potted basjoo

nucci60(6 Ma.)June 14, 2006

new to basjoo, so please pardon my ignorance. Have one in the ground that isfinally showing some life,after i planted it a month ago. have a beauty in a pot. can I keep it in a dormant state this winter? do not want to plant this one until i see how the other one winters over with protection. could it be kept as a houseplant this winter in the dry heated air of a house? thanks for any help

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gardenguy_(z6b PA)

Sure it can be kept as a houseplant in the winter. In the winter, do not water as much, or only when the top part of the soil is dry. I do not have any dormancy experience with the basjoo, in terms of keeping it inside; ( if you mean strictly dormant, as to keep it in a cool, total darkness and without watering enviroment ). I did as exactly as you did. Kept one outside, and one inside as a houseplant. The one inside made it through winter in good condition.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 1:11AM
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nucci60(6 Ma.)

thanks garden guy, this is my first year with basjoo,so I am a little cautious.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 6:32AM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

Yes, you can keep it as a houseplant. Water like gardenguy says. Give it a sunny spot if you can. Be prepared for spider mites - if you can wipe the top and bottom surface of all the leaves once a week with a damp, slightly soapy paper towel, that should keep them under control until it goes back outdoors.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 8:18AM
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gardenguy_(z6b PA)

ant3eye, if you do store your basjoo, no need to wrap it with blankets or bubblewrap. The key to getting the banana to go dormant is cool temps, under 50f, pref around 44 to 42 degrees total darkness and dry conditions which winter happens to bring. Are you covering it because of dust?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 9:13PM
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I think the bubble wrap is a good idea - insulation.

I have done the basjoo in ground, in garage (potted) and in house (potted) for the winter.
It is good insurance to keep one in the house. Sometimes mine do OK, sometimes they look pretty miserable....but come spring, they make a quick recovery.
The keys to winter houseplant bananas are:
less water
lots of air movement
mist them

And even if your plant seems to die, always give it a chance to resprout.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 11:43PM
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ant3eye(Z6 NJ)

I was going to use the bubblewrap and blankets because if it's in the teens outside, my garage will probably dip below 30 degrees. We had a mild winter in NJ last year so it probably wouldn't have been an issue. But who knows what kind of weather we'll get this coming winter.

But thanks for the darkness tip gardenguy. I didn't think of that and would have turned the lights on every time I went to get something from our extra freezer. I guess I'll definitely go with blankets to keep the plant dark now.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 9:34PM
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if you have a crawl space under the house that doesn't freeze then put a tarp down, put a trash bag around the corm and just lay it down. don't look at it till spring when the last freeze has passed.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 10:18PM
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nucci60(6 Ma.)

hi, me again, I started the thread. Do you have to give the basjoo(dormant) any water to save the pseudostem?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 1:35PM
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ant3eye(Z6 NJ)

I have read about people covering their plants (outdoors) with a tarp or plastic to keep them dry and prevent rotting during winter. So I'm guessing that you shouldn't water a dormant plant.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 10:52PM
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gardenguy_(z6b PA)

No water or moisture whatsoever when keeping a banana dormant. I keep my bananas under the house during the winter and prefer not to use anything to wrap the corms, esp plastic. This allows moisture against the corm, which coupled with darkness, allows for rotting and fungus growth.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 12:02AM
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