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Overwintering Red Banana

Hi there,

Can someone advise me on how to overwinter a red banana tree? I've grown it in a pot over winter and it is a nice size but not "adult size".

I've brought it into the garage now (we had one night of frost, I hope that didn't damage it), wrapped the pot with bubble wrap and stood it on a sheet of celotext. I cold-proofed the garage as much as I could but I think the garage door is not good at all and has lots of gaps, which means it gets very cold in there (if not as cold as outside?  - I'm going to do what I can to the door). The garage has a window so daylight will get in.

 

Now I heard two versions: One was to just cut the leaves and the other one was to cut the stem back to about 2 inches. I would like the tree to grow bigger next year and not just reach this year's size, so which is the best way to go about it? Does anyone know what temperature the red banana can take or if I need to bring it indoors entirely (we live in a tiny cottage and have no or not much space indoors really)

Posts

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,590

    http://www.gardenersworld.com/forum/talkback/talkback-protecting-banana-plants-over-winter/326.html

    An earlier discussion about this topic. 

    I don't know anything about banana growing - it seems to matter whether you have Ensete or Musa - do you know?

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Thanks for the link!

     

    I'm not too sure anymore... Judging by the photos it looks like the Musa ensete Maurelii. It has dark red foliage which become green IF in direct sunlight.

  • Providing you can keep it frost free........well fleeced and insulated at the roots, I can't really see any advantage in cutting it down.....either leaves or stem.

    In this climate it will become dormant........if the foliage and crown is dry, there shouldn't be any chance of it rotting back.

    Once the temperatures rise (Spring/early summer ), it should be thinking about pushing up new growth.  That would be the time to cut back any tatty/dead foliage.

    Musa basjoo is one of the hardiest for our climate but there are so many new varieties now ........is it possible to check back with your supplier for more detailed info/advice ?

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,167

    I overwintered a maurelii last winter in the greenhouse, the leaves went horrible and I cut them off in early spring snd repotted and fed it. Now its in a huge pot. I've cut off all the leaves, wrapped the stem in fleece, and put a carrier bag over the top. The greenhouse is kept just above freezing. I won't water until March.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • Okay, thank you. I cut most leaves back as they didn't look very healthy (tatty and limp maybe from the frost we had the other night), you could see that the low and oldes leaves were starting to rot (brown sap). I left the most inner leave which is still looking good and rolled up. I will wrap it in some fleece and see what I can do to the garage door... it is one of those metal doors where the joints where the metal "slats" attach it has obvious gaps... what a design...

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 24,602

    All I'd add is , remove the bubble wrap. It'll just the plant to sweat then rot. As others have said, use fleece, or even old net curtains .

    Devon.
  • I only have bubble wrap around the pot, I thought that was okay?

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,167

    Bubble wrapping the pot is OK

     Fleece can breathe so is better around the stem. The other way to do it is a cage of chicken wire stuffed with straw, which is breathable,and a sheet of plastic only over the top few inches, to keep any rain out (if your garage leaks).

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
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