bannana trees

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Quintin Chappell, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. Quintin Chappell

    Quintin Chappell LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I have sign a new contract and the customers has bannana trees on the property. What is the best way to winterize the plant so it will with stand the winter.
     
  2. Mrs. H

    Mrs. H LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 708

    David said his grandpa used to cover his with a sheet or blanket to keep the frost from damaging it. But, we're a little farther south.
     
  3. RonB

    RonB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 429

    Around here we just let them die back, then cut'em off at the ground. They come back every spring. Leaves are completely brown now on ours.
     
  4. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    I'm addicted to banana trees! :clapping:
    But up here in Ohio obviously they're not winter hardy.
    So I move them outside about mid to late May, and keep them in a 10 gallon nursery pot that has lots of extra holes all around for drainage, and then plant them in well drained loamy soil up against my ranch home.
    At the end of the season (end of September) I 'condition' them gradually to indoor conditions again by pulling the 10 gallon pots out and root pruning them. I put them in less direct light for about a week and spray the tops of the leaves with a mix of 1 part hort oil and 11 parts water.
    Then they're ready for the house!
    Right now, I'm sitting right next to two of them that have been transformed into houseplants in this manner; each about 5 feet high.
    And I will recondition them to outdoor use again come spring.
    (but you've got to be careful to wash ALL the hort oil off B4 putting the trees back outside!)
    If they get too big for my place, I've given them to arboretums, schools, etc. with my recipe for turning banana trees into houseplants.

    (I don't use them in my landscaping biz-just as decor around my own yard)
     
  5. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    I should have explained the reason for my hort oil / water innovation in the last blog:
    Banana trees need tons of humidity that they simply would not naturally get in an average home environment.
    By coating just the top of the leaves with this very fine film when misting them, I am in fact holding in a lot of moisture in the tissue of the leaf that would otherwise evaporate.

    But I do 'mist' them, just like I do my ferns and palms...
     
  6. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    I have lots of them too. Some I just cut down to the ground just before the first frost and cover with straw. They will generally live, but they have to sart over again. Others I will dig up, cut all the leaves off, wet the roots, and place them in a plastic garbage bag, and store them in the basement all winter. I don't think I have ever had one die by doing this. How they live I don't know. But I plant them again in Spring, and they start growing again. They get off to a slow start, but they live. They are hard to kill.

    Or you can put them in pots as stated above.
     
  7. Southern Signature

    Southern Signature LawnSite Member
    Posts: 92

    Funny you ask about this... I persnolly have two bannana trees in my back yard and every year about this time or when you get your 1st hard frost just cut them back to about a foot off the ground and they'll be set for the winter. I've been doing this for about 3 winter 4 summers now and the bannana tree seems to grow back bigger every year, you'll be suprised how much water is in those things when you go to cut it down... I'll take some pics of the tree for you all to see, give me a day or two...
     
  8. Quintin Chappell

    Quintin Chappell LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Thank you to everyone that has giving me advice in this problem that I have. I will use the info and pass it on to the customer and see what they feel more comfortable with.
     
  9. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    ...Sure wish I could do that!
    Up here we get down to (-10 to -15) degrees sometimes.
    I know that would be the 'death knell' for sure!
     
  10. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    Landscaper22,
    I do something very similar to this for my canna and dahlia bulbs, but I use burlap, and I remember to moisten the burlap occasionally all winter.

    You should try turning some of your banana trees into 'houseplants' like I outlined.
    They're a REAL conversation piece!
    If you've got decent ceiling clearance in your family room with a fair amount of light, they really adapt well!
    But once they're inside, you have to keep the # of leaves on the stalk down to only 4 or 5, taking the lower ones off as you go up.
    I've found that once they're 'inside' having any more leaves than that, the tree seems to suffer.

    Do you grow any variegated bananas, or anything else unusual?
     

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