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Can I overwinter Ice Cream Banana in my area?

Posted by theyardman 6AB SE Michigan (My Page) on
Wed, May 27, 09 at 10:33

I just compulsively purchased an Ice Cream Banana Tree (2ft at $11) because they sold out of the Musa Basjoo very quickly.

Has anyone ever succesfully overwintered the I.C. Basjoo in this area or an area like SE Michigan. Very hot humid Summers, late onset of Winter, and absolute lows typically around 0 deg F?

Please advise...

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Can I overwinter Ice Cream Banana in my area?

Yardman, I think you probably could. They're zone 8 hardy from what I understand, and Musa Basjoo is zone 7 or 7b, so only a 5 or 10 degree difference in hardiness. Probably plant it up against the foundation of the house near a basement wall and mulch very heavily. Never done Ice Cream outdoors, but overwintered basjoo outdoors this past winter and overwintered Ice Cream in my garage.

RE: Can I overwinter Ice Cream Banana in my area?

  • Posted by john_ny z6/7 Sunset 34 (My Page) on
    Thu, May 28, 09 at 11:34

Here's a girl who overwintered one indoors, in Milwaukee. Take a look at this thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: Overwintering Ice Cream

Where can I buy Musa Basjoo in Area. RE: Can I overwinter Ice Cre

Thanks. This information is helpful. I've not had too good of luck with bananas resprouting, but on a sandy loam hillside with good drainage, I'm hoping for better results.

I bought the Ice Cream Banana because Telly's either didn't order any musa basjoo this year, or they were sold out of them. Any ideas where I can get my hands on one still this late Spring?


RE: Can I overwinter Ice Cream Banana in my area?

You'll never get Ice Cream to fruit, of course, in Zone 6, but it's theoretically possible for the mat to survive. Problem in Z6 is that your growing season is so short, the bananas won't be able to grow enough to form a solid mat before frost...and it's the size/thickness of the mat that contributes to cold hardiness. You could improve your chances by mulching heavily, and possibly even throwing a heating cable over the spot to keep the ground from freezing on exceptionally cold nights.

Even here in Z8a, getting a trunk to overwinter and continue growing/blooming in the spring is a crap shoot. Some made it this year, but the mat is mostly sending out pups again. I'm doubtful I'll get a bloom by July 1st -- which is about the latest to get ripe fruit before frost.


RE: Can I overwinter Ice Cream Banana in my area?

Guys, I hate to be a party pooper but I don't think it is the absolute lowest temps you have to worry about but the number of days and nights you have those lows. My soil only freezes an inch or two inches deep once every 10 to 20 years. During that time I may have 5 nights in a row when the soil freezes. How many nights do you get in SE Michigan when you have below 20 degrees? How deep is the freeze line? The roots probably will not withstand a sustaining hard freeze of the soil.

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