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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 11-03-2011, 10:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A few hours around 32F can they take it?

I haven't dug up my bananas yet, felt it was way too early but tonight there is a frost/freeze warning in Dallas. Metro to stay at 36 but could go down to 32 in the outlying areas (I live in a suburb so it applies to me) .
It should only last a few hours at the most, hopefully less.
The only thing I had time to do tonight was to wrap the p-stem (main part not the top due to all the leaves with good frost cloth.
(By lunch they promise we will be back around 60F)

Will they be able to survive it? I have:
Dwarf Orinico
IceCream (at least that is what the labels said)
Saba
Mona Lisa FH03 (under frost cloth since it is small enough to dig up completely later on.
I will dig up most of them before the next freeze but this one came as a surprise so I am curious do you think they will make it and which ones are the most likely to make it?

Here's hoping they will make it but I am very interested in any thoughts you have!

Thanks
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few hours around 32F can they take it?

32 for a few hours is not an issue, frost is your enemy.
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few hours around 32F can they take it?

Thanks, but now I am a little confused... Dont you get frost at 32 degrees?
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: A few hours around 32F can they take it?

Frost is not solely determined by the atmospheric temperature, but also by the dew point and the relative humidity. Only when the humidity is such that it approaches the temperature (100% humidity) will water condense out of the air on to plant surfaces (dew point). Then, if the temp is cold enough, frost can occur. The frost point is similar to the dew point, in that it is the temperature to which a given parcel of humid air must be cooled, at constant barometric pressure, for water vapor to be deposited on a surface as ice without going through the liquid phase.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few hours around 32F can they take it?

I hate to disagree, but a frost doesn't KILL any banana I've found yet as long as the stem doesn't freeze. Freezing is lots worse on your plant than frost. All frost will do is make you lose all the leaves.And cause you to have to do some trimming, and make it look super ugly...
Freezing will make you lose the whole stem height. A few hours at 32 shouldn't cause a freeze. Several hours at 32 will cause freeze if the stem is skinny, if the temperature of the plant was low anyway, say it was very cold all day; so the plant was close to 32, then it would freeze pretty quick.

Now for the part you really want to hear:
In your circumstance, I'd throw a sheet or blanket over your plants, leave it on until around 10am the next day. If you want them still to look good for a few more weeks. If you don't care about what they look like and you're planning on digging them right away anyway, let them get frosted, then cut off all the leaves. That kind of makes them stop growing for a little while.
You should come through it just fine. It doesn't sound like it's going to be cold enough to freeze your plants, so no digging would technically be necessary yet to preserve height....on your smaller one, if you want to keep it actively growing potted over the winter, I'd go ahead and dig it and pot it up. Why stress it and get it to stop growing if your goal is to make it bigger over winter?
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: A few hours around 32F can they take it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy0225 View Post
Now for the part you really want to hear:
In your circumstance, I'd throw a sheet or blanket over your plants, leave it on until around 10am the next day. If you want them still to look good for a few more weeks. If you don't care about what they look like and you're planning on digging them right away anyway, let them get frosted, then cut off all the leaves. That kind of makes them stop growing for a little while.
You should come through it just fine. It doesn't sound like it's going to be cold enough to freeze your plants, so no digging would technically be necessary yet to preserve height....on your smaller one, if you want to keep it actively growing potted over the winter, I'd go ahead and dig it and pot it up. Why stress it and get it to stop growing if your goal is to make it bigger over winter?
That's what I did first week of October, usually every year just one night in early October to make you have to work your tail off, and then three more weeks of bliss.
I finally dug them all up last week, and now in the garage.
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: A few hours around 32F can they take it?

We also get a sudden forecast for frost and have to hurry to protect the plants. Sheets and blankets do their job good and occasionally we have to double the efforts. Weather is getting quite funny lately and we hope for a warmer winter so the labor will be less. Usual is a frost in mid November and then a log spell of not so cool weather, central Florida is nice.
Good luck
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Old 11-05-2011, 05:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few hours around 32F can they take it?

Good answers all. Last week we had a freak snowstorm and super cold freezing weather here with major power outages all over. I had one Ice cream banana that was about 12' tall that even after I cut the psuedostem down to about 6' was too heavy for me to get in the house alone with a handtruck. I covered it with a movers blanket on the ground and after spending the night in sub freezing temps get some help to get it in the house. It's put on a foot of new growth since and seemed to have suffered no damage at all from the cold temps. All the other banana plants, even the more cold sensitive ones are all doing fine indoors now as well and had been exposed to a few nights where it got down to freezing or below. They're tougher than you think.
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few hours around 32F can they take it?

It got down to 26 last night I had my gran nian in the barn but now all the are black. Should I cut all the leafs off?
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few hours around 32F can they take it?

You can cut them off. or just store them as is. It doesn't hurt anything to leave them as long as they're not wet or moldy looking. I hate to cut things too much. I think they would serve as insulation as long as they aren't wet.
I've noticed with perennials outdoors (or carried into the greenhouse, unheated) if they're borderline-hardy and you leave the leaves on them until early spring, it makes them have a higher percentage of return.
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few hours around 32F can they take it?

I think Mitchel is saying if you have frost, your leaves will be damaged and those don't recover. Those are just temporary problems as new leaves later emerge. But freezing temperatures are what can eventually kill a banana, though most can take well below 32F as long as they are decent size plants (some are more sensitive types, though).

Last January we once had heavy frost by 9pm and got down to 25F or 26F (I forget which). None of my bananas died and pretty much all of them grew again from the tops in the spring. When damage is worse, I need to cut them down low until I find a point where the center of the pseudostem is still good.

I general, if you don't think your temperatures will get below the mid 20s, I wouldn't bother digging up anything unless they were smaller plants ore special specimens (Ae Ae, etc.). I think I had about 15 varieties in the ground a year ago and they all survived. I now have over 20 and will dig up my Ae Ae and a couple of others (some of Veinte Cohol, an unknown Indian, etc.). Most are pretty good sized plants so if they don't make it I don't think they are long-time keepers anyways. I'd rather get down to just maybe 5-8 varieties to focus on some day anyways.
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few hours around 32F can they take it?

Oh, and I don't bother to cut off any leaves until the spring. They look pretty crappy but they do provide a little more insulation to the stem.
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:11 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few hours around 32F can they take it?

The original poster said "A few hours around 32F can they take it?"

Again I say yes they can.
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Old 11-19-2011, 02:46 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few hours around 32F can they take it?

And you also said "frost is your enemy", thus the longer discussion....blah, blah, blah
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:35 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few hours around 32F can they take it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by harveyc View Post
And you also said "frost is your enemy", thus the longer discussion....blah, blah, blah
Exactly, because 32 does no damage for a few hours, but a few hours of frost and all the leaves are toast.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few hours around 32F can they take it?

Nam Wah, Kandrian, and Orinoco can definitely take temps around 32 without much damage at all. Gran Nain and FHIA-17 will look ugly. Maricongo and Hua Moa will survive it, but be will be worse for the wear. Generally speaking, taller varieties seem to handle the cold better mostly because it gets colder the closer to the ground you get. Also, AABs and ABBs seem to be more cold tolerant that AAA or AA.
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: A few hours around 32F can they take it?

Hey Noah, did you get frost that night? I got down to 27 here. I covered all in the back except my large orinoco with frost cloth. The ones out front (saba, monkey fingers, praying hands, and orinoco) got burnt pretty bad lost all leaves but none of the pseudostem and they are putting out new growth. The ones on the side of the house only one praying hands and my african rhinohorn got lightly burnt... We were crazy people that night well into dark covering things. How did you fare?
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