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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 08-29-2007, 10:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Cold bringing stuff indoors...

Hello,
I recently ordered a ton of stuff from brians botanicals... all is doing well, i will post pics of individual plants when i get home.

Colocasia Big Dipper
Colocasia Gigantea
Colocasia Pink China
Musa Basjoo
Musa Becarii
Petasites hybridus
Tetrapanax Papyriferus
Canna Musafolia

in addition to that I got some other stuff locally that cant winter here.

black magic (colocasia), nightshade, huge cannas, Various cacti,
the bamboo was outside all last year and did great so dont worry about that(pics)

I used to have a fish tank with metal halides (2x250 watt). I am going to order some 5000k bulbs for that setup for growing indoors.
I have some south/west windows (four big ones) that i am going to build a rack in front of and also hang the lamps over the plants.
Will this work to keep my plants indoors?

some of my plants can be seen here

centipededesign.blogspot.com

Any help with indoor growing would be appreciated. Please keep in mind i cant put up reflective material (mylar) or anything that will look bad. This needs to look like a classy setup or it cant go in the livingroom. I will also put pictures of the room up when i get home.
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: bringing stuff indoors...

Hey Ryan!
Some(most if not all) of what you mentioned there can be stored in a dormant state that won't require lighting .. just moderte temps...and air circulation.. Were just wanting to keep them up and producing?
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: bringing stuff indoors...

Yeah,
I dont care if they flower but I want to enjoy them during the winter. Now that my tank is gone I think it would be a cool thing to have on display in the house and would also help the plants look better next spring. I dont see a lot of posts regarding this and I wonder if its possible or if it will put my plants in jepordy. Im surprised there aren't more people with indoor enviroments, that scares me into thinking that there are major problems with attempting to do so.
Thanks,
Ryan
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Old 08-29-2007, 12:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: bringing stuff indoors...

we are already planning on how to winter our nanners inside, plus how to protect seedling for cats trying to sleep on then, as they like sleeping in the pots


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Old 08-29-2007, 02:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: bringing stuff indoors...

I am new to the site and would love info on this subject as well. I lost a few last year overwintering indoors, as I tried to do it without grow lights (I don't know a THING about using them & confused by too many types when I tried to research), but turned out to be a painful mistake. Our sun here is just too seldom & too anemic when it does show in our winters to sustain life until bringing back outdoors in mid-late May.

D&T:
I also had trouble with my cats around the pots (altho mine didn't want to just sleep in them!), so used a few hoops of that cheap wire fencing you can unfold to put around a garden outdoors. When I didn't have enough of that for all the pots & stores were done selling gardening items for the year, I desperately resorted to using unsharpened pencils pushed down in the soil with soft eraser end upwards ... close enough together that kitties couldn't get in there. Not the best solution, I'm sure ... but it worked.


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Old 08-29-2007, 02:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: bringing stuff indoors...

The biggest problem I have had housing (outside) plants inside is a tendency to over water and the lack of humidity.. By the end of winter they look as tho they would have rather have taken their natural sibatical...Turns into work instead of pleasure.
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Old 08-29-2007, 03:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: bringing stuff indoors...

I had the best luck keeping plants almost dormant to dormant . In France I placed all my plants in a cool room ( around 50 f ) with a big Window and I watered to keep the compost barly moist to almost dry. It's a real balaning act in the end. This year with all new climate and conditions here in Bethesda Lord knows how I'm going to do it. My best advise is to watch your plants and adjust conditions to keep them going. Any plant that you think you are really losing the battle with can be moved to a warm Sunny room and encouraged to start regrowing , sometimes that's the only way to keep a treasured plant alive. Smaller Musa and such need to be kept growing a little in my experience or they will not make it. There is much more Brain work involved in keeping your plants alive in the Winter.
A tip is , if Red Spider Mite make a major appearance then put the plant in the Shower and shower it with warm water to get as much of the RSM off as possible, this also cleans dust off the plant and helps it absorb more of the available light. Sometimes I repeat the shower after a few days. You just have to keep them ticking over until the warm weather comes back , it's a challenge
Hope this helps.
Later
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Old 08-29-2007, 03:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: bringing stuff indoors...

The limiting factor seems to be light. Low light, warm dry air, mites, and overwatering are the basic ingredients for banana-murder. But if you atleast give them strong light, they take much more abuse.
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: bringing stuff indoors...

What zone are you in, Ryan?

With all the plants I had inside last winter, I could see me getting them to the shower. It's all we could do to move around the house. LOL

We didn't have any spider mite problems but did develop some scale on palms. Took care of that first sign of spring.

I agree that the lack of humidity is a problem, and probably the biggest problem I had, even including lack of light. Fortunately, my winter was a short one and the bananas received very little light and very little water. Mostly I misted and they did great for those couple of months.

Crotons faired the worst and barely made a comeback. They live, but not thrive. Black magic lived, looked bad come spring, but bounced back fast.
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: bringing stuff indoors...

I am in utah. (near SLC)
Somewhere between 5-7
There are weird sub-climates around here.
i would say 6b if i had to.

I was planning on installing a humidifier that ran all winter long because i have serious skin/nose/throat tissue issues with the arid air here in UT.

I think I am going to go visit with the greenhouse down the street and ask them if i can rent some space. I think I will attempt to bring them in and if they start to do poorly then I will take them down there and let them take care of them for the remainder.

Any other tips for my setup?

so far my plan is to get some trays to hold excess water from pot runoff,
Different shelve heights for taller and shorter plants,
2x250 watt halides,
humidifier,

How do i acclimate them to the conditions indoors?
Also if i decide to abort and go to cold storage if the plants start doing poorly will it threaten them more than if i just went straight to cold storage?

Thanks,
-Ry
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: bringing stuff indoors...

Ryan, every winter i run a large humdifier... one of those big tanks with the paddle wheel... plus I have a 50 and 75 gallon aquariums, and -still- my house is dry dry dry. I have electric heating and it seems to be much dryer than gas or oil. But, I did shut off the heat in the spare room where most of my plants were and used the spray bottle alot.

As far as acclimating... probably just leaving them out until weather makes bringing them in a must would help, but I would go ahead and pot up whatever needs it now. I would think the shorter days and cooler temps would ease them in better than bringing them in during a warm spell.

Quote:
Also if i decide to abort and go to cold storage if the plants start doing poorly will it threaten them more than if i just went straight to cold storage?
The good news is, everything you listed can simply be whacked off and should easily go dormant if you don't wait till they die. Except Petasites hybridus .. I have no experience with that, so don't know.

I'm hoping not to be in your shoes this year. I do have a greenhouse which got destroyed last winter and am hoping to get it up and running again. So far my husband has not gotten the job done. I'll be going into "wife mode" soon, and all the fussing will either help or he'll divorce me.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:40 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: bringing stuff indoors...

Hello,
You guys have almost talked me out of doing this.
Still have a couple of questions. I am still bringing all my houseplants in which in itself warrants a metal halide but as for the tropicals...

would they be better off down the street in a greenhouse? (it is a greenhouse where they keep mainly indoor plants.)

Or would they be better of going dormant in my garage?

Can someone point to a thread about bringing stuff in. I know cannas have a different way they like to be stored... how about colocasia etc.

Thanks,
Ry
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Old 09-01-2007, 11:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: bringing stuff indoors...

LOL

Ryan, I think you're just going to have to decide for yourself what route you want to go. Different people are going to have different opinions because they've had different experiences.

Personally, some of my stuff I can't bare to simply dig up and store dormant. I think you take the biggest risk of losing everything if you try to keep them going in your house. I've been lucky in the past but my winters are short.... usually.
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:49 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: bringing stuff indoors...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan_christensen View Post
Hello,
You guys have almost talked me out of doing this.
Still have a couple of questions. I am still bringing all my houseplants in which in itself warrants a metal halide but as for the tropicals...
would they be better off down the street in a greenhouse? (it is a greenhouse where they keep mainly indoor plants.)
Or would they be better of going dormant in my garage?
Thanks,
Ry
Hey Ryan

What zone are you in? I didn't see it listed.
I like the green house idea personally, it would let small corms to get some size. That is what I am going to do if the local GH has room for me this year, but I am also going to try an indoor growroom this year too. For cannas and elephant ears I just dig em, wash em, let em dry, wrap em in newspaper, and toss em in a plastic tub in the garage. This has worked for me the last 5 years. I have also tried just digging them up knocking the dirt off and tossing them in tubs to, but did lose a few to rot. The petasites I would leave in the ground they are cold hardy to zone 3 I believe... I just purchased some this year and thats where they are going to stay. I would say mulch the basjoo, but I saw you had them in a raised planter. So it would be a greenhouse. I tried to keep mine potted in a room with and S.E. facing window and lights from my frog tanks, but the mites and dry air just about killed them.
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: bringing stuff indoors...

Hello Again,
I am in Zone 6ish
SLC utah.

I put most my stuff in a wind sheltered location... also the north side of my house that wont get any winter sun.

Some of the things like Tetrapanax and petasites havent been in long enough to develop good roots that I think will overwinter. Same with the canna musafolia.

I just got back from the greenhouse and he said they will be tight on space, and it would cost a fortune to house them.

so.....

I guess I am going to bring some of my duplicates inside and use my garage for storage for the rest. Can someone point to a thread that deals with cold storage of some of these things? From what i gather people just wash off colocasia, alocasia, tetrapanax, canna and then wrap them in newspaper and keep them in a dark Tupperware bin that stays under 60Deg f.? Do you guys use fungicides or anything?

Thanks again!
Ry
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: bringing stuff indoors...

I've got a related question to anyone that knows. I have a Super Dwarf Cavendish (a very thick trunk on this one) and need to bring it inside (its in the ground right now). I'm going to dig it up and put it in a pot.

Should i remove any leaves are will they just fall off if they need to? I'm guessing the roots aren't going to be enough for all the green on top?
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:31 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: bringing stuff indoors...

I usually remove all of the leaves but maybe the top 1 or 2 when re-planting. More than likely you'll end up having to anyway,might as well make it easier on the plant. If you are concerned about the way it looks though, you could leave them and only remove as necessary later. Good luck.

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