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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 06-16-2009, 04:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

Greetings to all, any experience?

The wiki says -9, I think Celsius but not sure.

Could anyone help me please? Thanks!
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Old 06-16-2009, 05:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

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Originally Posted by Kalabrian View Post
Greetings to all, any experience?

The wiki says -9, I think Celsius but not sure.

Could anyone help me please? Thanks!
No, Kalabrian, acutally, -9°C is terminatory (-9°F is a dream that will never come true ) (although you didn't ask me) to any and all plants that could be described as bananas.
Maurelli is a very special plant, originating in Africa, Ethiopia I think. It doesn't really take frost very well, I should also mention that it doesn't take low temperatures well neither.
Look at this web of Mr. Roland, he is an expert on bananas from Germany (real expert, he was nursing bananas in conditions they weren't meant to be when you were born ) and has been growing many varieties for more than 20 years. His favourite plant is Maurelli, so there's pretty precise description as to what you need to know about hardiness with pictures as well.

Überwinterungsindex
and Überwinterungsexperimente 2008

The second link will take you to the site where he describes heating the Maurelli outside (meaning regulatory system, no winds, heating when outside freezed, inside it was 3 degrees. Also, he doesn't mention, that it would freeze at any time inside during the winter). Maurelli seems to have this need to be extremely dry, if not arid during winter. So if you have more than one rainfall a January, it might pose a problem.

He usually packs the plant and takes it inside, when the night temps go below 5°C, the damage comes at 4°C quite fast, one night is sufficient.
Also, please take a look on how many Maurellis he used to proove his methods and how much data he has collected so far.

Anyways, it's in German, contact is there, if you want it (See, I told you, that you can bring the plants to fruiting in our conditions, he is the same or a little bit worse climate than I am ).
Sorry, but I don't have time to translate, although I would love to.

Hope you will have good luck.

Btw., if you browse the page, that lovely girl covered by the large 5m Maurelli is from Italy. LOVELYYYY. Sorry, I'm just a man.
There's this text somewhere: "Deutscher Garten, japanische Stauden, italienische Schönheit!". Na ja, er hat recht.
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Old 06-16-2009, 05:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

Thanks Jack, always punctual

I know the plant is from Ethiopia, because I have been to Ethiopia and all of my life centers on Ethiopia for various deep reasons. However what you say about hardiness is surprising to me because Ethiopia can experience some low temp in many areas, since the whole plateau is between 2500 to 3500 m of height. In Addis Ababa where you saw lot of Ensete night temps usually reach 2-3 degrees celsius regularly in some months, also if of course is frost-free (but the record min is 0).

Apart from this in my next journey I will search for edible bananas growing in super-high places like the Semien or so, where temps can get very cool...

Thanks again, good night
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

I'm the one that wrote the hardness zone rating in the wiki and zone 9 is no problem for them they will drop there leafs but the P-Stem should be OK if its kept dry. this is one of my favorite Ensete and i have been growing them for about 1.5 years so not that long but iv done tons of research and consulted many people so I'm sticking to zone 9 which dose have frost in the winter last year we had 11 days of frost here in Las Vegas
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

I have E. Maurelli planted in the ground in Sunset zone 9, and last winter, even though it was heavily frost damaged, rained on, cold (though not freezing), and planted on the north side of a wall, it was the first banana to show good steady growth this Spring, even before the sun was high enough to hit the new growth, or warm the ground.

I wish you well with yours!

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Old 06-17-2009, 02:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

Guys, forget the zones when talking about Europe. It's way different here. Michael James is zone 7 and he literally borders with dessert (having the same weather in summer as I might conclude, no rainfall for long periods...), yet I live in zone 7b/8a, but I have much milder summer temps, really milder. What I wrote Michael was and I stand by it: If you put any plant into the soil in the spring, you don't have to take care or irrigate, it wil be ready bo October anyway (corn, wheat, tomatoes... whatever). Irrigation is here done only to time the flowering and fruiting of the plants.
The usual summer temps of his region are like Kalabrian's, whereas mine are much milder. Also, rainfall in USA isn't the same as here. Say it to my few dead palms.
And I haven't said a word about the frosts. I won't lie, when I say, that you have no idea, what frost or freezing is. My area is once in a year affected by the Russian cold front and as we all remember, that can be pretty nasty, especially for people in temperate regions (consider the frozen Napoleon army and Wehrmacht's tanks with people all over the Russia, Genghis-Kans frozen divisions...).
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

Jack, don't forget about the Donner Party here in California. It was no party! We have some cold weather here also but I don't care to put up with that kind of cold and live some place warmer.

The USDA hardiness zones are useful for determining the ability of a plant to survive but not necessarily grow well and fruit. The Sunset zones mentioned by microfarmer take into account both aspects.

Pete's E. maurelii withstood winter temperatures down to 22F (-6C) this past winter and he has photos in the forum showing it growing back fronm the corm with just a light layer of mulch for protection.
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

Thanks to all

I feel this plant would be safe in my area, if things are like this.

Jack, I was the first to explain the limits in applying the USDA to Europe, but if the plants survives temp which are far from happen in a certain area, then it should be safe. Moreover as you know my region is not in the Russian cold business
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

my sunset zone is 11 heheh kinda hot LOL jack i hear what your are saying and in no way did any thing i said contradict you i agree with you but the question she asked is would it survive the winter and yes it would in her climate she did not ask how it would grow in the summer time so wail all the things you said are vary relevant to the culture of Maurellii they are not relevant to the specific question at hand
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

Hi Damaclese, I'm a male though...

I get your point but I see no reason why these plants should not grow well in summer also, here is sunny and hot. I do not know about the sunset zone but I will try to calculate it in future. Bless
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

E. maurelii handles cold and wet better than M. basjoo....at least by my observations. Mine survived 18 F (-7.7777777C) in 2007 with no protection. I'm very close to zone 7.
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

Pete,

I'll be interested to see if they continue to survive year after year for you. I think sometimes (and I'm not ragging on you because I've done this as well) that we tend to have something survive or, conversely, do poorly for us one year and we jump to conclusions. That is why plant reasearch companies often carry out trials for several years; to make sure that one year wasn't an anomoly. What may have survived fine one year could be deader than a doornail after the following winter.
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

For my older plants, this was the fourth winter. Mind you, we've not had a major winter storm during that time, not an extended one, at least.
The water that pools in their leaf bases freezes solid during some winter nights here. The same pools serve as a frog hatchery in the Spring.
I do 'jump to conclusions' about plants. For instance, I lost a Goldfinger one year and I'm afraid to try it again....silly of me. But I pushed these plants to extremes. Remember the hardiness test from last year? I placed many maurelii in the beds, some protected, some not,some large, some with little or no corm yet, these all survived.
I'm sure there's some microclimate factors and I know that nature can surely throw a curve-ball into all of this, but these guys have really impressed me.

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Old 06-17-2009, 09:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

Here is Raleigh Zone 7b, they rotted out from under themselves with plenty of protection
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

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Here is Raleigh Zone 7b, they rotted out from under themselves with plenty of protection
Keep in mind, the more protection you provide a plant (especially a succulent), the more capable the ground for retaining moisture. The rotting may have been due to moisture-retention. Just a - hopefully - helpful bit of info .
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:59 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

I had two Maurelli in the ground last winter. They experienced just under 25F. My Basjoo and Maurelli are the first to show new growth with any warming temperatures. In fact, my Basjoo is in bloom right now. Zone 9A is a valid rating for this plant. I doubt it can take below 20F consistently and survive. Remember, Zone Rating is based on average ultimate low. Zone 9A plants will see below 20F periodically.

I've mentioned this before, but I'll point it out again. In reality the Maurelli pseudostem is pretty cold hardy when compared to other cold hardy bananas. The difference between the Ensete and Musa is the fact that the Ensete cannot regenerate if the main pseudostem dies (I'm obviously not talking about the controlled propagation by slicing up the corm). The Musa just sends up a pup and away it goes. That's why the Musa can survive much lower temperatures overall than Ensete.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Joy Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

ok...you have my curiousity peaked now...I have two maurelli's...so I will leave one in the ground and take one in as usual.....We get wet and cold here in my zone 8(canadian standard). I'll let you know next year
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Old 06-25-2009, 03:22 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

Jack, how can you choose looking at those two tender cute plants, which one should encounter such a harsh destiny? I would take them both inside to avoid the worst. Should one suffer and die, I would feel responsible for having started this discussion. Have a nice day
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Old 06-25-2009, 04:05 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Wink Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

The smaller one will stay out...survival of the fitest!!!!No worries they are easy enough to buy here......
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Old 07-29-2009, 02:34 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete Maurelii Hardiness

Hi all,my very first attempt to grow Ensete ventrocosum Maurelii .
It is in a large container and my questions are ,how do I overwinter it?and when do I cut back the lower leaves?
I live in the uk, just outside London,I am not sure which zone this falls under but as I say these may seem obvious questions to all you experienced banana growers [but we all have to start somewhere].
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