overwintering - Knowledgebase Question

chicago, Il
Question by larrykoshio
October 14, 2009
i have a duranta that is tree shaped, w purple flowers. i have several cannas that i would like to keep til spring. i have a 2 ft banana tree that i brought in. i dont know what to do to keep these over winter. HELP... thanx... larry k.

Answer from NGA
October 14, 2009


Winter care of bananas is crucial in areas that experience frost. Here's what to do: Sometime in October, before frost, dig up the plant and cut off the rest of the leaves at the top so each looks like a great, fat pole. Put it in a small container with only the soil that clings. Then set it in a basement or garage where temperatures in winter hover around 50 degrees. Water it once and then allow it to go dormant for the rest of the winter. In the spring, when air and soil temperatures warm, plant the roots outdoors.

Duranta is cold hardy to about -12F but if you'd rather not chance losing yours, bring it indoors over the winter months. It prefers greenhouse conditions but if you can provide bright light or a sunny window, it should be fine.

Cannas are easy to overwinter. Wait until frost kills the tops back then cut the foliage down and dig them up. Store the rhizomes in slightly moist peat moss. You can replant in the spring when the soil and air temperatures warm up.

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