The Q&A Archives: Wintering Over Banana tree

Question: How do I winter over a banana tree plant? Also, I have planted an elephant's ear bulb in a pot. What do I do with it for the winter?


Answer: There are many varieties of Musa paradisiaca, the banana tree. The roots are hardy on these tree-like tropicals, but the leaves and trunk can die down to the ground in cold winter weather. Established plants will regrow new tops in the spring after frost has wiped them out. The key here is that it takes 2-3 years for the roots to establish themselves. If you decide to dig yours up, keep it in the garage or take it indoors for the winter months. Next spring you can plant it in a permanent place in the garden. Then, if the weather cooperates, your tree will become established in another year and should be able to rebound if the winter weather freezes them back. Being in the ground in the very early spring will give the trees a jump-start on their growth spurt. Mature Musa's attain a height of about 20'.

When fall weather arrives, the foliage on your Elephant's Ear will die. At this point, dig the bulb and store it in a cool, dark location (such as a garage). Next spring replant the bulb and it will produce new foliage.

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