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Old 08-27-2021, 12:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default minimum temp for overwintering in a pot?

I have a five month old double mahoi growing in a 5 gallon bucket on my parents' deck. Soon evening temps will be dropping down (this is in USDA zone 4, in central NH), so I want to move it inside.

I have two options for moving it inside. One, in the family room, where I have a corner behind a couch where it will get indirect light from two nearby windows, and where the thermostat should keep it at a minimum of 50F all winter (this is a lake house, they're not up there all the time).

The second is in the basement, in front of a super-sunny window, where it shouldn't ever drop below 40F at night, but might get down there on cold nights, and then warm up in front of the sunny window during the day.

How should I think about these options? My first attempt at overwintering in a room that is not my own living room where it's kept at conventional temps.

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Old 08-27-2021, 02:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: minimum temp for overwintering in a pot?

That's a good looking plant!
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Old 08-27-2021, 04:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: minimum temp for overwintering in a pot?

So the basement with a super sunny window would be my personal pick. Is this an unfinished section in the basement that perhaps has a little more humidity? My experience with indoor storage is that using those cheap heat mats help tremendously. Put one on the bottom of the bucket and possibly tape one on the side of the bucket depending on the cold temperatures. I kept a Musa Florida alive that way inside of an outdoor greenhouse.
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Old 08-28-2021, 01:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: minimum temp for overwintering in a pot?

If that superb specimen is going by a sunny aspect window, which I'm sure it'd favour, it would be a good idea to watch out for red spider mite. If you don't know much about them definitely read up on them as they will attack luscious plants like that one if they spend time in very dry, sunny places. RSMs love that arid, sometimes hot situation, and the microscopic pests will flock in their millions to greet your plant as he arrives by the window. They decimate leaves like those, so keep an insect/bio control to hand, or at least dilute Neem oil or dilute dishwashing liquid to wipe all over the undersides of the leaves. An attack happens quickly and ruthlessly. It really is such a gorgeous plant that I would sit next to it and keep guard over it until next spring.
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Old 08-28-2021, 06:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: minimum temp for overwintering in a pot?

Ooops, forgot to mention that as she is in her second trimester with a little baby on the way, I'd avoid pandering to your DM's requests for gallons of water that it probably won't need or use indoors. SHE (I'd not looked...eh-hem.. 'downstairs' before and thought it was a 'he'!) will be telling you that a huge watering is needed, but without heat it would likely cause stress including the death of the bottom-most roots in the pot. I'm probably preaching to the converted here, but who knows, it may just help keep that saucy-looking little minx as happy as possible this coming winter. The drainage should be pretty free-flowing too. My limited experience is borne of the mindless murder of way too many of these gorgeous scallywags with kindness and scratching my head to pieces each spring as they only then decided to finally die. If you saw the good-sized Orinoco, the mouthwatering Zebria and the stout, sentry-like Saba I murdered a couple of winters back you'd doubtless call the police, and quite justifiably too. Nowadays as Autumn rears its inevitable head I give a light high potassium final feed with around half a gallon of water, then stop feeding completely, and the same for any further watering and pampering, sit the potted plant in a bright room and just look in on them once every few days to ensure they aren't squabbling on self-harming. If you use a moisture meter and like to check the roots aren't too wet it can pay to make strategic holes right at the bottom, around 5" up from the base, and another 10" up. You probably know how comforting it is to check her moisture level and find she isn't wet enough to get root rot and cause you sleepless nights. Wishing you all the best getting her through the winter months. As with Zalin124 above, the basement sounds ideal. Don't forget, wherever these are grown commercially may well have a fair few chilly nights, and could possibly need a 'chilling' period of a few weeks in order to produce tasty fruit.
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Old 08-28-2021, 07:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: minimum temp for overwintering in a pot?

Thanks all — this is helpful.

Yes, it's a beautiful plant, maybe the one that has really done the best of the 5-6 container ones I have going. It's thrived on this sunny deck in a 5 gallon bucket, holes in the bottom, Mt Desert Island blend cactus/succulent soil (from coast of maine) and Marine Cuisine fertilizer (from FoxFarm).

The helpful comments here have made me a little less certain of what to do. Mostly whether to go with my original plan — the sunny basement window, possibly with a heat mat addition as suggested above — or to bring it home to my place.

The reason is that if I leave it up at that house, I'll only be checking on it once every few weeks from October-April, and should anything go wrong with bugs, or with water levels, I won't have occasion to notice. Some stuff I've read on here suggests that cooler temperatures and dry soil can keep a plant in semi-hibernation, but I don't know if the ample sun in the basement would cause stress. Meanwhile, if I move it upstairs where it will get indirect light, I'm more confident in the temperature but also in it just not getting as stressed. My 5ft dwarf namwah in my living room in my apartment hasn't gotten any direct light since April due to sun angle, and it has still done well, and put out leaves, but required less water than in the winter when it was getting lots of sun.

Alternatively, I could bring this mahoi mama down to my place — still small enough to fit in my car for a little bit longer — and keep a close eye over her in my apartment, or at my office, where I've been eyeing a sunny corner as a place for a banana plant. However, the latter would require a transplant, and I'm not sure how well the pups would do with a transplant at this time, since they're still so small.

Would appreciate any follow-on thoughts!
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Old 08-28-2021, 08:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: minimum temp for overwintering in a pot?

Either one is good .... But the super sunny garage window might burn the plant leaves on warmer sunny days with radiant heat. So daily attendance is needed there. .... If you would be unable to check the plant daily, then op for the family room corner. As long as the temp is 50 or higher than the plant will be good and may be even grow a little. .... A third option would be to set it in a garage corner and let it go dormant (temps 32 deg to 50 deg.). It will wake-up in the spring with sun light and increasing soil temps.
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Old 08-28-2021, 08:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: minimum temp for overwintering in a pot?

.....
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Old 08-28-2021, 11:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Smile Re: minimum temp for overwintering in a pot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petey View Post
I have a five month old double mahoi growing in a 5 gallon bucket on my parents' deck. Soon evening temps will be dropping down (this is in USDA zone 4, in central NH), so I want to move it inside.

I have two options for moving it inside. One, in the family room, where I have a corner behind a couch where it will get indirect light from two nearby windows, and where the thermostat should keep it at a minimum of 50F all winter (this is a lake house, they're not up there all the time).

The second is in the basement, in front of a super-sunny window, where it shouldn't ever drop below 40F at night, but might get down there on cold nights, and then warm up in front of the sunny window during the day.

How should I think about these options? My first attempt at overwintering in a room that is not my own living room where it's kept at conventional temps.


There are a few good youtube videos which have some good takeaways.
For keywords use "how to grow/overwinter a musa cavendish/bananas indoors.

Many of my plants are in a basement at 60+ degrees with low light conditions.
Under these conditions the plant stops growing and just rests for the 6+ months indoors.
Water is minimized and no fertilizer given.
The plants become low maintenance at this point.

On the other hand a few of my banana plants are under grow light conditions and are actively growing.
This requires alittle more attention and room to accommodate the grow area.

Plan ahead for next year.....your plant will be 2.5x bigger
Your plant will have a larger footprint.

Leaving small pups attached will not harm your plant at all you may do that next spring at the next growing season.
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Old 08-28-2021, 04:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: minimum temp for overwintering in a pot?

Quote:
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Either one is good .... But the super sunny garage window might burn the plant leaves on warmer sunny days with radiant heat. So daily attendance is needed there. .... If you would be unable to check the plant daily, then op for the family room corner. As long as the temp is 50 or higher than the plant will be good and may be even grow a little. .... A third option would be to set it in a garage corner and let it go dormant (temps 32 deg to 50 deg.). It will wake-up in the spring with sun light and increasing soil temps.
Gotcha. I could definitely leave it in the basement away from the window, then, because it doesn't get below 32 or above 50. I didn't / don't fully understand the dormancy.
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Old 08-28-2021, 07:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: minimum temp for overwintering in a pot?

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Gotcha. I could definitely leave it in the basement away from the window, then, because it doesn't get below 32 or above 50. I didn't / don't fully understand the dormancy.

Dormancy .... it doesn't grow (basically goes to sleep). The plant may drop it's leaves. The pot should be slightly moist but not completely dried out. .... Some members have stored their nana plant for the winter bare root laying down with a tarp over them.
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Old 08-29-2021, 08:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Smile Re: minimum temp for overwintering in a pot?

Dormancy....musa biden
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Old 08-30-2021, 08:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
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Dormancy....musa biden

hahaha .... or may be a '3 year lame duck' now
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Old 08-30-2021, 08:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: minimum temp for overwintering in a pot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cincinnana View Post
Dormancy....musa biden
Maybe came from Florida Hill Nursery 🤔
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Old 06-08-2022, 08:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: minimum temp for overwintering in a pot?

I ended up leaving it in the family room corner!

here it was in December Double Mahoi (DC sport) in 5gal bucket at 6 months

and here it is now after a repotting and splitting of the pups: https://i.imgur.com/ubgXIpv.jpg

I've moved it back out on the deck and hope it keeps going strong!
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