?).
Essentially, I'm hoping that what I'm seeing is just normal banana plant behavior, but I'm not sure, so I figured I'd ask. Hopefully I'm worrying about nothing, but if it's a bug/fungus/whatever problem, I'd like to get it taken care of SOON, because I'll have to bring the plant inside for the winter within the next month and would really, really rather not bring a bug infestation into my house at the same time!
Thank you so much in advance!