Potted Banana is now Flowering!
Just thought I would share my good news with you all.
In May of 2004, I purchased both an Ice Cream and Monkey Fingers banana from Stokes. While one of them didn't make it (not sure which one), the other one did take off like a rocket.
Since I live in the Chicago area, it was a potted plant spending the summers outdoors and the winters indoors. Luckily, I have 18' ceilings in my living room, so there was plenty of space for it to thrive through the winter months and I have floor-to-ceiling windows with a SE exposure so light wasn't a problem either.
Historically, through the winter months the growth would slow down to nearly a stall, but this past winter, one new leaf after the other kept on coming which was amazing. This banana was now 11 feet tall from the top of the soil to the point where the leaves were coming off the pseudostem. Each leaf was nearly 7 feet long and trust me, they it was taking over the entire room. In mid-April of this year, a new leaf unrolled and I thought it was strange that the new leaf was only about 3 feet long. Totally consistent in the appearance, only the size was smaller.
In early-May of this year, I took it outside to spend the warmer months. During a major thunderstorm, I did lose 4 of the large leaves, but no real damage overall. No worries though. I did notice that nothing much was happening, no new leaf formation, but I attributed all of that to the cool nights and a general need for the plant to get accustomed to being outside. Now it had lots of direct sun, wind and other conditions. I suspected it just needed to get used to that for a bit.
Well, lucky for me, that wasn't the case at all. I noticed that a new leaf was forming, but until it progressed further, no way to see it was anything special. Now in the past 2 days, I can see that it is the last leaf that appears before the flower stalk arrives. I'm really excited.
So many people think you can't grow things up north, but let me tell you, you can, especially if your patient. This banana took 3 years and overtook my living space, but what the heck, it's finally "doing it's thing".
Here are a few pictures and I'll post more pics as things progress. Enjoy.