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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 10-23-2005, 10:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Watering potted bananas in winter, yes or no?

Hi

I just started with bananas, I am in zone 7 north of Atlanta. I got only 2 common potted bananas right now, a Dwarf cavendish and a Musa sumatrana Zebrina (This last one has a bunch of different names.).
I just took them inside, they were on my back porch, so I took them in the garage for a week to use them to lower light conditions, now they are in front of a window for the winter.
The dwarf is looking great but the Zebrina is a little depressed it seems. I keep reading different things about watering them in the winter, some says to not let them allow to dry and others say to water once a month in the winter only.
My goal is to keep them alive throughout the winter so when spring comes they will get planted in my yard for the nice season until before freeze when I will have to dig them out.
I know not to fertilize in the winter but not sure what to do about water.

Thanks a lot

Patrick
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Old 10-23-2005, 11:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watering potted bananas in winter, yes or no?

There is no set time schedule for watering when in a "semi dormant" stage. I would only water when the top few inches of soil are dry. Keeping the majority of the soil in the pot just moist. You will root rot them for sure if you water them too much when they are not actively growing.
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Old 10-23-2005, 05:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watering potted bananas in winter, yes or no?

Thanks a lot Bananavilla, I will just do that.

Patrick
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Old 10-24-2005, 08:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watering potted bananas in winter, yes or no?

This is a great topic. I wintered over ALOT of palms last year and It's kinda the same - except that bananas grow (and wilt) alot faster so you actually have a better indication. I've found that Light & Humidity is even MORE important that actual temperature. I've found that moving plants into a low-light situation can be detrimental - especially if you don't alter the watering schedule. I've found it much better to err on the side of dryness than wet.
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Old 10-25-2005, 03:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watering potted bananas in winter, yes or no?

Bobby

Thanks for the answer. The zebrina is looking worse day after day, I think after it is used to beeing indoors, it will get better. I just need it to survive the winter.

Thanks again

Patrick
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Old 10-26-2005, 04:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watering potted bananas in winter, yes or no?

I would have to disagree. Normally when any bananas I have had start to go down-hill like that there usually is a problem. I would suggest that any warm day you get it outside again and try to get the soil dryer. If you have to leave it in your house(since we are supposed to be good and cool this week- about 3 1/2 hours from you on I-20), I would try to increase the amount of heat and sun it gets. The roots seem to rot so quickly on bananas.
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Old 10-26-2005, 05:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watering potted bananas in winter, yes or no?

Hi

I would have to disagree. Normally when any bananas I have had start to go down-hill like that there usually is a problem.

Well it's my first time with indoor bananas. I have some experience with potted palms and some do often go downhill when first brought in and then they get better and really do great again in the spring when left outside.

I would suggest that any warm day you get it outside again and try to get the soil dryer.
Their soil is very dry, but I will take them out any warm days throughout the winter.

I would try to increase the amount of heat and sun it gets. The roots seem to rot so quickly on bananas.

As far as heat, it can't get anymore as it is in the warmest room in the house and close to the heat vent in front of a window.

My question to anybody is: If that banana (The part above the ground) dies, will the roots/rhizome part grow a new banana in the spring?

Thanks a lot for your help

Patrick
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Old 10-26-2005, 06:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watering potted bananas in winter, yes or no?

Cool + dry + dark = dormant. Warm + sun + water = active growth.

Cool + wet = rotten banana.

Generally speaking, you can't replicate the same conditions inside that you can outside. Room temperature isn't conducive to growth for bananas. That, and most houses don't provide the necessary humidity either. It is SO much easier to let it go dormant! I have killed many bananas trying to keep them growing during the winter. It's not worth it.
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Old 10-26-2005, 06:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watering potted bananas in winter, yes or no?

Quote:
It is SO much easier to let it go dormant! I have killed many bananas trying to keep them growing during the winter. It's not worth it.
Bigdog,

I guess my biggest fear of letting a banana go dormant is that it won't wake up. What's the trick to this? Can I let a banana go dormant that's over 6 or 7ft tall?. Do I have to cut off the leaves? How cool? Dark? etc.... I have 2 very large banana plants in a heated greenhouse now that I'm keeping at 75-80/day, 64-70/night and when It starts to get into the 20's & 30's here, I don't know if I'll be able to maintain that temperature. My only other options are to keep it in a room I have setup with Growlights or put it in my garage - but that might be TOO cold (not sure).. I'd really like to get my dwarf cavendish to fruit as it's almost ready.. any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-26-2005, 11:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watering potted bananas in winter, yes or no?

Bobby,
If it were me, i would just bring the 6ft cavendish in the house where it is warmest. Stop watering and NOT trim the leaves. It will be fine. Only water if it seems to be Drier than the Nevada desert. Come spring it will be ready to roll. Resume watering, followed by heavy fert and you should end up with a bloom. An un-frost-damaged stem is the #1 factor in my oppinion for successful fruit.

vaindioux,
Yes a new pup will come up from the corm as long as the freeze isn't so sever that it kills the corm.

Mike
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Old 10-27-2005, 07:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watering potted bananas in winter, yes or no?

thanks, Mike... I'll try that....
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Old 10-27-2005, 07:50 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watering potted bananas in winter, yes or no?

I agree with Bananavilla. Let it dry out a lot before watering and don't soak it when it needs it. Mist it often.
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watering potted bananas in winter, yes or no?

thanks, guys for all your help.... That's what I'll do.. Right now I still have it growing inside the greenhouse and it seems to be doing really well. I guess the other option is just to keep the greenhouse warm enough throuout the winter to get it to bloom. The area where I have the greenhouse set up gets like 3/4 to full-sun so it's just about the total height of the plant.
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Old 10-27-2005, 12:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watering potted bananas in winter, yes or no?

I've had success both ways with bananas. I put most under the house, where it is cool, dry, and dark. I did bring several pseudostems in, and put them in a pot of dry peat. They were stashed in a closet, never watered, and did fine.

Bottom line here is the watering. Keep it to a minimum!
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Old 11-04-2005, 02:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watering potted bananas in winter, yes or no?

What a great site. I just found out about this site today. Appreciate all of the valuable insight each of you have shared on this site. I live in Keller, TX (near Ft. Worth). I have several Dwarf Cavandesh and Dwarf Orinoco. I am preparing my bananas for the winter, but have a question. I want them to fruit next year. They have all had one full growing season, and are about 6' tall. Is it better to dif them up and bring them in my garage, or leave them in the ground, cut the stalks back to about 3' and wrap them in bubble wrap? I tried the cages on another species I have a couple of years ago and that worked well but it was an aweful lot of work. Would appreciate any guidance you can give me here. Perhaps try both methods and see which one works better? Thanks.
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Old 11-05-2005, 12:32 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watering potted bananas in winter, yes or no?

What is your winter low temp?
Mike
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Old 11-07-2005, 07:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Watering potted bananas in winter, yes or no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bananavilla
What is your winter low temp?
Mike
Hey Mike,

Our average winter temps usually stay in the 40's. Last year we got down to a low of 16 degrees for a day or two. The year before it got down into the 20's for a day or two. But we usually don't have more than 2 -3 weeks cumulatively of below 32 degrees for the whole summer. Thanks.
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