banana pics in pa (image attached)

gardenguy_(z6b PA)May 6, 2005

I've always been a big fan of hard to grow items, here are 2 pictures of my banana trees. Each in a different spot in the yard. These bananas have always been in pots and the 2 that you see are offshoots that I snipped away from the main banana tree that I purchased a few years ago. The reason that I decided to plant these outdoors is to see how big they can get in the ground. They have weathered a recent snow a few weeks ago and temps down close to 32 degrees. I have kept them covered with a heavy blanket at night for protection. Looking at weather.com, I see that we're in the clear for SW-PA. I have a 3rd banana plant in a pot, and will use suckers from that to re-plant year after year. I'm going to keep a photo log of monthly pictures to compare growth. As you can see from the banana pics, they are small and stubby. In the previous summers, they've been outside in pots. They tended to get very tall with few off-shoots. When bringing them in for the winter, they tend to sprout multiple off-shoots and growth rather stubbly, with each new leaf growing in before the other has attained sufficient height. Why this is, I have no idea. I've also watered them, after planting them outside with a good amount of fertilizer and use hot water via a hose connected to a spicket in the basement because of the colder nights. With the oncoming warmer weather, I don't think this will be necessary. Anyone care to take a stab at what kind of banana this is??? : )

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billie_ann(6b PA)

Gardenguy, I've only had two varieties, one is the musa basjoos and the other had burgundy spotches on the leaves. I didn't want to bring in the burgundy in so I gave it to a nursery. This looks like the musa basjoos but I really don't have a clue. Maybe someone on the Banana Forum could identify.
This will be my third Summer with the basjoos. It's been planted in the ground since I got it. The first year it grew to about 5 feet tall. Last Summer it reached 7 or 8 feet tall. It's in a raised bed so it has good drainage, heats up early in the season and is even taller in the raised bed. There were 4 offshoots and 4 of the old stalks started to grow back from the center. I thought the old stalks had turned to mush like the previous year. Don't know if it's due to the past Winter weather, thicker mulch or more established root system that they started growing back at the centers. I chopped off most of the offshoots for neighbors and friends. I kept the main stalk and 1 offshoot. I'll try to remember to take a picture of what's left growing out back tomorrow.
I also grow Angelica archangelica, which looks like a giant celery plant. It looks a little jungley out there. Billie

    Bookmark   May 6, 2005 at 8:35PM
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billie_ann(6b PA)

Gardenguy, The picture is a little hard to see that the center is growing back. Last years stalk was about 5 or 6" so I'm wondering if this will grow to that size. Don't think that you can see but another offshoot popped up. Billie

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 6:35AM
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gardenguy_(z6b PA)

I know each banana set has about 2 main stems and a few litle offshoots growing out of the main corm. These always get this way when I bring the banana in for the winter. I'll have a nice main stem, then that will die back for some reason while a multitude of stems grow up from around the main stem. The above pictures are what they looked like when I took them out of the pot. Since yesterday, we've had some warm weather, I can now see a new leaf from each plant has unfurled and grown out. The main stems are also pushing up again.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 9:41AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

It's amazing what a warm day or two can do! My Basjoo is still inside but it's soaking up every sunny day and sprouting new leaves again. After this weekend I think it's going out for the season.... I just have to dig up a spot for it.

GGuy - I always have a similar experience with the dwarf cavendish, no matter how hard I try the main stem would never make it through the winter.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 10:01PM
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gardenguy_(z6b PA)

Check out this link:
http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/532/

According to the link,
Danger: Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction.

What in the world is that all about?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 10:57PM
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