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Species Bananas Discussions of all the different wild species of banana (non edible), an aspect of the hobby that deserves its own section.


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Old 01-18-2008, 01:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Musa Basjoo in Zone 3

I will be planting Musa Basjoo out in the spring on a permanent basis. While the area low temperature over the last 5 years is -29*C, I would expect that long term low temperatures to reach -35*C or colder.

I intend to provide an insulated shelter similar to the ones that I have built for my Palms. This would include insulating below the surface at least 12" to keep frost from the roots as well as above ground to protect the pseudostem. I also intend to provide heat in the enclosure.

I have several questions to help me determine the size of the shelter as well as the depth of insulation and type of heating.

Grown in zone 6 or 7:

How large of a ground area would a single pup expand into after 5 years more or less in the ground?

How deep would the roots grow?

How wide would the roots extend?

At what temperature would the plant defoliate?

The Wiki says that the plant will withstand -19*C/-3*F unprotected. What is your experience?

Would a temperature between -6*C/21*F(less than 24 hours, 3 or 4 times per winter) and 12*C/55*F(less than 10 hours, 20 to 30 times per winter) be adequate for the plant to survive? Normal temperatures would be a high of -1*C to 4*C/ 30*F to 40*F and a low of -3*C to 2*C/27*F to 35*F.

I intend to use 3" rigid styrofoam for the shelter and provide heat by way of a heating cable at the rate of 2.5 Watts per cubic foot of air space within the shelter.

I do not want to under build the shelter. I also do not want to be heating unnecessary space from Mid October to Mid April.

I appreciate any assistance that you can provide.

I am serious. I have Cycas revoluta, Yucca elephantipes, Butia capitata, Chamaerops humilis and other plants in a heated shelter this winter. They have survived exterior temps of -24.6*C with no noticeable damage.

Thanks

Allen
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Basjoo in Zone 3

if people are doing it in zone 6, why not by you in canada, just some more protection and they will survive
succes with that!
i'm also a palm lover and that Butia Capitata and Chamaerops Humilis survived -25 without noticeable damage is quite special
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Basjoo in Zone 3

The biggest problem i think you would have is keeping the ground from freezing. As far as the basjoo goes at 32F you will get some leaf damage. Last year the low in my area was 23F. I had some p-stem(trunk) damage and of course lost all my leaves. I would think that the problem you will have is keeping the ground from freezing. Using the heating cable along with the shelter, should keep the ground warm enough to keep the corm(roots) alive.I would think. Bananas have very shallow roots. They form a corm( bulb) were many more pups(young plants) shoot up from. Another thing to consider is your growing season. How warm and for how long is your summer and spring. Bananas need a fair amount of sun and heat to grow well. Also you do not want to keep the ground to warm. Like most bulbs, give them heat and they will grow. i would say keeping the ground at or around 50F during the winter will keep the corm in a dormant state. Also keeping the roots dry during the winter is a must. Cold and wet = rot.
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Old 01-18-2008, 08:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Basjoo in Zone 3

Thanks;
I have kept the soil from freezing in my palm shelter using copper pipe that I stick 18" into the ground. The heating cable is attached to the pipe above ground. The insulation as well as the warm pipe keep the soil at or above freezing.

I think that I will insulate down 18" to be on the safe side.

How wide do you think the root system will grow? Will a 2 foot by 4 foot area be enough for 5 years? All I want is an educated guess. It will not be that much work to dig up the insulation and move it. I just don't want to rebuild the entire shelter because I underestimated the size.

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Old 01-18-2008, 09:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Basjoo in Zone 3

Oops, I forgot.

The banana would be in full sun. Frost protection should end about May 15 with the first fall frost in Mid October. Day time temps vary from 15*C/60*F and 30*C/85*F with overnight summer lows between 15*C/60*F and 20*C/70*F. Edmonton's hours of sunlight are in the top 10 for Canada.

Hope that this helps with your estimate.

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Old 01-18-2008, 10:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Basjoo in Zone 3

Allen, I believe Mark summed it up well. As far as protection size, like you said to don't want to underestimate the size of the shelter, so I honestly would conside double your estimate. I think after 5 years with the summer temps and sun you get, an area 4 X 8 would not be an outrageous estimate. That is my opinion, take it for what it is worth. Be sure to let us know how it goes and post lots of pics!!! Great to see you pushing it in Edmonton...
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Old 01-18-2008, 11:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Basjoo in Zone 3

Depends on how big you want your patch to be? Do you want a single plant? or are you going to allow your banana to pup?(multiply) The corm(bulb) will send up shoots(pups) For a single plant i would say 3feet wide to 3 feet deep.If you allow the corm to pup, them maybe a larger area is needed.
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Basjoo in Zone 3

Thanks for your input. I really do appreciate it.

I plan to put my DCs, Raja Puris and Dwarf Brazilian in a shelter on the south side of the garage and provide heat to about 55*F over the winter in the hope of fruiting them.

I had no plans for the M. basjoo when I bought it and still do not have plans for it. Because of it's hardiness, I think that I will be able to get away with heat just above freezing from Heat tapes. I have the palms in a shelter on the south side of the house and have reserved the rest of the south wall of the house for a couple of Sabal minors. The other bananas will go against the south wall of the garage. I would put the basjoo on the west wall of the garage except that I have chased my wife's sweet peas from the south wall of the house to the south wall of the garage to the west wall of the garage and there isn't anywhere else to move them to. I wouldn't sleep comfortably if the sweet peas did not have a place.

I'll post pics of the 2 shelters that I built this fall.

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Old 08-23-2008, 03:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Basjoo in Zone 3

So ... Allen, how goes the Musa Basjoo in zone 3 ?

I am curious to see some photos of how you plan to overwinter it? ( if possible).
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