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Main Banana Discussion This is where we discuss our banana collections; tips on growing bananas, tips on harvesting bananas, sharing our banana photos and stories.


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Old 06-10-2010, 11:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Growing plantains in zone 8

Does anyone have experience producing plantains in zone 8.
If so, what variety/varieties have you been successful with?

Thank you,

Ray
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Growing plantains in zone 8

I myself am making an experiment with 5 varieties, 2 of them will remain in the soil for the winter (Dfa Koppen climate, something like USDA 8a closer to New York and on the East Coast)... so we will see in about a year or so.

But here's some experiment I've read here a long time ago:
Interesting banana hardiness-project in Georgia

Hope this helps!
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Old 06-16-2010, 07:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Growing plantains in zone 8

thanks Jack.

it actually looks like this guy's house is in zone 9.

Have you fruited any of yours?

Ray
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Growing plantains in zone 8

Quote:
Originally Posted by rv View Post
thanks Jack.

it actually looks like this guy's house is in zone 9.

Have you fruited any of yours?

Ray
Not yet, working on it.
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Growing plantains in zone 8

There is an extremely small selection of plantains commonly available in the US, none of which are likely particularly hardy. I think trying any of them would be worth a shot since there are so few to choose from anyway. None of them have their original names, but 2 common ones are 'African Rhino Horn', 'Dwarf Puerto Rican Plantain' and 'French Horn'. Careful though, if you are looking for true plantains, because there are many banana varieties out there that people will call plantains because they make good cooking bananas, but they are not plantains. People who have grown up with them and know what a plantain is like will be disappointed by the other cooking bananas.
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Growing plantains in zone 8

Thanks Gabe,
What is the distinction between a cooking banana and a plantain?

I think this guy is just interested in growing bananas that he can cook with rather than having a dessert type of banana to eat uncooked.

Ray
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Growing plantains in zone 8

Furthering the confusion- In Colombia my wife's family talked about "Guineos"
Were like Plantians but different- they used them in soups, but they broke up more (if I understood correctly). Not to be confused with the way Puertoricans use the word Guineos, to refer to all Bananas.
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Old 06-17-2010, 01:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Growing plantains in zone 8

I don't know about the Guineos of Colombia, but I can tell you about plantains.

Plantains are a very specific genetic group of bananas, there are many many varieties in this group. They tend to be cooked, but this is not inherently required, just generally preferred. I have eaten raw ripe plantains and they are fine.

The difference between a cooking banana and a dessert banana is purely cultural. Yes, its true that some varieties tend to be more commonly preferred by a large number of cultures used in a certain way, but there is really no clear difference and there are too many "exceptions" to form a rigid pattern. Basically, if a variety is commonly cooked in one region, the people there will call it a cooking banana, and if it is commonly eaten as a dessert fruit, then its called as such. The exact same variety may be regarded as a strict cooking banana, a strict dessert banana, or somewhere in between just depending on who you ask.

For a good, easy to get, easy to grow banana that lends itself well to cooking, 'Orinoco' is a good choice.
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Old 06-18-2010, 08:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Growing plantains in zone 8

Thanks Gabe,
That helps. I have some orinocos here, I'll just give him one to try out.

Are there any varieties that are particularly good as dessert bananas that are as hardy as the orinocos?

Ray
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