Originally Posted by In Sunny Florida
Thank you for letting me join.
I live in Hernando County.
We have 4 small banana plants in out back yard and they die back every winter.
Any suggestions to prevent this?
Welcome to the organization! One way to prevent the die back is to cover/insulate them before the first sign of frost. This will include folding the banana leaves down, or cutting them altogether, then wrapping/covering them with some material like leaves, hay, or similar materials. There is a house here in Seattle, WA, where there were at least a dozen banana plants. I used to pass by this place every school day when my grandson was in high school and I was very impressed at how robust his plants were. Then one morning before the first Winter that year, I noticed that the long broad leaves were no longer visible above his fence. So on the way back, I stopped briefly to peek through the fence slots and saw that he'd wrapped them with bubble pack plastic sheets. Then the following Spring, I saw the broad leaves again. I saw a repetition of this in the ensuing 3 years.
The best way to avoid this without having to do the hard work is to plant bananas that are hardy in your area. Chris in Tampa has lots of them, and one of his prized plants is the Saba. It produces fruit for him every year. It is the stoutest banana there is. The hardiest that most members agree on is the CA Gold. It is a sport of the Dwarf Orinoco, which is very popular in FL. The D. Orinoco is also very cold hardy. I don't live in FL, so I cannot attest whether or not it will survive in your particular area, but it is rated for USDA Climate Zone 7b. I have seen them growing in Palm Beach County and remained green during the Winter I was there when I worked for FEMA in 2004 (hurricanes Charlie, Francis, Ivan, Jeanne). I remember waking up one morning the first week of January 05, finding a dusting of snow outside the Delray Beach Marriott from Atlantic Ave. all the way to the I-95 Freeway. They didn't show any signs of frost burns the following afternoon. Another reported hardy variety is Ice Cream as is the Tall Orinoco.
Do a search on this website under "over wintering bananas" or "preparing bananas for the winter" or "cold hardy bananas".
Good luck and happy growing.