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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 08-02-2020, 10:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Spacing 3 types of bananas

First attempt at growing bananas. I ordered 1 each of
Dwarf Cavendish, Gold Finger" FHIA-1, and Gran Nain.

Im in Zone 8b - western Washington.

I initially bought them to fill in 3 empty spaces in an existing bed but then i read that you shouldn't plant single banana trees and you also shouldn't plant within 20 ft of other landscaping so now i dont know where to put them.

I have a few possible spots that can take all 3 trees but i need help deciding which spot would be best.

What would be the ideal/minimum spacing if planting in a single row? What about planting in a triangle? would 6ft spacing work?

I have a full sun area but im trying to save that for a grape vine. would part shade work? I have one spot that gets a couple hours of morning shade then full sun rest of day and another spot that gets a couple hours of shade in late afternoon.

Last edited by 904 : 08-02-2020 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
Location: Pensacola, Florida
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Default Re: Spacing 3 types of bananas

6 ft of spacing will be fine. The sunniest south facing spot is the best. More sun the better.
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Spacing 3 types of bananas

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i read that you shouldn't plant single banana trees and you also shouldn't plant within 20 ft of other landscaping
Huh?!?!
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Huh?!?!

A number of things i read said planting bananas in groups helps them retain moisture and that they protect each other from the wind?

The article that said dont plant that close to other landscaping was implying that the other landscaping would take the water from the bananas....

hogwash?
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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6 ft of spacing will be fine. The sunniest south facing spot is the best. More sun the better.


Thanks for this.

I was just reading that bananas in general might not produce fruit in 8b on a few threads here.... I thought these verities where good for the area based on the sellers recommendation though.

Based on what i read, the daily temp swings in summer might be to extreme. 70-80s in days and 50s at night. Is that an issue with these verities?

They are shorter plants so do you think containers would be better than the ground? I could keep them in the sun by sliding them around the patio all day and then put them against the house at night time which is probably warmer than in the ground.
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Spacing 3 types of bananas

I would not recommend those varieties for your zone if obtaining fruit is your objective. If tropical foliage is your objective you are probably okay as they will die back and then grow back each year but moving those banana plants back and fouth every day will get old. The three varieties you listed would be tough for me to grow and I'm on the Gulf of Mexico. This is of course if you really got the varieties you listed from the seller which is a big IF in this game.

I recommend the following banana plants: Basjoo (non-edible bananas but very, very cold resistant), dwarf/tall namwa (edible), dwarf orinoco (edible), and raja puri (edible). Better to start with the most cold resistant and then move to less cold resistant.

Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spacing 3 types of bananas

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I would not recommend those varieties for your zone if obtaining fruit is your objective. If tropical foliage is your objective you are probably okay as they will die back and then grow back each year but moving those banana plants back and fouth every day will get old. The three varieties you listed would be tough for me to grow and I'm on the Gulf of Mexico. This is of course if you really got the varieties you listed from the seller which is a big IF in this game.

I recommend the following banana plants: Basjoo (non-edible bananas but very, very cold resistant), dwarf/tall namwa (edible), dwarf orinoco (edible), and raja puri (edible). Better to start with the most cold resistant and then move to less cold resistant.

Good luck!
Thanks - whatís my issue? The winters r to cold or the summers arenít warm enough?
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Spacing 3 types of bananas

Both.

Your winters are too cold so there is a freezing risk that needs to be mitigated by having a tough cold hardy varient, winter protection (lots about this on the site), or dry root storage in a basement.

Your summers day temps are pretty good but the night temps will mean slower growth. This just means that your plants will take longer to grow into mature size i.e. maybe three to four seasons vs. two seasons for me.

Cold, wet weather raises the risk of root rot so this will need to be addressed.

There are people that have banana plants in your zone and even colder zones so it can be done. Just takes more time, effort, and patience than tropical zones where the plants grow like weeds.
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Old 08-03-2020, 11:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spacing 3 types of bananas

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Both.

Your winters are too cold so there is a freezing risk that needs to be mitigated by having a tough cold hardy varient, winter protection (lots about this on the site), or dry root storage in a basement.

Your summers day temps are pretty good but the night temps will mean slower growth. This just means that your plants will take longer to grow into mature size i.e. maybe three to four seasons vs. two seasons for me.

Cold, wet weather raises the risk of root rot so this will need to be addressed.

There are people that have banana plants in your zone and even colder zones so it can be done. Just takes more time, effort, and patience than tropical zones where the plants grow like weeds.
Got it. I checked a weather station up the street from me - the soil temp at 2in got down to 30 a couple of nights. It seems like the thick layer of mulch or garage storage would fix that. No?

So then the issue is keeping them A little bit warmer than our summer night time temps. I do have a south and west facing wall I can put them on. The wall would probably keep them a little warmer at night.

If the roots ainít that long I could plant them on either of these walls. The south wall would be on a hill to help with drainage as well.

So it sounds like if I donít kill the plant, I might get bananas in a longer time frame than expected.
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Spacing 3 types of bananas

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Originally Posted by 904 View Post
A number of things i read said planting bananas in groups helps them retain moisture and that they protect each other from the wind?

The article that said dont plant that close to other landscaping was implying that the other landscaping would take the water from the bananas....

hogwash?
I suppose it would depend on what your objectives are with your plants. I see contradictions in the above 2 sentences, but I suppose if you are a banana plantation where fruit at the expense of everything else was your primary objective, it could make sense. Full disclosure, I know very little about growing bananas for fruit and have absolutely no experience with it.

I am a big fan of inter-planting, mixed planting, companion planting, guilds, whatever you want to call it as I think, if thoughtfully done, it more closely matches what nature does (not that edible bananas are a natural phenomenon), can enhance the health of all plants along with the local ecosystem, and can be highly productive from a human use standpoint.

Hogwash? I certainly can't say that, however I don't think it is as simple as a one size fits all scenario.
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