Bananna Trees -- Tip

magnolias4ever(8b)March 13, 2007

This is just something that I've learned (unfortunately the hard way). When your temps do dip down to freezing and your poor bananna tree turns brown and it's leaves die back, just leave it alone thru the winter. Don't cut the leaves off or anything. But do be sure to mulch the top of the ground near the roots with some straw or oak leaves.

In the spring -- after all chances of freezing temps have passed, just trim the bananna tree up by cutting the dead leaves back to the main stem. DON'T cut the main stem of the tree down to the ground (or cut it at all for that matter). Give it some time and it will begin to send new leave shoots out the top of the main stem.

Every year it seemed like I was "starting all over again" with my poor bananna trees. My neighbor was doing the same. Until I learned that it is not correct to butcher them up.

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beachplant(9b)

I whack mine down to the base on a regular basis. They send up new pups like crazy.
Just depends how far north you are.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 9:26PM
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surfbreeze(9 TX)

But unless they are 'ornatas' don't they tend to produce fruit better when they are not cut back so severely?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 10:30PM
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lac1361(z9a Lake Charles, LA)

Most ornamentals will bloom within one growing season in the south, Zones 8, 9, 10. Fruiting bananas need generally 15 to 18 months of frost free weather to produce ripe fruit. During the winter this schedule becomes interrupted due to cool weather as the banana stops growing when temps are consistently below 50 degrees. Since the bloom moves through the pseudostem and emerges like a leaf, cutting off the stem at ground level could prevent the banana from blooming. When winter is over, I usually cut back to good, clean, live tissue removing the frozen, rotten part of the pseudostem. The banana should continue to grow by pushing out new leaves. I have experienced cutting the pseudostem and finding the emerging bloom.

It's good to leave the dead leaves on but as soon as the weather moderates, they should be removed as they tend to begin to rot and the rot can get into the pseudostem and kill the stalk.

Steve

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 1:30PM
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beachplant(9b)

Whatever the local naturalized banana is it will produce fruit the same year you chop it to the ground. Good thing since the wind has a tendency to topple them every year just about the time the bananas start to ripen.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 5:34PM
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surfbreeze(9 TX)

I live about 2 miles from the beach and have several varieties in my yard (Cuban red, rojo, mysore, orinoco, dwarf cavendish, cavendish dwarf, and ornatas (lavendar, bronze, royal purple), veluntina, Interestingly, only the ice cream made it without browning everything, and even some of the leaves stayed green despite having a couple of mild freezes here. All the others are very brown, though signs of life have returned at the top of the brown stalks. The ice cream stands tall and even has some fruit hanging. I had cut the ornatas all to the ground as they historically have produced flowers annually. I cut some of the lower brown leaves on Sunday of the ice cream. I will need something higher to stand on to get the upper ones as they are very tall. Awesome!! Even my papaya is loaded with fruit and pretty tall, though all of the leaves except the uppers had to be cut off. Citrus already developing buds. I love these milder winters we have been having.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 7:18AM
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beachplant(9b)

We never got to freezing but the wind did a number on the nanners in my yard & on the deck. Velutina was the only one with no damage. Dwarf cavendish, rojo, chinese yellow and the naturalized ones really took a beating. I think the naturalized might be an orinoco. Lavendar wasn't too bothered but it is on the South side of the house. Several are in big pots on the upper deck. They gotta go in the yard this year, take up too much space there.
I'm about 6 blocks from the beach here, about 1/2 mile to the Bay. New growth on all of them.
The papaya bloomed through it all & now has tiny little fruit.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 2:20AM
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honeybunny2(Z9TX)

This is the first year, that I cut my banana trees, I have the red blood banana. I took them down about 1/2 way from the top, I hope I did not make a mistake doing this. The tips and leaves had been frozen. Barbra,

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 10:10AM
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jewelbaby1224(6a)

Hi,
from Newby in Conroe. I'm open to all tips on Texas bananas.

We inherited a 40+ yr old mat and have cut them down each year which is a big mess. Last year we dug out lots of transplants, heavily mulched and got our first fruit.

I did not cut down the new plants this winter and they are coming out nicely.We now have 3 mats and I want to grow fruit. They're just huge green Musa's that get up to 20' tall. They are beautiful.

I've started working with the bananas and now am ready to start on tropical landscaping, including the fruiting kind.

We are open to all sugestions!!!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 4:53PM
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