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Tropical Zone Gardening: Bananas in Ohio?

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ceceoh
Columbus, OH
(Zone 6a)

October 23, 2007
4:05 AM

Post #4113368

My friend planted some very tall bananas in his garden this summer. Since he was moving to another place, he said I could take some and try to get them to grow next year.

I read in an article that bananas could be dug, up, stored in a cool basement or crawlspace with the leaves attached, and could be replanted next year from the corms. Trouble is, I had a lot of trouble getting some "pups" from these bananas. I even broke a shovel trying to get around one of these huge trunks (three stories tall in one summer? Yikes!)

Anyway, here is what I got: the two small bananas came out fairly easy, and I am storing them intact in my basement. Is this the right way to do this? Then I got these three pups, but I'm not sure there is enough of a corm there to sprout next year. Did I get enough of the plant to regenerate it next spring?

Thumbnail by ceceoh
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Islandshari
Kwajalein
Marshall Islands
(Zone 11)

October 23, 2007
11:27 PM

Post #4116172

Ceceoh, I don't know enough to help you, but I didn't want you to feel that you are being ignored. Not at all. Obviously people are looking at this thread, but don't know for sure what to say. I'm sure that pretty soon one of the nana experts will stop by to give you some definitive info. Just be sure to check back.
ceceoh
Columbus, OH
(Zone 6a)

October 24, 2007
4:41 AM

Post #4117260

Thanks Shari! Nice of you to stop by. :) I'm thinking I may have to move this to another thread, since you all in "Tropicals" really don't have to worry too much about overwintering anything. Hee-Hee!
Islandshari
Kwajalein
Marshall Islands
(Zone 11)

October 24, 2007
7:59 AM

Post #4117368

There are a lot of folks here that do just that! I'm sure that you will be answered soon...people are doing a lot of watching regarding the fires...a lot of our DG friends are caught in that mess in CA...hang in there...
Braveheartsmom
Hillsborough , NC
(Zone 7a)

October 24, 2007
4:09 PM

Post #4118580

Aloha Ceceoh, and welcome from me too!

Just like Shari, I have no experience on overwintering or even on moving bananas - ours sort of just grow into a grove and as soon as mama banana (say that three times fast!) yields fruit we chop her down which leaves room for her off spring.

Have you tried "Tropical Fruits" forum? I bet those folks will have an answer for you...

I hope you will visit us again!

Jenny
ceceoh
Columbus, OH
(Zone 6a)

October 24, 2007
5:57 PM

Post #4118947

It is my deepest wish to visit you all in person! It's cold here! :)

My goodness, Shari, I didn't think of that! I have a friend in L.A. who isn't in line with the fires, but has terrible asthma, so I worry so much about her breathing that smoke.

Praying for rain...
LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 24, 2007
7:06 PM

Post #4119177

cece,

I'm in the middle of Texas and my bananas are we what call root hardy here. The established plants die to the ground and I leave the foliage, cover with newspaper and pile on the mulch until next spring. For your babies I would definitely wrap in newspaper and keep somewhere above 50 for the winter. Don't plant until the nights are above 60 degrees next Spring. I am no expert but I do grow tropicals where they are not supposed to be.

Tropicman and rjuddharrison are definitely experts they are apparently busy right now. When they chime in they will tell the very best way. BTW, Stay with us. This is a fun gang.
Look over the Underthe sea threads, so exciting.

LouC
Tropicman
Bushland, TX
(Zone 6a)

October 25, 2007
2:27 AM

Post #4120734

ceceoh,
I think the 2 with the corms and roots will be your best bet,on the bananas,the other two,just don't have enough corm,to make it through the winter.
With pups that size,judging from the photos,they look to be 3 ft or under.
I never had much luck with storing bananas,under 4ft,in the crawl space and not turning too mush!
If you could pot these up,and keep under a fluorescent light in the basement,you'll have a better chance,of keeping them a live thru the winter.
When storing bananas under the crawl space,they need a temp above freezing and under 50*,too warm they dry up to nothing,to close to freezing,they turn to mush.
Every time I've stored them in the crawl space,I lose about 50% of the bananas,it seems they larger they were the better the chance they made it thru the winter,even if the trunk went on the mushy side the corm was still nice and firm.
If you want to chance it in just cutting the trunk completely off,and storing the corm,in a box of peat moss in the basement,like a person would do with storing canna bulbs,that usely
works in most cases,but potting them up,and sitting under lights water about once every 2 weeks or so,and mist the leaves often,is the best if you want to keep them the size they are now.
LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 25, 2007
2:33 AM

Post #4120757

Told you Tman would know the real stuff. Thanks, Don.
Tropicman
Bushland, TX
(Zone 6a)

October 25, 2007
3:33 AM

Post #4120958

LOL!
Thanks,Learned from trial by error!!!LOL
Really just hope and pray,has worked also!!!LOL
You never know whats going to make it and whats not,one winter never lost a single banana,then another winter lost over half of them,and did the exact same thing to over winter them.
But what works for me the best is to pot them up,and put under lights.
My tallest greenhouse is 11ft tall,and I have bananas that just the trunks are that tall,I potted them up,cut all the leaves off,even 3 ft of trunk off one just to get it there,and as a leaf grows
into the roof,I whack it off as it grows into the roof.
Islandshari
Kwajalein
Marshall Islands
(Zone 11)

October 25, 2007
6:29 AM

Post #4121210

Thanks a lot Don. Hope that helps, Cece!
Tropicman
Bushland, TX
(Zone 6a)

October 25, 2007
9:52 AM

Post #4121296

Shari,your welcome,anything to help a fellow gardener!
ceceoh
Columbus, OH
(Zone 6a)

October 25, 2007
12:15 PM

Post #4121529

Wow! Thanks Don! I'm thinking now that my basement is going to be too warm, even though I usually keep the house at a nice 65 degrees in the winter. I'll try potting those pups.

Everyone kept telling me to ask Tropicman for advice: never expected him to be a Kansas boy!
Tropicman
Bushland, TX
(Zone 6a)

October 26, 2007
3:40 AM

Post #4124507

Hi CeCe,
I just really want my bananas to stay alive,really don't care much whether they grow or not.
Because if they have somewhat of a root system,when I put them back in the ground next spring they will get off to a faster start.
If I store them in the crawl space,they go dormant,and when I re plant them back in the ground,in spring,it usually takes 60 days before the first leaf unfolds,because the plant has to grow a complete new root system from scratch,and that takes time,so for 2 months you just see a stem in the ground.

Yes I'm a misplaced person in life,I should have been born in Tahiti!!!!LOL
mistygardener
Saint James, MO
(Zone 6b)

November 2, 2007
4:18 AM

Post #4149260

Hi all, I just now decided to visit here and it is pretty cool! I bought some "Hardy" Bananas the other day and when I re potted them, there wasn't much more to them than the ones you are showing. In my Zone 6 area, my neighbor is able to keep Cannas alive, just by cutting the foliage and laying it on top of the ground where they grow. His grow and grow and grow, which leaves a lot of foliage for protection. I went over and dug some up yesterday, just about a 1ft by 2 ft area, and got a whole grocery bag full of rhizomes! I planted some of the smaller ones in with my Bananas, just so that I will have some decent growth for Spring and not have to wait! Although, I am going to winter my Bananas in the house since they are kinda poor right now. (75% off at Lowe's) We also have people in our town that are having what are considered annuals here that just keep coming back the last few years. Anyway, just my 2 cents worth. Gonna go look through some more of this forum! Misty
raggins
Paris, TX

November 2, 2007
11:08 AM

Post #4149512

I have a friend with bananas and she cuts them to about 6 inches and then puts hay on them. In fact she is going to do this tomorrow. They come back each and are beautiful. I brought in my papaya trees (they have been in pots for 2 yrs) and they are losing their leaves. They look very sad.
LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 3, 2007
1:59 AM

Post #4152281

Already brought in my plumeria last week and it is loosing it's leaves.l Have right under the skylight, too. Guess when nature says it is time to go dormant, it is time to go dormant. Lots of other things loosing the chlorophyl in the leaves too. Shorter days.

LouC
Gerard54
Tarentum, PA

November 3, 2007
2:00 PM

Post #4153301

I live in zone 6 (wetern pa.) and I`ve got a hardy banana variety that overwintered for me last year. I cut it down to about 10 inches and buried it with leaves and then covered the whole works with a tarp. It`s called a Musa Basjoo and I believe it`s the hardiest of the bananas.
mistygardener
Saint James, MO
(Zone 6b)

November 3, 2007
2:09 PM

Post #4153338

That is the same ones that I bought, and you are right, it is considered to be the top "hardy" banana plant. Mine are very poor right now so I will be overwintering them inside, but I do intend to put them out next spring and leave them in the ground. Burying them with the leaves is probably the best protection. My neighbor has his cannas that way and I am sure there is MORE than enough protection for them. Misty
LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 3, 2007
4:14 PM

Post #4153757

I think that is the variety of banana that I have. We have freezes but the ground doesn't freeze. I let mine freeze to the ground, pile it up, put newspaper on it and mulch heavily, early Spring, clean it up and put the mulch back. When the ground warms, here we go again. This one has only been here since June of this year and already has 4 pups.

LouC

Thumbnail by LouC
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mistygardener
Saint James, MO
(Zone 6b)

November 3, 2007
4:17 PM

Post #4153762

It's a beauty! Misty
Braveheartsmom
Hillsborough , NC
(Zone 7a)

November 3, 2007
4:32 PM

Post #4153807

Hey Christi, LOVE your flagstone path! I have been wondering what to do for paths in my garden to make a little safer for our parents to walk on, wish I could afford to do your path! With the miles of paths I need its going to have to be plain old concrete, hum, maybe I can color it?
LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 3, 2007
5:02 PM

Post #4153880

You didn't see a lot of it because there's not that much. If I could afford it I would put it everywhere. Thanks for the compliment.

This is the front of the house about 2 weeks ago after we had the huge tree cut down. It was to the left of the picture. The stone path here is of a much cheaper lot and we did the labor ourselves several years ago. Sure couldn't do it now. Obviously I make every effort to grow the tropicals even they are out of place. The front has peonie (all under ground now) and EE. Now that is a combination if ever there was one. Peonie needs lots of cold and well, EE's are tropical. What can I say? I do what suits me wherever I have the room.
Ironically, they do very good together. This is first year for the tropicals in the front and I expect the EE will take over next year. At least I hope so.

Christi

Thumbnail by LouC
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LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 3, 2007
5:03 PM

Post #4153882

Just can't seem to get the picture thing together today. Will try again.

Thumbnail by LouC
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pepper23
KC Metro area, MO
(Zone 6a)

November 4, 2007
1:32 AM

Post #4155206

Jenny, you can do a concrete path that is stained, and you could also do a concrete path with stone on both sides lining the concrete. At work we have limestone on both sides of the sidewalk-grouted in- and it looks great.
Tropicman
Bushland, TX
(Zone 6a)

November 4, 2007
4:10 AM

Post #4155694

Wow,thats nice,looks like a lot of work!!!!
Braveheartsmom
Hillsborough , NC
(Zone 7a)

November 4, 2007
5:15 AM

Post #4155765

Great idea Pep! we have two kinds of lava rock here, the smooth lava is called pahoehoe, and the sharp lava called a'a which is the sound you make when you walk over it in barefeet!
Really would like paths like Christi's...but that's a no-go!
Anybody know if you mix colorant in with the concrete when you are mixing or if you stain after it's laid but still wet? I would prefer a variation of color, not solid so perhaps throwing it on after it's laid would be the way to go?
I suspect it's going to be very heavy work for poor little ol' me - hope I live long enough to get to the end of the garden!
pepper23
KC Metro area, MO
(Zone 6a)

November 5, 2007
12:45 AM

Post #4158012

I have heard you can go both ways. I think you will still get varation no matter which way you do it.
Islandshari
Kwajalein
Marshall Islands
(Zone 11)

November 5, 2007
11:33 PM

Post #4161528

Had a friend who laid out the lines for a concrete path in a wavering flagstone type way, then after the concrete had semi hardened she drew lines (fairly deep) in the concrete to make it look like flagstone. After it had completely hardened, she colored in a random way with a copper colored wash and a moss colored wash...turned out gorgeous! and about a tenth the effort and the cost!
Marcy_1
New Madison, OH
(Zone 5a)

November 6, 2007
12:59 AM

Post #4161810

Shari...there are companies around here that make 'decorative concrete' like that ...walks...walls..etc. They are beautiful! And I'm sure they get big bucks for them too!
Islandshari
Kwajalein
Marshall Islands
(Zone 11)

November 6, 2007
3:04 AM

Post #4162331

Well Hi there Marcy! Welcome! Decorative concrete...sounds like an oxymoron, but the end results are very attractive aren't they?

Jenny, wish I could come by and help ya pour one, but alas, not this trip. Sure do envy you your pahoehoe...or even the a'a. When we find one little rock washed up on shore, its a big deal! Great for orchid pots!

Both ways, Pep? (Bad Shari, Bad!!) ☺
JPlunket
Vieques, PR

November 6, 2007
3:56 AM

Post #4162558

In my experience, bananas don't go dormant. You can plant them indoors in a light potting soil, keep them adequately watered in a warm sunny spot. THey are sensitive to not having plentiful sunlight, but once you can get them outside, they'll take off again, even if they get sort of spindly living indoors for the winter.
Tropicman
Bushland, TX
(Zone 6a)

November 6, 2007
4:46 AM

Post #4162656

JP,might that be you don't get COLD enough????
Today I just put cages around the trunks of a couple of my red tigers,wrapped with tarps,and filled with wood chip bark,then put poly tuf around all that,I've been trying for years to come up with a proven method for over winter bananas in the ground.
If the stems don't turn to mush the corms too!
I think the problem really is gets cold for a few days then back up to the 70's agin for a while. Just like it is going to do this week!!!!
LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 6, 2007
2:38 PM

Post #4163597

We have that kind of weather in spades, Don. We do have more warm than cold but that leaves many plants very confused. They continue to put out new growth only to have 2-3 days of freezing and it damages them pretty bad. Then there is 10 days of summer again.
Tropicman
Bushland, TX
(Zone 6a)

November 7, 2007
10:52 AM

Post #4166837

I know,that kind of weather drives me crazy!!!!LOL
JPlunket
Vieques, PR

November 8, 2007
2:53 AM

Post #4169809

I meant they don't go dormant if you bring them inside --sorry to confuse.

The only way they survive outside around here is if they're planted over an underground steam pipe, or kept from freezing by some other artifical means, and even then anything above ground will freeze and disintegrate.

Kept in a pot inside, they'll plug right along, and don't need (or have?) a dormancy period, like some other plants.
Tropicman
Bushland, TX
(Zone 6a)

November 8, 2007
5:32 AM

Post #4170318

It freezes in Puerto Rico?
JPlunket
Vieques, PR

November 9, 2007
12:12 AM

Post #4173241

No, definitely not --we live in DC full time still, though spending as much time in Vieques as possible. Sorry to confuse the conversation by showing only my fantasy domicile.

My bananas in VQS never quit --they're always the first gardening chore when we get there. They get too big, too fast, and need lots of cosmetic work if left untended for the typical 6 - 8 weeks between our visits.
Tropicman
Bushland, TX
(Zone 6a)

November 9, 2007
12:47 AM

Post #4173380

Thanks,for straighting that up!

Altho,from what I have been hearing about global warming,the northern hemisphere,is getting warmer where the southern hemisphere is getting colder,so I never know what could be changing around the world!!!

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