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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 06-19-2012, 01:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Joy Edible Banana for Seattle/Bellevue zone 8b

Hi fellow bananaists,

I am interested in growing banana on my yard. I am thinking to get one or two banana plants. I narrow down my list into four kinds: Rajapuri, Ice Cream, California gold, and Goldfinger.
Has anyone had any experience growing them in zone 8b, Bellevue? I live close to the lake Sammamish (warmer temperature?)
I don't want to dig and overwinter them..
Thank you very much for your guys' advices, I appreciate them.
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Edible Banana for Seattle/Bellevue zone 8b

You may have better luck w/ an orinoco or dwarf version since it sounds like you want low maint.
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Old 06-19-2012, 03:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Edible Banana for Seattle/Bellevue zone 8b

At least in my 8b here in South GA, my ice cream and Goldfinger will both have to have winter protection. This my first year so I have yet to have a winter under my belt. Looking back on my decisions, I think because of needing cold protection, I would go all dwarfs if I had to choose again.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Edible Banana for Seattle/Bellevue zone 8b

I work in Redmond, and given the last few winters (snow, ice), you may get lucky and have corms survive below ground if your soil has good drainage, but I can't think of any banana (even basjoo) that would survive above ground without being in a greenhouse or having some type of protection (or digging, which you want to avoid). I've seen some nice basjoo mats locally that come up annually, if you don't mind waiting for spring and don't expect fruit.

If you decide to grow in pots so you can bring them indoors, I can share a few plants with you (non-hardy varieties) - just PM me your contact info. Unfortunately I'm just giving in to the concept of non-edibles, and don't have any basjoo pups to share yet.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Edible Banana for Seattle/Bellevue zone 8b

I am in Mill Creek, WA and I have been growing Basjoos and Red abyssinians in pots for few years now with good success. I just planted my first basjoo outside along with a Ice Cream and a large Orinoco Corm to see how they do. I will protect the Orinoco and probably bring the Ice Cream inside or into the basement the basjoo is on its own. I have about 12 other bananas in my sun room that are growing great but they will stay in my heated sunroom until they are big enough next year. I have heard of people having good success with california gold with some protection.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Edible Banana for Seattle/Bellevue zone 8b

Yeah, I really need to protect them with insulation & such, if I want some fruits in the future. My area usually gets less snow compared to Redmond or Issaquah but you'll never know.
Do they get a lot of bugs when you guys grow bananas inside? Is it hard to grow them inside?
Last year, I decided to keep my chili pequin plants, that I grew from seeds ,inside the house. They survived but I had to regularly spray them; aphids loved them.
I am getting the Rajapuri & California Gold and we'll see how they do. I am very excited.
Thank you.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Edible Banana for Seattle/Bellevue zone 8b

Well banana trees don't handle being inside for long. They don't grow very well without lots of sun that's the problem. And most windows don't let that much of the sun's rays in. So you might need grow bulbs. And spider mites always eat mine when inside so I use organic Miticide.
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Edible Banana for Seattle/Bellevue zone 8b

I live just west of you, same zone, and I grow the so-called Ice Cream (most nurseries sell Namwahs and call them Ice Cream) and it does fine out here, but as usual I do recommend protection during the winter! Look around at people's methods of overwintering and some of them will especially allow you to grow almost any variety. The real question is, are your summers warm enough? Bananas need warmth, and Washington doesn't have that west of the Cascades. I have a large greenhouse for mine.

All your listed varieties are good ones to start with though. Especially Raja Puri.



If you do not want to dig or overwinter them, you're out of luck. The only possibility are Musa velutina and the Veinte Cohol that I can think of. But again, you need hot summers. Both those will provide edible fruit in a short enough time but it really does depend in the year, and Veinte Cohol is not cold hardy, so, that one's out. Velutina is very cold hardy, but like others (Orinoco, Raja Puri, etc) They die back each year. Velutina is the only one that will grow and fruit in a short enough time to possibly give you fruit.

Last edited by Illia : 06-21-2012 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Edible Banana for Seattle/Bellevue zone 8b

both my dwarf orinoco banana and cavenish died last snow storm. Some webiste said cold hardy 8A some say only to 9a. Well it is 9A and not 8A. I see its been many years since the first post. Wondering what is new with your banana trees since then have you successfully fruited any? I wouldn't recommend any that is taller than your greenhouse ceiling. since you will have to bring them in to protect from frost. I would stick with dwarf varieties. Or keept them planted outside with very good protection.
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