Musa Basjoo in WNY

scijox(6)May 1, 2008

Hi, I live in Western New York (near Buffalo) and I was wondering if there's any nursery that sells Musa Basjoo. I really like the tropical look as it is extremely eye catching in WNY. I tried Lockwoods but they said they don't carry Basjoo due to a lack of interest (people complained they died over the harsh Buffalo winter). However with the amount of leaves I have at my house I am sure I could supply enough mulch to get it through the coldest of buffalo winters. If anyone has any suggestions of what nurseries to try I'll be sure to check them out.

Thanks,

James.

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tropicalbuffalo

First of all, I am new to his forum and this is my first post. Its a great source of information!
I live close to Buffalo and tried to find M. Basjoo in a few local places and could not. I just bought a plant online (ebay) and had it delivered about 10 days ago. It was a very small plant (about 3-4" in size), but has been doing good so far. It had given out a new leave few days ago and I can see another leave half way out! With the weather here going up and down, I have it indoors by a sunny window. I hope to bring it out in a few weeks and I plan to over-winter it outdoors with mulch. Lets see!!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 8:32PM
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scijox(6)

Yeah nobody seems to have it around here I'm sure it will make a great conversation piece. I guess I'll have to go online as well.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 9:17PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

James
Check out this Link Is anyone in z5 growing musa basjoo?
Penny

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 5:24PM
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scijox(6)

Thanks Penny that was a good read. I realize I will have to mulch like crazy but most of my land is forest so 3' of leaf mulch is nothing. My house is also on a hill so drainage shouldn't be a problem. I am on the zone 6/5 cusp but I would call my yard a z6. I guess I am going to have to turn to the internet to buy my Basjoo. Either that or just start calling every nursery in the yellow pages.

The basjoo was my more conservative idea. I really want to try a Trachycarpus Fortuni. Palm trees in Buffalo just makes me giggle. If anyone has any good website recommendations that would be fantastic.

BTW that ArcticTropical guy that posts here is like my idol lol.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 2:58PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

James,
You might want to try the members' that have it here at GW first before orderintg one online There are quite a few people that have it listed
Members' Exchange pages You may be able to get one for the cost of postage only.

Penny

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 4:56PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Here are a few online sources to get you started. The prices vary quite a bit.
Plant Delights Nursery
Ebay Express
Logee's
Brent and Becky's Bulbs

Penny

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 5:16PM
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scijox(6)

Yeah I'd be willing to do an exchange with someone near me. Ebay looks the best. I found a seller that is selling for $6. He/She has good ratings and has made many sales so it looks like a good buy. Thanks so much you've been really helpful.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 6:12PM
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scijox(6)

Just bought it from eBay I hope it can make it through the winter. If not then I am out $11 which wont be a big deal.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 11:17PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

James here is some info I found on a site that is blocked by GW for spamming so I have just copied their info rather than list the url They are in British Columbia so they are a little warmer than we are but they do have very wet winters

"Musa Basjoo is the hardiest Banana plant on earth. It comes from the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. When properly mulched it can handle -29 Celsius (-20.20F). This plant is a very fast grower capable of growing up to two feet in one week. The plant stops actively growing at 5C (41F)and at -2C (28.4F)the leaves start to die back. Protecting the plant can be done by cutting it back at 2 or 3 feet and covering with mulch and plastic. For the lazy gardener wrap the trunk of the plant with water pipe insulation. In the spring remove the plastic and mulch and watch it grow back very quickly. Once established we did no mulching or protection for several winters without any plants dying on us in our west coast climate"

Penny

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 6:33AM
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krazyaroider(Hamburg, NY 14075 Zone 6)

Wow, I don't check GW for a few days and it gets interesting!
I have grown Musa basjoo in my Hamburg yard. Water it well as it takes a lot of water and it will surprise you with how fast it grows. I grew it next to the basement wall that faces SW with good drainage. I let the foliage die back after it gets hit by frost and that is the mulch. I moved it as it grew too well next to the house and I have plans to grow Arums and other low growing plants there.
James - if you are interested in a clump of the "real" M. basjoo, let me know... I live pretty close to Lockwoods, near 7 corners...

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 8:55AM
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scijox(6)

I just got my order from eBay and it's in great condition. I gave it some water and plan to plant it outside soon. I actually kinda feel bad that I already bought it. I could always use another clump because hey that would increase the chances of one living. I live in OP so that's about 15 min away from me. I'd like to test it in a few areas too. If u have a lot I'd love some more. If you want I could pay you for this.

PS. If we do meet up don't be surprised that I am only 18 years old. I am very interested in gardening and read many books on it. I plan to study botany in college. I just want to be taken seriously in the gardening community even though I am younger than most gardeners. I am growing a large scale organic garden this year and everything so I am really into it.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 9:28PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

scijox
I am impressed! It is really wonderful to hear that someone your age take gardening and botany seriously and not just an elderly person's pastime. I hope you will keep us updated on how your Musa Basjoo and your organic garden does.

Penny

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 6:44AM
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scijox(6)

Thanks. And of course I will. Next year I'll either be crying because M. Basjoo didn't make it or like going crazy with "IT LIIIIIIVES."

I really want to try a Trachycarpus Fortunei (yes palm trees in Buffalo) but since I'll be in college I probably wouldn't be able to find a way to maintain it. I like how arctictropical used Styrofoam boxes with lights. If anyone in Upstate NY has tried this I'd like to hear back. I realize it's probably close to impossible but hey a guy can dream.

I'm really excited about my organic garden. My yard is so horrible for it (all deep shade with soil you cant sink a shovel into with the exception of a few areas like where M. Basjoo will go :)) but some friends of my family got a farm house so they have tons of sunny land they are letting me use. I was actually thinking of planting out this friday (I know it's risky). I've always wanted to garden but never had the chance until now to really get into it (plus I finally have the money to support this hobby). So yeah I know we're right on the 5/6 barrier and the dates are may 15/25 so I was hoping that I could get away with this fri because the long range weather shows temps never dropping below 40. Still though the soil temperature may be a concern.

I have read many books on organic gardening but none that are location specific. So any advice would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 2:36PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

scijox
You are a perfect candidate for wintersowing. It may be a tad late this year but certainly something to consider in the future. There is a wintersowing forum and Trudy has a website all about Winter Sowing. I actually have a couple of plants in the ground already. Yes this year it is a bit risky as it has stayed so chilly after that last warm-up we had last month but I have so many seedlings that I really needed to make some room and it is either pot up a size or two or plant out so I chose the 2nd option. My plants are not hardy perennials either.

Penny

Here is a link that might be useful: Wintersown

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 7:14PM
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chrisltropical

Chuck Hafner's in North Syracuse, NY carries Musa Basjoo! I was shocked when I saw them.

Hafner's only had large expensive Basjoos from Monrovia. Didn't see any starter plants that most mail order nurseries sell for $15. These were big $50+ four foot tall basjoos.

This is the first year I've seen Musa Basjoo in any Syracuse area nursery. Looks like hardy banana plants are going mainstream! :)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 11:00PM
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scijox(6)

Well my banana is doing great so far. I thought I'd post a few photos of it now then follow up with more as it gets bigger.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 11:58PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Very cool! Look forward to seeing that baby as it grows!

Penny

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 7:17AM
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krazyaroider(Hamburg, NY 14075 Zone 6)

I have not forgotten as I have been out of town since May 12. The two M. basjoo clumps - I want to make sure they are going to grow before we make any deals.

An excellent book is: Palms Won't Grow Here and other myths by Dr. David Francko. Just write this info. down and go either to Borders or Barnes & Nobles - they should be able to order it for you.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 9:13AM
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scijox(6)

Well it's been in the ground for a while now but it really doesn't look as if it has grown much if at all. I just want to know if this is normal (mainly directed at krazyaroider) I guess it's just the low air/soil temps. I'll be sure to post more pics as it grows.

I have heard a lot about the book and I would really like to read it. Right now I am working on "The Omnivore's Dilemma" but that book could be my next.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 10:12PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

scijox,
I will bet it is the soil temp. I noticed yesterday than my soil is just starting to feel warm. Up until now even on warm days it felt very cool. All my plants seem to be delayed this year even the hardy ones.

Penny

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 7:00AM
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juni_perez(6a)

Hi James.

I'm right next door in Rochester, NY.

I couldn't find any Musas around here, but I went on eBay and bought a few 1 gal plants there. I gave a away around here just to see how it goes with different people and let them know how to protect them in winter. Now I can compair results with them. So try eBay and see.

Regards,
Juni

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 5:27PM
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scijox(6)

Alright time for an update. So far my musa is growing pretty steadily. It's not going as fast as I had read about though (leaf every 2-3 days) more like leaf every 6-7 days. Anyway I just fertilized it. I just thought I'd show everyone the progress. I transplanted it to a pot because some construction work is being done near the garden where it was and I didn't want it to get hurt. It'll be going back there soon.

Anyway here's the pics.

:)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 8:27PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Those pics look great!

Penny

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 5:29PM
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juni_perez(6a)

Great pics...

My Musas are growing at about 1 leaf every 4-5 days. I planted them in pots with mixture of Miracle-grow potting mix and regular potting soil. Others from the plants I gave away aren't doing as well... they're getting VERY SLOW growth rates.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 8:57PM
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jean_mdc(z 4/5 NY)

Help !!!

I live by Albany New York and I am wondering what to do with my musa basjoo......it has been in the ground since spring.......my plan is to let the frost get it....then cut back the frosted part .....then cover it with pine branches for the winter. I have several babies coming up but I am afraid to disturb anything underground at this point so I think I have to wait until spring to get my new babies. Am I correct in what I am thinking? Any advice?

Jean

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 7:41AM
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