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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 12-01-2006, 09:22 PM   #81 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

I tink it depends on the type, but it sounds like it will be ok to me.
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Old 01-12-2007, 08:08 AM   #82 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Try putting down some styrofoam sheet under your roots. That insulates it from the floor real well. You can get it at home depot, lowe's menards, etc. or if you go by a construction dumpster you can often get smaller pieces there!
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Old 01-13-2007, 02:22 AM   #83 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

I've not thought of using foam, but that's a great idea. I put the corms on a stack of papers about a foot tall and that seemed to work great. Now, the problem is it's been around 70f for several days and I don't have any place to keep them cool. Any ideas or suggestions on what to do here?

I'm building a transfer cabinet for TC and underneath I'm making a growing area. The foam should work perfect for that! Again, great idea!

Thanx for the help.
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Old 04-05-2007, 01:31 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Exclamation Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Just wondering about the best way to wake these guys up in the spring(besides sunshine, warmth and h2o)? I'm in Michigan and have left them potted in sand/soil mixture. They have lost all their leaves and only about a 3-4 foot stem remains. They have been in my basement in above freezing temps. will they get enough photosynthesis and energy from the sun the stem gets? thank you.
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Old 04-05-2007, 07:38 PM   #85 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

First and foremost, make sure you are well past the threat of frost. I'm glad I haven't planted mine back out again, as we are forecasted by some to be 21F on Easter morning! Secondly, I would prepare your planting hole well in advance also, and cover it with some clear plastic to warm up the soil. When you are ready to plant them back out, cut the top of the pseudostem to make sure there is green (or white, yellow, etc.), and not black, in the center. If it is black, you need to cut until you find green or white. Peeling the outermost dead leaf sheaths off to expose the green trunk will help it to photosynthesize. Just don't yank too hard and peel live tissue off of the pseudostem. I take a sharp knife with me, and just cut dead tissue off.
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Old 04-30-2007, 11:55 PM   #86 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

BigDog, just want to thank you for starting this thread...I learned a lot, and have read it few times since last yr.
I have 2 Ice Cream from last June when they were 2 inches high. They were in my sunroom all winter with temps low 45F to about 55-60 high. They grew slow, but one (in 30 gal pot) got to be over 6 ft from soil. I just planted it out inground & I know it will really take off. In fall, it will be too big to get back into sunroom (12 1/2' ceiling). I have crawl space under SR but it's open & it will be too cold. I'm in zone 5 where we can easily get to below zeroF.
My question is, if I wrap it to make it dark, & lay it sideways on cool SR floor, would it go dormant or will the room be too warm? (45 to 55F). I do not have a garage, but have a uninsulated shed. To put there, I would really have to wrap it well! I know it's early, but like to think ahead.
Also, how do you acclimate your bananas to sunlight after storage?
Thanks much,
Patty (in Milwaukee)
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Old 05-01-2007, 12:21 PM   #87 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Hi Patty,

Glad it was of some help to you. I think your plant would be fine on the SR floor with those temps. My garage is about the same temperature in the winter, and I stored several bananas in there two winters ago. My first time storing 'Ice Cream' in the crawl space was not too successful. The corm lived, and so did the main pseudostem, but there was a lot of dieback on the pseudostem. It was a little slow getting going in the spring too, but caught up just fine. This year, from that one corm, I have four 6 foot pseudostems going in the ground! I still haven't peeked at them yet. Too busy with finals right now. Next week should be the time for me to start planting.

As far as acclimating them to sunlight, here's what I do: Nothing! They don't seem to ever skip a beat either.
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Old 05-01-2007, 08:33 PM   #88 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

THANK YOU! That is the first concrete answer I got after asking this around the net! I will try to keep as many leaves on (to give it a head start next spring), keep it covered so it's dark, & let it sleep on floor.
I put it in the ground Sunday (whew, it was heavy even with most dirt off), and wouldn't you know we had 3/4 inch hail storm last night. It took it just fine. I'm sure I will need help getting it out of ground in fall, but worth it! Thanks again!
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Old 07-02-2007, 09:43 PM   #89 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

With us living in Northern Indiana, and getting an unknown variety of dwarf banana from a known greenhouse in our area. How well do they do in a room in our house for the winter? We got it about 3 weeks ago when it gets closer to frost time we will need to know how to care for it.

Dan & Tara

when get pic will post it
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Old 07-03-2007, 04:39 PM   #90 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

That's a loaded question, lol. It depends on the variety of banana, the size of the plant when you bring it in, and the conditions in the house. I would grow it outside in the ground for the next couple of months to get maximum growth out of it right now. Around mid-September (while it's still warm outside, so it will grow new roots), dig it up and pot it up into a pot that looks about 2 sizes too small, and use a very-well draining mix. The reason for that is to prevent overwatering. The smaller the pot, the less water for the soil to hold. If you have typical indoor winter conditions (72F, dry, low light), only water it when the soil is bone, bone dry. Basically, just enough to keep the leaves alive. The easiest way to kill a banana indoors is to overwater it.

Or, if planting it outside isn't an option, you could just leave it in a pot, but water and fertilize regularly (every couple of weeks) and put it out in full sun. You want to have the biggest, healthiest plant possible before you bring it in for the winter.
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Old 07-03-2007, 08:37 PM   #91 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

thank you

now need to decide to repot or plant it for rest of summer!
we are working on some pics of it................believe it might be a DC or SDC by some pics on here and what I have read, my wife called the nursery, all the person she talked to know it is about 2 yrs old. and said to call back earlier in morning to get someone that knows more.

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Old 07-03-2007, 10:32 PM   #92 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Dan and Tara,

I'm in NJ, and the winters here are brutal. All of my bananas are currently potted. I personally find this easier for northern climates, because in the spring I can get the plants outdoors in the warm days, but bring them in overnight if its going to be too cold. In the fall this doesn't really apply, since the plants are too big to be dragged in and out of the house frequently. Also this saves you the back breaking work of digging them up from the ground.

For your banana to survive the winter growing indoors, like bigdog said, make sure they are very dry before watering. It is so easy to kill a banana that is indoors with too much water. They will also need a south facing window, the biggest and brightest you've got.

I lost my super dwarf cavendish, and high colour mini variant this winter, despite their small size. My regular dwarf cavendish and other larger bananas actually did better, even though their leaves were dusting the ceiling.

Best of luck with the plant! I use mine simply for the tropical look, since getting bananas in the north is very tough. But you never know, one or two of my survivors might possibly (with a little luck) bloom this summer...

Be careful, soon you'll end up buying random banana plants when and wherever you see them, its addictive!

Enough rambling from me, take care!

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Old 07-03-2007, 10:49 PM   #93 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

thanks Joe

so I think I'll repot as it dries out real quick, and might be close to being rootbound. we have had it 3 weeks with new leaf each week and 3 pups growing very well as well!!

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Old 07-05-2007, 08:58 PM   #94 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

You may as well separate a couple pups and pot them up separately too. It'll give you more plants for next year and more possible successes

You'll then have extra bananas and you can trade someone here for their extra pups of a different variety...

like me perhaps...

I got a couple Ice Cream pups...

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Be careful, soon you'll end up buying random banana plants when and wherever you see them, its addictive!
What he said
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:48 PM   #95 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

how big should pups be when they are cut off WITH corm.

would be interest in trading one pup.

Dan with his arm twisted by wife Tara (Dan is 6 ft with me 5 ft 3.......so me arm twisting him is a little out of the question!!)
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Old 09-09-2007, 02:12 PM   #96 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

This is such a wonderful thread.. I thought I would bump it up for everyone to share...Thanks James for making it available in the other post..
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Old 09-18-2007, 04:31 AM   #97 (permalink)
 
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Pinwheel Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Hi Guy's

I'm new to this group and I live in Belgium(Europe). Can I dig out my ensete maurellii, dwarf cavendish, ensete glaucum, musa basjoo the same way that is shown in the fist message? I do have a basement. I'm al so looking for some different species of banana's. So if you are selling or want to trade. Please tell me.

Banana's rule
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Old 09-18-2007, 09:34 PM   #98 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Robi, in my experience, the Ensete bananas store very well in the basement. Not too sure about Dwarf Cavendish, but I don't think the pseudostem holds up too well over the winter. The corm should be fine though, and grow back pretty quickly in the spring (I've done it with Super Dwarf Cavendish for years). I've only tried it with Musa basjoo once, and only because I was moving and didn't want to leave it behind. The pseudostem dessicated quite a bit, but it grew back fine the next year.
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:05 PM   #99 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Thanks Bigdog for this thread, I'm new to this site and growing bananas, but I know the info you've posted is the best & clearest I've seen anywhere on the web. I haven't heard you mention your plans for your book in awhile, I hope you're still thinking about it.
In your last post I think you stated that when you lifted your basjoo to wintered over most of the PS died back.
I have 2- 6'(to the stem) basjoo and 6 pups, my main hope is to have as much size next year as possible. (I'm not even thinking about fruit yet)
I'm in zone 7
Should I lift it and remove some of the lower leaves and place it in my basement that will not freeze (probably 40 - 55 degrees) or should I cut it mulch it and leave it in the ground, but how will that affect it's size next season?
Jim
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Old 09-20-2007, 12:27 PM   #100 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

BigDog-

Have you ever buried bananas? My newest thought is just to bury a couple of my Basjoo corms (everything else is coming inside and staying in a spare bedroom) about 4 or 5 feet deep. I had to take out some posts near the house and now have some very deep "craters" that i thought would work perfect for corm storage. I would mulch with leaves or something to fill the hole in and then put a sheet of plywood over the top and maybe a tarp over that. Maybe i'll toss a wireless weather reciever in one of the holes over the winter to track the temp? Frost line around here doesn't go deep if there is snowcover.
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