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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 10-29-2014, 02:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Zone 5, Urban center Basjoo?

What's your call?

Will it make it through the winter here? (Omaha, NE)

We've got low wind, bit of a heat island from the urban cement, and direct sun all day for as long as it lasts. But last year was bitter bitter cold and I lost everything that was left outside, total mush. (thanks, polar vortex!)

What would you do to prep these for overwinter in this climate? I'm still going to bring a few inside as an insurance policy just in case.

What about Zebrina? I hear they're not as cold hardy so I expect they've got to come in. I need to dig up the elephant ears as well.

Questions? Comments? Short Stories?
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zone 5, Urban center Basjoo?

Everything has to come in other than the basjoo. I am in the same boat as you. Last winter was unbelievably cold here as well and I lost my basjoos. Been rebuilding stock to plant in the ground next spring. How deep did you plant?
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zone 5, Urban center Basjoo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammocked Banana View Post
Everything has to come in other than the basjoo. I am in the same boat as you. Last winter was unbelievably cold here as well and I lost my basjoos. Been rebuilding stock to plant in the ground next spring. How deep did you plant?
Probably not deep enough.

I thought about covering the mound with the leaves and mulching over, kind of a bio-reactor to keep it warm over the next 6 months...

(I have no faith that anything I leave out will sprout in the spring, but I have to try at least for the experience.)
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zone 5, Urban center Basjoo?

If you have a pup inside, all won't be lost either way. Growth is so much more impressive if you can over winter in the ground.
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Smile Re: Zone 5, Urban center Basjoo?

Here is something you might find of interest... Check out both links on this older post of mine.
There might be something you can use to make a decision next year.
This works locally as well in Northern Michigan and anything in between.

Hibernating a basjoo
Hibernating a basjoo
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zone 5, Urban center Basjoo?

10 years ago we lived in Ohio,farther north then Mike an colder of course. All I did for our Basjoo was trim the mat down. I didn't mulch them as they were growing in the landscape with a dozen hardy cacti. They always came back. Your Rojo would never last.
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zone 5, Urban center Basjoo?

You should have no problem overwintering the basjoos outside. I planted one in a garden bed mid September last year, and it only had maybe a monththe ground before the hard freeze, yet it lived and with minimal protection, with maybe a foot of leaves and no tarp. My main mat that has dozens of plants in it gets about 4 feet of dried leaves and a tarp. I had weeks at a time last winter where the temp didn't reach 20f and several days of -5f for the high. The Zebrina on the other hand might not be a good candidate, but having said that if you have more than a couple plants I for one would be interested to see you try to overwinter one. If you decide to do so I would cut it down to 6 inches and use at least 3 feet of insulation (leaves grass, straw, whatever, your choice) and make sure the insulation surrounds the Pstem a minimum of 4 feet, then just cover it up with a tarp to keep moisture out.

Also I have accidentally left both colacasia and alocasia out in the basjoo mat and had them come back early in the spring, now mind you they were just small little pups that emerged from some little chunk of corm left in the garden. I usually pot them up and take indoors with the rest of the mobile jungle. Even large ones can be potted up and be happy indoors (one large one flowered for me this summer and it's still growing nice big leaves now that it's potted in a 10 inch nursery pot), just mist often, like you would bananas.

Regards Harold
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