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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 09-20-2007, 06:49 PM   #101 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

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Originally Posted by Jimzone7 View Post
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
Jim, I'm glad to hear that it is helpful! The book idea is still just that...an idea. I'm in school at UT Knoxville full-time right now, so that eats up the majority of my time. Maybe one day. Thanks!

As for your M. basjoo, I'd leave it in the ground and mulch it really well. You can build a cage and fill with leaves like some do in order to save as much pseudostem as possible. The only reason I dug mine up was because of the move. Personally, I just mulch the base really well, then invert a trash bag full of leaves (with a hole big enough for the pseudostem in the bottom) over the top of the pseudostem (cutting the pseudostem back to a couple of feet). Digging it up also means that it will take much longer for it to re-establish in the spring.

Frank, the thought has crossed my mind, but it's more work than it's worth for me. Dragging them under the house is pretty hard work, but somehow I think burying them would be even more difficult.
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Old 09-20-2007, 11:11 PM   #102 (permalink)
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Bananas Brindando Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Big Dog, Great pics and explanation! Same method I use here in Kansas. This year I'm gonna try one of those, kids toboggan sleds. Ya know, the plastic one's you get at Wally world. Tie a rope on that dude, load it up, and pull a load under, several at a time. We'll see how it works. Its gotta be easier on the back. But the thought of wintering other borderline hardy plants under the house is pretty smart. What about bulbs or elephant ear tubers? What do ya think about wintering these that way: Plumeria, Majesty palm, and hardy potted plants? And my last question is, my Siam Ruby. I got it about a month ago from P.D.N. its about 2ft. and has put on two leaves so far. Do you think it would be too fragile or has it grown strong enough? The reason I ask all this is because I don't have the space to bring all of them in and am seeking an alternative method. Thanx!! --NNNNNNNNNAAATTTEEEEEEEE
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Old 09-21-2007, 01:58 PM   #103 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Nate, I can't speak for the other plants, but Siam Ruby is worth making space for. My gut says it won't store well at all, although we'll never really know until someone tries. But any 2' banana is probably too small to make it.

My 2 cents,

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Old 10-02-2007, 06:12 PM   #104 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Nate, out of the plants you mentioned, the ones I know you can store like bananas are Plumeria, EE bulbs and other bulbs. In fact, I have a couple Plumerias that are going under the house this fall too. If you try that with your Majesty Palm, however, you will find a really dead palm in the spring, lol! I don't know about the "hardy potted plants" you mentioned, you'll have to be more specific.

Oh, and I surely wouldn't try it with a young 'Siam Ruby'! I'd wait until I had several feet of pseudostem before even thinking about it. With the prices down and availability up now, I guess it wouldn't be such a tragic loss as it would have been about a year ago. They are TC plants also, so there isn't enough corm for it to store energy in.

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Big Dog, Great pics and explanation! Same method I use here in Kansas. This year I'm gonna try one of those, kids toboggan sleds. Ya know, the plastic one's you get at Wally world. Tie a rope on that dude, load it up, and pull a load under, several at a time. We'll see how it works. Its gotta be easier on the back. But the thought of wintering other borderline hardy plants under the house is pretty smart. What about bulbs or elephant ear tubers? What do ya think about wintering these that way: Plumeria, Majesty palm, and hardy potted plants? And my last question is, my Siam Ruby. I got it about a month ago from P.D.N. its about 2ft. and has put on two leaves so far. Do you think it would be too fragile or has it grown strong enough? The reason I ask all this is because I don't have the space to bring all of them in and am seeking an alternative method. Thanx!! --NNNNNNNNNAAATTTEEEEEEEE
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:11 AM   #105 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

I read JoeReal's post and I also brought my plants in the basement for the winter. I have a grow light on them and the temp. right now is about 70 F and 58% humidity. I have some small plants about 1ft tall, a basjoo a raja and a candavish I also have 2 plants that are about 3 ft tall that I have no idea what they are. This my first year overwintering, It's been a couple of days and the 2 larger plants are loosing some leaves, is this normal? The temp at night before I brought them in was in the high 40's for a couple of days so I don't know if there some shock damage. My question is should I leave the light on and will they continue to grow in that environment? Thanks
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Old 10-12-2007, 09:15 AM   #106 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

I would leave the grow light on them, Dave, but greatly reduce the watering to almost none. Just water when the soil is bone-dry and the plant starts to look stressed (and then use some lukewarm water). They may grow a very little bit, but that's not really the goal. The goal is just to keep them alive through the winter until next spring. Good luck. It is more difficult with plants that size, but entirely possible.
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Old 10-12-2007, 09:30 AM   #107 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

I kept a SDC in a cold bedroom (temps in the 50's) without ANY light except for the window and it did fine. I don't remember EVER watering it for the entire winter! and i also don't remember it dropping any leaves. Same will happen this year, except now i've got even more. I don't try for winter growth, just keeping them alive is good enough for me. Too expensive to give them the growing conditions they would like (up here it is!).
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Old 10-12-2007, 12:12 PM   #108 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

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Originally Posted by frankthetank View Post
I kept a SDC in a cold bedroom (temps in the 50's) without ANY light except for the window and it did fine. I don't remember EVER watering it for the entire winter! and i also don't remember it dropping any leaves. Same will happen this year, except now i've got even more. I don't try for winter growth, just keeping them alive is good enough for me. Too expensive to give them the growing conditions they would like (up here it is!).
Below 55F or so, nanners stop growing altogether so that would work if you can maintain that cool temperature or thereabouts. It gets warm in the winter here in Texas, so I have to resort to greenhousing or wrapping.

Be well,
Mike
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:23 AM   #109 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: cold floor in garage

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Originally Posted by D'Andra View Post
You're so right. That floor was freezing cold this morning. I was thinking of putting down some wooden skids until I read your post. I actually have hundreds of pounds of newspaper I've been saving to put in our new worm beds. The last load of papers is sitting right next to the bananas. Why didn't I think of that?!

I have a plant light on a few feet away from them germinating some voodoo lilly bulbs, so I threw a blue plastic tarp over the bananas. The tarp lightly touches them in a few places, but I don't think it'll be a problem. The temp is staying between 40&50 so I think it's gonna be okay.

Thanx!
have you thought of using cheap roofing paper and wrapping the bananas in it? I mean, the whole plant. That ought to keep them well insulated and warm. Wrap the banana tree lenthwise until you have used the whole width and staple the paper.
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:24 PM   #110 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

My bananas are put to sleep in a dark spot in the basement. WOW. I can't believe how heavy those things are. I dried them out in garage for a week to get some of the soil off the roots, but not much came off. I left the one Basjoo about 5 feet in height. Next year i will not do this. I will chance them in the ground. Way too much work to save them. I'll have enough pups, etc to winter over next year, so i'll then be able to afford to lose some.
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:18 PM   #111 (permalink)
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Bananas Brindando Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Thanks for the advise, the plants have all lost leaves but some look like they have stabilized (I hope) not much to do but wait it out and see what happens. I thought about going on the offensive and watering like they were outside since it's about 70 in the basement and the grow light is on for about 12 hours but now I'm just gonna leave em alone.
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Old 11-07-2007, 04:59 PM   #112 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Hello,

first of all I am new on this forum (and I am French)

I have a balbisiana which seems to be a "neue art" because it looks like yours. Do you know what is the lowest temperature it can bear?

It is for the moment in a pot but I would like to plant it outside next year. I live in eastern France zone 6/7 with strong winters (lowest temperature about -18 C degrees.


Bye
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:25 PM   #113 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

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Hello,

first of all I am new on this forum (and I am French)

I have a balbisiana which seems to be a "neue art" because it looks like yours. Do you know what is the lowest temperature it can bear?

It is for the moment in a pot but I would like to plant it outside next year. I live in eastern France zone 6/7 with strong winters (lowest temperature about -18 C degrees.


Bye
Welcome to the forum! I haven't planted any of my Musa balbisiana 'Neue Art' yet, so I'm not sure. I think they would be good to at least a zone 8a though, and probably zone 7 with some protection. I'll find out next year. By the way, the other name for this banana is M. balbisiana 'Gigantia' (or 'Gigantea', not sure which). Most Musa balbisiana look very similar though when young, so unless you bought seeds that were labaled as such, no telling what you have.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:46 AM   #114 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Hi All,
haven't posted here since last Spring when I transplanted my 2 IC bananas inground. I dug them up last week or so, & one is in 5 gal. pot with little soil around, & bigger 1 is laying on west side of sunroom floor on it's side with as much soil I could shake off. The rootball is wrapped in a towel with tarp under. I was surprised at how small the rootballs were! That one was 6 ft tall when planted & is now 12 1/2 ft tall --- that is the one I have dormant laying down. It is bigger because it was in a much bigger pot last winter & will not fit in sunroom in pot. It also has 4 pups - largest is about 3 ft. tall. I hear that they get their energy from mother plant so decided to leave them on.
I cut all but 3 top leaves off of both & the one that is forced into dormancy, I cut the 3 leaves in half.
I might try cutting off 2nd biggest pup & pot it up for a Christmas gift to a friend. (should I take the chance?)
I twisted my left ankle about 5 weeks ago & fractured & tore ligaments in left ankle, so it was a real chore digging & carting them up 4 steps (dolly) to SR. but not so bad! I sure hope that big IC will gorw back next spring & produce 'nannas next year!
Any opinions are welcome.....thanks again Bigdog!
To DaveK...don't water like they are outside. They KNOW it is winter & will be semi-dormant (my opinion).
Pintandeago...no grass is GOOD! I killed all of mine & it is now all wood chips now. YEAAY -- no mowing!
Frankthetank...we are in same boat huh? Sorta? (Hey, how 'bout those Packers & Brett Favre?!)
Question: how do you cut 'nanna plants back from 6-12 ft tall to 2 ft & still have them grow? I thought you have to leave at least the stem growing from top leaf. Isn't this the pseudostem that can't be cut off?
Thanks much...am learning a lot from here & will let you know how my plants overwinter.
I also have a double Mahoi potted that did real well potted over summer. It's 2 lower leaves are yellow but I think it's too moist. Anyone ever tasted one of those? Thanks again.
Patty (geeze, it's getting cold...1st night of frost tonight!)
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:58 AM   #115 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

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Question: how do you cut 'nanna plants back from 6-12 ft tall to 2 ft & still have them grow? I thought you have to leave at least the stem growing from top leaf. Isn't this the pseudostem that can't be cut off?
Cutting the stem shorter won't harm that stem so long as it's cut above the originating point of the leaves and it's not about to flower - it'll continue growing from where you cut it. A couple or three feet is a hard cut-back - I'd go for four feet, but I've chopped mine before and had them continue growing from the center. The only time you want to really avoid cutting is when you think that a flower-stalk is coming up the center. If you cut the flower-stalk, that stem will die and you won't get nanners from it. So - younger stems can be cut back if needed, but older stems should be kept intact. Of course, it takes a lot of energy to put out new leaves and heal the wound when there are no leaves feeding the process, so don't do it often or you'll likely end up with a weaker plant and smaller bunch of nanners.

Be well,
Mike
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:21 AM   #116 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

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Cutting the stem shorter won't harm that stem so long as it's cut above the originating point of the leaves and it's not about to flower - it'll continue growing from where you cut it. A couple or three feet is a hard cut-back - I'd go for four feet, but I've chopped mine before and had them continue growing from the center. The only time you want to really avoid cutting is when you think that a flower-stalk is coming up the center. If you cut the flower-stalk, that stem will die and you won't get nanners from it. So - younger stems can be cut back if needed, but older stems should be kept intact. Of course, it takes a lot of energy to put out new leaves and heal the wound when there are no leaves feeding the process, so don't do it often or you'll likely end up with a weaker plant and smaller bunch of nanners.

Be well,
Mike
What I've been wondering about is how can you tell if there is a flower-stalk inside the p-stem. Is there any slight bulge there? Or any sign?
I have a dwarf Brazilian that is ready to bloom and I keep on watching any tell-tale sign for the flag or shorter leaves but I can't tell by looking at the p-stem if there is a flower ready to come up.
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Old 11-10-2007, 04:49 AM   #117 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Thanks Mike.
Good guestion Benny! Am wondering the same thing.

Patty
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:22 AM   #118 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

Patty:
I guess we'll never know and will keep on wondering.
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:00 PM   #119 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

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Patty:
I guess we'll never know and will keep on wondering.
You'll know when your nanner flowers. You won't see any more sign of the flag leaf coming that you see from regular leaves, and the flower either - if there's any change it's very imperceptible. Unless the flower chokes and splits the stem, that is.

Be well,
Mike
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:26 PM   #120 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

I hate digging them up too.The yard is not the same without them .I put mine in the garage where there is heat.Cant wait til April.Thanks for sharing.
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