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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 06-24-2014, 09:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default first year basjoo, what to expect?

I bought a musa basjoo this spring from a catalog. It was very small when it arrived. I believe it was what everyone refers to as a tissue culture. It's healthy and growing albeit very slowly. It's about a foot tall now. It's in full sun with my giant sunflowers. (What a contrast, right? ) A few weeks ago, I started giving it banana fuel. How big can it get the first year? Is 4 or 5 feet too much to ask for?

I'm in Michigan, zone 6a. Like many others, we had a brutal winter. I lost a few plants that I had planted last summer that were definitely hardy for my zone. I just think they didn't get established in time. So I'm probably bringing the basjoo inside this year to be safe. I'd hate to start all over again.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: first year basjoo, what to expect?

You didn't say if it was in a pot and if so how big? A Pot will limit growth versus being in the ground.. :^)
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: first year basjoo, what to expect?

Oh yeah, it's in the ground. Soil isn't amazing, but I added compost.
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Smile Re: first year basjoo, what to expect?

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankielove View Post
Oh yeah, it's in the ground. Soil isn't amazing, but I added compost.
Do you have the sandy Michigan soil or the not so sandy soil
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: first year basjoo, what to expect?

It's rather sandy, definitely not clay.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: first year basjoo, what to expect?

Frankie,

Last year I cut pups from the corm, planted them separate in the ground, and in less than 3 months I had 3 foot of P-stem and a crap-tonne of leaves. I didn't fertilize or do anything at all really other than throw it in a hole and cover with dirt.

I'm going to say with good sun and heat and all the TLC you're planning you could easily pull a 4 or 5 foot P-stem on a first year over the whole summer.
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: first year basjoo, what to expect?

Well, that's good news. I think I'm overly excited about the bananas. I check them constantly for new leaves. I'm hoping for some good summer heat to get them cranking!
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: first year basjoo, what to expect?

So far out of all of mine, the Thai Black seems to grow the fastest, but it may be a challenge to overwinter here. My Basjoo is a little slow putting on height, but makes a new leaf every seven days. Mine is in partial shade though, so that might be why. I think the sun here gets too hot on our 105F days in august. But you wont have a shortage of new pups to experiment with, I have already separated about 10.
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Old 06-26-2014, 02:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: first year basjoo, what to expect?

Siege, you think I will have pups this year? I'm hoping so!
This spring was rather cool. We're finally seeing more 80 degree days. We don't usually see 100 temps here, but it has happened. Just thinking of that makes me melt.
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Old 06-26-2014, 03:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: first year basjoo, what to expect?

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankielove View Post
Siege, you think I will have pups this year? I'm hoping so!
This spring was rather cool. We're finally seeing more 80 degree days. We don't usually see 100 temps here, but it has happened. Just thinking of that makes me melt.
Almost positive you will, Mine still has pups attached, but I thought I would let it make a mat of plants. It started making them when it got about 2 feet of stem. I am guessing you will have all the Basjoo you want from this one plant next year. They are prolific like Canna lily.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: first year basjoo, what to expect?

Wonderful! I could use some screening around my patio. Unfortunately, only one side of the patio is sun due to a very large maple on the other side. If things go well in the tropical garden, the maple might have to go..... But it's a big decision to make and my husband isn't too keen on the idea. I'm hoping these nanners will win him over once they pick up the pace.
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:17 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: first year basjoo, what to expect?

I would imagine you will see four foot long leaves this year and a half dozen pups or so. I wouldn't move them this year, if protected with leaf and grass mulch and a little straw all under a tarp by this time next year you will have four or five six foot plus tall or more plants already and the promise of dozens of pups later in the summer.

Here are mine from a few weeks ago,[IMG][/IMG] the large one is pushing eight feet already, btw I'm in the same climate zone as you just over the border in Ontario, I have heavy clay out here so I amend with peat, perlite, leaf compost and horse manure.
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: first year basjoo, what to expect?

Well that's very reassuring, Longwoods. Glad to see someone so close who is growing bananas with success! I'm hoping for a whole year full of them one day. yours look great, btw. 8 feet tall already? That's awesome!
Yeah, I'll be brave and leave them outside. I'm sure digging them up and replanting slows them down. It sure takes forever for the cannas to get going, but there's no way around that for them.
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: first year basjoo, what to expect?

Keep them in the ground and protect. They should reach five feet this year if you pamper them.
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