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  #1  
Old October 30th, 2006, 01:13 PM
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gardenmistress2003 gardenmistress2003 is offline
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winter care for Red Banana tree

I am growing a couple of Banana trees in outdoor containers for the first time this year. I am not sure how much protection they will need. One is approx. 1.5 metres, in a very large ironstone urn; one is in a metal container and plant is approx. 1 metre tall. Container is copper and quite thin, although I did line it with some styrofoam when I initially planted it up.
Should I wrap the containers with insullation or the entire plant and pot? I suppose leaves and burlap will work, but should I avoid plastic wrap to prevent rot? It would be a lot easier if they were in the ground, I think. I have assured my clients that Bananas can overwinter in Vancouver outside, so I hope someone can advise me on this.
Loved the igloo, lichen-growing, polar bear, Great White North discussion. Over here on the North Shore we already have our annual Permafrost going on!
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  #2  
Old October 30th, 2006, 07:15 PM
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palmera palmera is offline
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Re: winter care for Red Banana tree

I over winter my red bananas in pots in the garage or greenhouse. They do very well there. I would be very nervous to leave them outside. Only my green Musa Bajoo and Hookeri stay outside and they are in the ground (and wrapped to save the trunk).
Can you bring them in?
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Old November 10th, 2006, 12:01 PM
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gardenmistress2003 gardenmistress2003 is offline
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Re: winter care for Red Banana tree

Hi,
Thanks for reply. I don't have anywhere to store the Banana plants, unfortunately. One pot could be moved undercover near the house, but the other is in a really big ironstone container on a patio. If I dug them out and put them in big nursery pots, would they need light or heat over the winter? I store Fuschias, Cannas and Dahlia tubers in a dark, unheated shed and they are fine. Could I do that with the Bananas? I assume the wet is probably as fatal as the cold.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 11:23 PM
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LPN LPN is offline
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Re: winter care for Red Banana tree

If by "Red Banana Tree" you mean Ensete ventricosum 'Maurellii', then all I do is move them into a cool (45f -50f) storage area with 8 hrs of light. Remove most of the leaves and rarely water. These get very heavy is just one season. Next year I'm planting mine out and will devise a plan to over-winter the beast. I've stressed mine badly this year keeping it contained in a 20 gallon pot. It's very root bound and needs to get out in the garden next spring.

Cheers, LPN.
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Old November 11th, 2007, 10:15 PM
jaymay jaymay is offline
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Re: winter care for Red Banana tree

I had a question about winter care and it looks like you guys know what your talking about. I live in wisconsin and have brought my banana plant in for the winter becuz there's no way it would survive -24F. What should I do with it inside to make sure it lasts the winter? If you know please tell me everything becuz I have just started this fall and would like to keep it goin for a long time.
Thanx
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  #6  
Old November 12th, 2007, 04:51 PM
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Re: winter care for Red Banana tree

"it looks like you guys know what your talking about."

Personally, no one's ever said that to me before. These will only take a very lite freeze and even that will damage your Ensete banana plant, much more and it will kill it outright.
A coolish area (45f - 55f), garage or some such area is fine. Greatly reduced watering and about 8hrs of light will get it through the winter.

Cheers, LPN.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 11:17 AM
Georgina McGuire Georgina McGuire is offline
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Re: winter care for Red Banana tree

Hi Everyone
I have regular banana trees in Langley,B.C planted outside. If you don't have a greenhouse for your potted tree you maybe able to use this method and cover the pot as well as the plant. I keep my trees alive by insulating with all the leaves that fall off the trees in the back yard. I first clip all the leaves off the banana tree and keep a 41/2 - 5 foot high stock. (its to hard to insulate a highter tree)
We put a plastic netting around the tree at least 15 inches from the stock on each side and fill it with leaves. Then we put a plastic cover over top. Its a great insulator. The plants come back beautiful every year.

If you don't have leaves in your back yard, maybe your neighbour does.

Hope this helps you
Have a great week
Georgina
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Old July 31st, 2008, 04:05 PM
honolua honolua is offline
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Re: winter care for Red Banana tree

Hi,
In one of the previous notes up top, it says to place the red banana in a cool, but not cold garage or the like with light. I have a shed that could comfortably hold my red banana in it's pot, but there is no light. I heard that when the leaves are cut off and you drastically reduce the watering to barely a dribble all season, they go dormant and thus, do not need light.....is this true?

I hope it's true, because then I could move it (with lots of help) into my shed and hope it survives, only to be brought out next spring to new growth!
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Old July 31st, 2008, 09:17 PM
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Re: winter care for Red Banana tree

Quote:
Originally Posted by honolua View Post
they go dormant and thus, do not need light.....is this true?
As stated in the above posts, about 8 hrs of light during the winter months is required.

Cheers, LPN.
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Old August 5th, 2008, 10:30 AM
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DC United Palm Fan DC United Palm Fan is offline
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Re: winter care for Red Banana tree

Quote:
Originally Posted by LPN View Post
As stated in the above posts, about 8 hrs of light during the winter months is required.

Cheers, LPN.
I'm not so sure about this. I think they actually can/ DO go dormant. Where I am, they are corm hardy, which means they die back to the ground. (most people cut them down after the first frost) but the corms stay alive in a dormant stage during the colder months. So they most definitely do not need much light nor water during cold months of storage. I know this because I have seen people store them in different ways, most of which they get no light. There are plenty of yards around here with differing varieties of Banana, and I can tell you both the Red Abyssinian (Ensete ventricosum 'Maurellii',), and Musa Basjoo are left out year around, and come back bigger and better each year. Some heavily mulch over top the corm during winter, some do not. But this does suggest that they do NOT need any light when they go into a dormant stage. Remember, Banana's are actually a grass, and like grass, they can be cut down, and regrow from the cut, and can also go dormant in cold weather so long as the corm does not rot/ fully freeze.

Here is my response to someone asking about overwintering Musa Basjoo in another thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DC United Palm Fan
You'll DEFINITELY have to mulch VERY heavily, and I would even put heating cables in the mulch to try and keep the ground at least above freezing. You probably got lots of "pups" returning from the mother corm, but the mother corm seems to have not made it. The pups may have been deeper in the ground and did not freeze, but the mother corm did. Short of using heating cables for those kinds of frigid temps, you CAN dig them up.

I have known plenty of people who have done this. Im not exactly sure when to do it, but it seems like right about the very end of fall, BEFORE the first freeze. If you want the plant to continue to grow from say a 2, 3, or 4 foot stalk the next year, you can cut the pseudostem to whatever length, dig the corm, and store it in a cool, dry place, such as a garage or even crawl space, so long as it does not freeze. Once the danger of last frost/ freeze has passed the next spring, set it back out in the ground, and it SHOULD regrow from where you made the cut. This method gives you a big head start on height for the next year.

Good luck with it!!!!
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  #11  
Old November 20th, 2010, 02:21 PM
betwixtapair betwixtapair is offline
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Re: winter care for Red Banana tree

Quote:
Originally Posted by DC United Palm Fan View Post
I'm not so sure about this. I think they actually can/ DO go dormant. Where I am, they are corm hardy, which means they die back to the ground. (most people cut them down after the first frost) but the corms stay alive in a dormant stage during the colder months. So they most definitely do not need much light nor water during cold months of storage. I know this because I have seen people store them in different ways, most of which they get no light. There are plenty of yards around here with differing varieties of Banana, and I can tell you both the Red Abyssinian (Ensete ventricosum 'Maurellii',), and Musa Basjoo are left out year around, and come back bigger and better each year. Some heavily mulch over top the corm during winter, some do not. But this does suggest that they do NOT need any light when they go into a dormant stage. Remember, Banana's are actually a grass, and like grass, they can be cut down, and regrow from the cut, and can also go dormant in cold weather so long as the corm does not rot/ fully freeze.

Here is my response to someone asking about overwintering Musa Basjoo in another thread.
Actually, bananas ARE NOT a grass, as stated above. They are an herb.
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  #12  
Old November 7th, 2011, 03:23 PM
lansur lansur is offline
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Re: winter care for Red Banana tree

Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgina McGuire View Post
Hi Everyone
I have regular banana trees in Langley,B.C planted outside. If you don't have a greenhouse for your potted tree you maybe able to use this method and cover the pot as well as the plant. I keep my trees alive by insulating with all the leaves that fall off the trees in the back yard. I first clip all the leaves off the banana tree and keep a 41/2 - 5 foot high stock. (its to hard to insulate a highter tree)
We put a plastic netting around the tree at least 15 inches from the stock on each side and fill it with leaves. Then we put a plastic cover over top. Its a great insulator. The plants come back beautiful every year.

If you don't have leaves in your back yard, maybe your neighbour does.

Hope this helps you
Have a great week
Georgina
Hi, I too am from Langley BC and I failed to save a banana tree last year. It rotted from the mulch (used leaves which became soggy). This year I have a gorgeous new red banana plant that I have cut the leaves off leaving a stem of about 3 feet. I have bubble wrap in the wings ready for wrapping the plant after I get suitable mulch. Does anyone have recommendations for some insulation other than leaves? I'm told by some bloggers that I should use the banana leaves for insulation but likely don't have enough and they are very wet - as most know, banana plants contain much water. Should I spray with funcicide? Will bubble wrap 'cook' the plant? Thanks in advance. Gordon
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  #13  
Old November 8th, 2011, 05:29 AM
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Re: winter care for Red Banana tree

Bubble wrap and frost cloth were always my go-tos when I was in Canada - and if you're worried about harder chills, wrap the stem in conventional (ie incandescent) christmas lights - the heat they generate is enough to keep frost off, but not enough to cook the plant.
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