Cold hardy bananas mulching question

islandbreezeJanuary 2, 2014

I have 3 varieties of hardy bananas: Musa Basjoo, Mekong Giant, and Dwarf Orinoco. They're planted in the ground against the foundation and have come back year after year for up to 6 or 7 years now. I usually mulch them with cedar mulch and cover with tarps for winter, but this year I was lazy and just mulched, no tarps.

My question is, can I expect them to be okay without the tarp?

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chadec(N.C.7b)

I'm gonna say your in trouble. But by now you probably already know this and have covered with the tarp.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 10:27PM
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chadec(N.C.7b)

I'm gonna say your in trouble. But by now you probably already know this and have covered with the tarp.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 10:29PM
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islandbreeze

No, haven't covered with a tarp because ever since the first snowfall of the season, we haven't had weather that has melted all of the snow on top of the mulch piles. I didn't want to put a tarp on top of snow and seal in moisture. I guess I'll have to wait and see what happens. The advantage to such a cold and snowy winter is that the snow cover is added insulation from record cold.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 12:23PM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

nope I'm going to say that they'll probably be ok because they are well established. I have a friend who told me to plant them one foot deeper than they were in the pot, and since I did that, I never mulch mine anymore. zone 5 Indiana. I've lost like two in the last 3 years. That being said, I have one basjoo I planted over the top of the septic tank where the soil is real shallow and for years I've said I'm going to move it because it only grows like two feet tall every year but it has around 15 pups that come up each year. I didn't plant it deep, at ground level and quit mulching it 3-4 years ago and it's been fine. So stop likeing them and then they do ok every year...lol...

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 4:41PM
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islandbreeze

I would think that planting deep would cause the corms to rot or result in slower growth due to the fact that soil temps would be cooler in summer the deeper you go. Has it resulted in smaller plants?

Also, considering possibly neglecting them, I wonder if neglecting bananas and less watering and food would cause them to expand their root systems and reach deeper for nutrients and moisture, resulting in hardier mats???

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 11:03PM
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Bamatufa(7 - Trussville, AL)

Well ? What's the verdict ? Any signs of life ? Of corse, I am in a warmer zone but I did the fencing, insulation, and covering the first two years of getting into bananas and concluded it was too much work.We get a lot of rain and that's what will do them in. This winter we hit single digit temperatures and other than five years of mulch my Basjoos and a couple others bounced back.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 7:54PM
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islandbreeze

So far, things are looking promising. Both Musa Basjoo and Mekong Giant are starting to push out growth from their stumps. My Dwarf Orinoco is not, but usually doesn't show any growth until the beginning of June anyway, and then it quickly catches up to the other bananas in size. This year, however, part of a tree has been cut down so they'll get more sun, so hopefully larger plants.

By the way, we got down to -13 F for our lowest temp and mulch alone looks sufficient, so you shouldn't have anything to worry about. We also get rain in the winter, often followed by really cold temps.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 7:28PM
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