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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 08-08-2007, 07:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Indiana Banana dilemma

We're up here on the southern end of Lake Michigan. This spring we planted 2 Musa Basjoos, one in the ground, the other in a pot. Our soil is heavy clay, so I did amend about a foot wide area around the one I put in the ground. Both have been regularly fertilized with 10-10-10 granular tomato and vegetable fertilizer. The potted one is in a 2 gallon pot with a good quality potting soil. They are both crossing the 3foot mark and each new leaf is bigger than the last. It seems the potted one might be doing just a smidge betterand I noticed a pup on it today.
Now, in anticipation of cold weather, hubby and I are having a disagreement.
I want to bring the potted one in the house for the winter to insure we won't lose them both again . Rod says he wants to overwinter them both outside per Sandy's method, because by gosh, that's what the catalog said we could do.
I am concerned that the one in the ground might rot due to the clay soil regardless of how well we mulch, and if I had my way, I'd dig that one up to0 and give it another year before I try to overwinter it.
Last year the 2 we planted rotted, partly due to inadequate mulching,and partly due to severe flooding last September. We had 2 feet of floodwaterin our yard,(and basement) andthe soil didn't actually dry out until this spring. I don't want to lose these guys! If I have to rent a room at the Motel 6 I'm gonna pull them through this winter!
I would love any and all suggestions.
Thanks, Paula and Rod
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Old 08-08-2007, 09:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Indiana Banana dilemma

clay=death, bring one inside for the winter.
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Old 08-09-2007, 03:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Indiana Banana dilemma

About the one that is potted now: forget about overwintering it outside. In order to do that, they need to be in the ground from April-May and establish themselves.

I don't think the clay is a huge problem, as long as you don't flood again and manage to get decent drainage around. Also, better to mulch too much than too little. I personally like using a chicken-wire cage filled with straw and then plastic covering on top of that to keep the rain out. Save as much pseudostem as possible, as you will get some degree of rot beginning on top and creeping downwards. Still, people in the US say the get equal size plants from overwintered stumps of 1 foot and 4 feet.

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Old 08-10-2007, 12:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Indiana Banana dilemma

I would be haulin those plants for the winter....Banana's are such good house guests low to no maintance...
Kylie
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Indiana Banana dilemma

Kylie,
We lack a really good south or east window in our house. Have you used grow lights successfully? If so, what kind?
Thanks, Paula
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Old 08-11-2007, 06:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Indiana Banana dilemma

I overwintered my ice cream in the ground and we have very heavy clay too. I have only tried it with that one plant and might try a few more this winter. I think we have warmer winters in NC so that might be why I didn't have any problems. The one I overwintered in the ground had a peusdostem about 3 feet tall and the tallest one under the house was about 6 feet. We had a very late frost that killed about 1 foot of both stems. The one that was overwintered in the ground took off a lot faster and the p-stem is now only about 8 inches shorter. I think the plant does better in the ground if you can manage that.
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