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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 10-20-2021, 06:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
Location: Tampa FL
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Hiya La Niņa winter

Hello fellow banana growers. Beginner banana grower and first time poster on the forum. I am loving the enthusiasm and inspiring photos on the board!

It looks like the meteorologists have declared a la Niņa weather pattern, so I am expecting a warmer and dryer winter than normal here in the southeast (zone 9). I have a pitupi TC and orinoco sword pup in the ground since summer. The Pitupi has been growing pretty slow but the orinico has really taken off, putting out a new leaf every 5-6 days. I am opting for a "let it ride" strategy of doing nothing for frost protection other than generously mulching around the base of the plants. I'm going this route because I want to see what the worst case scenario could be in terms of frost damage with minimal effort.

...but as insurance I also have a double mahoi pup that I have decided to leave in a good sized pot until Spring. That way if the temps dip too low I can bring it inside and place it next to a south-facing window. I was thinking of doing this when the lows get in the 40s?

Would love feedback from anyone in a similar climate. Otherwise I will update as things develop
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Old 10-20-2021, 09:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
Location: Winter Park, FL
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Default Re: La Niņa winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by memawtaterpie View Post
Hello fellow banana growers. Beginner banana grower and first time poster on the forum. I am loving the enthusiasm and inspiring photos on the board!

It looks like the meteorologists have declared a la Niņa weather pattern, so I am expecting a warmer and dryer winter than normal here in the southeast (zone 9). I have a pitupi TC and orinoco sword pup in the ground since summer. The Pitupi has been growing pretty slow but the orinico has really taken off, putting out a new leaf every 5-6 days. I am opting for a "let it ride" strategy of doing nothing for frost protection other than generously mulching around the base of the plants. I'm going this route because I want to see what the worst case scenario could be in terms of frost damage with minimal effort.

...but as insurance I also have a double mahoi pup that I have decided to leave in a good sized pot until Spring. That way if the temps dip too low I can bring it inside and place it next to a south-facing window. I was thinking of doing this when the lows get in the 40s?

Would love feedback from anyone in a similar climate. Otherwise I will update as things develop
Welcome! There are certainly folks around here with more experience, but I'll share what I can after a few years of growing.

There's very little chance of it getting cold enough in Central Florida to endanger the corms, especially if they are nicely mulched, but the pseudostems could be a different story. The Orinoco will be fine most years but the Patupi (and the Double Cavendish later on down the road) will struggle. Patupis don't like cold at all, so I will be wrapping mine up in frost cloth when it is predicted to get below about 40°F.

It can be frustrating that even quite cold sensitive bananas are fine growing unprotected in this climate for about 355 days a year, but all it takes is one of those other 10 nights getting juuuust cold enough for a year's worth of progress to get wiped out.

So to me it's worth it to spend a handful of hours every year getting the more cold intolerant plants winter ready. I'm okay if I lose leaves and even part of the pstem as long as it doesn't die back to the ground. As long as you keep the pseudostem alive you will probably be looking at Patupi fruit in the fall. Things get a lot dicier if it has to regrow from the ground next year.
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Old 10-21-2021, 03:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
Location: Tampa FL
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Hiya Re: La Niņa winter

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Originally Posted by 75north View Post
Welcome! There are certainly folks around here with more experience, but I'll share what I can after a few years of growing.

There's very little chance of it getting cold enough in Central Florida to endanger the corms, especially if they are nicely mulched, but the pseudostems could be a different story. The Orinoco will be fine most years but the Patupi (and the Double Cavendish later on down the road) will struggle. Patupis don't like cold at all, so I will be wrapping mine up in frost cloth when it is predicted to get below about 40°F.

It can be frustrating that even quite cold sensitive bananas are fine growing unprotected in this climate for about 355 days a year, but all it takes is one of those other 10 nights getting juuuust cold enough for a year's worth of progress to get wiped out.

So to me it's worth it to spend a handful of hours every year getting the more cold intolerant plants winter ready. I'm okay if I lose leaves and even part of the pstem as long as it doesn't die back to the ground. As long as you keep the pseudostem alive you will probably be looking at Patupi fruit in the fall. Things get a lot dicier if it has to regrow from the ground next year.
Thank you for the feedback 75north. I will go ahead and get some frost cloth now so I'm not scrambling when the one coldsnap of the year comes.
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Old 10-22-2021, 10:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Smile Re: La Niņa winter

Thrift stores will have king size sheets for sale at bargain prices for frost cloth.
They are easy to deploy and fold back up.
Helps to keep down the cost of gardening.

Looks like a cold wet winter filled with a cold wet winter.
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Last edited by cincinnana : 10-22-2021 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 10-23-2021, 04:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
Location: Ormond Beach, FL - USA
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Default Re: La Niņa winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by memawtaterpie View Post
Hello fellow banana growers. Beginner banana grower and first time poster on the forum. I am loving the enthusiasm and inspiring photos on the board!

It looks like the meteorologists have declared a la Niņa weather pattern, so I am expecting a warmer and dryer winter than normal here in the southeast (zone 9). I have a pitupi TC and orinoco sword pup in the ground since summer. The Pitupi has been growing pretty slow but the orinico has really taken off, putting out a new leaf every 5-6 days. I am opting for a "let it ride" strategy of doing nothing for frost protection other than generously mulching around the base of the plants. I'm going this route because I want to see what the worst case scenario could be in terms of frost damage with minimal effort.

...but as insurance I also have a double mahoi pup that I have decided to leave in a good sized pot until Spring. That way if the temps dip too low I can bring it inside and place it next to a south-facing window. I was thinking of doing this when the lows get in the 40s?

Would love feedback from anyone in a similar climate. Otherwise I will update as things develop
Welcome to the Banana Bunch !!! I'm in pretty much the same boat as you. I'm in Ormond Beach (9b) on the other coast of FL. The past three years we haven't had a freeze here in Ormond Beach and all of my bananas have done just fine without any cold protection effort on my part. This spring, I planted a patupi and it just flowered in the beginning of October. Given the la Niņa prediction, I am going to roll the dice and take the same "let it ride" approach. We'll see what happens.
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Here's what I'm growing: Dwarf Cavendish, Namwa, Zebrina, Golden Lotus, Raja Puri, Patupi, & a mystery nanner
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