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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 03-31-2009, 10:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Performance of SH-3640 and Others this winter (Zone 9)

I should do an evaluation of all of my bananas this week, but thought I'd start off with this one. Maybe I'll just add to this thread later.

I got this SH-3640 from pitangadiego (Jon) last June as a large pup and it took off growing very strongly and was about 5'-6' tall by the end of the summer with a stout psuedostem. I was hoping because of its size that this cultivar might do okay in my area (hardiness zone 9) since the mass can provide some protection against temperature swings.

However, I'm now not very optimistic about this cultivar in my climate. We had about 30 days of frost this year, similar to last year, but didn't get lower than 28F. In 2007 we only had 5-10 days of frost but got down to 20F, but temperatures that cold are rare (I blame this event on Al Gore!). I noticed the top appeared dead but the psuedostem had some green to it and was firm. Today I cut off the top and the entire center was mush. I kept cutting down lower and quit when I got about a foot from the ground and it was all mushy in the inner one inch. I'm pretty sure it will send up a lot of pups but I don't think I can ever get this cultivar to flower for me here.

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Old 04-01-2009, 12:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Performance of SH-3640 this winter

That was my experience exactly with several cultivars in my yard. I live in Tallahassee, and it seems the cold weather lasted just a little too long for several of them, which seemed to stop growing just a few weeks ago after hanging on and actually starting to grow several times through the winter when it warmed up between freezes. Just yesterday I ended up cutting most everything a little at first, then seeing rot, cutting lower, and lower, and lower. A couple were down top the ground, and others seemed to be OK, but I'm leery and am waiting for a spell of really warm weather to see who's really still there and who's no longer with us.

All that work in covering everything every time it froze . . . what a waste.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Performance of SH-3640 this winter

I should have mentioned that I provided no protection to my plants at all except leaving the old leaves on until now. I do have several growing with new leaves, however, but my hopes for SH-3640 are not greatly dinimished.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Performance of SH-3640 this winter

I don't have SH3640 but all of my bananas appeared to have survived the Winter. I was out of the country December and part of January so I don't know how low and frequent the lows were in my area. The bananas in the open without protections had burnt leaves but the pstem were still green and are now appearing some new spears coming out. I have 23 varieties.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Performance of SH-3640 this winter

Harvey, mine was brought into the garage this winter and both mom and her pup survived, but all leaves withered away. I cut off the dead leaves and peeled back the sheathes. Fortunately, there was green inside and it is putting out new growth as the temps increase. I think mine would have suffered about the same fate as yours had it been in ground. I love this plant and it has larger leaves so I hope it can survive, but it is marginal at best.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Performance of SH-3640 this winter

My intent with this thread is to help assess the hardiness of varieties which isn't something that can be done very well with plants that were provided protection.

Double (Mahoi) is a variety that is rated as hardy to zone 9 but I've concluded that is bad information. I've had it die on me the past two years so I won't bother with it again.

Cardaba is also dead, so I won't bother with it again.

Hua Moa might sprout pups from the corm, but probably won't grow well enough to fruit here unprotected.

Ice Cream did fine and has new leaves from the top.

Praying Hands did fine and has new leaves from the top.

My supposed Dwarf Brazilian (fruit hung verticially in 2008, though, so I'm not sure) from Joe Real did fine but the fruit took too long to ripen last year so I don't know that I'll grow it for much longer. I'll give it another try for at least this year, though. The fruit I harvested in late December took over two months to ripen and tasted "okay". Pups which formed last year are growing well.

My supposed Raja Puri (bought as TC several years ago which died back to the corm in January 20F freeze) did okay. In fact, I left the fruit on it from the August 2008 bloom and had the fruit covered with a green garbage bag and the fruit looks fine. One of the original leaves from last year has a little green on it and I will trim back all of the dead material to expose green psuedostem in hopes that this will ripen the fruit. It isn't quite filled out yet so I will give it time. Also, the mat has several pups and I wonder if the pups can provide any nutrition to the old bunch. I've read some comments that they might. Pups which formed last year are growing well.

I have an unknown variety that Mitchel and Gabe guess might be Namwah (tall) sold to me as a TC Dwarf Orinoco by Wellspring 4-5 years ago. It flowered for the first time for me last year after sprouting pups back from our January 2007 20F freeze and several tall plants are giving new leaves this year so I expect at least one of them to fruit again this year. One thing I really was impressed with this banana was that it flowered around 9/28 (guessing from memory) last year and I harvested the bunch in late December. The fruit weren't large but tasted good after taking about a month to ripen.

I have one other unknown variety. A larger 4' plant that was growing strong at the end of last year is growing well while a smaller separate plant has green tissue in the center but has not sent up a new leaf yet. I'll write more on this one later.

There are some plants which I will certainly provide protection as I think they are special plants (Ae Ae, and some 40-day bananas I hope to get soon), but that is for another thread some day. I also have 'San Jose' in the greenhouse and will plant it in the ground very soon but probably won't be bringing it back inside since it's now large enough for a true test of its performance.
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Performance of SH-3640 and Others this winter (Zone 9)

Some more (as some with finely tuned observational skills may have figured out, I've finished working on my income taxes and am working on my banana garden):

Both of my California Gold plants (one is a pup from a large plant Joe Real gave me in June 2007 and another is one I bought directly from Jeff Earl) are both growing from where they left off last year. Some of their old leaves retained some green. I think I'll dig up the one I bought from Jeff Earl and planted it in a location that gets more hours of sun since it hasn't grown real well in it's present location.

My Red Iholene looked nice last fall and I didn't really have much hope for it, but the psuedostem is fairly firm. However, it feels like it has some rot in the ground as it feels a bit loose. I suspect it will send up some pups.

In my greenhouse I also have a Logee's Dwarf Ladyfinger and that's another one that I will probably keep protected in my greenhouse next winter (though I'll keep the main plant in the ground if it pups and just bring a pup inside).

In my greenhouse I also have a Hawaiian Apple from momoese which will get planted in the ground. It will probably be too big to bring inside next winter so it will get tested then, though I hope to have a pup to bring in as a back-up.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Performance of SH-3640 and Others this winter (Zone 9)

Sorry Harv, since none of mine are in the ground, I will remain an observer. Good thread.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Performance of SH-3640 and Others this winter (Zone 9)

Benny, what varieties do you have out in the open?
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Performance of SH-3640 and Others this winter (Zone 9)

Would keeping the rain from getting the soil to wet in the winter help. Mounds raised beds. I have heard it suggested that with papays to cover the soil around the plant with plastic or cardboard to keep the rain off the soil in cold weather. Just a thought.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Performance of SH-3640 and Others this winter (Zone 9)

Most of my bananas are in areas that drain well. We only had about 7" of rain this year, most of it in February, so it wasn't an issue. I don't think any of these bananas died from root rot, but I think it could be a problem in areas that get too wet. My mango is planted in a raised bed specifically to avoid such problems.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:28 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Performance of SH-3640 and Others this winter (Zone 9)

Good thread Harvey.

Most hardy for me seems to have been 'Orinoco'- no surprise there.

2nd would have to be 'Raja Puri', which already has about 4-5 new leaves.

'Ice Cream' and 'Hua Moa' pulled through well for me and are growing again already.

'California Gold' is growing well again. It's leaves were hurt by the cold but the pstem seemed fine all winter despite only being about 1' tall.

My 'SDC' and 'Dw. Cavendish' were pretty much reduced to mush, despite being wrapped in freeze cloth during cold periods.

All of the above listed plants were wrapped at each cold event except for 'Orinoco'.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:15 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Performance of SH-3640 and Others this winter (Zone 9)

Thanks, Brent. How cold did you get this winter? How many days of frost or "cold events"?
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Performance of SH-3640 and Others this winter (Zone 9)

Coldest was 32 degrees, though on numerous occassions I saw frost form when the temp only registered 37 degrees. I think that is due to radiational cooling. Not really sure how many cold events we had. I didn't really try to keep up. I just know I got tired of wrapping my pstems.
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Performance of SH-3640 and Others this winter (Zone 9)

IC is growing and in need of fertilization and water (especially in this wind we have had for the past week.

Enano gigante passed away this winter.

Thousand fingers unknown. Will hunt for it in the weeds this weekend.
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