Overwintering a banana in zone 5a

Stevi_KSeptember 2, 2006

Has anyone in the Chicago area overwintered a banana in a pot? I plan on digging it up and wrapping the root ball with plastic and storing it in my basement. But the more I look at it I really don't want to cut it back in the spring and would like to try and keep it in a south facing window in a very large pot, then putting it back out in the summer. I have it growing in a whiskey barrel right now and it has 5 pups. This is my first banana. I have a musa 'Rowe Red'



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orchidboy01(9b Orlando area)

Stevi- That should work fine. Just remember to control the spidermites it will get. A little soap and water in a spray bottle will help. Robert

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 4:17PM
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I'll also be growing a few of mine inside over the winter - you should be fine. Make sure to slow down the water/fertilizing schedule to let the plant growth slow down until next spring.


Can you give a little more details about controlling the spdermites (i.e. regular dish soap? once a week? etc)?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 10:37AM
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Thanks Robert.
I am so happy that I don't have to cut my banana down.


Here is a link that might be useful: My Rowe Red

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 11:43AM
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I just posted a similar question for my basjoo. Would the smae apply? I would rather not cut mine down, it is in a pot right now, bring it indoors and let it grow, slowly, over the winter and then plant in the ground come late april.

For spider mites, I also heard to keep a fan on to help circulate the air will help control them.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 11:43AM
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dilbert(z5 IL)

stevi k,
That really rings a bell. I grew my first banana in half a big wooden barrel when I was about 14 in 1960. The Cavendish was from a sucker I stole from Garfield Park Conservatory. After growing it to about 3' during the summer, I kept it during the winter near five adjacent south facing windows. I don't recall having trouble with mites. It did fine, but I don't remember what finally happened to it.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 12:26PM
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chena(z8 Texas)

I wintered all of mine over in the house the smallest being about 3 ft. Humidity was the only problem I really had. I'm sure they would have liked a little more light but all were survivors...

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 6:11PM
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Well, I'm not in Chicago but I have a suggestion. Do you have a basement or garage where temperature doesn't drop below freezing? Dig it an put it in a $15 garbage can. If you have a window, place it as near as possible. If you don't have room to stand it up, lay it on its side. Water ocassionally but do not wrap in plastic. Plastic will encourage mold, mildew and rot. Bananas are tough. When spring comes you can replant and it will start growing leaves from where it left-off the previous season. You can also wrap in burlap and put it in a crawl space if the crawl space doesn't freeze. Crawl spaces often have mice which may eat on the plant. My mother kept her bananas in a basement garage for years.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 11:51PM
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I have a question on this subject.
my mother in law has a 8' banana and she wants to know if she can cut it off before bringing it in for the winter. she has a room with valted roof and it will fit but it will be hard to get it in there with out cutting it , but we don't want to kill it.
thanks michelle

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 9:28PM
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You can cut them, the are hard to kill. It is probably not going to grow and look nice inside during the winter so if cut, she may as well put it in the basement or garage. BTW, most doors are about 80 inches so you should be able to tilt the potted plant to get inside.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 11:45PM
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