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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 04-02-2010, 08:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Winter's effect in Houston

It was a winter test of a new magnitude around here. I haven't added up just how many freezing night we had, but at maybe 20. It was that string of 8 consecutive freezing nights, including a drop to 16 degrees, that must have done it.
As much as the daily predicted weather doesn't always work out, they got this one right - "the coldest winter in a decade". Compared to last winter's eight nights of light freeze, never below 28 degrees, this one was murder. Of course, we have had winters now and then in Houston in the last 20 years with no freeze at all.
So, did we get away with it here in north Houston. Not really. Although the ones in the heated tents and garage all made it just fine, every variety except two froze down to near the ground. I've sliced down the stalks, and some of the cores have popped up, some in 5 minutes in fact, but I doubt we'll be seeing bananas from those this year. But there's sprouts out of old cut stalks (not really new pups) on nearly every plant, nothing really died, just set back a year.
When I felt the stalks of 8" diameter Raja Puri, Praying Hands, Ice Cream, Misi Luki, Orinoco, they were hard and firm halfway down. It was a surprise that the core really wasn't white and alive until I sliced down nearly to ground level.
So, how did it go with you fellows? Anybody in South Houston, Alvin, Pasadena or the like with any main live stalks over a foot? At this point, I've learned that you can't really kill them here with a cold winter, but you can kill the fruit crop. We will see what happens with those with popped cores. Of course, we did find that heating them on freezing nights with a space heater under platic tents is very easy and totally effective, it gets absolutely cozy in there.
So what have you found?

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Old 04-02-2010, 11:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Winter's effect in Houston

Over here in Lake Charles, la we have pretty much the same on bananas. Its the bamboo that took the hit. All of my large dia. clumpers are killed off to the ground. Some of them are showing signs of life, but my largest Oldhamii shows no life. Just 30+ feet of 2-4+" leafless canes. a big skeleton.
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Winter's effect in Houston

Originally Posted by SeriousBan View Post
So what have you found?

Well, here on the Florida Panhandle, I've discovered that most of mine didn't make it. The Dwarf Namwa nad the local passalong Orinoco did(with heavy damage). All the FHIA and SH culivars were toast. My Veinte Cohol might make it. It's still firm but unlike the others no growth from the core.
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Winter's effect in Houston

I had a lot of damage on my bananas in the Pearland/Friendswood area. My 'Orinoco' was unprotected and died back to within about a foot of the ground but is now pushing new growth. I lost all growth on my 'Raja Puri' and it was wrapped; same for 'Hua Moa' and 'Dwarf Red'. I also had 'Dwarf Cavendish' wrapped (dead to the ground) and 'SDC' unwrapped, dead to the ground and showing no signs of retuning. An unprotected 'Dw. Ladyfinger' is coming back from the base. My 'Ice Cream' was wrapped and did the best. It had good pstem to a height of about 5-6' and is pushing out new growth. 'California Gold' was wrapped and is pushing out new growth from a height of about 3'. I have now removed 'Dwarf Cavendish', 'Dw. Red', and 'Hua Moa' from my collection.

(Edit at 8:42 p.m.)...after re-reading my post I realized that I sort of misspoke about the 'Raja Puri'. It didn't die to the ground; I cut it back a bit at a time until I saw good growth. After letting it grow for a couple of weeks I noticed that the growth coming out looked strange...not like a leaf emerging. After closer inspection, I realized that it was the bud trying to emerge but it was damaged and there were no leaves to support any fruit anyhow, so I had to take it to the ground. I actually have two nice sized pups growing off the main pstem.

Last edited by Bananaman88 : 04-05-2010 at 08:52 PM.
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