The Q&A Archives: Ginger & Banana OPEN OPEN

Question: Bought a red ginger from LP Statile last summer. In a pot. Brought inside for winter. Watered moderately. 2 or 3 stalks died back and broke off. 2 new shoots are coming up now. Is this a tuber? Does it flower? Back outside> Fertilize and how much water? Also had Hardy Banana that I planted on S. side of house for sun and protection. Cut back. It didn't come up again. It was covered with mulch. Maybe not enough or not enough sun? Thanks you. Arleen Miller

Answer: Banana trees are actually herbaceous shrubs, with a large stem that resembles a trunk, and large, frond-like foliage. True bananas grow from the species 'Ensete', but most commonly grown Banana trees are 'Musa', which do not produce edible fruit. Culture for both Ensete and Musa are the same; give full sun and lots of water. These plants are tropical in nature and even though you mulched the roots, I'm afraid the temperatures got too cold for them. Next time, keep the tree in a container and take it indoors over the winter months. Then set it outside again in the spring.

Ginger does flower so continue to give your plant enough moisture to keep the soil from drying out (but don't keep it soggy wet). Ginger is a relatively easy plant to grow; remove all the dead stems and foliage to make room for the healthy new growth that's begining to sprout.

Best wishes with your garden!

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