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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 10-09-2009, 06:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Cold What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

I have 2 Musa Basjoo's and I want to know what are the best ways to protect them???? Freezing temps are just around the corner and i need to get ready. Pictures would be great too if you took pics of previous winters....

The guy i got it off of said to pile up bags of leaves around it and on top of it. I wanted to know of other ways and maybe more attractive ways so it wont look like trashbags piled up in my yard.....Thanks Nate
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Old 10-09-2009, 07:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

I have had good luck with cutting my basjoo pseudo stems to around 1-2 ft., then covering with a deep layer of straw mulch. However, it's not pretty, as you can see in the pic below. Our temps got to 5F last winter, but my basjoo clump came back with 19 pups! It's located in the center of the pic in front of the azaleas.The large plastic bag is over a T. fortunei palm mulched and wrapped with burlap. Smaller palms are protected with straw mulch only.

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Old 10-09-2009, 07:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

The bag of leaves/grass works well, put three around the base and then one on top then cover all with a tarp and fold edges under bags. this works well and you can even fill the void around your banana plant with leaves or straw if you like. I think this year I am going to try the bags but then flip over a garbage can that is vented bottom and top and place that over my plants then tarp the whole thing and see what that does. Im hoping somewhat of a green house effect where as it will be a little warmer inside the can than outside temp but yet breath and not hold to much moisture. And the leaves in the bags will protect the ground around the base of the musa as usual. I like using black bags because they draw some sun in the winter here and it has to help somewhat,, I think this should work just fine either way. good luck.
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

My biggest one is around 5 1/2 to 6 feet p. stem with 5 pups. The tallest pup is around 10 inches. Would it be ok to separate one of the pups now before winter or should i just cross my fingers and hope they survive the winter and come back in the spring?????
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

if its pretty new which it sounds like it is I was told to leave it be as in my case. I have many pups this year but all less than a year old and I thought about the same but was told to let them really estabilish themselves and they should come back if protected correctly.
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Old 10-10-2009, 03:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

I agree.
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Old 10-10-2009, 04:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

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I have had good luck with cutting my basjoo pseudo stems to around 1-2 ft., then covering with a deep layer of straw mulch. However, it's not pretty, as you can see in the pic below. Our temps got to 5F last winter, but my basjoo clump came back with 19 pups! It's located in the center of the pic in front of the azaleas.The large plastic bag is over a T. fortunei palm mulched and wrapped with burlap. Smaller palms are protected with straw mulch only.

Hi salty: Do you let the plants sap to stop running or just cover it ? I am covering mine with mulch and tarps but dont no if it is a little to early. Dan
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Old 10-11-2009, 04:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

cover them after they get a few good hard frosts if you're not trying to save any of the pseudostem. I haven't had any luck saving the pseudostem in my zone 5 no matter how hard I tried. I even used leaves around the bottom and a triangle of straw bales around the stem with no luck!
I cover mine with bags and bags of leaves. I leave a little space around the trunk if it's kind of a single trunked type specimen, and a little space around the group if it has several pups that are 3 feet tall or taller. Then the space is filled with loosely fluffed dry leaves, and then more bags over the top. You can use one of those tarps that's brown on one side and green on the other and put it brown side up over the whole thing and it looks much better! and keeps it dry too.
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

Dan, I also wait until the first hard frost before I cut the p-stem and start protecting. I do it a little earlier for the palms.
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

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What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????
Plant it in the tropics with armed security guards.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:02 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

Keep them dry Nate, as you already know. Has anyone ever sprayed fungicide on the stems before wrapping, might help keep the rot down. Copper is obviously poisonous but we don't eat basjoo fruit anyways. Just a thought!

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Old 10-19-2009, 02:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

I have always just cut them down to about 16 inches....removed the mulch from around the base and then mounded dirt up around the base on a slope, so water will run away from the base during freeze thaws!

I then replace the mulch(cypress), putting down a good layer 10-12 inches thick and about a foot out...I then cover the stem with a heavy duty rose cone, (I sprayed mine black-inside and out...to help absorb heat)....and then I cover it with black bisqueen, the black bisqueen seems to keep it around 8-10 degrees warmer under there then the actual air temp outside, (you can actually dig in the dirt in the middle of winter under there, the ground just does not freeze hard) this has always worked for me!

Good Luck!

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Old 11-12-2009, 02:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

What exactly is a "rose cone" and where do I buy one?
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Old 11-12-2009, 05:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

A rose cone is a cheap styrofoam thing that looks like a small tapered trash can. I'm sure you could find it at Lowes or HD, I never looked for one before though.

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Old 11-12-2009, 06:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

Lowes or Home Depot...make sure you get the heavy duty kind!
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Old 11-12-2009, 06:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

Quote:
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A rose cone is a cheap styrofoam thing that looks like a small tapered trash can. I'm sure you could find it at Lowes or HD, I never looked for one before though.

Bill
How are your bananas?? Did you cut them down yet??? I just cut mine down today. I'm still unsure how I'm gonna protect mine. I like the rose cone idea I'm gonna go to lowes tomorrow and see if I can find some.....

Thanks for all the input everybody.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

Hey Nate,
The Nanas got finished off awhile ago now. The trunks are still fine, not cold enough for me to worry to much yet. I probably should have tried the freezepruf on them that I bought after they survived temps of 25-27. Next year I have a secret plan for frost. I dug up all of my none hardy nanas this week and hauled the load of them to my basement. I chopped off a ridiculous amount of pups that I re potted and put into my Dexter style greenhouse in my basement. For everyone who doesn't watch the show it's a plastic bubble en closer 13 * 14 or so completely full. I need to post some picture so people can have a laugh. I'm sure your protection will be just fine, I need to figure out what I'm doing still as well.

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Old 11-12-2009, 08:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

By the way the biggest nana I dug up and hauled to the basement (orinoco) had a circumference of 30 inches at the base. 9 foot clear trunk, it was a heavy sucker!

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Old 11-25-2009, 07:12 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Is The Best Way To Protect A Musa Basjoo For Winter????

I had one ladyfinger I had to chop nearly in half to bring it in. It's about 200 pounds before I did that. I've found that a hand truck is your best friend when you're bringing in big bananas by yourself and you're 5'3 and 150 lbs. Also for my 7 foot alocasia, that sucker is growing a trunk and it gets heavier every year. I almost had to wait for hubby to get home this year on that one!
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:59 PM   #20 (permalink)
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