I did it, I did it -- it worked, Yeah!!! Basjoo survived.

denninmi(8a)May 12, 2010

I'm so proud of myself. It actually worked. The Musa basjoo I've babied for like 6 years in a pot, then committed to the ground last spring, overwintered.


It's now resprouting from below the ground, which is what I expected. I didn't make any attempt to save the pseudostem, as that's pretty unrealistic in my climate without "extraordinary measures"

Also, I planted my Musella in the unheated greenhouse last spring along with various "hardy" palms -- these were surrounded with styrofoam panels and heated with cfc bulbs. It too is regrowing from the roots.

Now, whether or not this success can be repeated is a question -- it was an awfully mild winter for Michigan in terms of the lows, never got below Zero to speak of.

What I really wish I had was a nice planting bed up against the foundation of my house in full sun. Three sides of my house are paved over as patio areas/sidewalks. The north side isn't but is too shady for a banana. I understand that the heat from the foundation helps a lot in overwintering basjoo.

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sfhellwig(6a SE Kansas)

Congratulations. I am still waiting to see if my basjoo pops up. The first year it grew well and I dug it up out of fear of committing. Last year it didn't grow so much and I left it in the ground. Lost the trunk and we had the worst winter we've had for years in the part of KS. We'll see.

I am quite happy my T. Wagnerianus dwarf windmill palm did live through the winter. It had the same wire cage, straw and plastic bag as the banana. Just different creatures I suppose.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 3:35PM
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Denninmi, hi I'm also in MI and would love to try a musa basjoo, for a second time. Do you know of a good source? Even a small sprout? I bought one a couple of summers ago at Lowe's in the mid-summer, on clearance. It didn't get real big and I didn't protect it enough over the winter. I have not seen those at Lowe's again. I'll also check some local nurseries. I have palms too, that I'll be placing outside soon, they're in pots, but can't wait to try a banana again!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 12:28PM
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Congrats!! Now that it has survived one winter, it will have a pretty good root system and make a nice clump. The more winters it survives, the stronger it gets. Even if next winter is a little colder, it still might stand a chance now that its older. Some quick protection can also help too if next winter turns out to be much colder. But winter is very far away and you have another summer to enjoy with your musa basjoo!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 4:54PM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Hi, I live in northern Utah which is also zone 6. I have overwintered my Basjoo in the ground for 2 years now. I cut it down to about 15 inches high and then make a circle around it with lawn bags filled with leaves or straw and then fill the center area with more leaves and cover the whole thing with a tarp to keep the water off. It comes back great and there is already new growth by the time I uncover it.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 7:52AM
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I haven't received my musa basjoo and dwarf cavendish, but I was wondering if anyone can tell me how fast each of them will grow? I haven't grew any yet this will be my first ones and I want to do everything right! Lol. I want a yard FULL of them!!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 7:35PM
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Um, based on my experience, a 6 inch basjoo that comes in the mail in April can be as tall as 10 feet by the time the autumn frost comes. The richer the soil, the more water, fertilizer and sunlight, and the warmer the climate the more it will grow. But, even here in Michigan the growth rate is impressive.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 2:25PM
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greenpassion(z4-z5 VT)

I live in zone 5/4 and I have a musa basjoo in a huge pot on my deck. It's around 7ft tall with pups. It's really doing well. My problem is that I am afraid to plant it in my garden and overwinter it there. I read all these posts about these musas overwintering in the ground but I'm like 'a deer in the headlights'. Tropic lover posted that she cut hers back and surrounded it with bags of leaves. Is it really that simple?


    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 10:43AM
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It is too late in the season to plant it in the ground now. It won't get established before fall frost hits. I would keep it in a pot, bring it inside and plant it in the ground next spring.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 1:07PM
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greenpassion(z4-z5 VT)

wxman81, I see you are in zone 5 as well. If my musa is too tall to get into the house, what's the best step to take? Also, I have seen photos of bannanas bigger than mine in SMALLER pots. I thought they'd need huge pots. Mine are both in 20 gallon planters. Can I put them into smaller pots to get them inside? And I suspect that their root system is huge, and I'll have to cut the root ball down to size. Correct me please if I'm wrong!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 11:31AM
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If it is too tall to get in the house, you can cut the stem down to any manageable height. New leaves will grow out of the cut stem. As for pots, for winter storage, I would root prune it and put it in the smallest pot that it will fit in. It will fill that small pot up with roots and the small pot will help ward off rot due to overwatering.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 9:50AM
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greenpassion(z4-z5 VT)

Thanks wxman81. For some reason that piece of advise is clearer than any other so far.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 10:41AM
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