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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 03-07-2010, 09:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default When to uncover in central NC?

Hello everyone! I'm new to banana growing and need some help.

Last year, we put in an inground pool and planted a basjoo (we also bought a maurelli, but potted it and brought it inside, where it is growing HUGE) next to the pool. It's in the ground, but in a cut-out planter area, so it's surrounded by concrete and just a few feet away from the pool itself. Just after first frost, we cut it back to about a foot and a half high, then built a chicken wire cage, filled it with pine straw and dead leaves, and covered the top with plastic.

When should we uncover it to see if it made it? And when we do, should we go ahead and cut back whatever part of the PS is obviously dead or leave it alone until we (hopefully) see green? When do we start fertilizing? Is there anything else we need to know at this point?

Thanks in advance for any help!
Dianne
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: When to uncover in central NC?

I uncovered my basjoos yesterday to see how they looked. The 12 in of p-stem that I kept was still green and looked great. I used styrofoam rose cones and covered with leaves and plastic. Its worked great. We had a cold winter in St Louis, the first week in Jan it got down to zero a couple nights.

I put the rose cones back on but I removed some of the leaves. I know its really early to uncover but our 10 day forcast is above freezing at night, I am considering taking the rose cones off and letting the bananas grow. My wife says I should wait until April 1st.

You should start fertilizing after you start to see some growth, not before that.

If your p-stems are brown that means it got too wet or too cold, then I would put them back to the ground, sometimes pups will come up around the parent plant in the spring even thought the main p-stem dies.

Good luck
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: When to uncover in central NC?

Thanks, Jeremy! I appreciate the tip about rose cones, too - never thought about using one of those! I really, really hope it has done well because we had 8 pups by last Fall and we're so looking forward to seeing more and being able to put more basjoos around the pool!

I'm going to uncover it today, since you were already brave enough to take a peek at yours. Our daytime temps for the coming week are in the mid-60s, with overnight temps (after tonight's 35) in the mid-40s to mid-50s. With rain coming in for two days straight at the end of the week, I'm nervous about leaving it covered with that much warmth and wetness. Fingers crossed!

Dianne
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: When to uncover in central NC?

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Thanks, Jeremy! I appreciate the tip about rose cones, too - never thought about using one of those! I really, really hope it has done well because we had 8 pups by last Fall and we're so looking forward to seeing more and being able to put more basjoos around the pool!

I'm going to uncover it today, since you were already brave enough to take a peek at yours. Our daytime temps for the coming week are in the mid-60s, with overnight temps (after tonight's 35) in the mid-40s to mid-50s. With rain coming in for two days straight at the end of the week, I'm nervous about leaving it covered with that much warmth and wetness. Fingers crossed!

Dianne
Dianne

Let me know how it goes uncovering your bananas. Hopefully you see some green on the p-stems, if they are brown then I would cut back to the ground.

I Have 3 basjoos and 2 bordeleens in the ground outside. I uncovered 2 of the basjoos yesterday to see how well they looked. I still need to look at my bordeleens, I will probably do that this afternoon.

Last fall I covered with plastic. I didnt do that last year and 2 didnt make it, they got too wet. This year they look great. Its very important to keep your leaves dry around the p-stems.

I think I am going to leave the rose cones on for a couple more weeks. I am going to take some of the leaves off around my other plants. I also have garbage bags of leaves around each rose cone. I think its safe to take those off now.

Keep in mind that bananas will not grow much if the temp drops below 40 at night so uncovering to early wont necessarily give them a head start.

How tall did your bananas get last year? I had 1 that was about 14 feet, 2 that were 12 feet and 2 that were about 10 feet tall. They will get taller every year.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: When to uncover in central NC?

Whether you have good or bad news when uncovering they will recover. I do hope it looks great though.. :^)
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: When to uncover in central NC?

Thanks for the support, Migael! I'm really excited about seeing them come up this year!

Jeremy, hubbie uncovered the basjoos and found the p-stems brown and mushy, but cut them to the ground and what's left looks healthy. Since the next week looks lovely (except tonight, so we'll throw something back over them tonight), we're just gonna leave them and take it day by day. I'm not too worried about them getting a head start, but I am worried about the corm rotting if we leave the plastic over them during the warm rain we're expecting at the end of the week. Hope I'm doing the right thing!

We just planted the basjoo last July, so it didn't have a full season to grow. Still, it went from a teeny 18" to 5' with 8 pups, so it seemed happy.

Let us know how the rest of your bananas look when you uncover them!

Dianne
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: When to uncover in central NC?

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Hope I'm doing the right thing!
You'll have pups popping up before you know it. I had a cluster of 35 (they were out of control). A nice accent :^)
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: When to uncover in central NC?

Hello bookworm I am located close to you and I usually dont see any good growth from my plants until the end of april. I think we still have a few weeks before we are in the clear.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: When to uncover in central NC?

Wow, Migael! 35 pups is waaaaaay more than I'd know what to do with!



Thanks, fishoifc! Yes, I think we're just a couple of hours apart. How do you overwinter your basjoos? Now that I've seen what ours look like now, I'm thinking we should have just cut them all the way to the ground back in the Fall. What a mushy mess! Now that we have cut it to the ground, it's still covered in a lot of mulch. I hope that will protect it from whatever cold we might have in the next few weeks. And if we get rain, I guess we can just throw a tarp over them?
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: When to uncover in central NC?

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Wow, Migael! 35 pups is waaaaaay more than I'd know what to do with!
No, it was a very large corm. It was like 8 huge, 12 medium, and the rest 4ft or under... It was almost fun trying to break up the corm and get it out of there... :^)
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: When to uncover in central NC?

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No, it was a very large corm. It was like 8 huge, 12 medium, and the rest 4ft or under... It was almost fun trying to break up the corm and get it out of there... :^)

Ok, well I'm not so sure about the FUN part, but I am looking forward to learning how to separate them and putting more around my pool. They are just so very beautiful and always take everyone by surprise! I hope to be logging on here soon, looking for the pup separation tutorials!
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:01 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: When to uncover in central NC?

So do you have any other Banana's (types)?
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: When to uncover in central NC?

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So do you have any other Banana's (types)?
Only one other - a maurelii. It's in a large pot right now, inside. It lived outside next to the pool last summer, and then we moved it inside. It seems really happy where we have it, because it keeps popping out leaves one after the other and is getting big. Not sure how long we'll be able to move it inside each Fall!

And you? What else do you have? And do you have other tropicals?

We also have a small windmill palm, and it seems to have survived the winter. We protected it with a small pop-up greenhouse each time we had rain, sleet, or snow, and then left it uncovered, but well-mulched, between precip. Thought we'd lost it last week, because the spear pulled, but it's still green and a new spear is starting to peek out of the crown, so I think we're good! We're very new to tropicals of any sort, having just decided to try them after putting in the pool last July. I grew up in Key West and needed to add a little tropical back into my life!
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: When to uncover in central NC?

Diane,

I am in Cary and do not plant my non hardy bananas in the ground for a least another month. We are definitely not in the clear. Be ready to cover it back up that's if it is still alive.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:01 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: When to uncover in central NC?

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And you? What else do you have? And do you have other tropicals?
I have one non-etible, a Lil Prince w/ pup now. I have Blue Java's, a prayhands, 1000 fingers, Pisang Ceylon (PC), DC's, SDC's, Croc Fingers, Raja Puri's, lady fingers, gran nain's, Saba's, Gold Finger's, dwarf red, ARH, Dwarf Orinoco's, a pineapple banana, and a glui khai.. I have a windmill palm, a several MFP's, and 10 pindo's.. I'm thinking about adding some mule palms and another half dozen pindo's just because they don't die :^) I think the cold got the best of my pygmy date palms.. but the jury is still out on that one..
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:31 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: When to uncover in central NC?

Bookworm,I have never had any luck when I cut my plants. Every time I have cut the stem I end up with mush. This winter I have some of my less hardy stuff in a dark shed, some with the dirt and pups knocked off,a few potted,and some with the way they came out of the ground. the outside plants are wrapped to the top of the stem in various ways.I think there is about ten or so different plants and so far all of the stems look great.I do not have any basjoos yet might try this year,The best stem i have right now is a ice cream it is outside wrapped with track lighting, plastic, and burlap this plant is nice and green to the top of the wrapping.I have only had trouble with one,Rowe banana" this one dies to the corm.
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: When to uncover in central NC?

Basjoo will be fine. Had them for years in Ohio and always cut them abck and the frost got them and never mulched them and they always came right back. I was in zone 5 with winters of zone 4 sometimes. I'm located a few miles from the ocean and have the Cape Fear river on the other side. Living in a apartment right now,so all mine are in my storage closet yet one Basjoo. Left it potted up on our porch. 3rd floor and facing sunset and it has pushed out leaves several times and they got burned. Then now it has a left coming out. Anytime it gets above 40* they will start to grow. Yes wait until april once the night temps are in the 50's steady. Hope my nanners all make it since they all look dry. Storage unit feeds off the wall heat from the house. But you never want to water them if dry stored.
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:31 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: When to uncover in central NC?

Thanks, everyone! Sorry for the delay in replying, but my father got sick and we had to travel last week. We left in such a hurry that we left everything uncovered and didn't know what we'd find when we got back. Much to our surprise, our basjoo seems to be very happy! We have green pushing up from the middle of the main p-stem, and 4 little pups, too. Everything is still thickly mulched, plus it's surrounded by concrete with a waterfall next to it, so perhaps that's keeping it warmer? At any rate, we're keeping an eye on those overnight lows, prepared to throw more over it now that we're home.
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:52 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
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I have one non-etible, a Lil Prince w/ pup now. I have Blue Java's, a prayhands, 1000 fingers, Pisang Ceylon (PC), DC's, SDC's, Croc Fingers, Raja Puri's, lady fingers, gran nain's, Saba's, Gold Finger's, dwarf red, ARH, Dwarf Orinoco's, a pineapple banana, and a glui khai.. I have a windmill palm, a several MFP's, and 10 pindo's.. I'm thinking about adding some mule palms and another half dozen pindo's just because they don't die :^) I think the cold got the best of my pygmy date palms.. but the jury is still out on that one..
I'm so very jealous! I need more tropicals!
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:50 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: When to uncover in central NC?

I don't uncover and leave it that way until the second week of April.
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