Overwintering

pauln(z7B Arkansas)November 6, 2012

Hello folks. I'm sorta new to the whole "tropical" thing and have one simple question. A friend gave me a banana plant two years ago. It did great the first summer, and I dug it up and kept it bare-root in my cellar. This year, it started out great, but eventually a big wind "tumped" the whole thing over and I kept trying to find a place where it would stay upright. My question: Can I cut the entire plant before moving it into my cellar, or should I leave it as it is (6 feet)? I think starting out shorter next year will keep it from tumping in my shallow raised beds. I'm in Central Arkansas, zone 8. We usually have mild winters with the occasional arctic blast where temps seldom get below the mid teens (F). Some folks say to cut to the ground and mulch heavily with straw. Anybody had any luck with that?

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pauln(z7B Arkansas)

I really enjoyed the tree, especially summer a year ago. We've had two really hot and dry seasons, and the weekly addition of a new leaf kept my spirits alive. It's been growing in half shade with a late afternoon blast of west face sunshine. My steep hill is composed of raised rock terraces, so the soil is usually no more than 2 feet deep.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 11:09AM
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miketropic

you can cut it back as short as you want if your not trying to get a full size plant. it will also set the fruiting back a bit if you do it like that. If your not interested in getting fruit or your growing an ornamental then it really dosent matter at all cut it back as much as you like.. alot of overwintering does depend on the type though. please post that if you know.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 3:57PM
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pauln(z7B Arkansas)

Thanks miketropic. I have no idea as to the species/variety. It was a daughter plant from my friend's big one. He usually gets flowers/fruit, but his is in more sun and much better soil. I think I'll cut it back a bit just so it won't be so top heavy. I'm not concerned with flowers and really want the giant leaves mostly. I'm not brave enough to leave it in the ground with heavy straw mulch.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 7:55PM
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miketropic

once you cut it back just keep an eye on the top for rot. if you see any rot cut it out and so on till the weather warms up and it will take right back off again.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 4:24PM
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