First go at Musa Basjoo

rwallen1961(Iowa City, IA Zone 5)May 7, 2012

OK...I've had a Musa Basjoo that was in a pot for the past couple of years. Summers outdoors, winters indoors.

This past fall, I planted it in the ground in zone 5. The existing stalks all froze off, but now I have pups sprouting up. In terms of protection, no I didn't do a thing.

What should I expect in terms of growth or height on these bad boys this year? They are in a sunny location, protected from the wind, etc.

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Once the temps reliably stay 60F or above, then I usually get a new leaf once a week, which adds about a foot of height a week. This depends on the amount of water and fertilizer also.

This year Spring came about a month early, so some of mine are already 4-6 feet tall here at the beginning of May.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 4:00PM
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rwallen1961(Iowa City, IA Zone 5)

Quick update....the Basjoos are growing like crazy in this heat. I'm giving them lots of water, but making nice progress as of July 6th.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 6:06PM
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I also am a first time musa basjoo planter and yours look fantastic! I don't know what I am doing wrong, but what do you fertilize with and how often? Also how often are you watering? I had a some problems with spider mites and aphids. I never seen the aphids, but had ants covering the base and I read if you see ants, you have aphids because they leave a sticky sweet residue and attract the ants. So, I would love some insight. It has been very hot and humid here, so maybe not enough water. I am lost. Also, do you cut off the leaves that get brown on edges? Looks like they were sunburnt.

Any help would be appreciated!
Stacy in Michigan

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 10:49PM
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Cut them if you like.

Almost any week fertilizer solution will work-don't use
MG full strength as it will burn the leaves...more often
and less strong is the best plan.

Spider mites can be controlled by hosing them off every few
days-make sure you blast the undersides of the leaves-

This doesn't happen in the tropics* because they are usually
dancing in the rain-what ever that is-we don't seem to get
it anymore )-:

*If you can call where Basjoo grows tropical.

That browning you spoke of can be old leaves,fertilizer burn
or sunburn which begins at temps hit the upper 90s and 100s

Click for weather forecast

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 9:07AM
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Congrats, your nana's look awesome !!!!!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 9:35AM
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well, I had to cut off my musa basjoo at base. The stem was turning brown/black, so I cut it off and it is still white inside at base near ground, but the ground it crwaling with little teeny tiny white bugs. What are these and what can I do to save my trees? With how fast these grow, I should be able to see some growth soon, right? Unless they are dying! Should I dig them up and treat ground or just spray insecticide on base (all thats left) and around ground? What would u do?


    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 12:01PM
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Bamatufa(7 - Trussville, AL)

I know I am in a warmer zone but if you protect them you can keep them going without loosing too much growth.I covered mine with Bagged leaves and a plastic tarp one year. This past year I left them un protected and lucked up with a mild winter.Background is a 6'high fence for reference.Stack bag leaves around as high as you can and cover to keep dry.Come spring you will have a head start.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 9:40PM
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Bamatufa(7 - Trussville, AL)

Based on your photo you plugged a hole and planted. I recommend you dig up, widen and deepen your hole ,fill and mound( mound!) with good organic loomly mulch and replant.Give your banana a good base and it will take off. Bananas like a good loose soil and space to grow and expand.Bananas are not like corn or garden crops.They will grow but if you want growth and height soil prepreation is the trick.Water,fertilizer,and winter protection is next.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 10:42PM
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