Tropicals forum: What is the banana tree that will survive zone 6?

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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Sep 7, 2015 2:33 AM CST
Please let me know. I would love to find one near Bowling Green, KY for my tropical area I am planning for next summer.
Thank you
Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
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Kabby
Sep 7, 2015 6:08 AM CST
I believe it is basjoo that you are looking for.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Sep 10, 2015 8:02 PM CST
Yes Musa basjoo. I have one in Zone 5 B. Lotsa info on the net on how to winterize them.
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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Sep 11, 2015 6:19 AM CST
Thanks, I need to ck into it. I see a few around Bowling Green. I am guessing that is what they are growing. I love the ones with the red in the leaves but I don't think that is the right type.

Most are fairly close to the house. I am wondering if they do that for a type of micro climate?
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Sep 11, 2015 7:19 AM CST
bluegrassmom said:Thanks, I need to ck into it. I see a few around Bowling Green. I am guessing that is what they are growing. I love the ones with the red in the leaves but I don't think that is the right type.

Most are fairly close to the house. I am wondering if they do that for a type of micro climate?


Basjoo has no red in it.

Planting close to house adds several degrees. For example, I have Cannas on the West side of my house that have been in the ground since 2010. Only those planted no more than 10 " or so make it. Smiling I heavily mulch them. I planted my Basjoo right in the middle of them. Also have a Hardy Kiwi nearby and a Bird of Paradise in a sunk pot. Plus 2 Elephant Ears. Looks like a mini jungle.

Also planting near the house provides some protection from wind. Banana leaves are very prone to shredding from wind.

I bought my Basjoo from Logees in CT.

If you pick one up now, it is too late to plant now so wait til next spring. Mine wintered over fine indoors.

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Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
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Kabby
Sep 11, 2015 8:51 AM CST
@DavidLMO
David I like the sound of your mini jungle. I like that you push the envelope. Now you need hedychium ginger to complete the scene and have a wonderful fragrance to smell later in the summer. nodding
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Sep 11, 2015 7:31 PM CST
:-) I have a Kahili, White, store bought NOID ginger (obviously) and Turmeric. No sign of blooms on any of them, though they all look beautiful. I started the Kahili and White in December in my basement. Having a hard time figuring out the light. I over wintered the Basjoo there at the recomendation of Logees.

Good luck witha Basjoo. I am enjoying mine and it is getting SOOOOO big > 7 feet. The local newspaper did a feature article about me and my tropicals - headline Going Bananas.
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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Sep 15, 2015 7:51 PM CST
I did see a super hardy bannia that hardy to zone 5 or so but that's about the northern most exterme a bannia will grow.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Sep 15, 2015 8:59 PM CST
I have read about growing Musa basjoo in Minnesota. That is the hardiest that I am aware of. Of course they had to mulch the heck out of it and cover it with tarps and stuff and....
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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Sep 16, 2015 1:15 AM CST
I just spotted someone's banana tree behind their house. It is near their pool. I am going to watch and see if they have it out all winter. It sure gives the pool area the tropical touch.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Sep 16, 2015 10:37 AM CST
Teresa - If it is a Basjoo - many people chop them down to a foot or so and then wrap and mulch the stump and some cover them with tarps as well and then pile on more leaves and straw. That is what I plan to do. You might introduce yourself. :-)
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Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Sep 16, 2015 10:39 AM CST
Teresa - If it is a Basjoo - many people chop them down to a foot or so and then wrap and mulch the stump and some cover them with tarps as well and then pile on more leaves and straw. That is what I plan to do. You might introduce yourself. :-)

My Basjoo has also already thrown a Pup. Smiling Noticed on Monday.
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Sep 16, 2015 11:11 AM CST
I agree, I think Japanese Hardy Banana (Musa basjoo) is said to be hardy to zone 6. It may may not bloom or produce fruit that far north but it sure gives a nice tropical appearance to a northern garden. In very cold areas, if heavily mulched, the rhizomes should be fine over winter, with new growth appearing in spring.

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Name: Marie Kapuscinski
New Jersey (Zone 7b)
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makap
Sep 20, 2015 5:57 AM CST
That is what I have here in NJ.
Each fall when the leaves start to dies back it gets chopped back and then mulched real good. Each spring I have more babies that I have to separate. ( I do it like I was separating Hosta)
I give them away or plant them . They do very well in organic soil and lots of water.
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
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bluegrassmom
Sep 20, 2015 6:12 AM CST
Hurray!
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Sep 20, 2015 3:05 PM CST
makap said:That is what I have here in NJ.
Each fall when the leaves start to dies back it gets chopped back and then mulched real good.


How high do you chop? My first Winter here in Zone 5 B so I am anxious.
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Name: Marie Kapuscinski
New Jersey (Zone 7b)
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makap
Sep 21, 2015 7:59 AM CST
You can chop a foot high or lower and mulch real heavy and then cover it with something. My experience is the stalk that you are chopping is not the one that comes back but new ones off the sides that have to be removed so you only have one, if you want a taller tree. If you leave them all there , they will grow but not as tall. They are fighting for room and food. So once you plant and get it to grow you will have more to plant and give away.
I mention the soil, because the one I gave my neighbor is doing better than mine. Her soil is much lighter and richer in nutrients. That is why I am going to redo my soil, making it more organic and lighten it up.
I actually started these banana's from 3 inch tall plants, 3 years ago.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Sep 21, 2015 8:53 AM CST
So does the "mother" stem die back and/or become yucky? Now I am getting into details I have not seen before. Do you dig it out and replace with one of the pups?

Mine is making one pup now.
I got mine Aug 2014 and it was ~ 12 " t the time. ~ 7 feet now.

Soil usually IS the key with growing most anything.
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Name: Marie Kapuscinski
New Jersey (Zone 7b)
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makap
Sep 22, 2015 6:15 AM CST
Once frost hits and you see the all the stems start looking wilted looking. Cut them all back. You can separate the pups now and replant it else where if you want or wait till spring to separate it and replant. Either way cut them back and mulch heavy. I dig it up, cut off the pups with a large knife ( straight down) and put back in the ground.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 22, 2015 3:53 PM CST
Yes, the big stems that you cut off go to mush when the weather gets cold anyway, David. Bananas are monocots (only one growing tip) so once you cut a growing stem, it dies. There's no harm in leaving some of the stem tissue to nourish the roots but you can cut it off wherever, and it really doesn't make any difference. You can chop up the cut off stem and use it as part of the mulch, too. It's rich in all the right nutrients. (if you're feeling really energetic, or have a chipper/shredder)

Down here, when bananas have borne fruit, the stem that fruited is cut off at the base to make room for new shoots. Even a stem that is 8in. in diameter can be cut through with a bread knife. They are not woody like tree trunks, they are fleshy stems. If we do get a run of really cold frosty nights the bananas are a very sad sight, just piles of collapsed stems and brown leaves. Freezing bursts the water-filled cells of the stem and they are so top heavy they fall right down in one night.

Was going to suggest you might want to separate off the pup on your big plant, pot it up and bring it into the basement, in case it might not survive the winter. Don't cut (or break) it off though, if you do it won't grow next spring.
Elaine

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