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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 07-28-2010, 05:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Musa basjoo flowering in zone 6

About 8 years ago when I was still living in Tampa, my friend Rmplmnz gave me a small Musa basjoo corm. I mailed it to my sister who lives in PA (Philly suburbs) and told her to plant it in her yard. They laughed at the corm and thought it was ugly but went ahead and planted it anyway. By the end of the summer they had a nice sized plant. I explained to my brother-in-law how to protect it for the winter and he has been doing so every year since. That one banana has grown into a huge clump over the years and it's the talk of the neighborhood every summer! My family loves it and looks forward to uncovering it every spring.

It has flowered other years, but normally it flowers in the spring right after it is uncovered when it only has one or two leaves and the flower always shrivels up. This year the clump has two big nice looking flowers on it.

The clump in mid July this year. They get much taller by the end of the season.




big flowers!








Back patio


They have started some pups in pots for around their patio. My B-I-L puts them in their heated basement in the winter and brings them back outside in the spring.


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Old 07-28-2010, 06:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa basjoo flowering in zone 6

Great pic's and another story of banana enjoyment thru the gift of giving by Rmplmnz. Very Good Indeed. :^)
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa basjoo flowering in zone 6

OK, now I have real hopes for a bloom in zone 7a. What protection does he use for the winter, Jeff?
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa basjoo flowering in zone 6

Nice photos. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa basjoo flowering in zone 6

Great pics, Jeff!
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa basjoo flowering in zone 6

Thanks guys!

Howard, In the fall he cuts them back to about 4 or 5 feet so that hopefully he will start with larger plants in the spring. Then he puts four stakes in the ground around the clump and makes an enclosure out of chicken wire. He fills this with dry leaves and wraps the whole thing in tarp and plastic to keep it as dry as possible over the winter. As you can see in the photos, it's planted at the corner of the house which does offer some protection. It's also planted on a raised bed and mulched heavily with decorative black mulch. I think the raised bed is the key to its' success. The black mulch might also help keep the root zone a little warmer on cold spring or fall days.

They've had a few nasty winters where he lost the larger stalks, but it always resprouted in the spring. Most years the cut pseudostems start pushing leaves by March or April.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa basjoo flowering in zone 6

Great pictures and I loved the story. I found it amusing how she thought it was ugly at first, but now it is the talk of the neighborhood! Props!
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa basjoo flowering in zone 6

Did he leave the corm out the first year or dig it up? I have 3 basjoos around 3ft and was wondering if I needed to dig them up this winter to be on the safe side. I would hate to lose them. I am in Wisconsin zone 4.. By the way great pics..thanks for posting them.
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa basjoo flowering in zone 6

Thanks Bryan.

Timmko, he left it in the ground the first year. That first winter he cut the bottom out of an old plastic trash can and slipped it over the plant. He filled it with dry leaves and then covered it in plastic. The clump was too big by the end of the second growing season so he had to start making an enclosure out of wire fencing or chicken wire.
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa basjoo flowering in zone 6

Nice....I can't wait till I get mine to flower. Maybe next year..
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa basjoo flowering in zone 6

Time to get my hands on some basjoo. I've been really unsuccesful with this fella.
4 different basjoos died in the midst of the summer in my climate. For no apparent reason.

Very nice blooms in the pictures, hope the fruit gets ripe and the magic hands who made those basjoos bloom will be given an opportunity to try basjoos from seeds.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:18 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa basjoo flowering in zone 6

Thats an absolutely beautiful plant! Thanks for sharing. Hopefully you will get some bananas before frost, maybe a few seeds!
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa basjoo flowering in zone 6

If you had two blooming at once you could cross pollinate..great pics and thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Musa basjoo flowering in zone 6

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
About 8 years ago when I was still living in Tampa, my friend Rmplmnz gave me a small Musa basjoo corm. I mailed it to my sister who lives in PA (Philly suburbs) and told her to plant it in her yard. They laughed at the corm and thought it was ugly but went ahead and planted it anyway. By the end of the summer they had a nice sized plant. I explained to my brother-in-law how to protect it for the winter and he has been doing so every year since. That one banana has grown into a huge clump over the years and it's the talk of the neighborhood every summer! My family loves it and looks forward to uncovering it every spring.

It has flowered other years, but normally it flowers in the spring right after it is uncovered when it only has one or two leaves and the flower always shrivels up. This year the clump has two big nice looking flowers on it.
Awesome Jeff!

I remember the day we dug those corms up on the side of the house.

Unfortunately the Royal Palm you gave me bit it this winter...it was a good 20 feet high and thick. It stayed green for months..then kerplunk....the outer fronds were green and the inside frond was brown..a long slow death...just like all of our coconut palms...oops I am being a downer..

Kudos on your family's success with the Basjoo!!!
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa basjoo flowering in zone 6

I remember that day too. Yes, at the side of the house, not far from where you had an Ae Ae growing.

I'm sorry to hear the Royal didn't make it. I'm surprised, given your location. I thought you had a good microclimate there since you are so close to the bay. You may have been able to save it, but it would have required climbing up into the crown and pouring hydrogen peroxide into the bud. Sometimes that will eliminate the bud rot that kills the palm after the cold weather has weakened it.
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:12 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa basjoo flowering in zone 6

Quote:
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I remember that day too. Yes, at the side of the house, not far from where you had an Ae Ae growing.

I'm sorry to hear the Royal didn't make it. I'm surprised, given your location. I thought you had a good microclimate there since you are so close to the bay. You may have been able to save it, but it would have required climbing up into the crown and pouring hydrogen peroxide into the bud. Sometimes that will eliminate the bud rot that kills the palm after the cold weather has weakened it.
This was the coldest winter on record in Tampa...over a week of very cold temps...Palms died all over Tampa Bay....

This is the first time in over 18 years in the same house that I have ever lost a plant to the cold....our micro climate has been oh so good to us over the years...this year..whew..anyway...

Your visits to the house were good times!
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:06 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa basjoo flowering in zone 6

You really need to come visit me Chris. I need some help identifying all the bananas around here!
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