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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 05-13-2014, 06:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Are my Basjoos dead?

I left a couple basjoos out for the winter in the ground to see if I could get them to make it. They were covered with mulch and cones.

Anyways fast forward to now. Upon uncovering them I saw there was a lot of rot on the surface. Exposing them to the dry air didn't help any either so I dug them up to see if there was any parts that were hard.

I've been watching them the last few days and cleaning off the rot as best as possible hoping they'll dry out and i'll have something left that's nice and hard. Tonight I cleaned off the rot and I'm encountering what looks literally like a banana material that is hard. My question is, do I have anything here? What do I do next? Keep letting them dry or would something happen if I just dug a hole and threw the whole mass in it? Here's a pic of what I'm dealing with. I have a couple of these in this shape.

 photo E6A70D48-3BAE-4491-A6FF-6022FF2D19ED_zpss0sjwavy.jpg
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are my Basjoos dead?

I would recommend cutting off all roots and rot..take off a couple of layers if needed...as you cut into the flesh of the corm you will see the little bud sites...they should come back with care..you are just starting from fresh corm,so it might take some time..try starting in large pot so you can regulate heat,huimdity,water..when they have ample growth, transplant..i would dig up the whole area where they were and recondition to soil..
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Are my Basjoos dead?

Ok, I cut off as much as I could and have now put them in their own dedicated pots filled with planting soil. Do I want to hit them with water right away? There's some moisture in the soil, but nothing more than what comes in the bag from the store.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Are my Basjoos dead?

My basjoos took it pretty hard too. I have no signs of life yet either. I chopped the stem way back to the ground on my largest and it was a total sponge. The one I planted a foot deeper as an experiment was a large hole with the dried up plant attached to something. If we have to wait until June or July for pups to come (if they even do) then I'd rather dig them up in the fall. I feel your pain. I miss my plants now that everything else is growing.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Are my Basjoos dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by designshark View Post
My basjoos took it pretty hard too. I have no signs of life yet either. I chopped the stem way back to the ground on my largest and it was a total sponge. The one I planted a foot deeper as an experiment was a large hole with the dried up plant attached to something. If we have to wait until June or July for pups to come (if they even do) then I'd rather dig them up in the fall. I feel your pain. I miss my plants now that everything else is growing.
I'm glad I took a few basjoos in and potted them. I have about 25 dwarf brazilians that are tiding me over and will be planted outside. I just want to get it to having basjoos in the ground permanently. I plan on buying some more basjoos and will plant them much deeper and I will be mulching heavily as well for next winter.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Are my Basjoos dead?

I had a few potted pups too, I've got one on the ground already. My largest was in it's 4th year and I had visions of an awesome plant this year. I guess the last few warmer winters made me careless in winterizing last fall. I learned my lesson this time. Just wish we knew in advance how bad the winters were going to be. Winter was a doozie here (a good one if you like winter) unlike the last several. Ice fishing and ice skating on lakes was back in! Along with snow men, snow forts, snow ball fights, snow ice cream and plenty of shoveling.
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Are my Basjoos dead?

Hi Doug,

I do not know, what you mean by "hard banana material". Your banana is the corm,
and that or at least part of it should feel firm like potato. If part of it feels mushy,
cut that off. If all of it feels mushy, then you have lost it. Until the corm starts
growing actively, keep the soil moist, but not wet. Adding peat moss or perlite will
ensure, that there is some air around the corm and later the roots.

For the future: If you want to winter the banana outside, it should be in the ground.
In a pot the corm, which is in essence the banana plant, is too vulnerable to frost.
Many plants will not live up to their hardiness rating, if they are kept in pots. That
goes especially for plants, which die back in fall, only to come back in spring.

Good luck,
Olaf






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Old 05-14-2014, 08:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Are my Basjoos dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olafhenny View Post
Hi Doug,

I do not know, what you mean by "hard banana material". Your banana is the corm,
and that or at least part of it should feel firm like potato. If part of it feels mushy,
cut that off. If all of it feels mushy, then you have lost it. Until the corm starts
growing actively, keep the soil moist, but not wet. Adding peat moss or perlite will
ensure, that there is some air around the corm and later the roots.

For the future: If you want to winter the banana outside, it should be in the ground.
In a pot the corm, which is in essence the banana plant, is too vulnerable to frost.
Many plants will not live up to their hardiness rating, if they are kept in pots. That
goes especially for plants, which die back in fall, only to come back in spring.

Good luck,
Olaf






I removed as much mush as I could get at with a knife, I guess we'll see. These corms were in the ground, it was just a terrible winter here. We'll see if anything comes up out of what I stuck back in there. I cut a ton of mush off but there was stil at least a baseball size mass left.
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Are my Basjoos dead?

From the look of the pics on the outside they look gone, but everyone is right, underneath all that nasty dead material should be a firm bright looking corm when you start inspecting cutting into it. It is definitely true though, it will take weeks if not a month or two of steady summer warm weather to get really dormant or dead looking ones going again. Ive had trouble with my basjoos replanting last years corms into the ground in mid April and i still haven't seen any sign of new growth. They sure are stubborn things, i guess that's the trade off when growing them up north..
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Are my Basjoos dead?

Hi Doug,

if you still have a baseball size chunk left, you still have a banana, providing that chunk also
has some outer skin on it. That is where new growth starts from.

There is a lot of information on wintering bananas in this forum. The one, which impressed
me most is Lynnís wrap here: http://www.bananas.org/newreply.php?...treply&t=19321

And then there is my own: Permanent banana shelter for winter and spring

The latter may inspire you to do some tinkering well before fall.

Wishing you success,
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Are my Basjoos dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olafhenny View Post
Hi Doug,

if you still have a baseball size chunk left, you still have a banana, providing that chunk also
has some outer skin on it. That is where new growth starts from.

There is a lot of information on wintering bananas in this forum. The one, which impressed
me most is Lynnís wrap here: http://www.bananas.org/newreply.php?...treply&t=19321

And then there is my own: Permanent banana shelter for winter and spring

The latter may inspire you to do some tinkering well before fall.

Wishing you success,
Olaf




I did cones like yours this winter, just without the inner square. I piled mulch as heavily as I could inside as well and then mounded dirt and mulch around the ouside but it didn't matter. Once November ended we were below freezing with only one thaw until late march. Even my inground palms took a hit inside of their boxes, along with my electric bill with how long the lights stayed on in there!
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Are my Basjoos dead?

I have just noticed, that the URL I gave for "Lynn's wrap" does not work. so here is
another one: Winter Protection Zone 6 - Fingers Crossed

Sorry,
Olaf





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Old 05-14-2014, 09:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Are my Basjoos dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelman1976 View Post
I did cones like yours this winter, just without the inner square. I piled mulch as heavily as I could inside as well and then mounded dirt and mulch around the ouside but it didn't matter. Once November ended we were below freezing with only one thaw until late march. Even my inground palms took a hit inside of their boxes, along with my electric bill with how long the lights stayed on in there!

If you mean by that, that you used a box of 1 inch Styrofoam, you achieved an R-value
of 4. In my blurb of R values in the "permanent shelter" thread I explained originally,
that I would achieve an R-value of 15, with two layers of 1" polystyrene and fiberglass
batting between. Later, after I purchased the fiberglass I noticed the rated value of
R-12 and upgraded my estimate to a total of R-20, after I installed the fiberglass
batting and felt, that it would provide the rated protection fully. If you just used a 1"
polystyrene shell, you achieved only 1 fifth of the protection my basjoos got.

Best,
Olaf





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Old 05-14-2014, 09:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Are my Basjoos dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olafhenny View Post

If you mean by that, that you used a box of 1 inch Styrofoam, you achieved an R-value
of 4. In my blurb of R values in the "permanent shelter" thread I explained originally,
that I would achieve an R-value of 15, with two layers of 1" polystyrene and fiberglass
batting between. Later, after I purchased the fiberglass I noticed the rated value of
R-12 and upgraded my estimate to a total of R-20, after I installed the fiberglass
batting and felt, that it would provide the rated protection fully. If you just used a 1"
polystyrene shell, you achieved only 1 fifth of the protection my basjoos got.

Best,
Olaf





So add another shell of 1 inch over my existing cone and stuff it completely with batting and that would do the trick?
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
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So add another shell of 1 inch over my existing cone and stuff it completely with batting and that would do the trick?
Definitely!
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:59 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Are my Basjoos dead?

Olaf,

I saw your winter protection masterpiece and attempted something similar myself this winter(including christmas lights with a timer and a remote thermometer so I could keep track of the temps inside). I am here in NJ. I peeked in on my Basjoo on the 1st day of spring just because I became impatient. Looked good and felt firm. I was very optimistic. However, the weather was not warming up enough at that time so the cover went back on immediately. When the weather became warm enough I completely uncovered him and let him feel the warm sun again...fast forward to now, I still see no growth, in fact, it seems to be slowly rotting from the top down, in the inner rings. Outter psudostem still feels very firm.

I guess I am wondering, how did your protected plants make out after this winter. Are yours showing any signs of growth?

And should I continue to cut away the part rotting psudostem? The stem was 6ft tall when I uncovered it and now its down to about waist high and seems to have a moist brown center even down there.

Thank you,

Brian
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:06 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Are my Basjoos dead?

Hi Brian,

Read up on the results here:
http://www.bananas.org/f2/permanent-...ing-17855.html

I had the same problem with one of my basjoos. The stem was sound on the outside,
but had a core of rot inside, which went all the way down. I cut it down progressively
in slices as shown in the above thread. The main stem shows a little bit of growth, but
that will probably come to nothing. However there are a couple of healthy looking pups
sprouting now.





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Old 05-16-2014, 03:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are my Basjoos dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olafhenny View Post


If you still have a baseball size chunk left, you still have a banana, providing that chunk also has some outer skin on it. That is where new growth starts from.

I disagree that the corm needs to have skin to regrow. Although I have personally never shaved a corm right down on all sides, there are plenty of pics/videos of people who do. All the roots and outter layer of corm was taken right off with a machete and plants grew fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvthebeach123


I still see no growth, in fact, it seems to be slowly rotting from the top down, in the inner rings. Outter psudostem still feels very firm...

And should I continue to cut away the part rotting psudostem? The stem was 6ft tall when I uncovered it and now its down to about waist high and seems to have a moist brown center even down there.
Definitely keep wacking the stem back until you see no more rot. Its painful to do, but if not the whole stem will die back anyways. Once you only see white, it will take off growing.
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Old 05-16-2014, 04:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
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I disagree that the corm needs to have skin to regrow. Although I have personally never shaved a corm right down on all sides, there are plenty of pics/videos of people who do. All the roots and outter layer of corm was taken right off with a machete and plants grew fine.



Definitely keep wacking the stem back until you see no more rot. Its painful to do, but if not the whole stem will die back anyways. Once you only see white, it will take off growing.
I doubt, that hacking on a corm with a machete will take all the skin off. That would
take some judicious peeling, preferably with a potato peeler.

I agree with the whacking though, until you are in the sound stuff. I did it with mine.





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Old 05-16-2014, 04:46 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are my Basjoos dead?

Damn I knew you were gunna say that....now I'll have to find the video, gunna have to be later on though. There was most certainly not skin left on the corm, he was taking big swings haha.
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