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Wrapping Banana Plant for Winter

RP32RP32 Posts: 47

I have two Musa Basjoo banana plants planted in the ground approx 4ft tall. In preparation for their first winter, I was thinking to wait until the first frost makes the leaves droop then cut them off leaving the full pseudostem. From here I am wondering if best to wrap with a few layers of horticultural fleece, some layers of bubble wrap on top and then a plastic bag taped over the top to protect against water ingress. Is this a good way of doing it or will the plant be unable to breathe? Does anyone else have any tried and tested methods?




  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,465

    Hi image

    I don't think plastic is a good idea - the usual way is to use straw - the info you need is here 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Christopher LLoyd recommended  'a thick padding of fern fronds', left until the appearance of ' a new (if tentative) leaf from the top'. Also a thick mulch around the plant in winter. Basjoo increases by rhizomes so you can. if so inclined, dig up a plant in spring and pot up offsets. They are deep, so unlikelty to be affected be frost if well mulched.

    This is all on his say so , as I have never grown one and never could where I live!

  • I'm not sure what variety my banana plants are but they winter very well here on the south coast.

    I was given a clump of my sisters garden containing a few shoots that every time she saw pop up she quickly whipped the mower over to get rid of them again! I didn't do much with it, left it on the ground over a harsh winter and watched it turn to slime. I was happy to see little green shoots once the weather started to warm up so I planted them in the garden quickly and year after year they just keep on growing and multiplying, they don't tend to stop even through the winter... while cut back and wrapped against the cold!

    I always wrap them the same way, remove all leaves with a sharp kitchen knife, cut back trunks to around chest height, stand most of the cut off leaves upright around the trunks and then wrap with a few layers of garden fleece, filling any gaps loosely with the leaves.

    Warning - The plants will release quite a lot of clear sap as soon as you start cutting leaves and trunks,  it may be clear liquid to start but will stain clothes brown and not wash out!

    The centres of the trunks continue to grow from the cut so I check and cut them back from time to time as it does lift the fleece up and expose the bases to frost.

    I've had them in the garden for 6 years now but this year I am shocked at just how big they are, certainly no dwarf stock at over 15 feet tall and 28 inches around the base!  

    Wrapping for winter is going to be a mammoth task this year...

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