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Banana leaves

Posted by LagoMar USDA 8B/AHS 7 (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 29, 12 at 14:23

At what temperature do banana leaves burn from cold? In my neighborhood we have several homes with trees and all of the bananas are fine still but I noticed today less than 2 miles further inland they are fried. We were right around 32 or 33 two nights ago. Inland it was much colder. Also it was windy so frost was not a factor.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Banana leaves

32f or below is when I start seeing damage. Depending on how cold it got and the duration, sometimes I've seen barely any damage. While other times completely fried. I'm guessing it got no colder than 33f where your at, but further inland had frost. What state are you from?

- US_Marine


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RE: Banana leaves

I am in Virginia Beach Virginia. The thermometer at my house said 33 which would be consistent with the lack of damage here to the same plants that fried nearby such as banana lantana hydrangia impatiens etc. Even in spots in my own neighborhood I saw differences. Cannas burnt at some places but not others.


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RE: Banana leaves

Frost burns them at even higher temps but it was too windy for frost.


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RE: Banana leaves

I find that, depending on the variety, some can survive a night, or several, with overnight lows of 31 to 32 degrees. Right around 29 or 30 is where I start to see pretty significant burn. One night at 25 and they're toast right away. But yes, frost will do much more damage than just temps at freezing. Windy conditions do prevent frost. Basjoo usually holds up to freezes to about 30, but will show some speckling on the leaves.


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RE: Banana leaves

There was no speckling either. Im guessing if it dropped to freezing it must have been very briefly. I think that plants die even quicker if is freezing and windy because the cold gets through them quicker. On another note my mother in law who is Asian uses the banana leaves to wrap food. She asked me for some leaves this year so its not too late.


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RE: Banana leaves

So apparently banana leaves can handle temps below freezing. My neighborhood dropped to 31 on 12/31, but the bananas are still green... ish. Most leaves are green, but some are a bit scorched. Especially the wind-tattered ones. Many leaves seem unaffected. Check out banana cam below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Banana Cam


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RE: Banana leaves

Depends on the variety. I see least damage from cold on (in no particular order)...

Musa itinerans 'Mekong Giant'
Musa basjoo
Musa lasiocarpa (Chinese yellow)
Musa sikkimensis (Himalayan)
Dwarf Cavindish
Ensete (Abyssinian, red or green)

I see much more damage on the like of M. Zebrina or Siam Reds.


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