Best Edible Banana to grow in California

crazy_roseOctober 21, 2005

I am interested to grow edible banana plant in my garden. I am new to gardening. I live in California, city is Fremont. Can you help me to identify which zone I live in? What kinds would be best suited for my climate? Where would I get banana plants or pups on a reasonable price in California. I would appreciate any suggestions.

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One inexpensive source of bananas is swap meets. I have seen pups sell for about $3.00, & 6 specimens for about $10.00. The varieties might be unnamed, but sometimes they are unusual, and sellers will often present their fruit alongside the plant. Another source is Asian markets. They are more expensive, but I recently saw 6 edible varieties in pots for about $25.00. The cheapest bananas I have found are at the dollar stores  unnamed varieties for, of course, $1.00.
Having said all this, if you want named varieties, others will probably suggest nurseries. They also sell them at your local department and home improvement centers , but you need to check out the varieties to see if they are edible.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2005 at 7:17AM
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laterita(7b Holland (dr))

You can look for your zone yourself, see link.
Search for a banana with a lower rate than your area.

Here is a link that might be useful: usda zonemap CA

    Bookmark   October 23, 2005 at 8:31AM
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Here is another that uses your 5 digit zip code.

Here is a link that might be useful: Zone by zip code

    Bookmark   October 23, 2005 at 7:08PM
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On using "usda zonemap CA" then I find my zone as 10a and according to "Zone by zip code" (my zip code - 94555) then it says "The maximum plant hardiness zone for your zip code is 9."
What should I consider (10a or 9)?

Hi Baci, Thanks a lot for your suggestion. Let me search for the local swap meet and Asian Markets. I usually get my stuff from the local nursery 'Regan Nursery'. I would check with them too.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 12:45PM
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laterita(7b Holland (dr))

To be sure, take a low number. ->9b
In a south facing garden with hedges, you could try 10a plants. USDA is only an indication, not reality. You could also have a cold winter.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 1:30PM
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joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

Usually if you are closer to the Bay, the harder it is for bananas to bloom. The cooler year round area prevents the blooming and often the banana chokes out. Although bananas do not suffer frost damages, there is simply no bloom in most cases, this is the major complaint of banana growers aroung the vicinity of the cooler areas in the SF Bay. The farther you are from the influence of the sea temperature, the better are your chances. If you live more inland, or farther away like San Jose, Gilroy, south facing hilly portions of Fremont, Antioch, you will have more consistent fruit production.

The only proven one that has consistently produced even in the cooler Bay Area is the California Gold. You may have good microclimate that is warmer and perhaps other bananas would be bear fruits. Here are the other bets aside from California Gold: Raja Puri, Misi Luki, Ice Cream, Brazilian (dwarf and regular), Namwah (dwarf, regular and pearl), Orinoco (dwarf and regular), Goldfinger, Mysore, Rhinohorn. These are the varieties that you would look for. There are more, but they would require really warm soil temperature to bloom.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 1:31PM
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Joe is right on the money.
Many varieties of bananas just don't do well close to the bay. They may put on nice growth, but if and when they do flower, the fruit doesn't develop right and it rots.
This even happened to me here in Modesto with Goldfinger.

Anyway... if anybody is interested, I have some nice fat California Gold rhizomes that i'll let go at a very reasonable " midwinter " price.
Drop me a line at... tropic2tropical(at) if interested.


    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 4:34PM
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hector(z10 SoCAl)

That "zones by zip" is incredibly conservative. It lists my small zip code as 10 and 8. Zone 8 is 10-20F. Even the coldest microclimate hasn't seen

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 2:55PM
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I would be interested in the varieties California Gold and Texas Star. Thanks, Mick

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 12:27AM
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