I'm thinking of ordering a (fruiting) banana.

nomorenicksleft(7b Lubbock, TX)May 11, 2008

I had told myself that I'd wait a few years until I had a place of my own with a big greenhouse for them, and I do fully intend to have that someday soon.

But I'm getting a little antsy, and wondering if I could buy one in the meantime. Obviously I'd have to take it inside during the winter, and perhaps even the cooler months of spring and autumn. But when I'm looking through the Gurney's seed catalog and I see so-called dwarf trees... well, hard to resist.

Anyway, I have some questions that several weeks of googling hasn't answered. For instance, I don't even know what variety to look for. Cavendish is the grocery store variety, but these are chosen because they transport well... are they even the best tasting? Big Mike also seems somewhat available... and this was the pre-1970s choice, but disease really kicks its butt.

Which varieties would be most tolerant of only getting light through a large south-facing window during the cold months?

Which varieties are either smaller than 7ft or so, or could be trimmed to that height non-fatally? Or, alternately, how long would it take for them to get that big?

I mean, if it takes 5 years to get taller than that, I could have other arrangements in the meantime.

Anyone care to offer some opinions and advice?

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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

Try dwarf cavandish the fruiting type since you can bring it inside for the winter.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 10:38AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Are you going to plant it in the ground for summer, then dig, pot and keep inside over winter?

I have a dwarf Cav. that I keeping in my garage to winter over, then it goes in the ground over summer. Winter temps in the garage get down to around 45 degrees minimum (I have a small space heater). You want to keep them cool and NOT growing over winter. If you keep yours in a heated room in your house without added humidity and a fan, I guarantee you'll have major spider mite problems. In the cooler garage I had no mites. I cut off most of the leaves and stop watering until about February, when it slowly begins to grow again. Increase watering and set out after your last frost date.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 7:55AM
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nomorenicksleft(7b Lubbock, TX)

I had intended to keep it potted, indoors and out. Biggest I could find.

I figured that a big sunny window and a humidifier might be enough for that. Thank you for the advice.

I'd really like to not have it go dormant for 3 months... it'd be nice for it to fruit, and that'll interfere won't it?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 12:25PM
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wanna_run_faster

Try Super Dwarf Cavendish, mine flowered and produced fruit at less than 2 feet tall (of course that was in the ground Florida) or Little Prince. Dwarf Cavendish and Grand Nain are 2 other bananas that won't probably get taller than 6 feet in a pot, I have 2 in the ground and they're just about 6 or 7 feet.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 3:04PM
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bcfromfl(z8a NW FL)

You're likely to be disappointed getting SDC to fruit under the conditions you describe. It needs full sun and warm/hot temps to fruit. It is hardy here in Zone 8a, but the trunk dies in the winter so it comes back up from the mat in the spring. No fruit that way...

Unless you put it in a monstrous pot that won't be so prone to wet/dry cycles when it's outside, it will require a lot of watering. For a time when we moved up here to the Panhandle, I had my bananas in large landscape pots. They survived and grew, but didn't thrive and bloom until they went in the ground.

-Bruce C.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 4:02PM
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nomorenicksleft(7b Lubbock, TX)

Bruce,

I water my plants every day, and intend to keep some other tropicals that will require it be warm and humid inside during the winter (cocoa). I'll try, anyway. Fruiting is a bonus, I'll be happy to just have plants that survive and allow me to propagate a few more off of them as the years pass.

Thanks everyone, I appreciate it all.

John O.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 5:56PM
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