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Thread: Going bananas

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Staten Island, NY
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    121

    Going bananas

    Musa basjoo


    John_NY
    USDA Zone 6/7
    Sunset Zone 34

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Central Indiana Zone 5a
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    John,

    I know you don't have a very long growing season there, but still do you ever get to harvest any fruits from your banana trees?

    Plus, how about sharing your growing techniques with the rest of us. Growing a Banana tree in my back yard, or even the front would really trip out my Landlord! Almost makes me want to try just to see if I could blow his mind!


    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    279
    Rebecca, I was surprised to find out that Musa basjoo, touted as the most cold hardy banana, doesn't produce an edible fruit but is grown for the lovely yellow bracts during it's blooming period. Once it gets growing in spring, it does grow fast so it doesn't surprise me that John has success with them. I am growing this banana also in Austin.
    Bob Beyer
    Austin TX, Zone 8b/9a

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Staten Island, NY
    Posts
    121
    Rebecca- As Bob said, the basjoo don't produce any edible fruit. I also have another one, Musella lasiocarpa, that is grown just for "the look", and a beautiful yellow flower. Both of these, however, are very cold tolerant and, with proper care, can survive the winter here. The normal procedure is as follows: When the leaves turn brown, from the cold, cut the stalk off at about a foot, and dump 2 feet of mulch on top of it. In the spring, when the weather warms, pull the mulch away, and they should sprout again, from the center of the cut stalk.
    I differ some from the above, as most of my plants are in containers. This is because they are for sale, and also because I move them into a greenhouse to keep them growing over the winter. When I got this batch in May, 2005, they were little 2 inch tissue culture liners in a 72 cell tray. They were then moved through 4, 6, 10, 14 and 24 inch containers as they grew. They're about 8 feet high now. I give them full sun, lots of water, and lots of fertilizer.
    I have two other varieties, Dwarf Cavendish and High Color Mini that are fruit producing, but are not winter hardy.
    John_NY
    USDA Zone 6/7
    Sunset Zone 34

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Central Indiana Zone 5a
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    I doubt they would be as hardy in my Zone 5a garden, most of the time we don't even get a good snow cover that lasts longer than a week - at best.

    I still like the idea of (attepmting) to grow one here and may try someday.

    Thank you for all the information, I'll remember it for when I do try one here.



    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    Banana trees are beautiful and extremely tropical looking in the gardens. I don't know what variety it is, but there is one that a family has down the road from me. It multiplies rapidly, and they will put a sign at the corner saying 'free banana plants'. It's sort of a help yourself thing. They just pile the plants up by the side of the road and people pick what they want. They are not in pots or anything.

    There are some burgandy/purple ones that are more dwarf and look neat also.

    They melt in the winter, but shoot right back up in the spring.

    I would love to have one with edible fruit. We have gone through LOTS of bananas this summer. Hunter loves fruit and banana has always been one of his favorite flavors! Oh, and then there are strawberries. He has finally started to like chocolate in the last year or so, but still wants that fruit.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


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