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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 11-16-2014, 02:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Cold cold weather advice

Here is the detail. I live in zone 8b. I have three musa gran nain. The are about 6ft tall (main stalk) with leaves up over 10ft. I built a green house around them (basic wood frame with 6mil plastic cover). My goal is not to grow them through the winter only to keep them alive. The winter has started off very cold. Temps daytime outside mind 50s inside greenhouse around mid 70s, at night outside upper 20s inside using propane heat ive been able to keep it in the mid 40s.
Here is my question the leaves have begun turning yellow. Does that mean im loosing the battle or are the plants lacking something? I have slowed some on watering but the inside of the greenhouse is very humid with lots of moisture dripping down. I have piles of mulch up around them as high as I can without covering the 8 kids. Could the carbon monoxide being given off from the heater be causing the yellowing? Or could it be less sun light causing it? Playing out the worst case scenario if I loose all the leaves and keep the plants from freezing will they continue to grow this spring or will I have list them?
Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

Last edited by edenrose : 11-16-2014 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 11-16-2014, 03:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: cold weather advice

Your leaves are probably just yellowing because of reduced photosynthesis due to shorter days/lack of sun light/being wrapped.
As long as you keep the p-stems alive and prevent the corms from frost damage, your plants will continue to grow next spring.
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Old 11-16-2014, 03:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: cold weather advice

musa gran nain needs to be kept ticking over winter months since it is a cultivar of the musa cavndish family, you wont be able to put this banana on hold with out losing it. temp in the greenhouse needs to be min 60f or 16c day and night.you are getting yellow leaves because it is to cold at 40f.

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Old 11-16-2014, 11:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: cold weather advice

Thanks for the reply. Is there anything I can do to help them recover from the damage already done by the cold? Im not sure if I can maintain 60 but will give it my best. It just at some point the cost of keeping them warm may become excessive.( if your spending $3.50 a day to keep them alive you can go to the grocery and buy a pound of bananas). I just hate to see my beautiful plants die without producing.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: cold weather advice

Frost don't kill a stem, freezing does.. Leaves will go downhill fast, but the main thing is not to have the stem freeze.. :^)
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: cold weather advice

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Originally Posted by edenrose View Post
Thanks for the reply. Is there anything I can do to help them recover from the damage already done by the cold? Im not sure if I can maintain 60 but will give it my best. It just at some point the cost of keeping them warm may become excessive.( if your spending $3.50 a day to keep them alive you can go to the grocery and buy a pound of bananas). I just hate to see my beautiful plants die without producing.

You cant turn the leaves that have gone yellow back to green, but you can make sure any new leaves stay green by keeping the temps that I mentioned if you can afford to,When you grow nanas in winters, which lack heat or are cold, freezing temps then you can forget about trying to compare cost to store brought bananas, for me its about novelty of growing these beautiful perennials, if I get fruit its a bonus.
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Old 11-17-2014, 04:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: cold weather advice

I am in a 8b climate and all I do is wrap the p-stem as high as I can get them, let everything freeze above the wrap but making sure I have plenty of protection on the ground to keep the corm from freezing. When warm weather returns the p-stem starts emerging at the freeze line, viola bananas a bit later
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: cold weather advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by edenrose View Post
Here is the detail. I live in zone 8b. I have three musa gran nain. The are about 6ft tall (main stalk) with leaves up over 10ft. I built a green house around them (basic wood frame with 6mil plastic cover). My goal is not to grow them through the winter only to keep them alive. The winter has started off very cold. Temps daytime outside mind 50s inside greenhouse around mid 70s, at night outside upper 20s inside using propane heat ive been able to keep it in the mid 40s.
Here is my question the leaves have begun turning yellow. Does that mean im loosing the battle or are the plants lacking something? I have slowed some on watering but the inside of the greenhouse is very humid with lots of moisture dripping down. I have piles of mulch up around them as high as I can without covering the 8 kids. Could the carbon monoxide being given off from the heater be causing the yellowing? Or could it be less sun light causing it? Playing out the worst case scenario if I loose all the leaves and keep the plants from freezing will they continue to grow this spring or will I have list them?
Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.
I agree that the yellowing is from lack of light. The stem is not as critical as the crom. If the crom freezes its had it. The stem should survive if it does ot freeze. You mite try wrapping the stem and the top of the soil with insulation form the big box stores to help in case of a greenhouse failure or gas outage. It looks like hell but can work, just don't wrap too tight. Good luck. If I was a brian surgeon I wouldn't have frozen all mine to death last winter!
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: cold weather advice

Thank you all for your input. I havent been able to maintain 60 but I have been able to keep them above 50. This first cold snap has been a hard one. The forcast says we will be back in the 70s by Saturday. I think I can keep them warm with the set up I have until then. I will be better prepared thanks to all the advice for the next hard freeze.
Insulation if the plants and the greenhouse will my next steps. I have also looked into some grow lamps to maybe help them.
Again thank you!!!
And if you have more advice or suggestions im all ears (eyes in this case)
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: cold weather advice

Edenrose,

If you have a green house, get some hydroponic grow lights 400w to 1000w and I guarantee you it will keep your babies happy. Those thing not only will put out the growing light spectrum they need but put out a ton of heat.
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