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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 07-10-2007, 04:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: montreal, canada
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Cold An attempt in the really cold zone

I think montreal is zone 5B, that said the musa basjoo's have been for sale here for a few weeks. According to the dealers, cutting the plant down to 2 feet after the first frost and loading a ton of mulch over the plant, chances are it will be back in the spring. I have another idea that seems to help the other less winter hardy plants in my yard survive winters here. The ground never freezes to within 2 feet of the foundation of my home. The plants that are right up against the warm concrete always come back. I plan to try this with the basjoo. Anyone know where the most northerly Basjoo is planted? I am curious to see if others in my area or even further north have had success.
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: An attempt in the really cold zone

I am in zone 5b to 6a and my buddy had basjoos in the ground over last winter. Lost the main pseudostem on all 3 clumps, but all but 1 or 2 of the pups came back and are growing great. We wraped them with straw, but I don't think it was packed tight enough, and had tarps coving them. I dug up all mine because the were planted so late and still small.
Take care,

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Old 07-10-2007, 10:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: An attempt in the really cold zone

At my place this past winter it went below 0F about 5 times. The lowest it got down to was -8F. My basjoo made it through fine. Even though it did lose the top 3 feet. But came it back from near the ground fast. Here is what I did...

-cut it to about 3 feet tall

-wrap it with burlap

-pile dry leaves and straw around it and on top of it

-cover everything with a plastic tarp

That is all I did. My plastic tarp did have holes in it. Not sure if they are needed though.

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Old 07-11-2007, 09:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: An attempt in the really cold zone

Wind damage is the main problem here in the SW coast of UK. Where I am we have frost equivalent of US zone 10 but sun equivalent to US zone 2. Too much wind shredding and the plant eventually aborts the pseudostem if it spends all winter growing a bit, being wind shredded, growing, being wind shredded... but usually pups sprout. Here they survive without protection, but flowers are fairly rare.

I think we are very much further north than you, in line with Winnipeg, but I don't think our weather is comparable due to the gulf steam heating us in winter.
There is no such thing as can't grow it - but the determination required may lose you your partner, family and friends - but does that matter?.
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Old 07-19-2007, 01:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: An attempt in the really cold zone

We're listed as 5a, here's what I do

cut it off about 12-18 inches tall. put 4 bags of leaves, still in the bag around the stem and one on top. When it starts getting warmer in the spring, take the bags off and sprinkle a few leaves over the top until it sprouts.
Then rake back the mulch and fertilize the heck out of it with lawn fertilizer (not weed and feed!) a few times over the summer.
Sandy Burrell

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1501 East Fuson Road
Muncie, IN 47302

specializing in bananas, heirloom tomatoes and water gardening plants~
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