When to cut banana trees?

raestrOctober 6, 2005

This is my first year growing bananas. I bought one at HD this year for $13.99. It has green and purple leaves. It has done superbly and is now taller than the roof of my single floor 1970s ranch house and has several pups. When do I cut the stalks down (or do I) and what do I mulch it with? Can I just put a bunch of oak leaves over it? I have plenty of those.

Thanks,

Rae

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Casa_Del_Gatos(z8 AL)

Rae,

Watch out! Growing banana plants is very addicting.

You should really go over to the Banana forum for info from the experts (some of them are here also!) My advice is to do nothing until the real cold comes. When the leaves die, cut it down and mulch heavily (I like cedar). It will come back with a vengeance in the spring. Or you could overwinter it if you have a good sized, dry basement where you can store it with the leaves cut off. There are ways to overwinter in the ground also.

I would first dig up the pups and pot them for inside, then plant them outside next year. You will quickly have more banana plants than you can imagine!

Search in the banana forum for "overwinter" and "separate pups" and you will get all the information you need.

Here is a link that might be useful: Banana Forum

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 7:30AM
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tsmith2579(7B)

I never cut them until after the first frost has turned the leaves brown. Then I cut them back to a few inches tall, build a wire fence around them and fill the fence with chopped leaves. Usually by March they begin to shoot up through the leaves.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 12:51AM
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GAAlan(z7b(on map) 8(imby) Atlanta)

Do the tops of your plant's leaves have splashes of red? I wonder, from your green on purple description, if you might have Musa acuminata v. zebrina. If so, its possible it won't be hardy in the ground. What is the lowest temp you normally have there? I think just a few days with lows in the low 20s could be deadly for this banana. You need to know exactly which banana you have to be sure to take the proper course of action.

I left a Zebrina out here, a couple winters ago, and it did not survive. My lowest temp that year was 18F. Unfortunately, some of the most attractive bananas are usually the least hardy.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 5:15PM
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