Tropicals forum: Info needed for Zone 8 Banana Winter Protection

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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Aug 18, 2016 7:58 AM CST
This is the first year I've put some of my banana's in the ground and I need to know how to get them through the winter. I have a Musa acuminata 'Zebrina' - rated at zone 9 and above and a NOID green that I got in a local plant swap so it's probably a zone 8.

I know @Swayback digs them up and stores them but I've heard of other people wrapping them and even winding Christmas lights around the trunk . I did a search in the Tropicals Forum and didn't find anything about overwintering bananas.

Can some one please point me to a thread about wrapping the trunks if it exists or explaining it to me? I have a link for Swayback's method:

http://garden.org/ideas/view/Swayback/1504/How-To-Store-Elep...

Thanks!

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Unknown

Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 18, 2016 4:53 PM CST
Anne, we had two winters worthy of zone 8 in 2009 and 2010 here. My neighbor lost the top growth on all his bananas, but the roots were fine with a very deep covering of mulch. He used wood chip mulch and piles of leaves to a depth of over a foot. They all jumped right back up beautifully the next year.

Just my opinion but if you're going to grow them in ground, I'd resign myself to losing the top growth each winter, and just growing them back each year. Oh, and pray for warm winters, of course.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Aug 18, 2016 7:23 PM CST
Thanks Elaine .. I was considering that for the one out front ... just let it die back and mulch the bajeebers out of it - I thinking I can probably create an 'igloo' over the Blood Banana with masonry ladders this year since it's not very tall. As with everything in the ground, I always have heirs and spares in containers and take cuttings when possible in the Fall.

I'm still curious thought about wrapping and using Christmas Lights for the future when the one out front gets really tall .. I'm also looking for a way to overwinter the Strelitzia in case I decide to put it in the ground .. I know it can get mammoth in size and it's a zone 10 plant. I might be able to dig it up and store it in the garage like @swayback does with his tropicals.
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Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Aug 19, 2016 5:30 AM CST
Anne, I don't think I would go with the wrapping route, for one thing you will need the old fashioned lights that put out heat. LED's are no help. Following on Elaine's idea about mulch, how about using a cage about 3' or 4' tall filled with leaves around the lower part of the trunk? You can cut off whatever foliage extents above it. The new growth will emerge from the cut part and you will probably have some pups come up around the base.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Aug 19, 2016 6:52 AM CST
You're right Alice! I didn't think of that. I guess I'm going to be doing as Elaine suggested. Thanks!
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Name: KadieD
Oceania, Mariana Islands (Zone 11b)
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Rainbow
Aug 19, 2016 8:55 AM CST
@DavidLMO lives in zone 5b and grows his bananas in the ground.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Aug 19, 2016 10:23 AM CST
That's impressive .. he probably wraps and mulches them too.
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 19, 2016 10:28 AM CST
I'm thinking he also plants the hardy varieties like Basjoo?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Aug 19, 2016 11:22 AM CST
Wow I just looked up the Basjoo! I just might see if I can trade for one and plant that in the front.
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Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
katesflowers
Sep 29, 2016 11:23 AM CST
Had Musa basjoo in my zone 4b garden for 4 years and preserved it successfully through winter with 4 straw bales stacked 2 high. Mostly worried the voles would eat them up, but no problem at all. Of course I had no illusions of saving foliage.
The downfall was -30 degrees in year 5. That did it in. I miss my banana !
"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." Shakespeare
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
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Xeramtheum
Sep 29, 2016 11:43 AM CST
Thanks Kate! I think I might just do that for the one out front.
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Oct 5, 2016 1:22 PM CST
Anne, do you get much rain or snow and ice during the winter? You might call around to appliance stores and ask if they ever have any large corrugated boxes, like those that refrigerators come in. Maybe they would save a few for you and you could place them over the top of the plants after mulching, for further protection. Only problem would be if you got lots of rain, they might get soggy and I don't know if they'd be strong enough to hold up to the weight of lots of snow, which could cause the plants to be crushed.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Oct 5, 2016 1:56 PM CST
There is an ongoing thread about Bananas in this tropicals forum: The thread "Bananas" in Tropicals forum

Really interesting reading..hope it helps you Anne.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hybridizer Birds Seed Starter Cat Lover
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Xeramtheum
Oct 5, 2016 5:11 PM CST
Thanks Lin & Tarev .. awesome idea about the boxes Lin! Great thread too .. thanks for the link Tarev.
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Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Oct 6, 2016 9:27 PM CST
Sorry - Just found this. I am in Zone 5B. Only Banana I have is Musa basjoo - the hardiest of bananas. I planted it May of 15. Last winter covered with 2 1/2 feet of leaves and straw mixed. Made it with no problems.
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Oct 8, 2016 2:38 PM CST
This method helps many of my tropicals survive a cold winter. You might not save the foliage though.

http://garden.org/ideas/view/ShadyGreenThumb/1703/Cold-Prote...
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