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Cold Hardy Bananas This forum is dedicated to the discussion of bananas that are able to grow and thrive in cold areas. You'll find lots of tips and discussions about keeping your bananas over the winter.


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Old 11-09-2019, 09:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
Location: North Carolina
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Default Advice on Strategy Change for Winterizing Banana Tree

I saw many threads on this topic, but mine was a little unique and thought I would start a new one to get some advice. Apologize if my terminology below on the plants are not technical right, but hope it makes sense.

I have had my series of bananas for several years now. I live in NC, zone 7a/b. Each year, I have wrapped my bananas in blankets and bubble wrap, and overmulched at their base with more blankets. I have done this so I can keep the height and not having to start from the ground in the Spring. It is a lot of work, but felt it was worth it. This year, two of my taller ones sprung a flower and fruit, but although cool for the first time, I did not want to lose those stalks.

My issue now is that I have seen quite a few people who have bananas in this area who do nothing like I do for theirs, they just let them die to the ground. But, each year, theirs explode and have much taller trees than I do even though I started with the stalks. Plus, they have many more stalks than I do, more like groves. Now, I do have other plants around my bananas, so maybe that is why I am not getting many more stalks popping up, but I do not get the multiple stalks like they do.

So, the question I need help with is, is it better to let them die to the ground, mulch and winterize than do all the work like I have been doing? I was told by one person to cut the stalk at 12" off the ground at an angle and mulch up to it. Again, I just do not know what to do. My goal is nothing about the fruit. It is about getting the tallest and most plentiful bananas plants that I can get, and ideally as early as I can get them after the first freeze.

Thank you so much for the help.

Tom
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
Location: Pensacola, Florida
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Default Re: Advice on Strategy Change for Winterizing Banana Tree

First off your neighbors may have a different type of banana plant than you that just naturally grows faster. Secondly what are doing for your plants during the active growing season? Are they planted in an ideal location? Getting the plants through the winter is a critical milestone but active growth during the season is determined by maximum input of resources (water, fertilizer, sun, good soil).
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Advice on Strategy Change for Winterizing Banana Tree

Hy Tom,
I agree with Akula's comment. You will find details on my experience in the following posts:
Hello, I am Georges, a new member
I am leaving in the north-east of France, zone 7b.
I experienced, in the past, not winterizing musa basjoo. Often, they died definitely, except old plants with many pups. The bananas which survived had a smaller development that the winterized bananas.
The total heigh of the winterized bananas at the end of the summer is around 12 feets.
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice on Strategy Change for Winterizing Banana Tree

Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyOBananas View Post
I saw many threads on this topic, but mine was a little unique and thought I would start a new one to get some advice. Apologize if my terminology below on the plants are not technical right, but hope it makes sense.

I have had my series of bananas for several years now. I live in NC, zone 7a/b. Each year, I have wrapped my bananas in blankets and bubble wrap, and overmulched at their base with more blankets. I have done this so I can keep the height and not having to start from the ground in the Spring. It is a lot of work, but felt it was worth it. This year, two of my taller ones sprung a flower and fruit, but although cool for the first time, I did not want to lose those stalks.

My issue now is that I have seen quite a few people who have bananas in this area who do nothing like I do for theirs, they just let them die to the ground. But, each year, theirs explode and have much taller trees than I do even though I started with the stalks. Plus, they have many more stalks than I do, more like groves. Now, I do have other plants around my bananas, so maybe that is why I am not getting many more stalks popping up, but I do not get the multiple stalks like they do.

So, the question I need help with is, is it better to let them die to the ground, mulch and winterize than do all the work like I have been doing? I was told by one person to cut the stalk at 12" off the ground at an angle and mulch up to it. Again, I just do not know what to do. My goal is nothing about the fruit. It is about getting the tallest and most plentiful bananas plants that I can get, and ideally as early as I can get them after the first freeze.

Thank you so much for the help.

Tom
What variety do you have?
Are you Low country?
Photos might confirm that you might doing Waaaay to much for them for the winter.
You and you neighbors probably have a cold tolerant plant .
Basjoos and Orinocos are common in your area for tolerance to shorterm cold .
We just need to find out what you have.
A photo of the flower and fruit will help.
The flower will be a dead giveaway.......look up Basjoo flowers and see if there is a similarity.

Looking forward to your next post

Last edited by cincinnana : 11-09-2019 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Advice on Strategy Change for Winterizing Banana Tree

Quote:
Originally Posted by cincinnana View Post
What variety do you have?
Are you Low country?
Photos might confirm that you might doing Waaaay to much for them for the winter.
You and you neighbors probably have a cold tolerant plant .
Basjoos and Orinocos are common in your area for tolerance to shorterm cold .
We just need to find out what you have.
A photo of the flower and fruit will help.
The flower will be a dead giveaway.......look up Basjoo flowers and see if there is a similarity.

Looking forward to your next post

First, thank you everyone. Second, I apologize I forgot to mention my variety. Thought I did.

I have Musa Basjoo. I think I received dwarf versions, but they are still getting up to about 8 to 9 feet if I wrap them during the winter because they start from a higher spot. I believe the person I mention also has the same, that is why it was frustrating seeing her do nothing and they get so big. In regards to position, they get 10am sun and onward.

I did forget to mention that I have another grouping further in the yard. I did not wrap all of them this year and I gained a much larger bunch of stalks and pretty tall plants. I did mulch these quite a bit.

I think my photos should work. One is a little noisy with some grass, the other though is when I posted on here before when a flower popped through.

Thanks so much for the help.




Last edited by TommyOBananas : 11-09-2019 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice on Strategy Change for Winterizing Banana Tree

Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyOBananas View Post
First, thank you everyone. Second, I apologize I forgot to mention my variety. Thought I did.

I have Musa Basjoo. I think I received dwarf versions, but they are still getting up to about 8 to 9 feet if I wrap them during the winter because they start from a higher spot. I believe the person I mention also has the same, that is why it was frustrating seeing her do nothing and they get so big. In regards to position, they get 10am sun and onward.

I did forget to mention that I have another grouping further in the yard. I did not wrap all of them this year and I gained a much larger bunch of stalks and pretty tall plants. I did mulch these quite a bit.

I think my photos should work. One is a little noisy with some grass, the other though is when I posted on here before when a flower popped through.

Thanks so much for the help.



Basjoos.....let die to the ground and mulch at 8 inches deep.

Early Spring fertilize with a regular garden fertilizer like 16-16-16 ...19-19-19
Feed your mats the same triple 15-19 through growing season and water well.

Your plant will SHINE

Some pros hit the plant with 46-0-0 in early march for Basjoos and Mekongs.

There is a lot to learn on how to get these awesome plants to their potential

https://www.flickr.com/gp/hostafarian/3Evj9C
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Advice on Strategy Change for Winterizing Banana Tree

Quote:
Originally Posted by cincinnana View Post
Basjoos.....let die to the ground and mulch at 8 inches deep.

Early Spring fertilize with a regular garden fertilizer like 16-16-16 ...19-19-19
Feed your mats the same triple 15-19 through growing season and water well.

Your plant will SHINE

Some pros hit the plant with 46-0-0 in early march for Basjoos and Mekongs.

There is a lot to learn on how to get these awesome plants to their potential

https://www.flickr.com/gp/hostafarian/3Evj9C

Thank you so much...I must admit that I am a tad nervous knowing I have always wrapped them, but knowing I lost a few due to flowering and another that did not survive the winter for the stalk, this is the year to do it and that flickr link was amazing. That is the type of bunched growth I have seen with that other person and what I saw in the one in my backyard. I think I have inadvertently been limiting its more explosive growth by forcing it to grow through that one stalk. I think I am going to clear out a little more space for them to grow in (I have some cannas near them) and hope to have a big Spring.

Once they die to the ground, should I cut the dead stalk and leaves away or just mulch over it? It seems the pictures from that link show it being cut below the mulch line.

Thank you again so much. I love these plants a lot and hoping this may create the jungle and canopy look I have wanted.

Tom
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Old 11-10-2019, 08:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Smile Re: Advice on Strategy Change for Winterizing Banana Tree

Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyOBananas View Post
Thank you so much...I must admit that I am a tad nervous knowing I have always wrapped them, but knowing I lost a few due to flowering and another that did not survive the winter for the stalk, this is the year to do it and that flickr link was amazing. That is the type of bunched growth I have seen with that other person and what I saw in the one in my backyard. I think I have inadvertently been limiting its more explosive growth by forcing it to grow through that one stalk. I think I am going to clear out a little more space for them to grow in (I have some cannas near them) and hope to have a big Spring.

Once they die to the ground, should I cut the dead stalk and leaves away or just mulch over it? It seems the pictures from that link show it being cut below the mulch line.

Thank you again so much. I love these plants a lot and hoping this may create the jungle and canopy look I have wanted.

Tom
In the colder zones like mine and other forum members complete die back is slightly below soil level.

The part gardeners need to grasp is that heavy mulching keeps the soil warmer and the very cold chill out.
Some gardeners will tarp their plants after mulching as added protection from the elements.

Keep in mind for example...if the air temperature is 10 degrees the soil temperature just 6 inches below grade could be as high as 40+ degrees in our temperate zones.
A little deeper and the temperature rises even more to the average temp of 55.

We cut and mulch ....it's fast and inexpensive while enhancing the soil structure.
Mulching blends into the landscape and adds some winter interest too.


Some gardeners like a tidy garden and will cut and cleanup all plant debris as soon as it frosts.

The ones in my garden have not been cut or mulched yet.
It is mostly personal preference... do what you can do
Locally there are a few large professionally kept mats of Basjoos and they are cut to the ground and mulched in October.
You might get residual pop up growth but the subsequent freezes stop that.


For the monster plants you want you will want to start early March with the fertilization.
There is a lot happening underground at that time, remember it's warmer under there.
When you see daffodils the basjoos are stirring.

.
Mid December
by
Hostafarian
,
on Flickr

Last edited by cincinnana : 11-10-2019 at 08:40 AM.
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