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Tiki Central Forums Beyond Tiki Hearty Banana Plant Winter Care
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Hearty Banana Plant Winter Care
TikiDad
Member

Joined: Jul 18, 2007
Posts: 10
From: Indianapolis
Posted: 2007-11-04 07:43 am   Permalink

This spring I planted 3 banana plants that are supposed to survive Indiana winters. I plan on cutting the the tree back to the stalk and leave a stalk 3' to 4' tall. I'll wrap the stalk with burlap then circle the wraped stalks with fence and fill the fences with straw amd leaves. Is it OK to cut back the plants now? We have had a mild frost. I have heard you should wait until more of the leaves die off naturally rather then cut them back.



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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3769
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2007-11-04 08:24 am   Permalink

Good questions.
In California, my red Bananas have the same problem.
As they are tropical plants, I think it would be better to prune before the frost.

Keep us posted.


 
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Manatiki
Member

Joined: Sep 17, 2007
Posts: 1
From: Columbus
Posted: 2007-11-04 12:05 pm   Permalink

I use a slightly different approach. before the first frost, I cut the plants down to ground level. Then pile straw mulch on top and cover the whole thing with a tarp. The bananas re-sprout from the root system in the spring. This got them through winter here in Columbus (OH). They even survived a late winter freeze that killed off a bunch of other hardy perennials in our garden.

 
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8FT Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 30, 2003
Posts: 1211
From: Kansas City, MO
Posted: 2007-11-04 3:48 pm   Permalink

We have had no problem keeping ours going now for 3 years.
I wait until a freeze drops the leaves to half the plants pre-freeze height. A frost usually doesn't do this. Then I use a machete and lop off everything to about 3 ft. and do like you mentioned, I put a fence around the stalks and then dump all of the leaves and tiki carving shavings I can gather. I don't remove it until mid March and then it just does its thing all over again. Love these in my yard and almost no one else around here even tries to grow these. They turn a lot of heads as the cars go by!
Good luck with your plants in their first winter.


 
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OneFatFrog
Member

Joined: Nov 06, 2007
Posts: 6
Posted: 2007-11-07 2:10 pm   Permalink

Interesting= my family in Greenville NC used to dig up their trees each year and store them under the house! I would have never thought they'd survive the frost!

Connie


 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4963
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-11-07 2:39 pm   Permalink

You probably don't need to do all of that. These are very hardy and are more often killed by rotting than cold. But, that's certainlky true here in TN, but maybe not so much up there. What you are doing is good for less hardy bananas. The Musa, that may be overkill. Can't hurt, other than the potential of the burlap staying wet and rotting them.

I dig up my ZBlood Bananas after they are whacked by the cold. The Musa and the Golden Lotus stay out with nothing done to them. If the Musa is young, I'll cover it with lots of mulch. Like 10 inches.
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Tikitatt
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Joined: Jun 08, 2004
Posts: 299
Posted: 2007-11-08 09:21 am   Permalink

Yeah, that looks like our banana plant. It came to the point where I had to take an ax and chop it down. Now it's just a stump in the back yard. I pretty much gave up on it.


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Haole'akamai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 2270
From: The Polynesian Port of NOLA
Posted: 2007-11-08 09:39 am   Permalink

Might I add, if trees are planted near the house (or within an extension cord-length away from an an outlet, is what I'm getting at), you can try a string of outdoor X-mas lights. Once you've prepped the plant (we cut ours to about a foot above ground, add mulch), drape the light on the ground surrounding the roots. We use some bubble wrap to keep the heat in (I've heard of people in colder places using aluminum foil, reflection side down). We do this for our citrus and Taro, too.

Since we only get freezing temps at night in here in Northern Cali, we set the lights on a timer, to turn on at dusk and go off at dawn.

Any thoughts on if this would work in colder climes?



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Lake Surfer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2002
Posts: 3375
From: Milwaukee, WI
Posted: 2007-11-08 11:17 am   Permalink

I keep 'em pot bound. Cut 'em back in the fall and bring 'em in the basement.

By about March they start to wake up again and by late April they're outside again.

A hassle, but easier than mulching and chopping and all that.


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4963
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-11-08 2:34 pm   Permalink

I know people who use the lights thing all the way up the trunks of their palms here in cold places to keep them through winter. I hear it works.

Also look at the advice
HERE at Hardy Tropicals.
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TIKIWAGON
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Sep 09, 2002
Posts: 306
From: England
Posted: 2007-11-10 01:07 am   Permalink

To all you guys in the states ,we live in cold england and always have to wrap ours up, you are very lucky as our climate is generally cold and damp,not geat for tropical plants

 
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TikiDad
Member

Joined: Jul 18, 2007
Posts: 10
From: Indianapolis
Posted: 2007-11-10 12:57 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-11-08 09:21, Tikitatt wrote:
Yeah, that looks like our banana plant. It came to the point where I had to take an ax and chop it down. Now it's just a stump in the back yard. I pretty much gave up on it.






tikitatt.... I'm not wanting to give up on them yet! That's pic I posted above is after the first frost. I was actually thrilled how much they grew their first year. They were 1 gal. plants I bought from Lowe's in May! Below are a couple of pics from August....



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TikiDad
Member

Joined: Jul 18, 2007
Posts: 10
From: Indianapolis
Posted: 2007-11-25 3:15 pm   Permalink

Winterized the banana plants today... Here are some pics











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Tiki_God
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 26, 2006
Posts: 45
From: Raleigh, North Carolina
Posted: 2007-11-29 07:34 am   Permalink

TikiDad,

Does leaving the stalk 2 or 3 feet tall help them grow faster in the spring? I hear most in my area just cut them to the ground.

I have been wanting to get some banana plants. I grow Plumeria, pineapple, and other tropicals in my basement under 400w Metal Halide lamps them move them back outside in the spring.

Mahalo




 
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Mr. NoNaMe
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 10, 2006
Posts: 1907
Posted: 2007-11-29 08:06 am   Permalink

Geez, banana plants in Indiana are greener than in San Diego.

"Damn you one inch of rain per year!"

Hey Dadio, looks about time to toss your home bar up here on TC also.
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=19049&forum=18&185
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