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PlantFiles: Japanese Fiber Banana, Japanese Hardy Banana
Musa basjoo

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Family: Musaceae
Genus: Musa (MEW-suh) (Info)
Species: basjoo (BAS-joo) (Info)

9 vendors have this plant for sale.

50 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Category:
Perennials
Trees

Height:
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

Spacing:
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Danger:
N/A

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow
Cream/Tan

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly

Foliage:
Grown for foliage
Evergreen

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 70 photos.
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Profile:

37 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive nzivanovic On Aug 2, 2014, nzivanovic from Smederevo
Serbia (Zone 8a) wrote:

Generally speaking, as far as the family banana Musa basjoo is one of the fastest banana for me. I got in late last year, it has risen by almost a meter so far and let the two lugs. I keep it in a pot because I want to strengthen it then goes into the ground with all the shoots. He knows he has a good thick trees, of course, if not jaw when removing sheets. I told her not cut the leaves until it dries. Generally suffer all the conditions are well proven as regards short frosts but as to the long frosts below 0C leaves but the tree remains frozen even if the protection when they know exactly harsher winters and to grow and has a huge list of what I extremely like about this species bananas.

Positive jv123 On Mar 31, 2014, jv123 from Vancouver, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This banana loves the Vancouver/Portland area. I don't do anything to protect it in the winter, and it pops up in March at the same time as my hostas on the south side of my garage. I bet if I were to protect the pseudostem over the winter I would get flowers. We get plenty of rain here for these bananas too, I hardly have to water them. The only thing I worry about is too much water in the winter. It rains nonstop and I have had some issues with corms rotting in other banana varieties.

Positive Bill2462 On Dec 19, 2013, Bill2462 from Bedford, OH wrote:

I grow these plants outdoors in the Cleveland, Ohio area (zone 6). After the first hard frost, I cut the trunks back to a few inches and bury them under 1 to 2 feet of mulch. I then tarp over the pile. In the spring, lumps start appearing in the tarp and I know it's time to remove it. I remove the mulch around the beginning to middle of May depending on the weather.
The plant seem to be completely deer proof although japanese beetles will chew the leaves. I tried adding an insecticide to the ground around the plants that's taken up into the leaves and that seemed to eliminate the beetle problem. I have had the plants for 4 years now and they reached about 9 feet tall this year.
Things I learned:
1. Banana plants do not like clay soil. I dug a large hole and filled it with a mixture of potting soil and perlite to improve drainage and then planted in that mixture.
2. Plan to water often. Every day in the heat of summer is not too often and every other day may be to seldom.
3) Fertilize often. I use a slow release fertilizer but liquid fertilizer is also great.
4) If the winters get really cold in your area, don't leave too much trunk on the plants. If the entire trunk is not well covered with mulch over the winter, it will freeze and act like a wick which will transfer cold down to the roots and kill them as well. I lost a few of my largest plants that way, trying to cheat and get bigger plants.
5) Allow space for the plants to spread. I planted two and probably have about 25 after 4 years. They send up babies from the roots right next to the existing plants. If you decide to dig up a small plant, wait until it gets to about 18 inches tall. It doesn't have enough of it's own roots until then.
6) Coco shell mulch and pine bark soil conditioner are excellent for protecting the plants over the winter. Both are light and contain a lot of dead air spaces to insulate well. The pine bark soil conditioner is generally cheaper.

Positive ROBTROPICS On Sep 25, 2013, ROBTROPICS from Pembroke, MA wrote:

I have been growing these in MA for several years. My first came in the mail from FL and I planted it outside in the spring. It took off. It had bananas this year in late June. There have been many pups for future growth. I use uplights to provide a real tropical look at night.After the first frost, I cut the psuedostem to 2' and put a chicken wire cage around and fill with pine needles and cover with tarp. I unwrap on april 15th.

Positive CrispyCritter On Jun 13, 2013, CrispyCritter from Clayton, GA wrote:

Here in North Georgia at the Southern end of the Appalachian mountain range these are growing like crazy.

I bought my first basjoos online about three years ago and as of this week one of those plants has flowered for the first time and making tiny bananas. (I was very surprised to see this as it is still late Spring)

For the first few years I took lots of care of them in the Winter- piling leaves up 3-4 feet around them, and putting a plastic teepee over them.

Last Winter I got lazy and only put some leaves around one of the plants, I didn't cut them down or do anything to them, just let the frost kill the leaves back.

It only got down to 18F last winter at the lowest but they have definitely survived 11F in previous years.

At the slightest hint of Spring they start trying to push new leaves.

Lately the local garden center started selling these (none of the chain stores do though) and I've bought two more to plant out in other parts of the yard. They are obviously VERY hardy plants and grow at least a foot a week in the growing season, and will stay green till late November or later!

I love these musa basjoos in my tropicalesque garden, they go great with other hardy tropicals like Windmill palms, Hibiscus Mosceutos, bamboo, cannas, etc.

Simply amazing, beautiful, exotic plants!

Positive mmosley On Dec 26, 2012, mmosley from Pine Bluff, AR wrote:

These guys are troopers! I know winter isn't over yet, but I had to comment on this banana.
Here in southeast Arkansas, it's perfectly cold hardy--even in unusually cold winters. We're in zone 8a (more like zone 9a lately).
I have specimens planted all around my house, and here are my observations of its cold hardiness--particularly its leaf/growth hardiness. At 32* F, expect the leaves to burn some, though not completely. But once colder temperatures set in, all the leaves will burn. The ones with pseudostems/"trunks" 2-3 ft tall are still pushing green growth very slowly. Their offsets will turn to mush, but will come back in spring since they're root hardy.
One planted on the north side of my house--the coldest part--has 3 feet of pseudostem, and it's still pushing green growth after a total of 15 light freezes, 3 moderate freezes,18 light frosts, 3 moderate frosts, snow and sleet on Christmas day, and a low so far of 24* F, with plenty of rain, a water line that busted and flooded the area it was planted for 2 days with nights a little below freezing--all this with no protection whatsoever. It's powdered with snow, and it's still pushing green growth!

Positive SuburbanNinja80 On Jul 18, 2012, SuburbanNinja80 from Plainfield, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love this banana... for two reasons. One it survived the winter without problems with a rose cone on top of it. Other reason its staring to out completed my cannes which am very surepressed that live this last winter.

Positive NTRLVR On Apr 1, 2012, NTRLVR from Roscoe, IL wrote:

We planted 2 of these in the summer of 2010 on an eastern exposure protected from winter wind by our deck and house. The winter of 2010-11 was bitter and extra long with cold and frost through the 3rd week of May. We had covered them with oak leaves in hopes of insulating them further. At the end of June, we gave up hope.However, while weeding in July I discovered growth on one. We dug it up and potted it and it grew very slowly. We brought it in this winter, but I believe if it had been a milder winter that year, it would have flourished. We are 5 minutes from the northern ill/ southern wisconsin border so this plant is very hardy!

Positive braun06 On Oct 1, 2010, braun06 from Peoria Heights, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Quite an easy plant to grow. A business near my house has them planted along the foundation and they come back year after year, now in very large clumps. I have planted one in my yard and in peak heat and humidity would get a new leaf roughly every week.

It doesnt appear to be bothered by insects in my yard. I had a rough summer with Japanese beetles, aphids, spider mites, and white flies. None of them attracted to the plant. Keep it watered and fertilized through the summer. Water once a week if there is no rain. In the winter just cut it down and mulch deeply. Here in zone 5a I am able to keep a plant alive as a dieback perennial in a deep mulch bed far from any structure or form of protection. Wait for daily low temps to reach into the 60s to see it break dormancy and start growing above ground.

Positive ilikebananaplants On Jul 16, 2010, ilikebananaplants from Philadelphia, PA wrote:

I've had the Musa Basjoo growing in front of my home in Philly for 8 years now, I never bring it indoors even during the coldest winters! all I've ever done was to add two foot of mulch the first time I planted it and in the fall I use the leaves from the plant itself to cover the ground where it grows. Thats it! Every spring I get anywhere from six to ten plants poppin' out of the ground that grow to about 15 foot or more! How easy is that! ;0) (it really is that easy!) EDIT: I forgot to mention for the past 3 years I've cut the plants down to about 4 to 5 feet instead of 2 feet during the falls end when the weather gets really nippy, the trunks survived all 3 years! they loose about 2 feet but I have gotten them to grow out of the surviving trunk which I think is really cool! I'm sure if you live in or around Philly you know our winters are harsh!

Positive truecamelion On Jul 13, 2010, truecamelion from Westerville, OH wrote:

Howdy All,
A quick thought on the cold weather prepping of the banana, and or all sensitive plants for that fact. I read in this thread about using Christmas lights (handy idea) to keep the base of the trunk warm enough to prevent freezing.
That made me think of heat tape. Not sure if anyone is familiar. We use it here in ohio and most cold places to prevent freezing of pipes and such out doors etc. It is an extension cord shaped piece of "tape cord" that kicks on when ambient temps fall below avg 40 deg f.
Any thoughts on whether this would solve the need to bring indoors in the really cold winters nights with heavy winds.
Thank you all. and continued success be yours.

Positive RBKC On Jun 6, 2010, RBKC from Kansas City, KS (Zone 5b) wrote:

I've grown basjoo outside year around in Kansas City, Kansas for 9 years. Before the first freeze, I cut them down to about 18 to 24 inches and mulch with DRY leaves. They are then surrounded by insulation and covered completely with a tarp. Any water that gets in will take them to the ground as a mushy mess. They'll still come back, but not to the height they would have reached if they remained dry all winter.

Dependent on the weather, I've uncovered them as early as early April, and left them uncovered as late at the middle of November. Doesn't always happen that way, but five or six weeks of additional growing season makes a big difference with these fast growing plants. I water heavily all summer and feed with either regular MG or Peter's every couple of weeks. They appear to be heavy feeders. They get full sun and while the leaves will droop in the hot mid-day sun, they spring right back.

These plants are quite the conversation piece in my yard here in Kansas City, Kansas, especially when they bear fruit. I find that a plant here will take three years to produce bananas. The fruits are virtually tasteless, but the sugar water in the flowers is very tasty. (The bees think so too.) I usually have at least 20 or so growing in various states, and they will easily attain 15+ feet in a single season. I've uploaded two photos.

Positive purplesun On Apr 17, 2010, purplesun from Krapets
Bulgaria (Zone 8a) wrote:

My hardy banana is just coming out of the ground after a long winter, where temperatures hit +3 degrees F. The trunk was protected by means of a chicken-wire cage, packed with dead leaves from my garden. The crown of the plant was covered with a reasonably deep layer of well-rotted manure. Despite these measures, the trunk had frozen by the middle of the winter and was just an indistinct rotten mass when I removed the cage. The crown looked well though, and now new shoots are coming around the base of the old plant. I expect at least three stems to grow and reach 6 feet by the end of the season, if I'm lucky.
All of this is happening in Sofia, Bulgaria, 2300 feet AMSL, zone 6b.

Positive my_own_hawaii On Jan 30, 2010, my_own_hawaii from Tulsa, OK wrote:

I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma and first planted my musa basjoos in spring of 2008. I originally purchased 6 plants from a local nursery and they were very small 1qt. containers. They did not have much of a corm back then. They grew up to 15ft by that first growing season and I had multiple pups by fall. I harvested the pups to start more basjoos and grew the pups inside during the winter and left the mother plants outside. I really did not do much winterizing other than cutting the plant to about a foot back and dusting the base of it with about 3 inches of mulch and dead leaves. We barley had any winter temperatures under 28 F but there were a few days that it did get pretty cold. In spring of 2009 they tops of the basjoos were a nasty mushy mess and I thought I had surly lost them, so I began to dig them up. Just the main site where the original stalk was, had rotted. I dug the entire corms up and cut away all of the rotted area and plopped them all back in their holes. Gave them a shot of millorganite and watered them. They all came back and with a fury too! I had masses of these babies!, Each original plant produced 4-6 pups and the pups themselves were growing like crazy! Well here is where the bad news starts. I was injured pretty badly in the Fall and could not get outside to dig up any of my tropicals. I lost hundreds of caladiums, some uprights, and some tropical cannas. I just had to sit and watch this winter eat them up! I even did not get to put any additional mulch on my bajoos either and did not get to cut them back. Christams Eve we had 14inches of snow and two solid weeks of temperatures ranging from 0 F to 15 F. Well last week all the snow had melted and it was about 50 F outside soI had finally started to recover enough from my injury that I got my crutches out and made it to the murder scene and began to see if there was anything left of any of my tropicals. I began to dig up soft caladium bulbs and maybe saved a few that were fairly firm. I dug up all of my EEs ,and uprights with about half of the bulbs/corms rotten at the surface level to abut 4 inches down. FInally I crawled my way over to my first musa basjoo and was not looking forward to seeing its mutilated mushy mess. I cut all of the dead plant off and dug up the entire corm. There is a good 1ft across the corm that is just total mush but about 60% of the main corm was still solid as a rock and I see some tiny pups on it. I went ahead and took the poor thing inside and cut all the rot off with an electric knife. SO here I am with this pretty good sized 15lb corm that is just mutilated. I am wondering if I can treat this like I do my EE's and just cut off the rotten part, let it dry out and store it in a dark cool place and then replant it in the spring, or should I pot it up in a container and start watering it. I was also curious if I could actually Divide the main corm into quarters and pot them up so that they are more manageable in size because right now I would need a HUGEEEEEEEEE container to accommodate this corm. I really do not want to loose this plant. I could not find any last year in any nursery here, so I really want to keep this plant alive if it isnt too late anyways. I have 6 more main corms outside still and right now there is 1/2 inch of ice on the trees and surfaces outside and 8 inches of snow on the ground. The rest of the basjoos may already be dead from this latest round of winter weather. I swear I would dig them up in the snow just to save these guys if there is still hope! Please does anyone know if I can treat them like my EE's? Or if I can cut up the main corm into 1/4's? Storage like a bulb? or pot it up? Any help or other experiences like this would be just great! Thanks.

Positive austinl01 On Mar 27, 2009, austinl01 from Sherwood, AR wrote:

The best banana to grow in colder climates. It can grow to 20 feet in one season in an established clump. Provide mulch during the winter if temps fall below 15 degrees. It's simply an awesome plant to grow for a tropical effect.

Positive arthurb3 On Jul 5, 2008, arthurb3 from Raleigh, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Raleigh, NC

I wrapped the trunk with the large C-9 christmas lights and they kept it warm enough during the winter that there was not die back. The leaves were burnt when the temps were below 25 but now, in June the plant is taller than the first floor of the house. I hope to see a bud and blooms soon!

At JC Raulston Arboretum at NCSU they have some large clumps that bloom every year and they only cut them back to about 4 feet in the Spring to remove burnt folliage.

Arthur!
http://www.arthurinthegarden.com

Positive joegee On Apr 9, 2008, joegee from Bucyrus, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

I gave this plant the best microclimate on my property, against the south foundation in a window well protected from the north and west winds. With a foot of leaves mounded over it, it has rewarded me by surviving this typical zone 5b-6a winter.

This is truly a musa for the masses!

Positive mactee On Dec 13, 2007, mactee from Kingsville On
Canada wrote:

My Basjoo has been growing for two years near the North Shore of Lake Erie near Kingsville, On. I originally started with a 1 gallon pot and a 7" plant. I fertilize it with the filtered sediment from my fish pond. I winter it (cut to 3') using chicken wire, mulched dry leaves and a tarp. This year multiple plants reached 15+ feet with 6' leaves. I split some of the pups (with some root) late in the summer and put them in small pots. They are currently thriving indoors in an East Facing Patio Door Window. My goal is to plant them outdoors in the Sping. They are definitely the show piece of the yard. What a great plant!

Positive BearKnuckles On Nov 4, 2007, BearKnuckles from Fort Washington, MD wrote:

This is my first year with this plant and I want to make sure I over-winter it correctly. Currently it is about 7 foot tall, I've put straw around the base and trunk, but have not cut it back.

Also, I have brought one of the off shoots inside. I got through the mild winter just fine, I took chicken wire and a bail of straw, I wrapped the trunk up about 3 feet with the straw, using two sections deep, then putting the rest around the bottom. This past Saturday I uncovered it and cut the dead mushy part back leaving most of the plant standing, (three foot) I noticed a couple of new shoots at the bottom and today there is a new leaf coming from the main trunk. It is winter burnt on the tip but it is still growing from the main trunk...

The plant inside has done very well, it had a off shoot and is being harden off to spend the summer in a pot in the yard...
again an excellent plant and looks to do good in the Fort Washington area of Maryland

Positive plantsman1957 On Nov 3, 2007, plantsman1957 from Kingsport, TN wrote:

These have got to be the easiest banana species to grow anywhere. They easily stand neglect and drought better than most plants. Mine in a good year will have pseudostems exceeding 10' tall with leaves over 6' in length. We've been in a severe drought all summer and fall and I've not watered them at all this year and yet they stand proud and tall and look nicer than most of the more tropical species that you will see in Florida. A more vigorous plant you'll be hard pressed to find. If you do decide to water and fertilize them regularly, be prepared to be impressed.

I'm in northeast TN right on the VA state line where I've been growing them for almost fifteen years and people still can't get over the fact that I'm not only growing real bananas but that they are growing in my yard and live through the winter. If you can keep the main pseudostems from becoming completely frozen through, they will come back from them the following spring and get gigantic the next year. If they get frozen through, they will come back from the numerous suckers around them and even they will get quite large the first year.

I'd recommend that first year plants get a large mulch of straw or pinestraw the first winter or two until the underground rhizome get's established. Do not use leaves for the mulch as they retain too much water and you risk rotting the plants. I almost lost mine one year early on by constructing cages of chicken wire and filling them with leaves. I'd recommend cutting the stems off to about 1'-2' high after the first really killing frost. If you wait to remove the old foliage and freeze damaged stems until the spring, it's a royal mess and a huge job. After cutting them down, just mound up the straw or pinestraw a couple of feet tall and at least two feet out from the plants and you'll be fine. Once you notice growth in the spring, remove the mulch so that they'll respond to the heat and then stand back! They will literally produce a new leaf every week or so once it warms up.

The only pest I've encountered is Japanese beetles, which do minimal damage considering the size of the leaves. The biggest problem you'll have is removing suckers so that the growths aren't so close together which might be an invitation to a fungal or bacterial disease. They grow so well that you can easily have a sizeable grove in just a few years if you're not aggressive with all the suckers that sprout up. They will root easily when removed even if they don't have any apparent roots if the cut is treated with flowers of sulphur along with a little Rootone.

I've seen them in bloom at the person's who gave me my start and even though the inedible fruit will not mature due to cold, they are still impressive. I've sold a bunch of them at yard sales and have people stopping by to ask for starts of them all the time. My plants came originally from a lady who brought one sucker home in a napkin in her purse from her husband's family's estate in Italy back in the 1970's. They are very popular as a landscape plant all over Europe and the UK. Grow them for the tropical foliage effect and you won't be disappointed!

Positive luvpugs On Oct 30, 2007, luvpugs from Indianapolis, IN wrote:

This was my first hardy banana plant. I live in Indianapolis and my yard faces south and east. I get a lot of sun. It was in a gallon pot when I planted this beauty... it grew to the top of my gutters!! Beautiful plant.Here it is a few days away from November and it still looks great. I tried to dig up a smaller "baby" yesterday but I do not know if I should just cut the large plant down and mulch it.This morning my transplant looks a little wilty.The rootball is huge on the large plant.What should I do?

Positive fixnta On Jul 23, 2007, fixnta from Macungie, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Macungie, PA zone 6(b)

I grow it on the south side corner of my home, the first year it grew 8' from a tiny 7 inch plant. I just cut the plant back before first freeze, covered with 4-5 inches of mulch and the following spring i pulled some mulch back and it grew to 12'! That year I did not get to mulch it and it still came back, 6 plants, however as of this date they are only 4-5 feet tall. I live on a main street and people often stop me while i do yard work and go on about it. I planted purple Castor on the oppisite corner for a tropical look up north here. Keith

Positive CodyMody7890 On Jun 14, 2007, CodyMody7890 from Reno, NV (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is positively my favorite tree in the yard completly stunning ! it is sold at a local nursery and they said " just try it " and it is doing great has grown about 2 feet in a week i hose down the leaves on hot afternoons and have it in full sun is doing great considering the high winds i have but a great plant im sure its hardiness range is lower than mine and we get a few night below 0' and i just put a bucket of mulch over it *AND WATER IT TWICE A MONTH DURING WINTER* it preserves the roots

Positive tropicsofohio On Jun 3, 2007, tropicsofohio from Hilliard, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

i am interested in seeing the growth rate for its first year in the ground. i would love to see it grow a cupple of feet in the next month. lets hope its a quickie :-)

spring 08' update:
i think it survived, though parts of the corms were mushy. i hope the deeper parts of the corm can bring the plant back, and if not.........

march 09
simple protection of christmas lights and mulch worked! after -14F i expected it to die compleetly to the ground, but there is still 3 inches of pseudostem left above the ground.... but we are not aout of the woods just yet.... expecting +4 in the next couple of days. and still about another month of winter weather.

Positive cactusman102 On Mar 11, 2007, cactusman102 from Lawrence, KS wrote:

Musa basjoo is a relaible perennial in zone 6a/5b (lawrence, ks). I am a landscape architect and have used this plant in our plant designs at least 50 times in the last 4 years. Small 1gal sizes should be awoided in cold climates; they usually do not have a chance to get established. We use 5-7 gal for all plans. we have never had to replace an established specimen. The plant dies to the ground by december and regrows in early april. Its growth potential in our area is 18 feet but more typical heights of 7-10 feet are achieved. We are experimenting with several other root hardy tropical plants to use as perennials.

Neutral SW_gardener On Feb 4, 2007, SW_gardener from (Zone 6a) wrote:

According to my information this plant is hardy to 5 if well mulched and maybe even zone 4.

Neutral 1cros3nails4gvn On Oct 8, 2006, 1cros3nails4gvn from Bluffton, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

in lexington, sc the fiber banana is very common and needs little if any protection during the winter. it is the same here in hilton head , and usually keeps leaves and keeps growing a little in the winter unless a severe cold snap hits. Then it gets damaged, and then continues growing. the reason it is planted in the lowcountry is because of the color of the flower sheaths and that it keeps its leaves usually. otherwise if the gardener is like all y'all yankees up north, they will just grow the edible friuting kinds so they can be more "tropical".

Positive hostajim1 On Aug 20, 2006, hostajim1 from Port Orchard, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

for the first 2 years I didn't protect the stalks in winter and they would die back to the ground when we had that one cold blast that we get here in the Seattle area. so last year I dug them up in late fall and put them in long boxes and put wood chips around them and stored them in my unheated garage. in the spring I planted them out. there was no damage at all. but this year they are 7 feet tall. so I'll have to find a larger box or find a different way to store them. hostajim1

Positive Raper On Aug 19, 2006, Raper from Seattle, WA wrote:

Our tree is growing fast, and overall we're extrememly happy with it, but its looking more and more yellow with the leaves turning brown around the edges. Has anybody experienced this or have any suggestions on what we can do to compensate for this problem? The soil drains well and other plants within the planter are thriving.

Positive mylocaldj On Oct 17, 2005, mylocaldj from Louisburg, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plan grows well in most soil conditions provided it is mulched well. In fact, I have had great success growing these trees where the soil was so hard that I had to use a pick to break the soil enough to plant it.

Do not expect the plants to really take off until year two. Then look out, they will multiply and grow around 14 feet in one year. If you count the top of the leaves in the measurement, they can achieve 20 ft in one year!

The most significant pest that attacks these trees seems to be the Japanese Beetle. Of course is there anything in this area that escapes these pests?

Positive Biker1 On Oct 11, 2005, Biker1 from McLean, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a fabulous plant in McLean, Virginia. Mine is on its 4th year and thriving. I have given baby banana plants to at least 4 people who have also had great success with them. Mine is the focus of my "tropical bed." It makes all the workers from Latin and South America homesick. It has grown to about 13 - 14 feet tall each summer. In the fall I cut it down to about 1 foot and mulch heavily with leaves. I have sometimes covered it with landscape fabric as well. I do get tired of being asked "When will it produce bananas?"

Positive growin On Sep 10, 2005, growin from Vancouver, BC (Zone 8b) wrote:

I've had my Musa basjoo for over a decade and it's a large clump. Protect stems from frost produces taller plants the following year. I use a cage filled with leaves covered with a black bag. Good fast grower when properly fertilized. I use fish fertilizer and very organic/compost soil. Once flowers/fruits stem dies. Propagate from division or tissue-culture.

Positive justinmc On Jun 22, 2005, justinmc from Wichita, KS wrote:

With the cold winters and hot dry summers, it's hard to find anything nice to grow in Wichita Kansas. However, the musa's have done just WONDERFULL! They have come back year after year without fail. The only problem so far... all of the neighbors want a start! My hearts too big and I give the "pups" away. Guess I need to be more stingy. Love the plant and dont mind the extra watering in summer. This plant is just wonderfull! Am submitting a picture.

Positive hardyinokc On Mar 3, 2005, hardyinokc from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

I have had my musa basjoo in the ground less than a year. I mulched it in with about a foot of straw this winter, and it had a new leaf coming out BEFORE the end of February! I am SO pleased with this plant.

Positive RRRupert123 On Feb 24, 2005, RRRupert123 from Solon, IA wrote:

I have a musa basjoo at my house here in iowa. all you have to do to prepare it for winter, is to cut the trunk down to 10" or 1'. THIS THING CAN GROW 12 FEET IN ONE SUMMER!!!!!

Positive Chamerops On Sep 19, 2004, Chamerops from Leiden
Netherlands (Zone 8a) wrote:

Here in the Netherlands it's a fabulous plant. Not many Dutch believe this is possible in Holland..but it grows fine in my garden as a shade giving patioplant after 4 yours in growth.

Positive llr On Aug 28, 2004, llr from Enumclaw, WA wrote:

I bought my musa basjoo in the early spring and is is doing fine here in Enumclaw, Wa. It is now time to put the plant in a larger pot. My plant has many pup growing up from its base and I am not sure how to remove them with out harming my plant or the pups. If any one would give me some advise in this area, I sure could use it. Thanks

Positive aviator8188 On Jul 13, 2004, aviator8188 from Murphysboro, IL (Zone 7a) wrote:

Musa basjoo is said to be cold hardy to temperatures as low as -20F. I recently purchased a Musa basjoo back in May and planted it in the ground. It seems to grow rather quickly, currently 1.5 inches per day during this heat wave. Seems to thrive here in Murphysboro, Illinois(USDA zone 7a). I have driven by many yards here in extreme southern Illinois and saw this specimen thriving at over 14 feet tall. It is a perennial to this area dying to the ground in late fall and returning in the spring. One must keep it out of the wind to prevent the leaves from ripping.

Positive wnstarr On Oct 15, 2003, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

My Musa basjoo was purchased in a gallon pot several years ago. I kept repotting until it got so big that it was impossible to move the pot. It survived year round on the deck here in western Washington state, losing its leaves in the winter, but would quickly re-leaf in the spring.

I finally moved it into the ground in a protected corner next to a Koi pond. It is now over 14 foot tall and has 9 trunks. Adds to the tropical look in a wet and cool state, but it still has yet to bloom and bear fruit. I doubt it will, but is worth the effort for its shock value in the garden. It needs good rich soil, plenty of water and protection from the winds to keep from shredding the leaves. it benefits by a nice topping of steer manure in the early spring.

Propagate by offsets.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

,
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, (2 reports)
Alabaster, Alabama
Gaylesville, Alabama
Tucson, Arizona
Bella Vista, Arkansas
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Sherwood, Arkansas
Sparkman, Arkansas
Berkeley, California
Fresno, California (2 reports)
Martinez, California
Mountain View Acres, California
San Francisco, California
Clifton, Colorado
Brooklyn, Connecticut
Uncasville, Connecticut
Apopka, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Lake Worth, Florida
Merritt Island, Florida
Miramar Beach, Florida
Port Saint Joe, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Trenton, Florida
Winter Haven, Florida
Yulee, Florida
Alto, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia (2 reports)
Clayton, Georgia
Dallas, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Richmond Hill, Georgia
Chatham, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
Murphysboro, Illinois
Normal, Illinois
Peoria, Illinois
Anderson, Indiana
Plainfield, Indiana
Solon, Iowa
Kansas City, Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Vinton, Louisiana
Bishopville, Maryland
Fallston, Maryland
Fort Washington, Maryland
Preston, Maryland
Pembroke, Massachusetts
Detroit, Michigan
Sterling Heights, Michigan
Warren, Michigan
Ballwin, Missouri
Imperial, Missouri
Jefferson City, Missouri
Omaha, Nebraska
Reno, Nevada
Chester, New Jersey
Morganville, New Jersey
Trenton, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Staten Island, New York
Cary, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Gastonia, North Carolina
Louisburg, North Carolina
Oxford, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina (2 reports)
Weaverville, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Bucyrus, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio (2 reports)
Conneaut, Ohio
Hilliard, Ohio
Massillon, Ohio
Sandusky, Ohio
Vermilion, Ohio
West Chester, Ohio
Westerville, Ohio
Jay, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (2 reports)
Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Portland, Oregon (2 reports)
Salem, Oregon
Aliquippa, Pennsylvania
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
Greencastle, Pennsylvania
Hummelstown, Pennsylvania
Macungie, Pennsylvania
Mc Keesport, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Beaufort, South Carolina (2 reports)
Bluffton, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Ladys Island, South Carolina
Leesville, South Carolina
Lexington, South Carolina (2 reports)
Liberty Hill, South Carolina
Little Mountain, South Carolina
Lugoff, South Carolina
Lydia, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (2 reports)
Pelion, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Sumter, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Kingsport, Tennessee
Sweetwater, Tennessee
Carrollton, Texas
Copperas Cove, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Rowlett, Texas
American Fork, Utah
Mc Lean, Virginia
Alderwood Manor, Washington
Allyn, Washington
Artondale, Washington
Belfair, Washington
Bellevue, Washington
East Port Orchard, Washington
Lake Forest Park, Washington
Lynnwood, Washington
Puyallup, Washington (2 reports)
Quilcene, Washington
Seattle, Washington (3 reports)
Shoreline, Washington
Tacoma, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Vashon, Washington
White Center, Washington
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Sandstone, West Virginia
Mc Farland, Wisconsin
Cheyenne, Wyoming



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