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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 09-23-2007, 07:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Zone 8 Bananas for Central Texas

Hi,

I知 looking for a cold hardy banana for zone 8 that can handle the freezes and summer sun. Could any one help me w/ this topic? I知 seeking an edible sort of banana w/ or w/out seeds.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, as there are many bananas out there.

Dean
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Old 09-23-2007, 10:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Bananas Brindando Re: Zone 8 Bananas for Central Texas

Basjoo bananas would work great in your area! Also musella lasiocarpa. Maybe a velutina or sikkimensis. Im not an expert but those will winter in my area, zone 6-7. Wish I was in 8--Nate
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Old 09-23-2007, 10:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zone 8 Bananas for Central Texas

Nate,

Thanks for the information, I’ll have to research these more.

In Central Texas,
Dean
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Old 09-23-2007, 11:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zone 8 Bananas for Central Texas

I am near Austin as well. I don't have much experience yet, but the two types I have tried are Dwarf Ornico and Musa Basjoo. The Basjoos have made it through the winter unprotected with leaf damage, and every time we get a "warm spell" during the winter, they throw a new leaf or two. However, Bajoo does not produce edible fruit.

The Ornicos have died back to the ground, and reappeared in the spring from the pups (thus no fruit). I am contemplating protection methods this winter.

Also, I have recently acquired a D. Brazilian, which is reported (on this board) to be slightly more cold hardy than the Ornico under some conditions. I am overwintering it in a pot, but will plant it in the ground come spring and see what it does in winter '08.

The other edible type that might have a chance is California Gold, which is somewhat controversial on this board, but is generally reported to have the same or better hardiness than D. Brazilian. It is reported to be a consistent 9a producer, whereas we Central Texans are 8b/a, depending on whether you are up in the Hill Country where the frosts are more severe. The California Gold is not too widespread, and still commands a decent price (about $50 shipped, if you can find it here in the swap or on Ebay), and I cannot attest to its value in this climate. I will probably try to acquire one eventually and give it a go.

Cheers,

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Old 09-24-2007, 09:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zone 8 Bananas for Central Texas

Ed,

You certainly have more experience w/ bananas than I do. The information you provided is quite helpful, as I am still learning about bananas. In the past I grew bananas but I just bought an unknown variety from a local nursery.

Do you think I should wait till spring before I consider purchasing a plant or seeds?

Dean
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zone 8 Bananas for Central Texas

I have never tried growing bananas from seed, but my understanding is that they are very challenging to germinate.

If you buy a small plant online, I would say overwintering in a pot would be the safest bet, since it would not have much chance to get established before colder weather hits. If you buy a large plant at a nursery (my favorite Home Depot is thick with Musa Basjoos and Dwarf/Super Dwarf Cavendishes right now), and it is a Basjoo, you could put it in the ground and mulch heavily, and the pseudostem would likely survive the Austin winter.

Again, as I have little experience compared to most of the aficionados on this board, this may be a case of the "blind leading the blind", so don't take my advice to be particularly sage.

Cheers,

Ed.
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zone 8 Bananas for Central Texas

Ed,

I値l have to go over to Home Depot and or Lowes and see what they have. I知 anxious to get started growing bananas. Only now, I値l have to find a good place to put it or them.

I read on another thread that people were finding decent cold hardy bananas at Home Depot. I wonder if they ever mark down their stock, for winter, to get rid of their plants.

Thanks again for the information.

Dean
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Old 09-24-2007, 01:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zone 8 Bananas for Central Texas

I bought a Musa acuminata Rojo from Lowes. I guess its better known as musa acuminata 想ebrina, blood leaf banana or musa rojo.

Does anybody know the hardiness of this one? Are the fruits edible?

Dean
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Old 10-01-2007, 06:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zone 8 Bananas for Central Texas

Zebrina rojo is not all that hardy. It will freeze down to the ground in your area, but it will come back from the roots. Maybe it could be protected with a cage and mulch such as we do up north to save some height.
Zebrina has seeds in the fruit and is grown for ornamental purposes.
A very beautiful plant though!
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Old 10-01-2007, 09:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zone 8 Bananas for Central Texas

Sandy,

I know it has seeds in the fruit and grown as an ornamental but is the fruit edible? Yes, it is a beautiful ornamental.

Dean
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zone 8 Bananas for Central Texas

Keep in mind you can grow your zebrina indoors for the winter, next to a south-facing window and then plant it in the spring. This will give it plenty of time to develop a strong root system and large corm to help it survive the next winter in the ground. If you plant a young plant now it may not be established enough to survive the winter outside.

Good luck!

~Joe
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Old 10-04-2007, 09:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zone 8 Bananas for Central Texas

Hey Joe,

Thanks for the input. I have it placed on the south side of a retaining wall (planter) that痴 about 4' tall so it should be okay.

I also acquired some other bananas as well. One banana is unidentified corms that I致e obtained of an edible fruiting variety. I値l have to wait tell they grow up before I can get pictures. The other is a Lotus Banana it supposedly gets flowers then seeds.

Happy Gardening,
Dean W.
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Old 10-04-2007, 06:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zone 8 Bananas for Central Texas

Hello Dean
I live to the north of you in Texas and the bananas that I have been growing for the last 10 years will freeze down and come back with out any additional protection and some times it gets really cold here and If I over winter a big plant in the green house they will bloom and set bunches the next year. I bought the origional plant as a unidentified banana and the majority opinion of others here are that the plants are musa Orinoco; If you or any one near me wants one- PM me to make arrangments to pick up (most are too big to ship They need 5 to 10 gallon sized pots or bigger). I have over a 80 tall suckers that could be dug I will probably only dig 40 to 50 for the green house this year and all the really big ones will just freeze to the ground Because they are too big to move I hurt my back once moving a big one and they are just not worth the pain that the back injury caused. Below is todays picture of the plants fruiting The larges hand now has bananas 4 to 5 inches long and about a inch to a inch and a half in diameter. For additional pictures see my gallery -Philip
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Old 10-04-2007, 08:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zone 8 Bananas for Central Texas

Hello Philip,


Wow 80, tall suckers that痴 a lot of bananas. I wish I could convince you to ship. O well, they would just freeze to the ground w/ me too.

I hope your back is doing better. Don稚 lug around too many banana trees.

I値l look at your gallery for other pics. I wish I had a green house.

Dean
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Old 11-14-2007, 05:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zone 8 Bananas for Central Texas

lasiocarpa made it thru our summer last year outside. i brought it in for the winter. of course it did fine this summer with all of the rain. i plan on leaving it outside this winter so it will be next spring before i can comment on cold hardiness. barb
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Old 11-25-2007, 04:47 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zone 8 Bananas for Central Texas

I did it, I dug it up. It's supposed to freeze tonight.

Dean
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Old 11-25-2007, 07:03 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zone 8 Bananas for Central Texas

well at least i know where to get a baby next year in case mine doesn't make it. lol.
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Old 11-25-2007, 09:29 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zone 8 Bananas for Central Texas

Haha, mamajack, I should have some pups left then. What zone are you in?

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