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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 09-16-2011, 11:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Another "what to do with Musas" thread...sorry...newbie here!

Hello all.

I live in NE Ohio (5A) and purchased 2 Musa Basjoos for a nursery in Florida somewhere about the middle of summer. They arrived about 1.5 - 2 ft tall, and through heavy watering and feeding they grew to about 3.5 - 4 ft in 12" pots. Didn't get them in the ground because I didn't get a chance to build my deck this summer and they will be going right next to it (didn't want to take a chance on damaging the plants). Being only 4 ft tall, I was wondering what the consensus would be about either... A) Keeping them inside in pots next to a window that gets about 6 hours of light or... B) Keep them in the basement out of the pot and stripped of all the leaves. My basement stays pretty warm (about 60-70F). Would love to get a little growth over the winter, but would just be thrilled if they survived. One already has 2 pups that are 2" and 5". Also, when should I bring them in? Need to spray them with fungicide? What about water or fertilizer? There are so many different points of view on the web and I just wanted to hear it from the experts here . Thanks in advance for replying. I'll try to get some pics uploaded as well.

Pyro
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Old 09-17-2011, 02:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Another "what to do with Musas" thread...sorry...newbie here!

I'm a few miles East of you, and personally I would over winter them in their pots near your window. Pictured below is a strictly container grown DC
that is at least 20 yrs old, it gets situated near a South facing window for the winter in an area with ambient temperature of 72 F,



Good Luck!!
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Old 09-17-2011, 02:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another "what to do with Musas" thread...sorry...newbie here!

I'd take them to his house (LOL) He seems to be pretty good with bananas!!!
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Old 09-17-2011, 03:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Another "what to do with Musas" thread...sorry...newbie here!

Sounds like the window location is the best idea for you. Use caution with the water and feed and keep those pups happy. Good luck
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Another "what to do with Musas" thread...sorry...newbie here!

I concur with Noah, that your best option is to take it inside to a window location. I did that with a pup,
which I had sliced of a one year old Basjoo. It was about as big as I understand yours to have been,
when you first got it. It did not grow a whole lot during the winter but was in good shape when I moved it
outside. This fall it is big enough to go into the ground. See picture here:

basjoo size for leaving outside?.

That is what I would do with yours next year: Plant the corm at least 1 foot below the surface and heap
lots of mulch or other protection on top of it, after the frost nips the leaves. It will probably freeze
as far down as the frost can reach, but perk up with a brand new pseudo stem as soon as it is warm
enough in 2013


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Old 09-19-2011, 01:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Another "what to do with Musas" thread...sorry...newbie here!

Thank you everyone for responding. I will keep them in the pot next to the window, water and fertilize them sparingly and hope for the best. Now for a follow up question...
As I said before, I intend on planting them in the ground in the spring next to the deck when it is built. They will be in full sun all day. I know that at the end of next year, they will be established enough to cut down and mulch over and be fine through the winter. But I would really like to have these grow as large as possible as fast as possible. I imagine next year they will be too big to bring inside in pots, but wondered what else I could do at that point. Cut all the leaves off, clear the root ball of dirt and store in the basement?... Cut off as much height as I need to pot it and store it inside? Or any other suggestions? Again, I'm looking to grow these as large as possible and keep them as close to that size as possible. It seems to me like cutting off the stalk and letting them grow from scratch every year would not produce the size of banana tree I would like. Don't know if i's possible in Ohio, but 15'-20' would be fantastic! Thanks again for all of your responses. It would be great if it flowers, but really just looking for the "huge tropical plant" look around the deck and pool.
P.S..... Any thoughts on keeping 2 Dobermans from peeing on them next year?
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Another "what to do with Musas" thread...sorry...newbie here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyro View Post
As I said before, I intend on planting them in the ground in the spring next to the deck when it is built. They will be in full sun all day.
What you do there depends very much on your macro climate. Ours here is semi arid. When I put my Basjoo
and my Ornata out into sun and wind, in spring they showed definite signs of leaves drying up. If you are
living in areas of high humidity or coastal area you might be okay with that, but I will acclimatize the ones I
overwintered in the house by keeping them with the pots in a semi shaded area. Excessive watering will
not solve that problem
, but once they have spent a summer in the ground next year, their root
system will have developed enough to support a sunny location. The Basjoos I had left in the ground
did not have that problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyro View Post
Cut off as much height as I need to pot it and store it inside? Or any other suggestions? Again, I'm looking to grow these as large as possible and keep them as close to that size as possible.
In my very limited experience of only one winter, it curiously does not seem to be an advantage in the
growth and development of the plant, either way.

As I stated elsewhere when I cut the one, which I took inside, it was number three in the size order
and it filed right back into that position once the leaving had substantially resumed in late spring and that
is exactly where it fits in now near the end of the growing season. Considering all the hassle
involved in bringing it inside vs. mulching them in place, it is a no-brainer for me. I will not repeat trying to
safe the PS this time, but just put a two foot high containment fence around them and fill it up with
mulching matter. I will do that after the leaves are thoroughly frost bitten.

Good luck,
Olaf
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