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How much mulch is needed for established Musa basjoo?

Posted by HiddenWalrus 5 Northwest Indiana (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 30, 12 at 23:01

I planted a three-foot tall basjoo in late summer of 2011, and it did very poorly. It grew only two new leaves that season, and in November, before first freeze, I chopped it down and put three straw bales over it and covered it in a tarp.

We had a mild winter without much snow and come April, it pushed through the straw all by itself, so I uncovered it and it really took off. By this November, it had gotten 8 feet tall with six or seven trunks all about the same size. Again, I cut it back to the ground before first freeze, again in late November. But this year I was not able to get any straw bales and only have a small mound of wood shavings over the plant so far maybe a foot tall, with a tarp over it to keep it dry. I don't think this is adequate mulch, but since the plant is so well-established now I wasn't sure. Does it still need a lot of protection, or is this minimal amount adequate now?

I don't know whether I could find any straw bales this long after halloween.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How much mulch is needed for established Musa basjoo?

I would say if its in a semi protected area with the mulch and tarp it will be alright. they really are very hardy and can take a real beating. cutting it to the ground its inducing it to pup so if you want to keep the height your gunna have to protect the P stem but if you just want a big mat of nanas you can do as you have been doing and it will be fine. If you do ever plant anymore I know most people above zone 6 plant them about a foot deep in the ground which helps alot in the winter.

RE: How much mulch is needed for established Musa basjoo?

Thanks. I didn't know they could be buried deeper. But I'm not going to putting in any more so it's a moot point anyway. The one I have already engulfs my vegetable garden where I planted it.

I know saving the pseudostem in my climate isn't possible, so I just chopped it to the ground again. Last year it did pup a lot but the stem also grew back from the cut point.

How tall could I expect it to get next season?

RE: How much mulch is needed for established Musa basjoo?

I was able to find a straw bale and I took it apart and covered the plant. So now it has 3 feet of straw and the wood shavings plus the tarp so I'm probably good to go now.

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