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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 11-22-2007, 10:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

OK, not exactly a pretty sight! I've had four hard frosts here at the house, the last one less than a week ago (last Saturday morning was 27F). Went for a little walk around the yard the other day, and noticed that this species had started to grow again already. Really doesn't prove anything yet, but I think it's a good sign.





The mother pseudostem is still growing also, but it was easier to get pics of the two pups.

Last edited by bigdog : 11-22-2007 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 12-03-2007, 05:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wink Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

its very early in the winter to be getting cocky... i would definitely sneak a pup off into a protected zone. gets colder down in the tennessee valley than it does over here
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by 51st state View Post
its very early in the winter to be getting cocky... i would definitely sneak a pup off into a protected zone. gets colder down in the tennessee valley than it does over here
Didn't realize my post was cocky.

I'm very glad for you that your location is warmer than mine (in the winter)! I'm not going to 'sneak' a pup in though. It's either cold-hardy here or it isn't, so saving one for next year would really serve no purpose.

Again, sorry for being so cocky. I thought I was just making an observation. Thanks.
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

dont worry bigdog....i live in sparta. 2hrs west and 15 mins south of you. and it has gotten to be freezing here too. tonight it is to be 26 degrees. im glad your trees are showing a resistance to the cold. i wish i had that same resistance! this is where id rather be..... lol i dont think your post are corky. we live in tn. thats how we all are.
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Old 12-03-2007, 11:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Cool Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

Can't we all just get along.???
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Cold Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

Thankyou for the pic' Bigdog. I was wondering..........You dont have any type of protection for that baby all winter out in the cold ? WELL then all I have to say is I WANT 1 TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MG
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

I haven't protected it yet, but probably will at least lay some extra mulch around the bases next weekend. I may put a bag-o-leaves around one of the younger pseudostems also.
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Old 12-05-2007, 03:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

Big dog, would you keep us updated on your M.itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis, if it survives the winter for you it would be worth a try for me in the UK........Thanks Tony
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Old 12-05-2007, 04:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

I am 99% sure 51st state is only joking around when he said "cocky"! Gotta love british humour! :-)

Thanks for sharing the photo. According to your picture: The stems seem to show good hardiness to cold, almost like m. basjoo. If I was you though, I would not take any chances and wrap it in a thick layer of hay, this way trying to preserve as much stem as possible. I would love to see flowers on your banana next september!
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

Frank hope they stay well for you all winter it'd be great to not lose the p-stems and start where they left off next spring

And I agree with mr. bungalow, I think 51st state meant no harm by his post... I have a brit friend who lives in Kentucky and his humour (see I even spell it right for our UK members!) is a mixture of Benny Hill and Jeff Foxworthy... He's a hoot but could easily be mistaken in online posts for being rude.

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Old 12-06-2007, 03:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

I cut the biggest pup down to about 2 feet tall, and covered it with a bag full of dry leaves. I was very encouraged to see that the outer layers of the pseudostem were still firm, and the center leaf was quite green still. In contrast, Musa cheesmani's outer layers of pseudostem were a bit mushy, and the middle, while still white, had lots of brown around it.

It does remind me of Musa basjoo, and the two are closely related, so that's good news. The texture of the pseudostem is very similar, sort of a tough, fibrous, hard outer layer. Most of the other bananas I have, you can cut through the pseudostem like a hot knife through butter. This one, while still easy to cut through with a knife, is more difficult to wack through than most.

While Musa basjoo did grow some between frosts also, this banana seemed to grow faster than basjoo or sikkimensis (but my sikkimensis is my slowest-growing banana). Time will tell though. It's technicaly not even winter yet! I'm being a bit hopeful because it is such a nice plant, I'd hate to lose it. At the same time, I don't want to go to extensive lengths to protect it because I like to evaluate the true cold-hardiness of Musa species. Someone's gotta do it, right? I can save the pseudostem on a Cavendish with enough protection, but that doesn't mean it's cold-hardy. I'm really only interested in plants that require little to no protection in my zone, because I don't like having to go to all the lenghts to protect stuff. So, if it's cold-hardy that's great, and I'll continue to grow it. But if it isn't cold-hardy, and I save a pup anyway for next year, it would just be an annual that I had to bring inside every year, and I'm tired of bringing plants into the garage (or under the house) for winter.

I'm sure Kev didn't mean anything by saying I was cocky. Probably just British humour, like several mentioned. No hard feelings! And as far as the TN Valley being colder than the UK in the winter, I'm very well aware of that. It's also colder than Central Alabama or Eastern NC in the winter, and I am under no delusions about my zone. Long-term (1971-2006), this is a zone 7a, bordering on zone 7b (avg. extreme min. low is around 4.8F). Most years we can expect a zone 8a low minimum temp, like we have for the past 4 winters, but it can dip into the single digits every few years, and even below zero (Fahrenheit) temps can happen (although not since 1996). I have done my homework on the climate, and I guess I do tend to get a bit defensive when someone who doesn't live anywhere near here tries to educate me on it. I should probably just laugh it off to myself and let it go. Apologies to Kev if I offended him (I don't try to offend anybody).
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Old 12-06-2007, 04:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

BigDog,
I ain't tired of toting nanners in, yet!!! If you want to adopt one of your pups out on this, let me know and I will sign the papers!!! Would love to add it to my collection... I am interested in learning, by your experimentations, its true cold hardiness....
Keep us posted!!!
Randy
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

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Originally Posted by Randy4ut View Post
BigDog,
I ain't tired of toting nanners in, yet!!!
Hah! You've seen my crawl space, and know how big I am. Trust me, give it a couple more years and you'll be so over it. I guarantee you if you had to lug them under my crawl space you would anyway!

Quote:
If you want to adopt one of your pups out on this, let me know and I will sign the papers!!! Would love to add it to my collection...
If it comes back next spring, you are second on the list.
Quote:
I am interested in learning, by your experimentations, its true cold hardiness....
Keep us posted!!!
Randy
Hey, let me do the dirty work eh? LOL! No problem. I like doing it.
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Cold Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

Bigdog thanks for the post and pictures! Without those I wouldnt have known this was my next baby! I'll start hunting her down today! I would like to pronounce this species name. Can anyone break down the pronounciation ?if you dont mind. Have a great day! magicgreen
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Old 12-07-2007, 05:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
Hah! You've seen my crawl space, and know how big I am. Trust me, give it a couple more years and you'll be so over it. I guarantee you if you had to lug them under my crawl space you would anyway!



If it comes back next spring, you are second on the list.


Hey, let me do the dirty work eh? LOL! No problem. I like doing it.
Say the word and I will have the adoption papers drawn up!!!! I will give you unsupervised visitation anytime as long as the two of you stay in my yard where I could keep an eye on you... Seriously, BigDog, thanks and let me know...
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Old 12-07-2007, 09:32 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by magicgreen View Post
I would like to pronounce this species name. Can anyone break down the pronounciation ?if you dont mind. Have a great day! magicgreen
Here's the best I can come up with for the pronunciation:

Shee-shwong-bah-nah-en-sis.

That's pretty close anyway. The "X" is prounounced "sh".

Of course, you could just call it var. gigantea!
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:46 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Hiya Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

Alrighty , Thanks so much Bigdog. Is Gigantea another name for this banana?
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Old 12-08-2007, 04:09 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

Quote:
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Alrighty , Thanks so much Bigdog. Is Gigantea another name for this banana?
Musa itinerans var. Gigantea is what it was known as before being renamed.
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Old 12-14-2007, 05:54 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

Well, after the new growth was nipped again, we had a few days with highs in the high 60s and low 70s, and this banana started taking off again. Here it is as of this afternoon. This is all new growth in less than a week. Just how cold-hardy it is remains to be seen, but I think that it is safe to say that it doesn't mind cool weather.

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Old 12-14-2007, 06:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Cold Re: M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis after a few hard frosts

Very good! Here in Ohio, it is 35degs. So when i get mine it"ll need protection! I still want it! MG
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