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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 11-21-2006, 01:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

I thought I read somewhere that brazilian may be quite hardy, and able to grow in cool weather in the same sense as orinoco? Seems almost too good to be true, I really love the shape and apperance of the dwarf brazilian banana, and it doesn't seem to get too tall either.

Anyone have any info/experiences? Would love to try and trade some species-bananas for some brazilian pups .

Erlend
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Old 11-21-2006, 01:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

Survived its pseudostem here for 3 consecutive winters. Only the leaves gets damaged. My avatar is the Dwarf Brazilian in bloom. It got down to 22 to 24 deg F during the winters.

It is the next one to push out leaves in the spring time next to California Gold, almost the same time as Dwarf Orinoco.
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Old 11-21-2006, 04:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

Did you get good quality fruit?
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Old 11-21-2006, 12:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

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Originally Posted by mrbungalow View Post
Did you get good quality fruit?
I still haven't harvested mine. They are so plump, I just like to see if they can ripen on the plant before the first real frosts comes. It is unusually late in the season and the frosts are not here yet, so they're staying on the plant.

Will let you know after they ripen. I have two bunches from the same clump. Very productive banana, much better than California Gold when it comes to productivity per clump. It produces 5 times more pups than California Gold. If don't thin it out, it is going to take over my yard.
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Old 11-27-2006, 12:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

When did your Dwarf Brazilian start to bloom?
And at what hight?

I like them a lot too.
Their pups seem to root and start to grow fast and easely.

But unfortunetly I have not one ready to bloom yet.

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Old 11-27-2006, 12:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

Maesy,

Where did you find dwarf brazilian in Europe?
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Old 11-27-2006, 05:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

Hi,

next year, probably in the next months (February or March) I will travel to Brazil. Perhaps I will get some pups from Banana Maçã there. This is as same as Dwarf Brazilian, see http://www.webebananas.com It is an AAB type like Dwarf Brazilian, it might be the same.

@maesy - did Dwarf Brazil proved as hardy in the Switzerland with winter protection? (Hat sich Dwarf Brazil in der Schweiz als winterhart mit Winterschutz erwiesen?)

Best wishes
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Old 11-27-2006, 06:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

Mine bloomed at early spring, the pseudostem height of 1.37 meters (4.5 ft).
It is 18 months old from a pup that's grown from a ft high at the trunk during planting.


Quote:
Originally Posted by maesy View Post
When did your Dwarf Brazilian start to bloom?
And at what hight?

I like them a lot too.
Their pups seem to root and start to grow fast and easely.

But unfortunetly I have not one ready to bloom yet.

Maesy.
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Old 11-29-2006, 12:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeReal View Post
Mine bloomed at early spring, the pseudostem height of 1.37 meters (4.5 ft).
It is 18 months old from a pup that's grown from a ft high at the trunk during planting.
Is using the pseudostem height a good judge of when your plant is going to fruit or is there a better way?
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Old 11-29-2006, 01:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

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Originally Posted by modenacart View Post
Is using the pseudostem height a good judge of when your plant is going to fruit or is there a better way?
Some use the number of leaves and I found this inaccurate
Some use age, but this depends on size of plant when you put them in the ground.
Some use height but this could not be generalized across various locations and your crop management style.

If there's data available and compiled for each cultivar, I think the best determinant would be the number of warm hours, like 55-95 deg F that the plant has undergone. The same way like the Utah model is used for chilling hours on temperate fruits, but instead we are using warming hours. The reason why I chose 55 deg F is that bananas start to grow actively (phenological aging) at this temperature, and beyond 95 deg F, it also stops growing due to stress. However, I haven't come across any scientific literature doing this correlation analysis to build such models while we have a lot of studies for temperate crops in the chilling hours.

In the absence of such best theoretical methods, the height works very well once you get your clump going. But first, you have to take note the height the specific cultivar will start to bloom in your yard. The height when the plant is supposed to bloom varies from yard to yard and so if you generalize across various regions, it is a very poor indicator. But once you get the feel of it in your yard, you can "sense" when your plant is about to bloom judging by its size and your past experience with them.
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Old 11-30-2006, 12:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

Thanks for the data, I will keep notes of what mine do.
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Old 11-30-2006, 07:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

In zone 10 s. Fl. , my D. Brazillian set fruit 5 months to the week of being planted . It was a 1 foot pup when started. I did give it everything it could possibly want, and then some , but it supprised me anyway. I believe it is a tc. from Agri-starts and their site say's it will fruit at 6-8 foot. Mine is at about 7 foot of stem height, so that was true for mine. I agree with Joe, temps. along with induvidual care are big factors for fruit maturation. As for cold hardiness , or quality of the fruit, I'm still waiting for that info.
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Old 11-30-2006, 07:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

Beautiful plant, NANAMAN!
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Old 11-30-2006, 07:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

Thank You, D'
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Old 11-30-2006, 07:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

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... As for cold hardiness , or quality of the fruit, I'm still waiting for that info.
Well, for starters in terms of cold hardiness, mine has endured unscathed after 6 separate nights of mild frosts, and brief exposure (less than 4 hrs) to low temps of 29 deg F.

Tonight would be another frosty one until next week.

I have harvested the fruits last night, and they are being ripened inside the house. So fruit quality and taste will be reported within a couple of weeks.
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Old 11-30-2006, 09:38 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

Thanks Joe,

I had a hunch that they are pretty hardy, due to how vigorous they are. My climate doesn't test them all that much though. Can you tell me how good they taste? That is my biggest concern. Thanks Again
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Old 12-01-2006, 01:33 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

JoeReal, did you give the plants any kind of winterizing before the frosts/freezing temps? Any idea what would happen if you left the fruit on and tried to protect it? I don't know what you'd use, Plastic bag with peat or straw wrapped around the fruit, maybe? Just curious.

I've heard 55-95 for growth also, but all of mine were growing slow (but growing) at 50. At 105-110 were growing great. The Manzano was at more than one leaf/week during the hottest times. We did have one of the wettest summers on record and may be breaking the record for wettest year recorded.

I had them on a drip system that watered (during peak growing temps) 36min early a.m. and 6min 5 other times throughout the day at 4gph/plant. Except for earthworm castings right around the corms, they were in sandy soil.
Do you think the amount of water kept them growing in high temps or could it have been something else?
BTW great job on growing. Absolutely beautiful avatar!
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:30 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

I stop fertilizing and taking out dead leaves and dead sheaths in September 30. This should discourage tender new growth that would be more susceptible to frosts. One of the last supplements I added was gypsum (calcium sulfate), epsom, ammonium sulfate and 6-20-20 with minors. Gypsum, in the presence of acidifying fertilizer like ammonium sulfate will make calcium more available which are needed to strengthen cell walls for plants to tolerate water and temperature stress. By not removing any more dead parts, I am piling up natural insulation for the pseudostems which is the most important exposed part that should remain alive in order for plans to likely bear fruit, so any cultivar that dies back to the ground are only grown potted and brought inside, but those whose pseudostems survive the winters here, they are planted in the ground. During spring, I apply one trash bin full of horse manure that I haul from friend's horse ranch.

I provided a listing of cold hardy cultivars that I have experimented with in my yard and they are posted earlier here in this forum. That was a $2,000 experiment to get this knowledge first hand. I have scaled down on my cultivars and retained only very few, and Dwarf Brazilian is one of those that remained. All my banana cultivars planted in the ground are cold hardy.

Yes, I left also one bunch of fruit of Dwarf Brazilian to see what happens during the winter. I haven't protected it yet. I plan to wrap it with a jute clothing from Home Depot, and a plastic sheet on the outer layer.
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:35 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

One important thing to note is that going into winter, our temperature drops are very gradual, giving time for my other subtropicals to harden. My citruses for example, like my supposedly cold-sensitive lemons, grapefruits and pummelos, usually survive prolonged exposure to 22 deg F temperature, when their published tolerance is around 28 to 30 deg F.

What I don't like is during late spring when we get those occassional arctic blasts, the temperature drops are very sudden and they wreck havoc on my plants.
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Old 12-01-2006, 08:43 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dwarf Brazilian; Rated as cool-tolerant?

I know what you mean about those unexpected cold blasts. During that time of year, I put my small or newer plants on carts and move them outside when the temps get above 50. Every evening I have to bring them back in again. Any plant in a container over 20gal has to stay inside until all threat of frost has passed. I'm not strong enough to haul the big ones every day!

Please, you have got to tell us how protecting the fruit works out. Not that I will try it anytime soon, but I am really curious.

I also stopped heavy fertilizer begining in Oct. I feed and bed my earthworms in horse manure and I leach it out first around my plants. The plants love it although I'm kinda worried about a build-up of salts from the urine. Other than that the only other fertilizer I gave my bananas was epsom salt. They did really well, except the tomato plants kept growing over them and blocking the sun. The plants away from the tomatoes did great. The plants next to them did, well... You can look at my gallery and see. Next spring I plan to do things a little different.

We didn't really have much of a period of hardening off this fall. It got cold one night about 10 days ago, then stayed fairly warm, then boom!
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