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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 06-07-2023, 01:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Question Fruiting Bananas in Pacific Northwest Zone 8b

Good morning,

I was looking at a few forums and seen a couple of posts that said that bananas will not fruit in the Pacific Northwest Zone 8b (by Tacoma Washington for reference).

Has anyone fruited bananas here and if so, how and what varieties? I am planning on buying a plant from bananatreesforsale.com but need to know if that is a waste of time.

Thank you,
Gary
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Old 06-08-2023, 03:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Fruiting Bananas in Pacific Northwest Zone 8b

Havenít done it myself, itís doable, but you have your work cut out for you. IĎll leave it to someone else who might have done it to advise you further. Good luck!
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Old 06-08-2023, 05:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Fruiting Bananas in Pacific Northwest Zone 8b

Thanks for the reply. I don't mind the labor if it accomplishes home grown bananas. I saw the Millennial Gardner was successful in Zone 8a but he has hotter summers but was thinking of copying his method. Still hope to hear from others in Washington that can comment.
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Old 06-08-2023, 10:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Fruiting Bananas in Pacific Northwest Zone 8b

Have you seen this thread? Bananas in the Pacific Northwest?
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Old 06-09-2023, 05:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Fruiting Bananas in Pacific Northwest Zone 8b

Good afternoon,

Read it last night thanks. I will take the challenge and try growing in containers in our cattle panel greenhouse. Going to get a Dwarf Namwah and a Double Mahoi and see how it goes. If our Dwarf Orinoco survives, and our in house Truly Tiny, that will give us four plants to experiment with. Looking now at a good soil mix, good water and fertilization regiment, then aggressive protection for the winter. The journey begins!

Thank you,
Gary
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Old 06-10-2023, 07:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruiting Bananas in Pacific Northwest Zone 8b

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Originally Posted by PNWGary View Post
Good afternoon,

Read it last night thanks. I will take the challenge and try growing in containers in our cattle panel greenhouse. Going to get a Dwarf Namwah and a Double Mahoi and see how it goes. If our Dwarf Orinoco survives, and our in house Truly Tiny, that will give us four plants to experiment with. Looking now at a good soil mix, good water and fertilization regiment, then aggressive protection for the winter. The journey begins!

Thank you,
Gary
Good luck with your plants!
They should do well.
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Old 06-11-2023, 01:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Fruiting Bananas in Pacific Northwest Zone 8b

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Originally Posted by PNWGary View Post
Good afternoon,

Read it last night thanks. I will take the challenge and try growing in containers in our cattle panel greenhouse. Going to get a Dwarf Namwah and a Double Mahoi and see how it goes. If our Dwarf Orinoco survives, and our in house Truly Tiny, that will give us four plants to experiment with. Looking now at a good soil mix, good water and fertilization regiment, then aggressive protection for the winter. The journey begins!

Thank you,
Gary
Best of luck, keep us posted
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Old 06-11-2023, 01:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Fruiting Bananas in Pacific Northwest Zone 8b

Will do thanks!
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Old 06-23-2023, 04:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruiting Bananas in Pacific Northwest Zone 8b

I'm in Tacoma. When I first moved here from CA in 2015, I brought with me a dwarf Orinoco, supposedly hardy, sikkimensis, and Mekong giant. The orinico rotted the first winter even in a protected spot against the house. The Basjoo grow like weeds. They actually get too big for my small back yard and I plan on selling off some this year. The Mekong giant hasnít even emerged yet. Not sure if it will. It always waits till mid summer to start growing and doesnít grow as big as basjoo but pops up all over the place. Basjoo start early in May. Sikkimensis is a moderate grower here and looks better than basjoo IMO, but doesnít get as big. It grows earlier than Mekong giant though. It has deep red center veins and red under the leaves.

The issue here for all tropical plants is not the winter lows so much as the year round cold nights and low average temperature. Something the USDA hardiness zone map doesnt tell you. My bananas actually grow faster indoors under artificial lighting than outdoors in full sun even in mid June. You would need a greenhouse for sure to get fruit. I Had basjoo flower and dwarf namwa as well, but fruit never developed.

I also overwinter Ensete glaucum and both the green and red forms of Ensete maurelii in the basement and numerous variegated bananas.
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Old 06-23-2023, 03:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Thumbs up Re: Fruiting Bananas in Pacific Northwest Zone 8b

Thanks exovetek for the post. A little depressing but makes sense. I do have a cattle panel greenhouse but plan on bringing them into our garage and basically do a modified cage and straw around them. I have also tossed around the idea of getting some 30 or 55 gallon drums with aquarium heaters in the drums to passively heat the plants under a plant jacket or a combination of both. The weak link is a power outage and working through ideas for inexpensive battery or maybe small propane. Not sure how smart that is or not just trying to think outside the box a bit. Basically all things I seen mentioned on YouTube.

I don't mind the labor for a season or two to see if it would work to get some bananas. If not then move on to another experiment. Not to interested in ornamentals so if that is all they turn out to be, might try to rehome them if they survive. We also have a truly tiny in our living room window that gets good light and see how that goes.

Thanks again!
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Old 06-23-2023, 05:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruiting Bananas in Pacific Northwest Zone 8b

Quote:
Originally Posted by PNWGary View Post
Thanks exovetek for the post. A little depressing but makes sense. I do have a cattle panel greenhouse but plan on bringing them into our garage and basically do a modified cage and straw around them. I have also tossed around the idea of getting some 30 or 55 gallon drums with aquarium heaters in the drums to passively heat the plants under a plant jacket or a combination of both. The weak link is a power outage and working through ideas for inexpensive battery or maybe small propane. Not sure how smart that is or not just trying to think outside the box a bit. Basically all things I seen mentioned on YouTube.

I don't mind the labor for a season or two to see if it would work to get some bananas. If not then move on to another experiment. Not to interested in ornamentals so if that is all they turn out to be, might try to rehome them if they survive. We also have a truly tiny in our living room window that gets good light and see how that goes.

Thanks again!
Batteries donít last long for heat. People in the North with EVs learn this the hard way. Lol. Better of with propane or fuel oil. I had dwarf namwa flower in a pot twice. Thatís probably a good one to try if you have space to bring it inside during the winter and give it good lighting.
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Old 06-24-2023, 12:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Fruiting Bananas in Pacific Northwest Zone 8b

Just out of interest, can you give some details on the dwarf that flowered twice, size of pot, age, feeding etc please!
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Old 06-24-2023, 02:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruiting Bananas in Pacific Northwest Zone 8b

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Just out of interest, can you give some details on the dwarf that flowered twice, size of pot, age, feeding etc please!
Basically it grew an entire summer in the pot, I put it in the basement over winter under fluorescent lights and it didn't grow there. Flower came at end of next summer. Put it back in the basement and fruit did not develop. I think the light was not good enough and the temperature too low (mid 50s F). I lost the plant completely this last winter because my lighting wasn't good enough. I have upgraded my lighting so I may get another one and try again.

It was in a 16in pot BTW. However I would recommend one bigger for fruiting. maybe a 20in barrel.





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Old 06-24-2023, 04:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fruiting Bananas in Pacific Northwest Zone 8b

The variegation is beautiful on that plant but is not the best for trying for bananas in a challenging climate. Maybe try a "short cycle" all green banana type. Also the 55 gallon "black" plastic drums of water on a south facing wall of a greenhouse works great in my greenhouse for moderating night temps. We do get lots of direct sun here though, but even on cloudy winter days the greenhouse warms up to summertime temps.

Last edited by Jeff zone 8 N.C. : 06-24-2023 at 04:25 AM.
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