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Container Grown Banana Plants This forum is for discussions about growing banana plants in containers.


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Old 09-19-2023, 06:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Cold How much of the rootball can I take off and it survive?

This Veinte Cohol is in a 42 inch feed tub and I'm running out of days it can stay outside. Last year it was in a 32 inch whiskey barrel style planter and I just took the whole thing inside as is. I can't even begin to move it now. I went a few days without watering it to lighten it up and I still can't budge the thing. Plus it's so tall, I'll have to lay it down to get inside and I'm afraid of breaking it. Next plan is to dig it out of the pot and lose some roots and dirt. Just seeking advice, can I keep a pretty small root ball on it and it'll survive? I've never dug up a banana before. I've got a lot of time/effort/money into this one and don't want to kill him.

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Old 09-20-2023, 04:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How much of the rootball can I take off and it survive?

Under normal growing season circumstances you could take quite a bit of root mass off the plant and it will do fine (never grown that variety so canít say with experience thereís not something unusual about it). Are you keeping it in a place where it can actively grow over winter or will it essentially be put into a dormant state?
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Old 09-20-2023, 04:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How much of the rootball can I take off and it survive?

Mostly dormant. There's always a bit of; too cold at night to stay outside, too warm inside to stay dormant. But The bulk of winter will be dormant. Last two winters I put it in the window for about a month before moving it into mostly cold darkness. Should I wrap the roots up for the short time?
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Old 09-21-2023, 12:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How much of the rootball can I take off and it survive?

Prefacing this by saying I am not the expert and I haven't necessarily had to do this, but I am experimenting this year with late season divisions, on which there were few roots and no soil. Your situation is quite a bit different and most likely more forgiving.

I think, in general, as long as you don't cut into the corm at this late stage, you are probably fine cutting back the surrounding root mass, within reason, to a manageable size. If you supplement the new pot with additional mix to fill any gaps, I would make doubly sure the mix is very light, airy and drains extremely well because its very possible there may be little, if any, root growth into the new medium which could leave it wet for prolonged periods. We all know how much dormant bananas like wet.

If it were me and it had to be done, I would consider doing it now, then keeping it in a bright, warm location, supplemental light and heat if needed, for 30 days or so until it stabilizes, then move it into its dormant location.

Of course another possibility is to dry store it. That would involve digging the plant out, taking most of the potting medium off of the corm, cutting the leaves off and storing it in a cool, dark place for the winter until it's time to put it back into the pot, or ground for that matter.

Here's a good thread to read through if you haven't: Time to put the bananas to sleep for the Winter

But hopefully one of the expert northern container growers will chime in with their suggestions.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 09-25-2023, 09:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How much of the rootball can I take off and it survive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moongrass09 View Post
This Veinte Cohol is in a 42 inch feed tub and I'm running out of days it can stay outside. Last year it was in a 32 inch whiskey barrel style planter and I just took the whole thing inside as is. I can't even begin to move it now. I went a few days without watering it to lighten it up and I still can't budge the thing. Plus it's so tall, I'll have to lay it down to get inside and I'm afraid of breaking it. Next plan is to dig it out of the pot and lose some roots and dirt. Just seeking advice, can I keep a pretty small root ball on it and it'll survive? I've never dug up a banana before. I've got a lot of time/effort/money into this one and don't want to kill him.

Attempt to get as much soil with undisturbed roots attached to the plant.
I use a large knife to get precise cuts.

Just recenter the plant with the intact rootball in the new container using a good quality soilless mix and minimal fertilizer.
In a few months the roots will infiltrate the new mix and stabilize the plant.



Root ball

by
Hostafarian
,
on Flickr

. This plant was split in thirds with a sharp knife.
Each intact rootball was centered and planted in a new container to be grown out.
The rootball was minimally disturbed to preserve the hair roots.
.

Plants split with a knife

by
Hostafarian
,
on Flickr
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Old 09-25-2023, 10:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How much of the rootball can I take off and it survive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cincinnana View Post
Attempt to get as much soil with undisturbed roots attached to the plant.
I use a large knife to get precise cuts.

Just recenter the plant with the intact rootball in the new container using a good quality soilless mix and minimal fertilizer.
In a few months the roots will infiltrate the new mix and stabilize the plant.



Root ball

by
Hostafarian
,
on Flickr

. This plant was split in thirds with a sharp knife.
Each intact rootball was centered and planted in a new container to be grown out.
The rootball was minimally disturbed to preserve the hair roots.
.

Plants split with a knife

by
Hostafarian
,
on Flickr
Okay, thanks. I think I'll have to try that.
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