Help with Red Abyssinian...How to Winterize

glaswegian(5b, Ont)September 14, 2011

Hi guys,

First year for this plant for me, and it seems to have done well with the feeding and watering regime.

The big question I have is....Since I live up here in Canada, how do I overwinter this plant so I don't lose it? It seems to have grown huge from time of purchase, to now. My garage freezes so that option is out, I do plan to cut the leaf back and dig out the root. What are my options for storage in the basement?

Early in the spring pic

[IMG]http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c279/ikennedy/IMG_3135.jpg[/IMG]

what it looks like now

[IMG]http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c279/ikennedy/IMG_3479.jpg[/IMG]

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Bamatufa(7 - Trussville, AL)

Post on the "Palms" forum if you do not get an answer. I know there are some good northern folks on this forum who can probably give you some good suggestions.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 8:33PM
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rbirch(z5NY)

O.k. heres what I do with mine. I've had mine for four years now and the routine is I cut most the leaves off, dig it out and put it in the basement. It is very heavy but a labor of love, the payoff is worth it in the summer because I have this giant banana in my yard that is really a conversation piece. Oh by the way I am in Buffalo NY so if I can do it anyone can.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 10:19PM
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nucci60(6 Ma.)

I do the same. they seem to handle dormancy very well. I'm just wonering how long I can do this. They put out so much growth every summer and just get heavier. A large maurelii is a site to behold though.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 11:34AM
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greenpassion(z4-z5 VT)

I am going to try overwintering my potted ensete maurelli's bareroot in my basement this year, rather than trying to get the pots into the house. They are too big now. So do I wait until a frost hits, and cut them down to a few inches above the soil, then get them out of the pots, clean off the soil, wrap the roots in ??? and uh....??

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 11:20AM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Nucci60, Are you storing them bareroot in the basement? Do you put a bag or something else over the root ball? I have a large one that I kept potted in the house last winter and it was really big and I am not sure I want to try and pot it up again. I have some smaller ones that I have already potted up.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 1:52PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

I have grown ensete maurelli outside for 10-15 years. Each Spring I plant them right into the ground with other flowers. They do very well in our cool climate and get quite large. We have been fortunate this Fall. They are still outside due to our unusual warm Fall weather. After the main killing frost, I cut the leaves off and cut the plants back to 6-8' stumps, repot them into 15' gallon nursery pots, and stick them in the basement in an unlit, unheated room, the same room I have my food storage in. They do very well to stay dormant through the winter. I only water them once during the winter. Otherwise, if you keep the soil too moist, the roots could rot. Once I bring them up into the light and heat in Spring, they start growing again. This has worked well for me for years.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 11:13PM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Hi Kevin, I am surprised your plants have not froze yet. I have the one I got from you still planted in the ground and it is pretty big. Do you cut off all the leaves or leave one on the plant? Last year I kept it growing all winter and it got pretty big. I thought I should dig it up before we get the killing frost but it sounds like you don't so I guess I don't have to do that tomorrow.

Thanks
Linda

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 12:08AM
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rokal(LongIsland/z6b)

I store mine the same as arctictropical. However, I dig mine up 1-2 weeks before the first frost. I also cut off all leaves except the last unfurled leaf. These are really easy to overwinter and start growing rapidly in the spring. I haven't lost one yet.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 6:27PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Hi ya'll. I finally dug up my 3 large Maurelli. we have had major killing frosts for a couple of weeks now. Many nights got down to 17-18 degrees. No problem. I simply cut off the dead, frozen leaves back to the trunk (stalk), potted them up, and brought them in. The trunks look just fine. The trunks are so massage and full of water, the pots must weigh about 150-200 pounds each.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 4:39PM
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