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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 10-23-2018, 01:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Joy When to winterize Basjoo bananas

This is my first time growing bananas. I have 3 of them and they did great over the spring and summer. I live in central jersey and itís the end of October. We had a couple 30 degree nights here. The leaves are starting to welt and turning brown. Is it time to winterize them? I plan on keeping them in the ground cutting the stem about 12 inches from ground and cover with plastic bags full of leafs and pine needles. Any info would be helpful. Thanks

Dave
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Old 10-23-2018, 08:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Smile Re: When to winterize Basjoo bananas

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Originally Posted by dgott26 View Post
This is my first time growing bananas. I have 3 of them and they did great over the spring and summer. I live in central jersey and it’s the end of October. We had a couple 30 degree nights here. The leaves are starting to welt and turning brown. Is it time to winterize them? I plan on keeping them in the ground cutting the stem about 12 inches from ground and cover with plastic bags full of leafs and pine needles. Any info would be helpful. Thanks

Dave
Late fall after ahard freeze or when you have time before that.
There are some good YouTube videos to give you some ideas .
Pick and choose what you can use and afford
Here is a good thread to start.. the last ten or so posts can give you an idea of what to expect.
Donetta

Last edited by cincinnana : 10-25-2018 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 12-22-2018, 07:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Bananas Brindando Re: When to winterize Basjoo bananas

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This is my first time growing bananas. I have 3 of them and they did great over the spring and summer. I live in central jersey and itís the end of October. We had a couple 30 degree nights here. The leaves are starting to welt and turning brown. Is it time to winterize them? I plan on keeping them in the ground cutting the stem about 12 inches from ground and cover with plastic bags full of leafs and pine needles. Any info would be helpful. Thanks

Dave
Dave ...are things working out?
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: When to winterize Basjoo bananas

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This is my first time growing bananas. I have 3 of them and they did great over the spring and summer. I live in central jersey and itís the end of October. We had a couple 30 degree nights here. The leaves are starting to welt and turning brown. Is it time to winterize them? I plan on keeping them in the ground cutting the stem about 12 inches from ground and cover with plastic bags full of leafs and pine needles. Any info would be helpful. Thanks

Dave
This sounds like a good plan. I have been growing musa basjoo since 2016 and I think we're in similar zones. I'm long island ny zone 7a which sounds about the same for you or even a little colder if at all. You can chop them back to the ground in november-december and cover with mulch, hay, leaves.. anything to insulate the stalk or root ball under the ground. I've tried different methods and the plants have returned every year with rapid growth and many pups. This year I left the whole plant in the ground without chopping anything.. they have become like 4-6+ ft trunks with leaves extending another 6 feet in the air. Really amazing how these bananas multiply and take off.. I haven't given them any special treatment other than pulling weeds, putting down mulch and sprinkling all purpose organic fertilizer every spring and summer sporadically. I don't even always water as much as I should and they continue to come back - they are also a good deterrent for Japanese beetles since they will be drawn to these and eat these and hopefully not your other trees. They actually will start to make a colony and spread by rhizomes I think.. I used a shovel and chopped some away from the base of my 2 patches and they survived as long as you get part of the white root ball with larger roots attached and keep it moist it will bounce back quick. Good luck! I think you'll have success - they don't seem like needy plants and even if you barely protected after a few years it seems like the herbacious leaves and stalk become the insulator/mulch during the Winter. All of my plants have shriveled, browned and gotten mushier but the stalks are still firm on the lower part of the trunks and all i did was throw some mulch on one patch this year - the other spots I just pushed down the stalk and leaves to provide some additional insulator/mulch. I keep experimenting to see what happens. Last year I covered one patch with a plastic sled top and then mulched and threw hay over it up to a foot or less. Then i just threw some leaves, dirt and straw over the other patch but didn't protect it.. just chopped it to the ground. All survived and are sending a bunch of pups from the bases. They got big too - like 4-6ft of stalk with large leaves! So I think it all depends how much work you want to put into it. If you want to preserve a larger part of the trunk and insulate several feet you can do that with insulation and building a whole kit.. like a box or garbage can and mulch and hay - If not you can just chop it down to the ground, cover with mulch or dirt or whatever and then wait and see.. if the large trunk (mother plant) is mushy and dies back into the ground it will most likely push up several pups which will become the dominant growth the following Spring. It all depends how large the root ball gets. I have found that planting the root ball deeper (like almost a foot or so down) will help keep the root ball safe. Anyways - didn't mean to rant but figured giving you most of the things I've learned since 2016 with this plant. Still fairly new to bananas and this is the only variety I am growing since I enjoy the tropical-looking foliage along the deck and then I enjoy laying/sitting under it since it will eventually provide shade and privacy in certain spots.
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I am very fascinated and excited about growing Pawpaws (Asimina triloba). I also am equally fascinated and excited to be growing: Pawpaw cultivars, Echinacea purpurea 'magnus', Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly Weed, Musa basjoo Cold Hardy Banana, Lycium barbarum 'Sweet Lifeberry', Passiflora incarnata 'hardy native maypop'.

Future projects: Indigenous/native host plants for butterflies such as: Zizia aurea Golden Alexanders, Eutrochium maculatum Joe Pye Weed, Asclepias incarnata Rose Milkweed.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: When to winterize Basjoo bananas

I'm in Denver and have tried Basjoos in the past. I got one to come back from the ground after one winter, but it never got more than a couple feet high. I also tried bringing the stalk in to overwinter in my basement, and it died.

Last year, I couldn't find Basjoos at the nursery where I'd purchased them before, but they had a rather large, red banana of some sort (the type that eventually get the big, black flower) for only $40 and it went crazy this past summer. The stalk is at least a foot wide at the base, and it was around 10' to the tip of the leaves, and very beautiful.

So we bought a small greenhouse last winter and in October, I cut the leaves off the stalk and put it in a big pot, and it's been in there doing fine through the winter. My only concern is that with the huge, heavy stalk, I may not be able to get it back in a pot next fall. But I should have an amazing banana tree this summer! (it was so eye-catching that people would stop in their cars to ask me what it was or how I grew it in Denver lol!)
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Old 01-30-2019, 10:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: When to winterize Basjoo bananas

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I'm in Denver and have tried Basjoos in the past. I got one to come back from the ground after one winter, but it never got more than a couple feet high. I also tried bringing the stalk in to overwinter in my basement, and it died.

Last year, I couldn't find Basjoos at the nursery where I'd purchased them before, but they had a rather large, red banana of some sort (the type that eventually get the big, black flower) for only $40 and it went crazy this past summer. The stalk is at least a foot wide at the base, and it was around 10' to the tip of the leaves, and very beautiful.

So we bought a small greenhouse last winter and in October, I cut the leaves off the stalk and put it in a big pot, and it's been in there doing fine through the winter. My only concern is that with the huge, heavy stalk, I may not be able to get it back in a pot next fall. But I should have an amazing banana tree this summer! (it was so eye-catching that people would stop in their cars to ask me what it was or how I grew it in Denver lol!)

Probably Ensete maurelii?? Not a true banana but a fast grower. I have one in my garage doing great. They get huge.
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Old 02-01-2019, 10:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Probably Ensete maurelii?? Not a true banana but a fast grower. I have one in my garage doing great. They get huge.
Probably so. I had one in California that got huge, then put out a giant black flower, and then the main flowering plant died. I keep having to cut the leaf back it's trying to grow in my greenhouse because it isn't that tall. I thought it would stay more dormant in winter, with less light, but it's recently started growing again. Maybe I'm keeping it too warm.
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Old 02-01-2019, 10:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: When to winterize Basjoo bananas

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Probably so. I had one in California that got huge, then put out a giant black flower, and then the main flowering plant died. I keep having to cut the leaf back it's trying to grow in my greenhouse because it isn't that tall. I thought it would stay more dormant in winter, with less light, but it's recently started growing again. Maybe I'm keeping it too warm.
Mine is in my garage and is growing a leaf every week or 2. it is roughly 55-60F in the garage with a overhead grow light. It's 9' tall. I don't think this type plant goes dormant. Keep water on it if it's growing. I have mine in a huge plastic pot that has drain holes up 6" from the bottom so water stays in it. They do great that way as it's a water hog. My 'trunk' is 1' plus diameter. Planting it out in spring. I have heard it is 'possible' to cut it back to trunk and cover it with straw, etc then overwinter it here in 7a. Because next winter it will be too big to deal with. But that is difficult with this type of plant. It is growing better than anything I have in my garage.
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