help me find a banana plant?

seth(z5 coastal ME)December 5, 2006


I want to buy my wife a banana plant, since I know she loves them, but I don't know which would be the best for my scenario.

I'm in zone 5 NH and we would be keeping the plant indoors during the winter and taking it out on the patio in the spring. I'd like a plant that will be 4' - 6' tall or so and suitable as an indoor plant. Edible bananas would be a nice bonus but aren't essential.

Thanks very much for any advice you have about which plant, where to buy, and any special care tips I should know!



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pitangadiego(San Diego, CA)

Tough one. You will need to consider a dwarf, but even they will be perhap 8' or more at leaf tip when full grown. Options include Dwarf Cavendish, Mahoi, Williams, Dwarf Namwah. Mahoi might be the shortest of that bunch, and a nice stout plant. Mauritius would be a possibility, but mine is only about 3' tall avfter three years - a little shorter than your target, but a well-mannered plant.

we be bananas

    Bookmark   December 5, 2006 at 2:10PM
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Dwarf Cavendish and the Williams will definitely get over 4-6 feet eventually. I think you should consider the super dwarf cavendish.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2006 at 10:43PM
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A plant I really like is 'zebrina'. The foliage is so pretty. Looks just like the Sumatrana 'X' photo recently posted.
I keep mine in pots, where they usually produce several pups and the plants don't get much more than 4' (the mother often dies, but there's always some pups to replace her). The plant can get bigger, especially if it goes in the ground.

I have found that this plant does well as a houseplant overwinter. The Super Dwarfs are nice and small, but they don't seem to like the cool, dry house conditions.

Whatever banana you get, over the winter you want to keep good air movement and high humidity, and don't keep the soil too moist or you may rot the corm/roots.

As for sources, you might look into Going Bananas.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2006 at 9:51AM
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for no more than it costs. I purchased a very scrawny musa basjoo from GlassHouse works. For the first winter I kept it inside and it really suffered in the home. I think it cost 12 dollars. The following spring I planted it outside here and after the first frost I cut it down to ground level and for two years now it has grown taller than the house. Perhaps you have a sheltered spot on your property or could even bury one of those heated cables in the ground. I`m amazed that this tree is growing here. St. Louis Zoo has many growing in many locations. Mine receives only minimal mulching and it is close to the house

    Bookmark   December 8, 2006 at 11:32AM
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seth(z5 coastal ME)

Thanks everyone!

I ordered a Dwarf Cavendish from Stokes Tropicals. We'll see how it does.

Also ordered a Windmill Palm, which is supposed to be suitable for indoor container use.

My wife is Filipina and I'm hoping to sort of create a tropicalesque indoor "garden" for her to remind her of home.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2006 at 12:59PM
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Windmill palms are very dependent of the sun so just make sure you bring it out on sunny days and do not over water it..

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 5:13PM
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