Latest pics of gigantic outdoor Ensete bananas, zone 4

arctictropical(Z4)August 22, 2013

This year with lots of heat, water and nitrogen, my ensete bananas are bigger than ever! Can't wait to see how big they get by the end of the season. My son is in both pictures. He is 6 feet tall.

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lomodor(6)

im jealous tropic..sigh.. i think my problem this yr was
i didnt feed mine enough..
it got hot and stayed hot..all summer.. as u know..
when do u get your 1st frost up there?
i usually dont dig the tropicals out till early oct..
way to go.. i gotta do better next yr.. im sure it was not
enough fertilizing.. i kept them watered ok.. nanners are heavy feeders..

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 5:22PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Hi lomodor! We have a killing frost sometime between September 15 and October 5, usually. Yes, nitrogen sure helps! Good luck next year....

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 12:56AM
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lomodor(6)

hope ya hit a record on size/height this yr !!!
ya.. i gotta get more N into those nanners next yr..
i tried a "homemade" mix..it just wasnt enough N..and im thinking definately not enough potash too..
they will be easy to store this yr.. guess thats an upside..

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 9:29PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Lomodor... they are still growing like mad! Bigger and bigger each day in this heat. All I do is feed them a good dose of plain old ammonium sulfate and Milorganite. Two applications of each at various times throughout the growing season. I suppose they wouldn't complain if I gave them more! And water? A good watering about twice each week.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 12:21AM
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lomodor(6)

hey tropic..
its trying to rain here this morning..would like that!! :)
what do u do for the potash??
yrs past ive used "banana fuel" but i use so much..its $$$
so this yr thought id try my own mix.. i wasnt successful..
:(
i think my EE's would have gotten bigger if i had given them
more N too..
hope we get a good lonngggggg.. summer/fall..

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 12:38PM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

Your son looks ecstatic in that first pic lol

Hats off for growin tropicals out of their zone...way out too!

Those are maurelli, no?

Mines so tiny, it was a tc start in a 3" pot in may tho, so I guess considering that, and the fact I accidentally defoliated it in July, 5' isn't too bad, I had hoped for more but I'm sure it got ample fert!

I'm hoping to have 4 or 5 kinds next year, maybe in 3 years they will be stately monsters like yours...
I use naner fuel when I have it...gosh it's overpriced!
I remember that there's an off brand that's cheaper, or so I've heard...

For potash, use exactly that, scoop up some old ashes and coals from a fire, or if raccoons aren't an issue, just dump your charcoal grill around it, it takes a little while for water to work the P down to the roots but ensete roots are notoriously shallow so it's not that long.
I suppose working it into the soil before planting would work too, but they eat it up fast so I'd still dump it on the base of the plant later on too!

Have you ever tested the hardiness of basjoo or Mekong giant up there in z4?
I read reports of hardiness upto z4 or z5, most sources state z6 tho...
I bet you could pull it off! You seem pretty good at pushing zones...
:P

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 1:04PM
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lomodor(6)

i have thought of wood ash.. grab..
ya..the nanner fuel is high priced if u use it like i do..
i have just under 40 banana plants..they are doing ok..
just not monsters this yr cause of my selfish feedings..
:( im a bad gardener.. lol
there is a generic fertilizer out there..not sure same
#'s as nanner fuel.. and i do think it has minor elements too..
i should check out..for next yr..
like my amorphs..and EE's..im amazed how "hungry"
these plants are..they really take in the fertilizer..
i tried to grow basjoo here.keeping it outside.. didnt
work..plus im not into clumping nanners so much..
i am getting pups again this yr.. even with my poor
keeping ..they are good to me..

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 3:14PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Here's the latest pic with me standing by the side of the largest one of the group. It's even bigger now!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 11:15PM
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lomodor(6)

thats a giant !!! way to go ..
i gotta give my nanners more fertilizer next yr..
u r going to have some fun hauling them in a month..
:) i know.. mine arent that big this yr..but..they still are
ok sized..

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 4:43PM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

Looks like it's growin fast!
Those are 2 monster unshredded leaves spiking up the middle there!

I bet they bloom next year!
Do you have and back ups sizing up elsewhere?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 12:16PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Kevin,,,,,,,

I know I forgot, sorry..But will will you dig it up and how will you grow in indoors?

Do you cut the whole plant back and bring the trunk in with the root ball planted into a pot?
Would my Musa Banana be ok if I did the same and stuck in in cool basement with little light until the spring?

You are the man! I can't believe how HUGE your plants are buddy!

Mike

This post was edited by meyermike_1micha on Wed, Sep 11, 13 at 12:42

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 12:24PM
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Bamatufa(7 - Trussville, AL)

Nice! I have one Ensete. So they don't pup and when they flower, they are goners?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 9:20PM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

That's it!
About 4 year and 10' tall and they bloom, and die, all bananas do that, most pup alot tho

You can cut the corm in half, or many chunks to get more plants, or cut out the main eye...

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 12:56AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Thanks everyone. Ensete don't produce pups. Since they have never bloomed, they keep coming back year after year after year! Meyermike... After a killing frost, I chop them all off to a 4' stump, break my back fitting them into 15' gallon nursery pots (black plastic) and drag them across my lawn down the hill to my basement entrance (sliding glass doors). I chop them off to 4' stumps so that the plant and pot will fit in the door and be barely short enough to drag them on some plastic across my family room carpet, down the hall, and into an unlit, unheated food storage room. They keep growing for a couple of weeks but finally settle down and go dormant. I water them just once during the winter months. In April, I bring them out into the light and heat and they take off growing again! When the danger of frost has passed in mid May, I plant them outside in the same spots, year after year. They grow bigger with each passing year. As long as they don't flower (I don't expect they ever will) I don't see why they won't keep growing as many years as I want them to.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 7:52PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Kevin..It sounds like you are committing a murder..I can see the scene here..lol

Thank God you are still in shape......Can you imagine doing that at 50 years of age..lol

Thanks for that! That is what I am going to do...I was looking at mine today and about to cry with the thought of having to take that beautiful thing out of my yard..It's the only pretty plant I have that brings the thoughts of the tropics to mind...

Thanks again..We will chat soon. I love your design and your hard work! Think skis''lol

Mike

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 7:49PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Hey Mike. I wish I was 50 years old! I'm 61. Luckily age does not stop me from doing lots of yard work, mountain biking and snow boarding! If I can't enjoy the tropics year round, then I go snow boarding!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 8:13PM
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