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Carolz 05-29-2009 10:18 AM

Musa Basjoo slow to start
Hello to everyone. I have been growing bananas up here in Southern Ontario for the past few years. The first year I left them outside, mulched really well and protected with a small fence and the silver hot water heater bubble wrap, they didn't survive the winter, turned to mush. I am in zone 5b. So from then on I brought them in, and this past winter they got infested with aphids, so I was told by someone to spray them with a mix of dish soap and water. It did kill the aphids, but the leaves didn't like it either. So I ended up chopping 2 of them plants down, and just set them out in early May in the ground. I see no sign of growth yet, the main base is hard, so I am hopeful that the weather needs to get hotter for them to start.

Will covering them up in a see-through plastic dome help them start to grow? Like a mini greenhouse??

Michael_Andrew 05-29-2009 11:09 AM

Re: Musa Basjoo slow to start
Hi Carol,

We are practically neighbors. I used the dish soap method last year on a SDC and just cooked the leaves. The guy at the nursery told me to make it really strong. Its does work if you use the right amount without damage to the plant. I now use Murphy's Oil soap and just put a cap full in a spray bottle. I think using the plastic to make a greenhouse would increase the temp and help the Basjoos get started. I lost a few Basjoos this year too. Only my biggest one made it. I used wire cages and filled with leaves. I'm thinking about building a styrofoam box around them next time.

Welcome to the forum.


Bob 05-29-2009 01:06 PM

Re: Musa Basjoo slow to start
Hi Carolz and welcome. I though I had lost my overwintered basjoo this year as well and went so far as to dig it up and replace with something already started. Threw what was left of the corm in a pot and gave up on it, only to have it sprout last week. To quote from member Pitangadiego's web site " don't give up until it's nothing but a hole in the ground" , this proves to be true often with bananas. Good luck.

Scuba_Dave 05-29-2009 08:54 PM

Re: Musa Basjoo slow to start
I'm new to bananas
But most plants want the ground warm before they will really start growth
I finished my greenhouse early this year & that has been a big help
You can build a mini-greenhouse - also called a cold frame
This will help heat the ground up & keep the plant warm

The concern when doing this is they can get VERY hot
My 7x10 x 6' high greenhouse was up to 110 at ground level on a sunny 60 degree day

harveyc 05-29-2009 11:03 PM

Re: Musa Basjoo slow to start
Welcome! I think you need to get some AZ41! :D

LilRaverBoi 05-30-2009 02:29 PM

Re: Musa Basjoo slow to start
Welcome to the site! I hope you enjoy it for overwintering plants in the ground...I've heard a lot of disappointing stories. I've never tried it, myself...I always just dug em up and kept em growing in a south window all winter. Bananas are pretty hardy, though, so don't give up hope...they might still come back!

Carolz 06-01-2009 05:05 PM

Re: Musa Basjoo slow to start
Thanks for all the advice! I think I will leave them for a bit, and see when the weather warms up what happens. What is AZ41?? Anyone know? And do they sell it in Ontario? Probably not as it seems everything has been banned for the garden this year.

harveyc 06-01-2009 06:04 PM

Re: Musa Basjoo slow to start
Here's a long thread on AZ41, but skip the posts with drama, etc.

I think you need to send Joe Real a PM as inventories are too low to post online.

Best wishes,


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