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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 07-18-2007, 11:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question question on winterizing basjoo

hey all,
I've been think of how I will "winterize" my basjoo's this fall. I wanted to get some of your thoughts on my idea:
1. cut the psuedostem down to 12"
2. Place dry much around it.
3. Place a large lawn bag (plastic) full of dried leaves over the 12" making sure that the bag covers the ground well.

Do you think this would work? I'm not wanting to build cages for them b/c I have so many of them.
Any ideas/suggestions would be great!
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

I forgot to look what zone you're in, but I do that exact same thing. One difference, I use 5 bags of leaves per plant. N,s,e,w, of the stem and one over the top. It covers a lot more area around the roots of the plant which I think helps in zone 5a.
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

i'm in zone 6a (southern OHio). I planted my bananas in flower beds surrounded by landscaping blocks. I don't think there is enough room for multiple bags of leaves. Do you mulch the psuedostems at all before covering with bagged leaves? If so, with what? have you ever grown the red tigers or wintered them out side?
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Old 08-11-2007, 11:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

Hi, i live in the uk and although i only have a few plants i place wooden pallets (which you can get almost anywhere for free) around them and cut the leaves off and fill with straw and cover with a waterproof sheet. it does require a bit of work but if you want your banana plants to grow larger than they were the previous year its well worth it.

I hope this helps.

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Old 08-13-2007, 07:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

Has anyone ever tried to protect the psuedostem with a high R-factor fiberglass insulation? I may try this in conjunction with bags of leaves.

I have been thinking about where to store the plants I dig up for the winter. This may be overkill but I am considering digging a small root cellar to place them in?

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Old 08-13-2007, 08:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

I've had basjoo's for about 3yrs now and have always cut them down to the ground and mulched around them. My p-stems are about 6ft now.

Last year when I got on this site I did hear of the cage method and also the bags of leaves. I'm just wondering if I will get larger plants with these methods or just more work. Has anyone had success with these methods creating larger plants? For 3-4ft it may be woth it!
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Old 08-13-2007, 12:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

I am considering doing something similar to my Basjoo, Sikkimensis and Zebrina. I want to place rebar stakes around the plant and fill the area with pine straw. Living near Charlotte NC, I donít think I need too much protection. It will be my first winter for most of these plants.

Also not sure if I need to cut off all the leaves or not? Cut the plant off at a certain height?

I know we are all sweating in this August heat, but it will be winter before you know it. Red
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

12" seems a little on the short side. I would definately try to save more stem for a bigger plant next year. No matter what, part of your plant will be subject to frost. Or to clarify, part of your plant will allways turn to mush after averwintering, no way around it! Why not leave an "insurance policy", by leaving more stem?

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Old 08-15-2007, 09:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

What are some of your low temps for you guys and gals???

I've got 2 Basjoos in the ground (7ft for one, 4 ft for the other) and i'm thinking of either digging them and leaving them in my cold basement (no heat) or in the ground. I could actually pot them up and put them in the kitchen, but am not sure if i would gain next spring by doing that (the goal here is more height next year)>>>???

The past 7 winters, these have been my yearly lows. It doesn't stay cold like this for long, but once a storm moves through and the clear skies come in along with Canadian high pressure, the temp likes to drop way off...especially with fresh snowcover. All temps in Fahrenheit.
-19F
-21F
-19F
-19F
-9F
-6F
-24F
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

Hey Frank,

where do you live and what zone?


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Old 08-15-2007, 10:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

I consider myself more of a zone 5, but its probably zone 4 with those temps i listed. The thing that gets me is just one or 2 nights out of the winter where the possibility exists for a -20F. Heck, the winter with the -6F came in MARCH..up to that point it never went below 0F (First time ever). The late 90's were pretty mild too.

My location is almost right on the Mississippi River @ about 600ft elevation.
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Old 08-15-2007, 11:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

think "sandy0225" could answer you best, she has some cold weather too, she has a nursery

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Old 08-16-2007, 12:32 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

It doesn't matter how cold it gets, what matters is how deep the frosts penetrate. Offcourse, there is a co-relation, but sometimes frosts don't penetrate too deep.

After many trials, I would discourage anyone trying to overwinter basjoo "under the house" or "in the basement". This may work for dwarf orinocos/ regular orinocos and a few others, but temperate bananas just start growing at these rather cold temperatures, turn yellow, and die on you. They are in my opinion bets treated as perrenials.

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Old 08-16-2007, 08:20 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

Bungalow-

I brought in my D Cavendish last year and set it in one of the bedrooms and while it didn't grow @ all, it didn't die either...just sat there. So maybe i'll toss out the basement route and either pot them up and sit them in the kitchen or leave them in the ground outside.

Snowcover is not a given thing around here, and thats what leads to deep/shallow frosts. I'm just guessing, but i bet the frost is pretty deep around here some winters. We have had instances, where the temp will go below 0F and have no snow on the ground... That would surely kill a Basjoo i'm suspecting.
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Old 08-16-2007, 04:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudcat25 View Post
Last year when I got on this site I did hear of the cage method and also the bags of leaves. I'm just wondering if I will get larger plants with these methods or just more work. Has anyone had success with these methods creating larger plants? For 3-4ft it may be woth it!
Last winter a friend and I tried the cage method.
We cut the pseudostems down to 36" and built a 32" diameter chicken wire cage around the plants and filled them with straw. We then covered the cage with a tarp and tied it down with twine. We ended up losing all the main pseudostems, but all the pups survied. Granted this was a wet winter for us and the bananas are located in a lower spot. I'm not sure what we are going to do this year yet.
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Old 08-16-2007, 06:31 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

Hmmm... Still no real idea of what to do. I can pretty much rule out leaving them in the ground...i don't trust our winters.
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Old 08-16-2007, 06:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

i'm in southern ohio, zone 6. When is a good time to cut them back and mulch them in the fall? October? November?
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Old 08-16-2007, 07:29 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

In zone 6 I'm going to leave mine in as long as they look good. I am going to try the cage method on one mat and see what difference comes of that. So that one a may start a little early, but for the others I will mulch heavily before the first frost and cut it down when it freezes. I believe if you are going to just cut them down to ground level the tree itself does not have to be cut before the first frost.
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Old 08-16-2007, 07:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

lwabirds...

If its a "normal" fall we usually see one hard frost and then another warm up afterwards. Last year it looks like here in La Crosse, the 3rd week of October would pretty much freeze my plants (22F) with highs in the low 40's. I might pot mine up earlier and then move in and out of the garage until it gets too cold. I've got my doly.

It would be interesting to know...if a person was looking for size (height/girth) the FOLLOWING summer...would

A. cutting back and leaving in the ground
B. digging up and leaving inside warm house (leaves intact)
C. digging up corm and leaving in cold area

be the best method if all plants were equal size before experiment...say 6ft Basjoos???

My guess would be B even if neglected in a cooler room with little light (my d Cavendish did just fine in this situation.)
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Old 08-16-2007, 07:57 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: question on winterizing basjoo

Frank

I have dug one up and potted it for the winter, about a 3ft plant. I kept it in a basement with temps of about 55, 4ft plant lights (cheap shop lights), not much water. Ended up with maybe 2-3 new leaves. My mats that I cut to ground level this year outgrew that tree by far. Not sure if it is because of the larger mats in the ground compared to the smaller corm of the indoor plant or the methods used.
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