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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 10-08-2009, 02:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Cold Bananas for zone 6

Hey guys! here is a list of bananas that have been reported to survive zone 6.

List
Musa Basjoo (zone 5)
Musa Basjoo 'Sakhalin' (zone 5)
Musa Sikkimensis (zone 5)
Musa Sikkimensis "Daj Giant" (zone 5)
Musa Sikkimensis "red tiger" (zone 5)
Musa Itinerans (zone 5 or 6)
Musa Itinerans 'Gigantea' (zone 5 or 6)
Musa Yunnanensis (zone 5 or 6)
Musa tibet (zone 5 or 6)
Musa Bordelon (zone 6)
Musa velutina (zone 6)
Musa balbisiana (zone 6)
Musa Black Balbisiana (zone 6)
Musella lasiocarpa (zone 5)

I know Musella isn't a real banana but it's related. If you have any questions, I'll try to answer them to the best of my ability. Thanx! God Bless! BananaLee

Last edited by BananaLee : 10-09-2009 at 05:38 PM. Reason: Because I want to I'll make me feel better!
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

Thanks....Can you protect them like a basjoo and theyll come back in the spring, or do you mean dig them up and put them in a crawl space???
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

Just protection! some more than others!
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

Im getting ready to put mine down for the winter. Ive seen different ways of doing this but what do you think is the time to do this? Oct, Nov or dec. I am in PA they say zone 7. I think its a bit colder like 5-6 Dont want to wait to long or kill the plant. Thanks Dan
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

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Originally Posted by PAbananas View Post
Im getting ready to put mine down for the winter. Ive seen different ways of doing this but what do you think is the time to do this? Oct, Nov or dec. I am in PA they say zone 7. I think its a bit colder like 5-6 Dont want to wait to long or kill the plant. Thanks Dan
If you overwinter them outdoors you can try to save the Pseudostem by covering it with straw, pine needles (anything that will keep them dry) and them cover that with burlap and/or other stuff to cover it, before the first killing frost. Or you can wait after the killing frost and cut off the mushy part of pseudostem and mulch it heavily. Hope this helps! God Bless! BananaLee
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

Are you sure you are not is zone 8 or 9? Also, where did you get your hardiness info? Sure would love to know what a musella is if it isn't a banana. I thought there were three genus of banana and they were, musa, musella, and ensete.... Think you need to double check your hardiness info. I am not arguing but I don't want some new banana grower, or palm grower for that matter to expect the same results as you have stated that you are having and then be disappointed when they are not as hardy as they thought!!!
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

Musa, Musella, Ensete: I'm confused
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

Musa Basjoo I know from first hand is hardy with out even mulching. I grew them for five years in Ohio with no protection what so ever,I would just cut them down. I even have one growing in a pot that is clay soil HAHA.

Its pushing it but All the others might be fine if they are out of the wind and up against a house. Also if they are wrapped up and kept dry. Its always a good idea to save a pup from each plant you try cause one winter will be different then the next. Plus members need to remember size of the plant and age will factor in too. A young small plant will not enjoy cold snaps for long periods or soil being to wet. Plus you can't really trust 100% what you read online from vendors,its more trial and error then anything else. I have had people tell me when I first started out working on my camaro years ago,that I need this part and that for my Supercharged engine to run right. Well come to find out some parts I didn't need and was able to resell them.
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

hey don't forget orinoco the tall zone 6 that makes the very best cooking banana! jimmmy
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

Quote:
Originally Posted by blownz281 View Post
Musa Basjoo I know from first hand is hardy with out even mulching. I grew them for five years in Ohio with no protection what so ever,I would just cut them down. I even have one growing in a pot that is clay soil HAHA.

Its pushing it but All the others might be fine if they are out of the wind and up against a house. Also if they are wrapped up and kept dry. Its always a good idea to save a pup from each plant you try cause one winter will be different then the next. Plus members need to remember size of the plant and age will factor in too. A young small plant will not enjoy cold snaps for long periods or soil being to wet. Plus you can't really trust 100% what you read online from vendors,its more trial and error then anything else. I have had people tell me when I first started out working on my camaro years ago,that I need this part and that for my Supercharged engine to run right. Well come to find out some parts I didn't need and was able to resell them.
What you are saying may be true, but if you have to wrap and/or protect, then it is NOT hardy for that area. True hardiness is uncertain due to many variables, but to say a certain banana is hardy in a cetain area, then protecting is really creating a different and thus cannot be a truly hardiness evaluation for that particular area. You have indeed made some valid points and appreciate the input...
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:20 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmmy View Post
hey don't forget orinoco the tall zone 6 that makes the very best cooking banana! jimmmy

Even though orinoco will overwinter in my 7a/b with only mulch, I know of no one in my area that have them that are able to get bananas to produce. Only one I know of that has successfully had an orinoco to fruit is BigDog, and he overwintered his pstem under his house and had a nice pstem to start with in the spring. I wish there was a variety of banana that would overwinter outside here in zone 7, much less in colder areas, and still produce fruit!!! Still no luck from anyone I know of!!!!
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

Thanks Randy, my way of thinking is if I have to dig it up or protect it,then its not worth my time. Putting mulch over something is as far as I will go. Don't have the time or money to waste.
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Old 10-09-2009, 06:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

Thank you! That's what I mean! What I mean is you can grow these with protection in your yard in zone 6. But if these are really zone 7-8 plants and I can grow them here by covering them, does that mean I can grow Orinoco and just cover it or no? I experiment with things so if something dies in the winter I just drop it or if I really like it, I will plant it again in a more protected area.
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

Plants delights Nursery located in central NC zone 7b says this about the orinoco:
PDN -- Musa 'Orinoco'
"This amazing banana is one of the most cold hardy of the edible fruiting bananas, commonly grown for fruit in the US Gulf Coast region. Musa 'Orinoco' amazes visitors with its nice fruit clusters in our Zone 7 garden. For us, a height of 10' is common, although M. 'Orinoco' can reach 21' in more hospitable climates. In the colder climates, cut the banana fruit stalk before the first frost, and keep it indoors in a bucket of water until the fruit ripens. In Zone 7, I recommend surrounding the trunks with a 3'-4' tall cage filled with leaves to preserve next year's fruiting stalks. Pot size: 2 qt. (1.892 L) "


They claim to be able to get fruit- I picked up some elsewhere (their prices are little high) and am going to give them a try next year in the zone 7/8 border.
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:10 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

Tony at PDN is pretty generous with the zone ratings of most of his plants. I wish you luck and hope you are successful with it, but don't be diappointed if you do not get it to bear fruit if you have a true 7b winter. Important thing is to save as much pstem as possible and cross your fingers!!!!
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:44 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

I'm a bit further south....in SC barely in zone 8 so I'm hoping. Yeah it seems that their zones ratings are generous.
I'll see what happens.
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:53 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

Thank you for the info! God Bless! BananaLee
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Old 10-11-2009, 02:51 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

It's odd how Tony says he "conservative" with his zone ratings! Lol!
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Old 10-11-2009, 03:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

I have a couple of comments just from my experiences with plants.

First, The USDA hardiness zones are only guide lines. You must keep this in mind when you are purchasing plants. Decide how much effort you are willing to put into maintaining this plant. Not much effort, purchase below your zone. Remember this plant will hopefully be a long term investment requiring YEARS of care. Next I must confess that Tony's zone ratings are not always accurate. Most of this is because he rates them according to what his experience is. Brian at Brians Botanicals has Trachycarpus fortunei that has survived subzero temps in a zone 6, Tony rates them as "Zone 7-9, At least"
Some of the bananas that were mentioned in this thread I was surprised that claims were made as hardy in a zone 6. I guess it would be better if the claim was stated as " can survive in a zone 6 with protection", since bananas are not native to American cold climates. I have plants that I grow in the ground here in a zone 6 that normaly are not grown here, but this is my niche in my nursery. Other nurseries here do not grow the plants I grow because of the time and care required to maintain them here. They can grow here but require special care to survive the winter.

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Old 10-11-2009, 04:11 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas for zone 6

I totally agree zones are a very broad/vague kind of thing....I really don't trust every trust the zone rating from one site- if I'm shopping for a certain plant, I look at lots of vendor's zone ratings- take the high and the low and split the difference.
I've seen Alocasia Calidora rated for zone 9+ but there is a seller on ebay that has it in 7b. Variegated Tapioca, same thing, most say 9+ but a seller on ebay has it at zone 8. And before anyone trashes on ebay sellers- these are 2 sellers that several folks on this site has spoken positively about.
I mainly posted the quote about the orinoco because it said that PDN gotten them to fruit in their zone, which shows that it's possible (unless they made it up). I'm sure that it depends on how you grow them.
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