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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 01-04-2017, 09:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
Location: New Orleans
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Default Dwarf Cavendish in New Orleans

Hi guys

I live in New Orleans - zone 9 - and we are right on the edge of sometimes freezing for a day or two in the winter, sometimes not.

In the summer of 2015 I planted my first banana trees, Dwarf Cavendish. Last winter was unusually cold and they froze to the ground but sprung right back up come the spring. So they grew tall this year but - no bananas. I was told I "had to cover them". I never see anyone else here cover their trees, though, and they grow bananas, even the wild ones.

This weekend they are predicting temperatures down to about 33 degrees, which is not quite freezing but it could be a little colder than they expect and I fear disaster. It may not get colder than this all winter, but then again it might, weather is a little unpredictable here through February. (It was in the 70s just the other day! We had the AC on!)

I have pruned them considerably but they still have leaves and are still growing. What should I do to protect them from a brief and passing frost that will last at most a day? Or do I have to cut them down and cover them entirely? They will not go dormant in this climate from what I can see.
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
Location: Cairo, Ga
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Default Re: Dwarf Cavendish in New Orleans

Welcome to the forum. Protection of the pstem is the key. Complete die back or cuttng of the pstem will delay fruit production as the plant must obtain a certain height to produce fruit. ... Your didn't say how big the DC is. The DC should grow well in your zone with very little protection during cold weather.

I'm in zone 9a/8b with a couple of banana plants that have 26 deg F temp this winter. The only protection that I have done was to enclose the pstem with cardboard mailing tube and then cover with black plastic trash bag below the leaves. The leaves have died back but new sword leaves can back within a couple days.
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
Location: New Orleans
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Default Re: Dwarf Cavendish in New Orleans

Thanks! They are quite big, so big I have questioned the term "dwarf" although I have seen Orinocos in the area that are larger. I don't have an exact measurement but taller than me for certain, maybe 9 feet tall? The stems are pretty thick on the largest ones - they are growing in a close cluster of about 6 large plants and a few young ones as well as a lot of little pups so well established.

The forecast is for 33 but last year that was the forecast and they all died to the ground because here we had a hard frost of about 28. But I didn't do anything to them last year. Currently I have piled up mulch around them at the ground stems, I was thinking of wrapping cardboard too. The trash bags on top of that is a great idea, thanks
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Old 01-04-2017, 12:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
Location: Cairo, Ga
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Default Re: Dwarf Cavendish in New Orleans

I wouldn't don't do any thing. Just take my chances. Your mature plants should be ok down to about 26 Deg F. Banana sap has a lot of sugar, so larger pstems (4" dia & bigger) of mature plants become harder to freeze. A thick layer of mulch over the little pups may keep them from freezing.

... Click on the Wiki at the top of the forum, then select the banana variety more for info.
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
Location: Gulf Coast Mississippi
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Default Re: Dwarf Cavendish in New Orleans

I'm in Biloxi with similar climate although it looks like we will be in the mid 20s this weekend and you will not get quite as cold.
Your DC pstem should survive low 30s with no problems - however any frost will fry the leaves - If you want to save the leaves it might be wise to protect them with frost cloth.
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
Location: Wesley Chapel, Florida
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Default Re: Dwarf Cavendish in New Orleans

Hi, I am in central florida and have the same concerns, at times, that you are mentioning. What I have done in the past is to wrap Christmas tree lights (the old fashioned, outdoor, non-led type) around the stem. The heat output is usually enough to add a few degrees of warmth.
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