Answer: I think the jury is out when it comes to predicting whether or not a red leaf banana will survive in your north Texas garden. Bananas flourish best under uniformly warm conditions but can survive 28? F for short periods. If the temperature does not fall below 22? F and the cold period is short, the underground rhizome will usually survive. So, depending upon the usual weather in your garden, your banana may be okay over the winter months. All you'll need to do is cut the plant to the ground if frost gets it; a new shoot will develop in the spring.
Here are some general growing tips:
Bananas will grow in most soils, but to thrive, they should be planted in a rich, well-drained soil. The best possible location would be above an abandoned compost heap. They prefer an acid soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. The banana is not tolerant of salty soils.
The large leaves of bananas use a great deal of water. Regular deep watering is an absolute necessity during warm weather. Do not let plants dry out, but do not overwater. Standing water, especially in cool weather, will cause root rot. Plants grown in dry summer areas such as Southern California need periodic deep waterings to help leach the soil of salts. Spread a thick layer of mulch on the soil to help conserve moisture and protect the shallow roots. Container grown plants should be closely watched to see that they do not dry out. An occasional deep watering to leach the soil is also helpful.
Their rapid growth rate make bananas heavy feeders. During warm weather, apply a balanced fertilizer once a month--a 8:10:8 NPK fertilizer appears to be adequate. A mature plant may require as much as 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of the above fertilizer each month. Young plants need a quarter to a third as much. Spread the fertilizer evenly around the plant in a circle extending 4 - 8 feet from the trunk. Do not allow the fertilizer to come in contact with the trunk. Feed container plants on the same monthly schedule using about half the rate for outside plants.
Hope this answers all your questions!
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