How To Make Annuals Into Perennials?

shady_character(5A)August 30, 2006

I hope that title catches someone's eye! Here in S'ern Wisconsin dwarf bananas are sold by the finest garden centers to be used as annuals for the uber chic like me ;) to get the tropical look in the dairy land.

I know nanners are really perennials and would like to experiment with carrying them over to next year. I could do a gray, dark windowsill approach but would rather not if I could get around it.

It's been suggested to me that the plants can just be cut off and stored cold over the winter and restarted in spring. They're currently in #1 containers. I have a cold storage room that stays around 50-55F most of the winter. Can I do this? And if so, what are the technical details?

Thanks for any help!


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dilbert(z5 IL)

Yes, but I don't have much experience doing it that way.

Last fall, I had an 7' Ensete 'Maurelli' in an 18" pot. I decapitated it just above the meristem and put the pot in a cool, dark part of my basement. I expected it to die so did nothing else. In early April, I put it into a warm greenhouse where I start my seeds. I gave it water and fertilizer. Much to my surprise, it grew very fast. I put it outside in the middle of May. It was back to 7' by the end of June.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 1:14PM
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Thanks! I'm just going to try several things since I've got three plants that cost me next to nothing.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 10:22AM
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Depending on how big they are, you could probabbly keep them at the 55 deg temps, give them some supplemental light from a grow light, easy on the water and they'll probably be ok next spring. But hey...I'm in Florida, so I just leave mine in the ground all year...Z

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 6:11PM
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