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Old 12-30-2017, 06:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
nealnick5's Avatar
Location: Weems, VA
Zone: 7b
Name: Nick
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Unhappy Do I need to dig up/cut my bananas?

Hello all, I am in desperate need of your advice. I am the guy with over 100 musa basjoos and this is my first time overwintering them. I fear I may have done it incorrectly and need to know if you all think I should dig them up or not.

After the first freeze, I did not let them die down and instead I cut them 1-2 feet to the ground and stacked hay/mulch around them without allowing the tops of the stems time to dry out. They also have no protection from rain which is keeping the cut stems wet. I checked on some and I am beginning to fear the worst. The stems are rotting from moisture every time they thaw out and it's like a burning fuse; I am not sure if the rot will spread to the corms or not before winter is over.

I am wondering if this rot will kill the corms if it makes it to them. If this is the case, I will dig them up ASAP, cut off the rotting stem parts, and store them where they can dry out. I have researched this everywhere and cannot find specific answers. People say if they die down to the ground naturally, they won't make a new shoot from that corm but will do so from pups instead. Which I would have been fine with; that was what I expected if some of the stems did not survive. I left the 1-2ft pseudo-stems in hopes that at least some would return from those same corms at their massive sizes from this summer.

I decided to dig up my elephant ears because mole tunnels were going straight to them, and sure enough, moles were munching on them. I cut off the bottom bulb rot from that and am now storing them indoors. This made me notice the stem rot, though, which had reached the bulb in one, so I cut all of the rot away. Would the rot have spread throughout the plant?

I am just wondering if this same stem rot from improper winterization could lead to the death of my corms (if the rot reaches my banana corms). I would post pictures but my phone is broken and I will not have a new one until Tuesday.

I am worried and just need to know If you all think I should dig them up before the rot possibly kills the corms. Please let me know what you all think. Thank you and any advice will be appreciated!

P.S. I am sorry if this post is confusing... I am bad at relaying my thoughts sometimes.
Growing: Ensete ventricosum 'maurelli', Musa balbisiana 'Thai Black', bordelon, basjoo, Dwarf Cavendish, Dwarf Orinoco, itinerans var. itinerans, lasiocarpa, orinoco (tall), saba, Siam Ruby, sikkimensis 'Red Tiger', TaNee, zebrina, and zebrina var. gran nain.

Seeking: Musa Itinerans var. xishuanbannaensis, French Red Plantain, Peekeli, and Ensete ventricosum.
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