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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 10-20-2021, 12:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
Vronni
 
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Location: Southern Delaware, USA
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Default Best fruiting banana for me?

Hi folks,

I'm new to growing bananas. I recently moved to southern Delaware, USA, and finally have some space for gardening and fruit trees. I've planted my favorites, and I'd like to try my husband's favorite - bananas!

My zone is 7b, and the average low temp in January is mid-20s. Estimated first/last frost dates are mid-April and late October. I have a sunny spot picked out on the southeast side of my garage where it will be out of the wind.

I'm looking for a fruiting variety. According to this page: https://www.willisorchards.com/produ...t#.YXBBrBwpBZg, Raja Puri could work for me.

Any thoughts on this variety? Any other suggestions?

What size should I start with? When should I plant it? When can I expect to get fruit? Is the source above a reasonable price? Other source suggestions? One site said to plant minimum of 3; do you agree? What's the best source for step-by-step directions for planting and care?

Any other advice I didn't think to ask about?

Thanks to all for your help!
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Old 10-20-2021, 03:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
Location: Marco Island, FL
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Default Re: Best fruiting banana for me?

Welcome!!
Well, I don’t want to be a bummer but Zone 7 is gonna be really tough for fruit with an in-ground plant. I grow Raja Puri’s and I love them, but I now live in South Florida. Zone 7 is just pretty darn cold for growing a Raji in the ground. When they say “cold tolerant” or notes zones 7-10, don’t mix up with fruiting zone. When they note it may go to Zone 7, that probably means survival Zone of the corm in the ground (if well mulched, protected, etc.). I use Hardiness zone as where the leaves/p-stem might take a short frost and survive. Fruiting zone is that which you can get the plant to fruit in a normal growing season. So my Raji Pura take 5 months to flower, and 5 months until fruit is ripe…and that’s in Zone 10. Bananas stop growing in the 50’s so somehow you’ll need to work around that constraint… That’s how we get crazy about our bananas; how to get something to fruit with limited growing days.
Fruiting will be really, really hard without lots of planning in 7… but many members have different ways to try and fruit in colder zones. Example, grow them as much as they can in year 1, dig up prior to frost to maximize size, wrap/insulate and store over the winter in garage or basement, and get in in ground in Spring early with protection. Or some use greenhouse, some will grow in pots and nurse over the winter.
There a lots of posts about how folks grow in colder areas; for example search by “Cold Hardy Bananas” and lots of post will pop up.
I’ve seen discussion around which is best variety to beat the cold (seems like dwarf Orinoco vs. Dwarf Namwah). The standard for cold hardy ornamental in your neck of the woods is probably Musa Basjoo but there are others… just no edible fruit.
Don’t be discouraged as somehow some growers have made it work! I'll let someone else weigh in as its been a long time since I've grown outside of FL.
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Blue Java, Raja Puri, Goldfinger FHIA-01, Mona Lisa FHIA-02, Pitogo, Saba, Dwarf Cavendish, Super Dwarf Cav., Namwa, Brazilian, and a mystery or two
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Old 10-21-2021, 12:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best fruiting banana for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vronni View Post
Hi folks,

I'm new to growing bananas. I recently moved to southern Delaware, USA, and finally have some space for gardening and fruit trees. I've planted my favorites, and I'd like to try my husband's favorite - bananas!

My zone is 7b, and the average low temp in January is mid-20s. Estimated first/last frost dates are mid-April and late October. I have a sunny spot picked out on the southeast side of my garage where it will be out of the wind.

I'm looking for a fruiting variety. According to this page: https://www.willisorchards.com/produ...t#.YXBBrBwpBZg, Raja Puri could work for me.

Any thoughts on this variety? Any other suggestions?

What size should I start with? When should I plant it? When can I expect to get fruit? Is the source above a reasonable price? Other source suggestions? One site said to plant minimum of 3; do you agree? What's the best source for step-by-step directions for planting and care?

Any other advice I didn't think to ask about?

Thanks to all for your help!
For plants check out this forum vendor.
There are other forum members as well .
For a first timer he can steer you in the right direction for the best fit for a plant that might work in your area.
Bananas are a very tropical plant and do not like their grow season interupted by the winter months.
Dwarf Orinoco Banana Plants for sale

In your zone you will need to overwinter indoors and grow the plant outdoors in the summer.
With a short growing season like ours expect the plant to possibly flower in 3-5 years.

Do a Youtube search on how to grow bananas in cold climates and how to overwinter them indoors. There are some good takeaways to be had for the backyard banana grower.
There are many DIY banana videos which can help you make decisions based on your preferences and skill level.

Good luck!!
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Old 10-21-2021, 01:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
Location: Charleston, SC
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Default Re: Best fruiting banana for me?

Dwarf Orinoco Banana Plants for sale

Every plant I've purchased from this seller has been a winner.
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