Large dormant ensete finally planted outside!

arctictropical(Z4)May 19, 2013

This is their 4th or 5th year outside. Each year the pseudo-stems get larger and the plants get bigger. Tree trunk size now.

I just planted them outside just a week ago. They were yellow from lack of sunlight in my dark, unheated basement room. They have greened up and started growing like mad already. I gave them a good dose of milorganite. I expect them to grow like weeds in the next 3 months.

Here's what they looked like last Summer:

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stevelau1911

Since you are in zone 4, would putting clear plastic to heat up the soil around those bananas make them grow any faster so you can possibly get them to become even heavier?

I have mine in 5 gallon pots which should last them about a month before sticking them in the ground, and it seems like the heating cables I have stuck in the soil is accelerating their growth as the pseudo-stems went from 1 1/4 inch at the beginning of the month to closer to 2 inches now.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 9:40PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Hi Steve. Yes, I'm sure the clear plastic would help. Luckily the location I have them in is somewhat of a raised bed and the soil tends to warm up on it's own fairly well. I'm quite happy to see them get as big as they do, despite not using clear plastic. Any additional heat you can give them would definitely help. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 9:55PM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Woot! Arctic's new thread. Can't wait to see your progress reports.

Btw, thanks! This reminded me I need to research the non-dormancy lifespan of these ensetes.

Edit: Fantastic. Just checked, these take 5 years to flower. I was worried I'd soon have to build a backup supply.

This post was edited by Foreverlad on Mon, May 20, 13 at 12:12

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 11:33AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Since they never flower before I cut them back for winter storage, it makes me wonder how long they will actually live. I'll just keep planting the same ones over and over, although I might need a 25 gallon pot instead of 15 gallon pot to store them in!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 11:44PM
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stevelau1911

Have you been weighing them each year?

I guess they would lose some weight over 7 months of dormancy, but it looks like your short growing seasons allow them to grow enough to continue gaining weight each year.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 11:28PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Hi Steve. I have never weighed them. I'll try to remember to weigh them next Fall when I dig them up. I imagine they weigh a couple hundred pounds each, at least, based on what it takes to lift them a couple of seconds down to the lawn in order to drag them to my basement. If they loose weight during the winter, it's not much! They definitely increase in size each year.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 11:57AM
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lomodor(6)

very cool artic !!! mine are going out this weekend..
sigh..i can feel my aching back..already..LOL :)
i think mine benefit from where i plant them too..
i have a large area that is just shy of 3 ft raised above
surrounding area..and my other largest beds are all raised.. just not quite 3 ft.. they get full sun.. all day..almost have all the weeding done..then.. dig in some compost..and fertilizer..then ..in they go..:)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 7:49PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Hi Lomodor. I forgot. Where do you live? I plant mine on the South side of my house since it gets a little protection from the north winds. They get shaded in the afternoon, but I can't complain. I'm always amazed each year by their growth.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 12:12AM
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lomodor(6)

hey from hr and 1/2 south of u..:) im in provo..
planted a TON of cannas today..great weather lately!!!
hopefully i'll get 1/2 my bananas planted this weekend..and rest beginning of the week next..
then there off to the races..lol
im in awe too of how much bananas grow in even our
semi short season.. 4 1/2 months for me..

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 7:42PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Thanks Lomodor. My cannas are pretty much all planted. My elephant ears as well. Let the heat come!

Kevin

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 12:20AM
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lomodor(6)

just a few cannas to plant still.then the EE's and im there..sigh..:)
for sure.. guess mid week its to cool a bit..then next weekend..high 80sF.. bring it on !!!!!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 9:51PM
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