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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 08-29-2017, 05:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Musa Basjoo winter dig up or not?

Hi I am just wondering if it makes a difference in the size of my basjoo for next spring whether I cut it down and cover it with mulch or just dig up the whole plant and store it in a garage for the winter? I live in zone 7 in Maryland and the winters here can get pretty icy and cold. So will my basjoo grow taller next summer if I dig it up and store in a garage? I am not sure what to do as I hear different methods. Someone else had told me that I should cut it all the way down if I plan on leaving it outside for the winter cause even leaving a feet in height will carry the frost down to the corm.

So the main question is what determines the size/height of the basjoo? Is it the size of the corm and not so much chopping it down for the winter? in other words if I chop down my basjoo for the winter compared to digging up the plant and storing it in my garage which method will get me a taller bigger plant come summer? it is my first banana plant so just trying to get it ready for the winter.
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Old 08-30-2017, 01:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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Default Re: Musa Basjoo winter dig up or not?

Hi there

I did a comparison a few years ago with 2 basjoos of similar size. One was chopped down to the ground for winter and the other stalk was kept about 4' tall and wrapped in attic insulation. In spring/early summer the plant with 4' stalk was taller but the cut down plant caught up in about 2 months. By the end of the growing season, it was almost impossible to tell the difference between the two plants.

In other words, if the corm is big, then the height of the plant will recover relatively quickly the following year. It just seems to take long because the plants are growing slow in early spring.

I have overwintered basjoo plants outside and indoors. I prefer outdoors because it is less work and I think they get an earlier start to the growing season. My indoor basjoo plants looked worse and took longer to start growing after being stored. I think this may have to do with my average basement temperature being ~58F where they were stored.

I see no reason you can't try and save a foot or two of stalk. Just cover it with mulch and keep it dry. The first time the P-stem freezes and thaws, it will just collapse into 'mulch' and most likely the corm will still be ok.

FYI, I have had some test basjoo plants in Zone 6 that were over wintered in the ground with just a few inches of wood mulch and they did ok. The one was a small 1' tall pup that survived this last winter. I imagine those plants would have died if we had a bad winter in Pennsylvania.



Erik
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Basjoo winter dig up or not?

Thank u so much for your reply! After reading your story I will be just leaving my musa out for winter and just protect it. Really appreciate your reply😀
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Old 08-30-2017, 04:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Basjoo winter dig up or not?

Sounds good! Have fun.

In another year, you will have extra pups to either give away or sacrifice with winter hardiness tests


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Old 08-30-2017, 05:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Basjoo winter dig up or not?

I live south of Atlanta which has been classified as zone 7B. I have had these bananas in the ground for close to 20 years now. I have never protected them not even with mulch and I learned early on not to cut them back in anyway.

My neighbor who has the bananas that I got my pups from would cut them to the ground every year and they would take forever to recover in the spring. I guess because I was just a little lazy I never touch them in the fall and I let them fall over as they froze they would lose the top few feet. But in the spring they would push a new leaf right out the side of the Old stem and continue to grow where they left off. As a result right now I have a stand a very tall banana trees that will flower in a good year.

Hope that helps.
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Old 08-30-2017, 06:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Basjoo winter dig up or not?

Wow that is amazing!!
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Basjoo winter dig up or not?

hi they will be fine in zone 7 if cut down and nothing else but if you cut back to 4 ft
and slide a large poly carpet storage bag ( available from the you haul trailer rental place) then pack it tightly with dry leaves or shavings or dry sawdust then tie the top to exclude water it will start growing from the top of the old sudostem in spring and bloom around July or august and then have lots of inedible bananas not to mention a beautiful flower the two i treat this way have bloomed every year
for 3 years in zone 7 north Carolina this method will usually work for blue Java/ice cream if its is well established but it is not a sure thing with them


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Old 08-30-2017, 10:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Basjoo winter dig up or not?

Wow I have never heard of a basjoo blooming here in zone 7!!! You really know your bananas...lol. So do you fill the bag with leaves? Then tie it with string? Really so you leave approximately 4foot ?! I might just try this. Do you ever get frost or ice there? Thanks for all the tips!!
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Old 08-31-2017, 05:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa Basjoo winter dig up or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovetogarden View Post
Wow I have never heard of a basjoo blooming here in zone 7!!! You really know your bananas...lol. So do you fill the bag with leaves? Then tie it with string? Really so you leave approximately 4foot ?! I might just try this. Do you ever get frost or ice there? Thanks for all the tips!!
yes fill it with leaves and pack them as tightly as possible sawdust or shavings yes we have lots of frost and 3 days of 7 degree f. last winter I also have an icecream with fruit and a rajah puri

blue java flaging in zone 7!!!
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Old 08-31-2017, 08:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa Basjoo winter dig up or not?

Keep the plants in the ground....if mature.
But if they are small you might bring them in for their first year to overwinter .

Mulch heavily with whatever you can afford, it doesn't matter what you use.

I use wood chips and tree trimmings layered about a foot above the cut corm.

All previous posts offer great information which will help you grow your plant.

Basjoo overwinter
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