Tallest Abysinnian banana you have grown?

arctictropical(Z4)March 24, 2009

I'd like to know how tall Abysinnian bananas (ensete) will grow here in the U.S. (inside or out). I've got one that I had outside last summer, brought it inside for the winter, and it is almost 20' tall now. How tall do these things get?

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jimhardy

Arctic,I have heard they can hit 40',
not sure if I have seen one bigger than your Abysinnian,how much trunk did it put on last year?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 12:30AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Wow! 40 feet? The one I'm referring to is the one in front of my 2 1/2 story A-frame and once it hit the upper story windows, it really took off. The leaves must be 10-12' long. I don't know how much trunk it put on last year, but the trunk now is taller than I am, and the plant dwarfs the 15 gallon pot it is growing in. I will take a new picture and post it in the next day or two.

Kevin

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 2:34PM
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jimhardy

Very cool Kevin! I think I rememeber a pic you posted of it inside,the one with your wife on the couch in front of it? How old is that nanar plant?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 3:58PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

jimbardy, I just took this picture today. The tallest one is about 3 years old.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 6:05PM
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jimhardy

Very cool,looks like MAYBE one more winter in the house before you have to get creative,I would love to have one like that,I tried ordering one off e-bay fall before last but the people went out of buisness and never sent one )-: cant' wait to see what that does this summer!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 2:16AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Jim, hey, before I give up on a way to fit it inside the house next Fall, I can always cut off the tops of the leaves to keep it going until I put it outside again. I wonder if it will ever bloom? I guess time will tell.

Kevin

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 11:58PM
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jimhardy

Yea,I think that would work(creative)and I bet it will bloom.Are the other banana plants babies from it?and is that a B.O.P. far right?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 4:36PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Jim, since the Abysinnian bananas do not produce pups, I purchased the smaller ones from the same local nursery that I purchased the large plant from. Yes, the plant on the far right is the Giant White B.O.P. plant. I used to have a much larger one years ago that bloomed, but it died. I'm hoping to keep this alive long enough to get it to bloom.

Kevin

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 11:48AM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Hey Kevin, I would love to know what local nursery you bought your Abysinnian banana at. I would love to get one and it would great to find one locally. I have not been able to find one around here and have been considering buying one off ebay but I would rather not pay for shipping if I can find one here in Utah.ThanksLinda

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 7:07PM
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jimhardy

I am going to plant a B.O.P. here this spring too,also hoping to get some blooms-

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 12:22AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Linda, good to hear from you. It's been a long time! I have purchased all of my ensete banana plants from Alpine Nursery at the south side of Brigham City, next to the Maddox restaurant. I believe they have sold them for the last three years. You may want to call them to see if the will have them this year. Their phone number is (435) 723-7748. Good luck!

Kevin

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 11:23AM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Kevin, Hey thanks for the info! I have been to that nursery years ago but of course then I wasn't looking for tropicals. I will check them out this year and see what they have. I really love that big banana you have, looks really cool! I did sucessfully overwinter my musa basjoo outside in the yard this winter. Its the first time I tried overwintering in the ground. Last year I brought the pot in the house. I checked it a couple of weeks ago and it looks great and has several new pups coming up. Of course I had to cover it back up with all the cold weather we can't seem to get rid of.

Oh and I was meaning to ask you were you got the seeds for that really beautiful castor bean plant you posted pictures of last year. Were they also from a local nursery?

Linda

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 6:46PM
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joey_powell(8b (15.1F) USDA 2012)

arctictropical, what are you feeding that thing?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 1:48AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Joey, just miracle grow soluable plant food. Not even the normal stuff, but the low nitrogen kind (bloom buster) during the winter, so that it does not grow even taller than it has!

Kevin

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 4:11PM
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artu(8)

hey i got mine at walmart..i live here in ga i spent 4.00 each for 5 of them..try to get the manager of your local big box store to get you one ordered..i know a lot of you guys like mail order and talk hard b.s. about big box stores because its stylish. tell me here you can get 5 for $20.oo out the door?? no seriously i need to know.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 7:05PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Update on the tallest one pictured at the top.... It became so top heavy, it came crashing down one day, and about wiped out our TV. Luckily it survived, although I had to chop off 5 large leaves that were broken. I need to get it outdoors before it kills someone.

Kevin

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 1:31AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Linda, in case you read this, Alpine Nursery in Brigham City does have some Abysinnian banana plants this year. They are $6.99 each.

Kevin

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 7:36PM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Hi Kevin, Hey thanks for letting me know about the bananas, I think I will go up there Friday and get me one. Sorry to hear about your "Big Banana Crash", thats too bad! Have you tried overwintering this type of banana any other way besides keeping it in a pot in the house? I'm just wondering because my ceiling at the highest point is only about 10 feet. What kind of banana are you wintering in the box outside? I did sucessfully overwinter my musa basjoo by using bags of leaves and a tarp. I did give it some fertilizer a couple of days ago and it seems everyday it grows quite a bit! I was very excited to see that it made it thru the winter and even had some more pups come up.

Linda

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 9:23PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

I love that picture. My tallest outdoors is only 4 feet. The first year, it grew from a seedling to about 3-1/2 feet. Last year, I moved it up to a slightly bigger pot, but it barely grew. I think it outgrew it's pot fairly quick and was too rootbound.

Compare this to a musa basjoo I planted directly in the ground, which seemed to have an impressive growth rate it's first year (about 5 feet tall). So, I guess the moral of the story is to plant them directly in the ground, plenty of compost, water and fertilizer.

I still have the original Abysinnian, however, in the dark basement and I'm going to plant directly in the ground this year. Can anyone give me advice as to how to prevent leafburn? Usually one would put a potted plant outside in the shade and gradually get it used to better light. The rootball may be too heavy to continually move indoors and out, however.

Thanks,
Glen

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 12:41AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Linda, better buy two! In the past, I have kept some Ensete banana in an unlit, unheated room in my basement after chopping them off down to 3 feet, but I wanted them to be the tallest possible outside after transplanting, so this year decided to keep them up in the heat and light. The ones I leave outside and protect is an edible banana called "Texas Star" that is supposed to be as hardy as Basjoo, and I think they may be, since they come up every year, but my musa grows so slowly, that I prefer ensete.

Glen, to prevent leaf burn, in the past I have given them a partially shaded spot, and gradually increased the daylight, although I'm not sure if I have a good spot for the 20' one this year. I guess I'll see what happens when I decide to move it out. It snowed today, so it may be a while.....

Kevin

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 12:33AM
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xerophyte_nyc(7)

Re: leafburn - they will outgrow damaged leaves quickly anyway so if it is difficult to acclimate it, maybe just leave it as is and deal with some ugly leaves for some weeks until new ones replace it. Just a thought.

x

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 9:19PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

That's true Xerophyte. Last year I tried to gradually introduce my plant to better light outdoors, but in the end no matter how hard I tried the existing leaves looked pretty scrappy. Like you said, it grows new ones pretty fast anyways. Another thing I found was that the leaves that had developed indoors over winter were pretty weak in structure, and more prone to shredding with the first gusty wind.

Snow in late April here is unusual, though not uncommon. The other morning there was a few flakes falling, just enough to depress gardeners.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 8:44AM
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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

The tallest I have grown in one season from a quart plant in May and by October it was 17 feet tall. I sometimes remove the top 3/4 of the Red Abby and overwinter in cool storage in a cardboard box, then replant in the Spring after the danger of frost has passed. The big secret is MILORGANITE, lots of Miracle-Gro and watering 2x per week at least.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 11:05AM
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tominnh(5 NH)

Wow How much do they grow each year...? I am picking one up next week at a local garden center in NH... It will be out in the summer and in a greenhouse for the winters

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 8:02AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Thanks for the info. "the Virginian". I have also given mine milgorite and common nitrogen when outside. I planted all of my Ensete outside without gradually breaking them in to the sunlight and was I surprised when they did not burn! They did loose quite a few outer leaves from wind breakage since they were too lush and soft for the outside climate. I'm sure new leaves will be tougher. The 20 footer stands like a sentinel with just three leaves showing, but I'm sure by the end of the summer it will look great again. The musa variety just does not grow that much in my climate with extremely cool nights, but the ensete sure takes off! I had to put two steel fence posts next to the 20 footer with plastic twine tied around the trunk, just to keep if upright.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 10:15AM
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jimhardy

Nice I just got one yesterday

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 9:19PM
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