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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 01-23-2012, 09:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Basjoos froze...heater failed in greenhouse

Ok, need quick help. I live in Ohio an the heater I had in my greenhouse failed. It was almost 2 days before I found out, during which the temp got down to 24F in the greenhouse for an unknown period of time. I immediately brought them inside in front of the southern facing sliding glass doors in my house where they have remained. We don't get a ton of sun in Northern Ohio through the winter, but lately it hasn't been too bad. All of the bottom leaves have either turned black and fell off or have turned brownish green and dried up. The very top leaf is still green and soft and the P-stem still looks ok to me. What are my options? I could leave them in front of the window for the rest of the winter getting whatever little sun they could get with no problem. If so, how much water? Trim off dead leaves? what else. I also have a basement that is not well insulated nd gets very cold. Should I did them up and dry them out down there? Any other suggestions would be helpful. I will try to post pics later. Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Basjoos froze...heater failed in greenhouse

Pitangodiego has a very useful pruning mantra for bananas: "green is good, brown is bad". And of course, brown that turns black is totally dead. The plant won't be needing much in the way of solar panels since as you say the light levels are low this time of year. Your worst enemy will be corm rot. The plant is not going to grow much, and hence its water needs will be low. An issue with indoor growing is that humidity is very low -- especially during the winter when the heater is on. Misting the plant once a day is good strategy but again be careful of the soil. It should be moist at the holes in the bottom of the pot but not wet or soggy. When you do water it, let it drain somewhere for a day before putting the pot on any sort of dish or tray.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Basjoos froze...heater failed in greenhouse

Ohhhh noo I had this happen to me too this Winter got down to 32. Almost all the leaves on all the plants died back but done totally died, hope your recovers and there is still hope!!
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Basjoos froze...heater failed in greenhouse

Never throw anything away, Nature has a habit of surprising us.

Give it a lonnnnng time to recover though.

Good luck!

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Old 01-24-2012, 10:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Basjoos froze...heater failed in greenhouse

Thanks all for responding. I am definitely going to save them. I put too much love into these plants just to pitch because of a few dead leaves. I'm almost positive they'll be fine, but I just want to know the best thing to do for them so they will recover the quickest. Below are current pics of them. I think I'm going to trim off all the dried, brown leaves and just leave that green one at the top.







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Old 01-24-2012, 05:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Basjoos froze...heater failed in greenhouse

Trim them, be carefull on watering and they will do fine.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Basjoos froze...heater failed in greenhouse

remove all dead leaves and no water till April or else the corm will rot
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Basjoos froze...heater failed in greenhouse

Ok, I want to understand exactly what you are saying so let me reiterate this. Even though I'm keeping them inside in a 70 degree house in a southern facing window all winter long, I still don't water them at all? It just doesn't make sense to me that I keep them outside all spring, summer and fall in 70 degree temps and water them every other day to get them to grow, why should I not do it in my house when all the variables are relatively the same? How does the plant know the difference between inside and out?
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Basjoos froze...heater failed in greenhouse

Pyro I can tell by your pictures that they are fine. No need to worry all that happened are the leaves got fried, which on basjoos generally happens at about 28 degrees or so. The pseudostem can take temps down to about 21 to 23 before freezing. If the pseudostems had frozen you would be pulling chunks of ice out of the stems and they would have collapsed. They will be fine. This is all from first hand experience. The newest leaves look pretty green to me. The idea on holding off on water is to wait for active growth. If they aren't growing or growing very slowly the corms will rot. At best I would give very minimal amounts of water until late March or April, then coax it into growth.

I have been overwintering them outside here in Milwaukee for 12 years now. I know what cold damage looks like on them. It isn't always pretty but you would be surprised how tough basjoos really are.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Basjoos froze...heater failed in greenhouse

Maybe Im not the best person to explain but in short line : less leaf mass-less water. Whan U notice new leaf growth increase watering.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Basjoos froze...heater failed in greenhouse

What Ante said Pryo. With no leaves the plant can not transpire any water so there is no need to add any more until it starts pushing out new growth. The corm has plenty of stored energy and water.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Basjoos froze...heater failed in greenhouse

Gotcha. Loud and clear. That makes sense now about the lack of leaves and needing less water. Thanks all for the help and alleviating my worries.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Basjoos froze...heater failed in greenhouse

I grow bananas in Ohio as well...right now I have a basjoo, siam ruby and a velutina in a small south facing window and they all share the sunlight. With temperatures that warm inside you will definitely have to water them every once I'm a while. Just keep an eye on how dry the soil gets. Last winter people told me not to water mine and it almost killed them all. I water my plants every weekend now and they are growing better than ever and the siam ruby(which can be hard to grow) is thriving now that I took care of the spider mites! Your plants will be fine just make sure they don't dry out to bad. Good Luck! Keep us updated on how their doing. If you do happen to lose them I can hook you up with one I've been over-wintering mine outside in the ground for 3 winters now. Get yours in the ground when spring comes they will get huge!
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