Abyssinian Banana Central Valley California

antonyeoAugust 14, 2006

Has anyone had any sucess growing Abyssinian Banana in the California Central Valley? The average temperature here in the summer is about 102-degrees (Zone-9). I have several types of banana plants growing this year, but I am hesitant about placing them in the direct sunlight. Currently I have them under a large nylon canopy; plenty of light but no direct sunlight. They don't seem to be growing as fast as advertised. I feed them liquid fertilizer every 4-6 weeks and water them about every 2-3 days. The humidity here is pretty low most of the time, so I installed a mister under the canopy. To avoid hard water stain I installed a calcuim filter on the mister line. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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unautre(8B San Antonio TX)

I have several bananas, including Ensete ventricosum/Abyssinian red, that do much better in partial/bright shade than in direct 95F full Texas sun. In that sun and heat, they stunt if don't actually burn up. Move to shade, and they take off. the En. ventri. also stays much darker green, more wine color out of the direct sun.

I don't think the bananas are that sensitive hard water, but if you want you could acidify a bit.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 9:00PM
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jenna1(AZ)

I have two that are in full sun. I live just a little south of Sacramento and yes, it gets darn hot and dry here during the summer months.

When I originally bought mine I planted them in my shade garden. They didn't really do very well at all. Two Springs ago I moved them into full sun and all I can say is WOW!! They're huge now! The only time I've fertilized them is in the early Spring. They get plenty of water, often on a daily basis. My husband jerryrigged a PVC pipe sprinkler to the top of a fence which keeps that whole bed well watered and cools the plants off.

Because my beds are very thickly planted the soil stays moist, even during the hottest of heat, because no sun hits the soil. Some weeks ago, when the temps reached 117 for almost two weeks, the only problem I had was that some of the lower leaves burned somewhat, but much to my surprise, not as bad as I thought they would.

I think that part of the reason they're so huge and didn't suffer too badly in that heat spell is because the sprinkler system sits about 6' up on the fence and cools off not only the banana plants, but the other tropicals in that area. When it's really hot I usually run the sprinklers not only in the morning but in the very late afternoon or early evening as well. With the cooler temps that we've been having the past week or so, I only water every second or third day.

Hope this helps.

Jenna

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 10:22AM
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antonyeo

Thanks Jenna, Do you grow any plants in a container?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 10:05AM
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jenna1(AZ)

Yes, I grow lots of plants in containers, but if you mean do I grow bananas, I only have one in a planter. It's a Sabrina which is a pup from another that I have inground in my garden. The mother plant is in full sun until about 4 pm and the containerized pup is in a spot that gets full sun until about 3 pm.

I also have 4 brugmansia's in containers and grow several types of cannas in large planters. Mainly because I'm running out of room in my back gardens. I have about 15 brugs inground and can't even count the different varieties of cannas that are inground.

Jenna

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 11:17AM
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antonyeo

Jenna

Do you move your container bananas inside during the winter? I know zone 9 is supposed to be fairly safe but on occassion we can dip to the 20's.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 5:43PM
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jenna1(AZ)

No, I don't. The only plants I bring into the house in the Fall are the house plants that I've had growing on my covered patio during the Summer months.

I do move my containerized brugmansia's under the awning/patio cover in the Fall, however. This helps to keep them from suffering from some of the hard frosts that we get from time to time. The small Zebrina banana that I have in a pot will also be moved into this area. All my other bananas will stay where they are over the cold months. No way am I going to dig those monsters up.

Last Winter the mother Zebrina bit the dust, but I had several pups come up from the roots to take her place. The other inground bananas looked pretty bad by the time last Spring rolled around but with some pruning, fertlizer, and water, they picked up really fast and have looked really good throughout the entire Summer, despite the heat.

The Ab's and the Zebrina are the only bananas that I've ever grown so I'm definitely not an expert on 'naners, that's for sure. But if I can find a good spot where I won't overly mind pulling something out, I plan on trying my hand at a fruiting banana next year. The real problem is trying to figure out what type would do good in this climate.

Jenna

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 11:27PM
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