Ae Ae Banana---HELP!

bihai(zone 9)August 28, 2006

I have a huge Ae Ae banana in my greenhouse. Its fully mature. The trunk is over 10 ft. The leaves are 6-7 ft long and about 2 ft wide. The ceiling of my greenhouse is 20 ft at the gable. AT the point where this banana grows iis on the downslope, ceiling height is probably 17-18 ft. The leaves hit the ceiling and bend. This banana has seemingly never even considered pupping.

It has, quite simply, overgrown its alloted space. All of its impact is being lost. You only see the underside of the leaves. You can tell its an Ae Ae, but it doesn't have that "WOW" factor.

I want to know which might be the best course of action.

#1--Should I LOP IT OFF about half way up and let if leaf back out at a smaller stature?

#2--should I completely remove it from the greenhouse and plant it out in the yard? I live in far South zone 8B, on the cusp of zone 9A. I have a ton of other types of bananas growing out in the . They all make it through yard every winter and have for years and years. I know I have heard of the Ae Ae being grown outside in my zone. I have always pampered it because it is somewhat rare, hard to obtain and expensive, and particularily because it was a gift from a friend, but I would like it to make more of an impact.

WHat's the best course of action?????

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Dang.. it would be hard for me to just "lop it off". *winces* Could you pot it up and then "lop it off" later, sticking it back in the greenhouse for winter? It hurts to have said that twice! ~LOL~

I don't think Ae Ae pup very often. I'd be scared to overwinter it outside. Someone else with Ae Ae experience will hopefully come along and give you advice.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 3:08PM
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minibim(FL z10)

I agree with the above; I'd hate to see you lop it off and I'd be scared of zone 8 with my best banana. So, how about an off the wall idea?

How about you dig a nice big hole and make a valley? Plant the banana in yet another hole within the hole and use all the extra dirt for a small hill around the outside. Line the "valley" with some ferns or something.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 4:46PM
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I'd wait till spring then divide the corm into peices, and trade or sell them the resulting ones, and keep a couple to replant in the old one's spot.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 6:25PM
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That would take one helluva hole in order to dig it deep enough that it wouldn't soon grow back to the ceiling! ~lol~ Sure wish I had this problem.

Is it possible to cut off some of the corm without damaging the whole plant? I once dug up a DC, washed off the roots and cut off the pups... didn't do such a good job... now, I just slice into the dirt and dig out my pups. I will say that the mother plant did survive and is now thriving, but it looked pretty bad there for awhile.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 11:17PM
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minibim(FL z10)

Her problem isn't the ceiling and I don't think AeAe's get much taller - her problem is the look of the plant is getting lost in the ceiling.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 5:44AM
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rayandgwenn(z11 Puerto Rico)

While moving our Ae-Ae, the wind caught the leaves and snapped the plant in half beyond repair. It quickly sent up a new leaf from the remaining trunk.
Hope this helps-

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 7:27AM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

I'd not risk it planted directly in the ground outside until I got some pups. That's not a cheap banana from Walmart!
Is it planted directly in the soil in your greenhouse, or potted? Because if it's potted, then I'd take it out and put it under trees for a little while so it doesn't sun/wind burn and then put it where you want it and keep it out until cool weather, then chop it off, and return it to it's rightful place.
Or you could send it up to Indiana to me, and I'll put it in my new greenhouse I'm going to be putting up soon, and I'll send you pictures of how pretty it is. Problem solved! ha ha ha!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 6:27PM
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fglavin(Knoxville, TN)

Some folks lean them over. Get something to prop it up with, dig it out a little in order to lean it over, and it'll reroot in no time. I would just leave it though. I bet that it'll fruit fairly soon, and pups won't be far behind.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 7:25PM
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