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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 08-12-2011, 01:38 PM   #321 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Basjoos that I have in the ground, I overwinter in place, by mulching, covering with leaves, straw, and, finally, a tarp over the whole thing. Two years ago, I had some basjoos in pots. I took them out, shook most of the soil off the roots, and put them in a a black garbage bag. I put another garbage bag over the tops, and placed them in my basement. The only heat in this room is an electric heater, built into the wall. It's expensive to run, so we only turn it on when we are it the room, which is rarely. It gets to about 50°F in there. I gave the plants no water, from November 5 to April 5. They did fine. Last year, I was even lazier. I just dragged the pots inside, put a garbage bag over the tops, and left them. Again, no water and, again they did fine.

I have not tried these methods with any other varieties. I usually kep others growing over the winter, in bay windows, or in the warm part of the cellar, (where the boiler is) under fluorescent lights.
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Old 08-13-2011, 03:27 AM   #322 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Good to know that you can store basjoos bare rooted in the basement, but I was wondering how big they should be in order to survive the winter dormant. I have a basjoo which isn't more than 2 feet high atm and I'm not sure what to do with it this winter because I think it's too small to mulch and leave outside.
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:06 PM   #323 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

I wish I could offer more help than look for advice, but my overwintering successes have been few. I did get a basjoo back (no pseudostem, but 4 pups, 2 of which took off fast). I planted 4 other mailorder TC starter Basjoos around them and a TC Mekong Giant. They're still pretty small, but I plan on leaving them in this winter (they're only about 1.5'-2' tall). I just heavily composted on top last year, but this fall I'm prepared to build a taj mahal around them if I must. I'm sure I'll keep you all posted when the time comes (and most likely seek advice). Time will tell if the first year Mekong Giant can handle a SE Michigan winter. I did just pot up all my other surviving nanners that were in the ground so they can get a little late summer growth (good soil) and get cozy before I throw them in the basement (plenty of time though). I'm going to bite the electrical bill bullet this winter and put them under lights (have a 4X2 8 bulb T5, a 2X2 8 bulb T5, and a 600W MH/HPS. I refuse to lose another due to my ineptitude, yet need to figure out the minimum lighting I need to keep them alive until spring.
Was it too early to pot them up in my zone (5/6)? Good timing? I'm just curious.
Anyhow - here's some pics of a few of my many babies in the back yard. Thanks.
--Brad


Here's the basjoo patch - the big ones came up from last year's pseudostem, and the little tiny guy on the right is the Mekong - will he make it? - hmmm....


1st year growth Ensete Maurelii's by the vege garden (just potted up)-


My Truly Tiny and his newest pup - I've taken 4 pups off him so far - pup looks to be in a little transplant shock


My mystery guy
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:45 AM   #324 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Although the climate here is quite bit warmer the plants will still have to be protected. Garage is full of machineery so it is out, will have to keep them in the screenroom. No heat in there so I intend to fabricate a storage area that I can heat. My plans are to make a frame out of lumber and then staple bubble wrap on this. The front will be hinged and there will be room for a small heater. Since the temps don't drop low too often this should not be of too much expense. Fortunately the whole room, 12 x 24, is for my use and there is no furniture in there, just growing station and benchs. In hopes that this task isn't too large. Will post some pics when complete.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:02 AM   #325 (permalink)
 
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Hiya Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

This is a nice thread, super explanation but if I leave my babies in their container, take of the yellowed leaved can I cover them with something and leave them in my sunroom? My basement is semi-finished and stays pretty toasty and my husband works in the garage so we keep it pretty warm too so their isnt really a warm place in the house. I have a portable greenhouse that I could keep it in but i dont believe it would be dark enough to 'put them to sleep' ...suggestions please, I am a total newbie
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:56 PM   #326 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

btw, here's the last pic i took of my babies in July (before some of the leaves started to turn yellow) and what am I supposed to do with the little plants sprouting up? (I suppose those are pups!) should I pot them and let them hang out in my window through the winter or leave them with the rest of the plant?
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:52 PM   #327 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by nanasnanax3 View Post
btw, here's the last pic i took of my babies in July (before some of the leaves started to turn yellow) and what am I supposed to do with the little plants sprouting up? (I suppose those are pups!) should I pot them and let them hang out in my window through the winter or leave them with the rest of the plant?
Nice specimen. Personally, I would leave them in the pot with the rest over the Winter, then divide them up, leaving a couple of the smallest pup with the mother plant in the late Spring before they start to take off.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:03 AM   #328 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Great tut Frank, thanks!

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Old 10-03-2011, 10:10 AM   #329 (permalink)
 
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Default Basjoo starting to flower in October-Help

Hello All,

I have a basjoo that is starting to flower in NJ in the Month of October..

This is the trees 2nd year (over wintered them in the ground last year).

I know this sounds lame but I really want to see the bananas on one of my trees.. Fruits of my Labor-- No Pun..

How long does the flower to fruit take?

Adam
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:54 AM   #330 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

I can't answer that question, but maybe have helpful ideas?

ya know if you REALLY want to extend the season... I wonder if you could wrap the tree with old non led rope lights? Might look weird but Orange lights would look less out of place in october than a blooming banana tree in the north?

Maybe some black trash bags over the roots to keep extra water from rotting it and getting what sun heat remains? could put another rope light under the bag too...
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:09 PM   #331 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Prometheus- your mystery naner looks to me like a Musa zebrina.
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:14 PM   #332 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by saltydad View Post
Prometheus- your mystery naner looks to me like a Musa zebrina.
Thanks. Right now it looks like a nanner that didn't like the 36 degree night the other night. Hopefully should bounce back in the next week with 70's expected every day. Everything else, ensetes included, fine. That fella, no dice.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:51 AM   #333 (permalink)
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Cold Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Thanks bigdog. Pictures means a 1000 words..
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:38 AM   #334 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Hello,

I am posting here as it seems the most active.

This is my Musa Basjoo located in NJ. It is the second year of growth and I found out it was fruiting back on the 5th of October. I can really see the difference in growth from the warmer days/nights to the colder day/nights..

I really want to see the entire bunch of bananas out and grown.. Not ripened just to their full size.

Anyone have any ideas on helping it to continue to grow at an accelerated speed? would a garbage bag at night maybe help?

Any ideas are welcome..

Thanks Adam
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:58 PM   #335 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Wish I could help you but, you are obviously further along the banana road than me.
It is so nice to see fruit on a banana, especially musa basjoo,(because I have a few) this far north.
Good luck and please keep us informed on how it goes.
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Old 10-25-2011, 05:59 AM   #336 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Any help here would be appreciated.

I'm all ready to build my insulating taj mahal. Here's my filled shopping list:
Just added some fresh compost.
I have 5 bales of straw and about 20 bags of leaves.
I have a plastic fence and 4 foot high poles to secure it.
I have a tarp.

Questions:
Should I wrap the stems in something (burlap/bubble wrap/etc.)?
Should I wait until frost kills some leaves? When should I do this? I'm in SE Michigan.
I'm concerned with the top (leaving room to grow) - any advice?
Not sure how to deal with the room under the deck and/or the stone wall?
I figure wrap the pseudostems, cram straw in around, surround with bags of leaves, and tarp it off.
I have some pretty small fellas, so I really need this to be warm, warm, warm. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Fresh compost:


Ready to Go?
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:18 AM   #337 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

prometheus, only nanner im leaving out this winter (utah here) is
basjoo.. ive read from others in northern states that the basjoo gets
a better start next yr..and you dont loose all the growth from previous
yr..
sounds good your approach on overwintering..only thing i am not doing
is wrapping the pseudostem separately..
im going to form a wire wrap 4ft away from my basjoo clumps
filling with mix of straw/shredded leaves..pack it in.. then wrap the
wire with tarp..and make sure the tarp slopes away from the banana..
so any water runoff doesnt go to the pseudostem..(prevent to much
water and rot)
i keep all my other nanners bareroot in cold basement..
sounds like ya have a great plan !!!
good luck to ya !!!
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:39 PM   #338 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Musa 2011 pictures by wilson1963 - Photobucket

Yep, It's time again.... ugh!
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:41 PM   #339 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Covered mine like this, worked great last year.

Musa 2011 pictures by wilson1963 - Photobucket
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:09 AM   #340 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

what zone are you in?
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