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Banana cold hardiness question

Posted by palmpunk z6b SE MI (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 20, 06 at 23:53

I am a first-year grower of bananas. I have several Musa Basjoo and another what I believe to be a Dwarf Cavendish. My question is, is the pseudostem of a banana resistant to frost and freezing weather, or are they just root hardy under these conditions? Second, are the leaves of all bananas frost-sensitive?(I'm assuming they are) I read that Dwarf Cavendish is hardy down to zone 8, but does that mean they'll come back from the roots under these conditions, or will the pseudostem survive and continue to grow again?
Thanks for the help.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Banana cold hardiness question

Musa basjoo leaves are said to take a degree or so of frost for a short period. The stems a little more. But if it gets too cold for too long, even musa basjoo crawls to the cross and turns to mush. The roots generally resprout suckers in the spring, if the root system has not been frozen solid.

Dwarf Cavendish are not very cold hardy. They have even struggled and turned black here in +8 degrees C. The root-system wil probably resprout suckers from this species too, as long as the corm does not experience frost, but in general this is not a hardy banana.

RE: Banana cold hardiness question

Mr. Bungalow,
Thanks for the input. I'm trying to find out if I can save my Musa Basjoo pseudostem by heavy mulching all the way up, or if it'll die either way, and perhaps I shouldn't even waste my time on the pseudostem, but rather just mulch the ground so that it resprouts from the roots. I'd like this banana to grow as tall as possible next summer. Also, this year, I planted the basjoos when they were a foot tall. Now the largest is at about 6.5 feet tall. Is there any truth in the statement that next year when they resprout from the roots, that they'll grow taller than this year?

Also, I do intend to dig up my Dwarf Cavendish and repot it and bring it inside the house for the winter.

Thanks again.

RE: Banana cold hardiness question

Go for it, protect the stems! Wait for the first frost to kill off leaves. Build a very thick cage and fill with dry hay, styrofoam boards may also be useful in outer edges. Cover the thing with plastic to keep hay dry.

A fellow in Chicago on this forum has done it successfully. And the critics said it couldn't be done.

RE: Banana cold hardiness question

Thanks for the encouragement. I'll definitely give it a try. I guess if that doesn't work, it should still come back from the roots and send up pups next spring. I'll never know for sure unless I try.

RE: Banana cold hardiness question

I like to messing with peoples heads. I enjoy the strange looks and people asking about is that a real tree or a Fake... I like to know how cold hardy it really is. I know the Japanese Banana tree can take Indiana winter nicely.

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