Pics of putting large ensete bananas to sleep for winter.

arctictropical(Z4)October 11, 2013

Here's what I do every year:

Pics before the hard freeze:

After hard freeze:

After they go in the pots, I stick them in my basement in an unlit, unheated room till Spring. I only water the big ones once during winter.

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lomodor(6)

what a happy group of ensetes.. :)
yours did especially well .. i was very neglectful to my
nanners this yr..:( my bad..
every yr i think..im fertilizing them well..
same with my EE's .. and my amorphs..
i think i need to put up a sign in the house come
may.. "FEED YOUR PLANTS !! "
LOL...
my tropicals are all out too.. 2 of my ensetes actually did
do pretty well..despite my lack of fertilizing them..
great pics !!!!!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 1:11AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Thanks Lomodor! Do you have any pics to share?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 11:10PM
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christine1950

They are so pretty, loved seeing all the great pictures.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 10:01AM
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stevelau1911

Gotta get mine to sleep too.

Do you suggest cutting off all the roots?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 2:23AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Hi Steve. Nice plants! I would NOT suggest cutting off the roots. Since they have fleshy roots, the roots help store moisture. Just repot them and let them sit in a cool dark place till Spring. Large bananas only need watering once in the middle of winter. Smaller bananas, maybe twice. I'm amazed how green and unchanged they stay in dormancy. It's as though they expected to go dormant and don't mind it at all.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 12:01AM
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stevelau1911

I've had them sitting in my garage now for a month, and haven't seen any signs of rotting or much change. The new leaves did try to grow a bit, but that has stopped by now. Now I just need them to stay dormant for another 4 months without rotting or anything. I'm aiming to keep them in spots that are 0C to 10C so they don't try to burn starches by trying to grow. I know they have fairly limited starch reserves at this size.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 9:18PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Great job Steve! My ensetes are still pushing out leaves in the basement, so I chop them off. As it gets cooler in the basement, they will finally go dormant. They are pretty forgiving when you force them into dormancy, thank goodness.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 10:53PM
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stevelau1911

Mine have pushed a few inches and dropped some weight, but in an attic where it averaged close to 10C with complete darkness, I think they will be fine there to sit another 3-4 months until it becomes appropiate to get them started again.

I hope they don't lose much more weight.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 7:19PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Hi Steve. They should do fine. They are very tolerant of dormancy. Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 11:29AM
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lomodor(6)

??so artic..r your ensetes starting to leaf some?? mine are some.. i think were gonna have a slow warming spring..going into summer.. not so bad for our water situation..even though id love for summer to be here NOW!! lol
i have kicked around doing what u do..overwintering..
i leave my nanners bare root inside..i spray the roots maybe once a month..but otherwise..they stay in the dark..bareroot..
u pot yours up after u cut them down..?? dont ya..?
some of my nanner plants get pretty big..i know yours do too.. even cut down..they r HEAVY !!!!!!!!!!
then in a pot with some potting mix.. oh my aching back..LOL
do u think u have better comming alive in spring from your nanners doing it your way???
with our utah short growing season..we have to pry out whatever growing time we can for our nanners..

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 11:26AM
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Bamatufa(7 - Trussville, AL)

Time to wake them up !

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 7:43PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Hi Lomodor & bamatufa. Except for my very youngest ensete which rotted, the other 5 are doing fantastic. I brought the two youngest up into the light and heat to give them a boost, and they are greening up and growing just fine. I actually moved my biggest 3 into a basement hallway that is not insulated, to keep them from breaking dormancy so soon, because they are already at the top of my basement ceiling and are extremely heavy and difficult to move, but they haven't changed at all since Fall. When I plant them outside in May they should get even bigger than ever before. With lots of water and fertilizer, they should be so large by the next Fall I worry about having a pot big enough to stick them in. I may have to go bear root for winter dormancy next time. I can't wait to see how big they get this year!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 1:17AM
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lomodor(6)

good to hear your ensetes are doing well..
same with mine too..but i wonder if i should pot them
up for overwintering..

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 6:18PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Lomodor.... I'm not sure whether potting them or not is the best. I've never really tried storing them bare root, but if it works, why not! I like re-potting them to help store them upright in my basement room and hopefully to keep their roots from drying out, but I'm not sure it matters.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 11:17PM
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