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Old 04-16-2012, 09:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

The weather as of late is like a yo-yo, up and down. The temperature here is forecasted to dip into the forties overnight a couple of times next week although daytime highs will be in the upper seventies. I want to avoid bringing in all my potted bananas if possible because I keep damaging leaves while moving them through the threshold and I'v e transported my heavy nanners many times in the past month. What is the coolest temperature that the bananas can take before damage occurs? FYI, I have several Dwarf Cavendish, Dwarf Namwah, and a couple mystery bananas that might be Misi Luki or Mysore.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

well, from my personal experience, you should bring them in if temps dip below 50F. If your worried about possibly damaging leaves, then you might want to take into consideration that they will be damaged either way from the cold.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

It really depends on the cultivar. Some cultivars don't get leaf damage until frost is formed while others will show leaf damage as high as the 40s. I had two mystery bananas planted in the ground over the winter, and the temps got as low as 34 degrees with no real damage. The varieties you have aren't particularly cold sensitive, so I wouldn't worry unless temps dipped below 40 degrees.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

My plants are out all year 40's are no problem
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

Again, it depends on the variety. Red varieties tend to be more cold sensitive.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

No problem
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

If it's dropping down into the low 40's, I'd keep the Cavendish inside at night. High 40's probably won't be much of a problem. My Cavendish varieties look pretty sad when it gets down into the low 40's. Dwarf Namwah will be fine. If the mystery bananas are really Misi Luki and Mysore, they'll be fine, too.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

My two mystery plants look suspiciously like Cavendish varieties, and they didn't seem to mind the winter. One of them just lost a few leaves. Now they're both bouncing right back.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

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My two mystery plants look suspiciously like Cavendish varieties, and they didn't seem to mind the winter. One of them just lost a few leaves. Now they're both bouncing right back.
Some of the FHIA ones, like FHIA-1 and FHIA-18 look pretty "Cavendishy" to me when they are small, but they handle cold weather better.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

A lot also depends on how long they are exposed to the cool temperatures. There have been days during the winter in Pahokee where the temp doesn't get above 50 and the low is in the upper 30s and I have more damage then than when I would have a quick overnight dip to the same temperature. If we are talking only 4 hours below 50 I wouldn't be concerned at all.
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

I think in zones where it is cooler dips in temperature may do more damage. Here when it gets cold enough to do damage it is at night and the low only lasts for about an hour or so. Our temps tend to drop fast and rise fast over night. In summer though it doesn't drop fast enough, for me anyway. This morning it was 75 inside at 9:45am.

I get little spots on my leaves when it gets about 40 (at night), almost complete leaf death at 32, and petioles die back below that. Oh and of course any colder pseudostem damage.

I think it depends on cultivars grown and how long you lows last.

What kind do you grow? Maybe some others who have grown them can give input.
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

Thanks for all your help! Tomorrow the temp is predicted to dip down to 37 degrees. I'm going to have to bring all my bananas, citrus, pineapples, and avocados inside. Additionally I'm going to have to cover tomatoes and peach trees. I guess you have to take the good with the bad if you want to be a gardener.
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

In my experience, there are three mitigating factors with freezing of plant tissues. Some varieties are indeed hardier and can take a degree or two lower temperatures (desert and high mountain varieties of many plants, for example). Micro-climates within your property can be a significant difference when it comes to tolerance of lower temperatures (wind/humidity/reflected heat and light, etc). Finally, I've noted that my plants can take some fairly low 30's temps as long as there is fairly high humidity at the time. The heavy dew that will form on the plants seems to act as an insulating blanket for the plants. Reduced growth and vigor is a sometimes result however, as most plants essentially "shut off" below approximately 44 degrees. Gardening is always more of an art than a science, so your results may vary! Best regards and good luck!
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

I know, 38 predicted here for monday night, 42 for tonight. I am sick of this!! My in ground bananas are finally starting to come on pretty good and here comes the cold for one final push. I know it can frost above 32 degrees, hopefully that won't happen. I think im just going to bring my potted bananas inside and roll the dice on the in ground bananas, don't really feel like covering and uncovering them.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:00 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

What is damage? Fried leaves? Dead pseudostem? or just loss of vigor that is never recovered from, tat leads to less fruit or smaller fruit? If the latter, for many varieties, esp. in the Cavendish family, probably 50F. It also matters how long it is cold, and if it is also wet (raining). Cold and wet (above freezing) is more damaging than cold or wet by themselves. A couple nights at 38F is different than two weeks at 45F, but possibly not a damaging. Soil temp probably makes a difference, as well.
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:49 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

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What is damage? Fried leaves? Dead pseudostem? or just loss of vigor that is never recovered from, tat leads to less fruit or smaller fruit? If the latter, for many varieties, esp. in the Cavendish family, probably 50F. It also matters how long it is cold, and if it is also wet (raining). Cold and wet (above freezing) is more damaging than cold or wet by themselves. A couple nights at 38F is different than two weeks at 45F, but possibly not a damaging. Soil temp probably makes a difference, as well.
For my purposes, I consider a dead pseudostem to be the worse case scenario. I keep my DC potted and indoors so that my plant does not have to regrow the p-stem each spring. In theory, over-wintering indoors means I will harvest bananas sooner. From Nov. 2011 to Mar. 2012, my plant was able to produce 8 new leaves indoors. Furthermore, I suspect the bell is now inside the p-stem just waiting for its moment in the sun. If the leaves are killed by frost, then more should regrow, but if the p-stem dies with the bell inside then I've nursed this banana 1.5 years for nothing. I would have to wait for my smaller DC plants to mature before I ever harvested my very first raceme of bananas.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

@amantedelenguaje. When you move your DC back outside in the spring, does the plant have a very hard time getting used to the sun again. I purchased a DC and i plan on trying to overwinter them inside as well. I am also going to grow mine in a pot all summer. One more question, do you give your potted DC all day full sun? Thanks.
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:25 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

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@amantedelenguaje. When you move your DC back outside in the spring, does the plant have a very hard time getting used to the sun again. I purchased a DC and i plan on trying to overwinter them inside as well. I am also going to grow mine in a pot all summer. One more question, do you give your potted DC all day full sun? Thanks.
For the first couple of weeks that my DC is outside, the leaves tend to scorch around the edges where the tissue seems a bit more delicate. Although I offer it as much shade as possible for its first few weeks outside, I still get some leaf damage. Pretty soon, my DC gets use to being outside and the new leaves do not burn. The problem I have had over the past 1.5 months is that every time I put my DC outside for a week or two, another unexpected cold snap occurs, so I bring them back inside. While inside the leaves are exposed to low light, so when I return them to the outdoors, the leaf-scorch cycle begins again.
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:01 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

In my most humble opinion, I'd like to suggest the symptoms your plant is exhibiting might be moisture related rather than from too much sun. Although the leaf margins tend to be tender, damage like your pictures show has always been because of lack of sufficient moisture in my garden. Any "scorching" I've experienced is more akin to sunburn, appearing on the surface of the leaves, when I haven't hardened the plants off sufficiently. Bananas are very sensitive to moisture loss........my two-bits worth!
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:07 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the coolest temperature before plant damage?

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In my most humble opinion, I'd like to suggest the symptoms your plant is exhibiting might be moisture related rather than from too much sun. Although the leaf margins tend to be tender, damage like your pictures show has always been because of lack of sufficient moisture in my garden. Any "scorching" I've experienced is more akin to sunburn, appearing on the surface of the leaves, when I haven't hardened the plants off sufficiently. Bananas are very sensitive to moisture loss........my two-bits worth!
Thanks for your very kind message. It brought a smile to my face. I respect your "humble opinion." I am no expert, so I could be wrong. Here are the facts that I have.

1. The leaves don't burn and turn crispy around the edges except when I first take my plants outside. The leaves were not brown when over-wintering.
2. I check the soil moisture levels in the plants daily with a moisture meter. If the plants are too dry, I water them. If they are wet, I leave them alone.
3. When I put my bananas outdoors for the spring/summer, I increase my watering schedule. The large plant in the picture gets watered everyday in the morning, and if the day is particularly hot, in the evening too.


This is why I feel that the burning around the edges has something to do with being exposed to sunlight after being over-wintered indoors. The crispy edges may have something to do with excessive transpiration, but I have not a clue.

By the way, please look at the large leaf emerging in the background. Notice that it is perfectly fine with no browning around the edges. Also notice that the plant is indoors in the picture due to another cold snap. The plant has been inside for about 4 days.
Today, the temperature warmed up again, so I put it outside this morning, now look at the leaf in the background. I tried to photograph the plant from the same angle. Sorry that it is night time. I work. If the plant looks a little funny, it is because it rained earlier.
The leaf that was perfectly beautiful this morning is now burnt around the edges.
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