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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 10-15-2006, 10:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question dormancy in the pot?

has anyone tried dormancy in the pot? I read "somewhere" that you could cut off the leaves (basjoo) and let the soil dry out and cover the pseudostem with a sheet or thin blanket and keep from freezing. mine hase a four foot pseudo stem. If no one has luck with this, I will use BIGDOG's method
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Old 10-16-2006, 02:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Cold Re: dormancy in the pot?

I tried that last year and everyone of the plants I left in the pot died from rot. I like bigdogs way of storing the plants overwinter. Just thought you'd like to know my experience with potting over winter.
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: dormancy in the pot?

thanks!
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Old 10-27-2006, 06:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: dormancy in the pot?

I'm trying this for the first time this year with some three foot trunked ice cream, rajapuris, zebrinas, and bordelons. I didn't want to have to repot them in the spring when I don't have time. They are in one gallon pots--I've cut all the leaves off, not watered them and stored them right along with the others. The potting soil (promix hp) looks bone dry. I'll let you know how it goes.

I'm keeping them in the heated garage, temps set on 40 degrees. It might get warmer than that in there, but not colder. If I get scared, I'll fish the worst looking ones out and restart them in the basement on a heat mat under the big MH grow light.
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Old 10-27-2006, 12:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: dormancy in the pot?

I'm trying my own indoor version of this: cut all the leaves off except for the newest leaf and emerging spear. keep soil mostly dry with only a tiny bit of water rarely. aim the leaf at the window... this allows me to keep a few plants all lined up together, without using too much space.

My theory is that if banana plants need 1) very bright light, 2) lots of water, and 3) high temperatures, if I keep the ratio the same they will have a chance of surviving. This is the same ratio for dormancy that everyone who overwinters in a closet or under the house uses - no light, no heat, no water. So my plants are getting some light from a window, temps between 68-70 and very little water. I have allowed all plants I'm trying this with to be pot-bound to minimize the chance of drowning them. Leaving only one leaf will, I hope, mean that the plant will have less of itself to sustain for the next 5 months, making the proportions acceptable. One of my plants has been indoors for over a month already and it seems to be working very well. Once the new leaf is open I'll cut of the older one and continue.

Any thoughts on this? Make any sense?

Its quite fun trying to figure this stuff out, I'll let you all know how well it works.

~Joe
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Old 10-30-2006, 08:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: dormancy in the pot?

I have over-wintered Musella lasiocarpa and Musa acuminata 'Rojo' in pots. The lasios were in 1 gallon pots ( 2 years old and very rootbound) and the Rojo was in a 10 or 12 inch pot.

The lasios were on the floor away from the weak light of the north-ish window and the Rojo was by the window. Both types were kept very dry with the lasios hardly getting any water at all.

The room was a finished basement so the temp was a little below the normal winter temps.

All of them survived beautifully.
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Old 11-08-2006, 06:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: dormancy in the pot?

I have a room in my basement I keep all my plants, the hid lights and swamp cooler provide plenty of light and humidity. I keep my bananas almost dry. They grow very little in this condition until I turn up the heat in early spring, and then they start growing like crazy. I do know if you keep them in the pot and do not provide humidity with that light the leaves will dry out. Happy wintering. : Mike
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Old 11-29-2006, 02:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: dormancy in the pot?

Its been over a month since I started overwintering indoors as described in my post above. So far everything is alive, green and apparently healthy. Most plants are so pot bound that I water them (moderately to sparingly, depends on the plant) approximately once a week, but they are essentially dry the day after watering. This takes the worry away about rotting at least.

Some of the new leaves are smaller than the leaves I got growing outdoors, but I guess this is OK since the plant is trying to adapt to less light. Window space is a huge problem for me, since I brought in so many plants they don't all get close enough to the light. Maybe I'll try rotating if things start heading south...

Now I just have to make it through until April or May. I'm assuming I've had the easiest month so far since they all came in the house with stored up energy, which is probably used by now.

I'll post updates throughout the winter if there are changes - I'm hoping to be able to get my Basjoos and DC, which are currently dusting the ceiling, outside in the spring with no pseudostem loss and at least one leaf. Maybe I'll have a head start on those plants that people have in their crawl space! With only 3-4 months of active growing season I sure need it!

Regards,

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Old 01-06-2007, 12:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: dormancy in the pot?

Hi Joe, how are your plants doing inside? By the way are you keeping light on them at all?

Its roughly 1:00 pm here EST and its 73 degrees in SE PA, unbelieveable. The ski slops in the Pocono mountain area are all closed waiting for freezing temps to start making snow again. Next week were still looking at upper 50's. This weather sure is crazy. I wonder if anyone is having overheating problems with covered plants left outside. I just went out and tore open some cages I have around some young crepe murtles I planted in late summer, they were way too hot inside. Thats it from here on what feels like an early June day!!!! Uncrichie.
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Old 01-11-2007, 03:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: dormancy in the pot?

OK just typed out a long reply and somehow lost it before I could hit submit so here's the short version!

basjoos were too tall and weren't doing well inside- they are now dormant in the garage unprotected.

zebrina and large clump of enano gigante are doing amazing, no problems there.

large cavendish looks very heathy but leaves are emerging before the predecessors are fully open and it looks like its starting to choke itself. not sure how to fix this, I guess its just a race against time to get it outside again.

the easy ones, high colour mini and super dwarf cavendish are actually doing the worst. essentially dead and not growing, each has put out pups which are actively growing, however.

everything else seems like it will probably make it.

white bird of paradise grew too tall and not strong enough while looking for light and some of the larger leaves are now falling down.

inside for almost 4 months, with only 2-2.5 left, providing we have a nice spring. however, we'll probably have to pay for such a nice warm winter with a cold freezing spring all the way until June!!!!

~Joe
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Old 01-12-2007, 07:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: dormancy in the pot?

Here's an update on mine too.
Surprizingly, the ones that had always been grown in pots are looking pretty good. I think at this point if I carried them back into the greenhouse and watered them, they would take off again. Most are only 2.5-3 foot pstems and in gallon pots.
Some of the ones that I dug and stored barerooted have not made it, the ones that were about three feet tall overall, including leaves, so they would have had pstems about 1.5 feet tall. I only stored three of them this way and two have died. What they both did was really weird though. They looked just fine all the way up the stems, but right at the collar where the stalk comes out of the ground they rotted there. There were some wormy looking bugs in there when I cut them open but I don't know if they were incidental and happened because of the rot, or if they were infested because they were directly planted in the ground and caused the rot. They were sumatrana x gran nain cross bananas.
I also had one basjoo that started looking bad and it was a larger one stored barerooted, about 5 foot pstem. It got some mold on it and started shriveling up from the top down. I chopped the mold off of it, sprayed it with some physan 20 and potted it and put it under the metal halide 1000w light in the basement with a lot of other stuff and it immediately pushed out a couple of new leaves, then I put it in the greenhouse. It still looks fine.
We have a while to go here until May. So I'll let you know again later on. If any of them look too bad, I'm going to continue to rescue them and restart them under the grow light, if I can still fit anything down there.
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