Here is more about what we do. Make the cage as high as the amount of pseudostem you want to protect. There are lots of suckers which I hope will grow now and stop it looking quite so ridiculous! If you don’t have the space or light to keep a banana plant growing in your home over the winter, you can force it into dormancy. ( Log Out /  It is mid October so although warm now, it will soon change so I have bought it in and cut off the shredded leaves. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Give it a try. Rather than simply abandoning your bananas to the whims of weather, you have several choices for protecting them for a return engagement come springtime. is not actually a tree. I have 1 ft tall ensete maurelli and musa basjoo and 1 4 ft tall basjoo. And here are two ways of doing so: Ensete ventricosum in my own greenhouse last winter. In the fall and winter, I left it under a big window and continued to water but now it doesn’t look as happy. It’s hardy to Zone 5 or 6, and can be overwintered in colder areas by cutting it back and providing a protective mulch around the stem. Putting the plant into dormancy following the technique explained Forcing Dormancy below will definitely end any chance of it flowering. Place the stump and roots in a cool (about 45 to 50˚F/7 to 10˚C) but frost-free spot, possibly a barely heated garage, a root cellar or a crawl space. Before we talk about how to overwinter banana plants, the first thing we need to get straight is that the banana tree (Musa spp.) And I confess that I write with pretty novice gardeners in mind. Moreover, in recent years, they’ve gone from being obscure plants you had to order by mail to something commonly sold in the average garden center. Are you referring to New Braunfels, TX? Note that there must be 10 other variations on how to store banana plants dormant indoors over the winter. Should I cut the babies and the main stalk? Remove the cage and mulching material when warm weather returns and the plant shows signs of regrowth. Of course, you have realize I live in Canada where winters are much colder than in your country. This first cold snap has me looking at my banana plants, several, keiki/baby trees have successfully started. Before you start moving earth, though, you’ll want to cut the plant back to about six inches tall. Musa basjoo routinely overwinters outdoors here in coastal Nova Scotia, since the late 90’s. In Zone 8b, you’re right that a sustained freeze isn’t likely, but temperatures do often drop below freezing in the winter. If it’s growing in the ground, dig it and it pot it up into a large pot using your favorite houseplant potting soil. Provide humidity by misting the leaves via a squirt bottle filled with water. ( Log Out /  You don’t need to be in as much of a hurry to bring a banana indoors if you intend to store it dormant. Hi. During the winter, water regularly and deeply as soon as the soil is dry to the touch. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Ideally you would also increase the air humidity, either using a humidifier or a humidity tray or simply by surrounding them with other plants to create a “jungle effect”. Cutting them back is generally recommended to preserve their health through the winter, and I would plan to mulch them well for extra protection. You only have to bring it indoors. In March, it’s time to wake up your banana plant up again. Granted that it might be different far inland or in frost pockets. You see, Mother Nature gave the banana a backup plan: a large underground corm (bulb) from which it can resprout if things go wrong. If the light is bright enough, in fact, it will look just wonderful as ever in only a month or so, when a few leaves have grown back. Musa ‘Siam Ruby’, seen in the first photo, is a prime example of a banana that is tropical. If you cut the trunks you destroy the flower stalks. I have first hand experience of this without using protection. You have a couple options in terms of where you place it indoors. Here, we’ll offer three ways you can protect and preserve your banana plant over the winter months: Perhaps the most obvious way to successfully overwinter a banana tree is to grow it in a container and bring it indoors when temperatures drop. They are now grown in more than 135 countries, mostly for their fruit, which is enjoyed around the world. The protection of the ‘trunk’ is simply to grow a larger specimen. You can wait until nights drop to 40˚F (5˚C) or even until there is a touch of frost, because you’ll be cutting off the foliage anyway and the corm, being underground, won’t be exposed to the most extreme temperatures. Bananas are very forgiving with the right care. If it is one of the more cold-tolerant bananas and you live in Zone 7 or higher, it may very well come back in the Spring. Expect to see slow growth during this period. Most bananas are 100% tropical and could never survive outdoors anywhere in the British Isles. Cut the plant back to about 4-6 inches above the ground, and then pile on at least a foot of leaves, straw, or other mulching material. Finally, watch out for spider mites: they just love banana plants, especially when the air is dry. I tell you what, one of these days I’ll write a more thorough analysis of Musa basjoo, including my own successes and failures. If you’d like to adorn an empty corner of your living room, make sure it’s a sunny spot and be sure to keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Given their native climate, it is unsurprising that banana plants are cold intolerant. Any advice would be appreciated! Replant when all danger of frost has passed. I’ve only covered one here, the one I use myself, but if you’re interested, you’ll find plenty of other techniques on the Internet. Begin to acclimate it to outdoor conditions when night temperatures remain consistently above 50˚F (10˚C). Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. They will suffer leaf damage at 32°F, and their underground rhizomes will die at sustained temperatures of 22°F or lower.