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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 10-09-2012, 09:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
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Default Success and failure + a question.

I was given a hardy banana p-stem in August two years ago. It surely must be a basjoo. It now has 7 p-stems. Three of them are over 8 ft. The largest has a circumference of 22 inches.

I found and joined this group. When it survived the first winter I was hooked. In June 2011, I stopped by Northern Tropics and purchased a sikkimensis. The p-stem in now 4 feet and it has 2 pups. And it will stay in the ground again this winter.

That same month I was given two still dormant orinoco corms. (Dwarf I think) They had bloomed the summer before and had all the pups removed. They did well last summer each putting out pups. But my winter experience was a failure with these. I spent many hours last summer and fall in this group trying to learn the best ways to winter them.

Ok, it was also a learning experience. One I dug and brought inside. I made the mistake of popping off all the pups and washing all the dirt off of them. They looked good come spring. Because of the weird St. Louis weather I planted them in Pots. All of the P-stems died (rotted) from the bottom up. Four of them put out growth and are still alive. Crowded in small pots they stayed small. Iíll put them back in the ground in the spring and they should do well.

I lost the other. I wrapped the p-stems with a string of a hundred miniature Christmas lights. I used a Thermo Cube to control the temp. A wire cage filled with chopped leaves, wrapped it with a blue tarp and a plastic bag on top. On the coldest days I checked with a compost thermometer. The temp inside never dropped below 45 F.

In the spring when I unwrapped they looked just like they did last fall. But, they never put out any growth. The corm rotted.

In June I was given two more orinocoís. Not dwarf. One is 8 feet tall with a 4 ft put. The other is 5 feet tall and has a tiny pup.

It was 35 at my house on Monday. Lows are forecasted to be in the 40ís this week. 76 is forecasted for Sunday. My oaks have begun dropping leaves. I plan to dig the larger one and wrap the smaller of the two.

So, when should I dig??????????

When should I cover and wrap?????????

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Success and failure + a question.

Ive been covering my mekongs and bajoos the last few night from frost and all my cavendish types are in already. If you want to save the leaves don't let that frost hit em or they will be droopy in no time
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Success and failure + a question.

You actually have to be careful about letting dormant corms get too warm (or too moist). Most can take cool temps but must remain below 60 in the dark...basjoo needs it even colder to stay dormant. It is also very easy to rot a Musa corm when it is dormant. Some folks like to keep them completely dry except for a mid-winter soak. You want to keep them dry until you can actually keep them very warm with daytime temps over 80F. Strangely, there is a "bucket method" that involves keeping the corms with pseudostems (and a few leaves) SUBMERGED in a bucket of water. I was amazed to be able to overwinter several Siam Rubys this way last winter...but only one of the 7 actually took off in the spring. I probably should have kept them dormant until it got warmer but I was just too tempted to put them out early. They might need it warmer than most Musas. Anyhow, if you have extras you might want to try the bucket method and try storing them dry...both below 60F (dry in the dark or bucket with some light) and see how they compare.
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