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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:05 am 
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Location: Carmichael, CA
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dependable wrote:
Has anyone been able to get bananas to set fruit in temperate conditions?


100% container grown apple banana plants I brought back from Hawai'i set fruit after close to 2 years, they were small though and not really much to eat as it turned out; M basjoo grown both in-ground/dug up brought in set fruit indoors, same with red zebrina but not edible either. Am presently trying dwarf cav in-ground/will dig & bring in with a mind toward fruit but it will likely be a year longer before they are mature enough to fruit. I forget the number he told me but a friend in Hawai'i who grows them commercially would always answer me with something like "28 leaves" everythime I'd ask him how long it took the get fruit. His point was that time age does not matter, it was maturity of the plant based on leaf development - this was specifically the apple bananas don't know if the concept applies to other species.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:22 pm 
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We typically get an early frost in the 2nd week of October so I'm preparing to have supplies on hand to dig out the bananas & aroids. The Mekong Giant though has become so large I may have to let it go, the leaves are topping out over 14' which is fine but the rootball must be massive and there are rhizomes the diameter of a shovel handle poking up here and there a few feet out. I assume that I can just sever all of those and focus on the massive rootball though?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:14 pm 
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Location: St. Louis area Location Details
Since it's going to be hitting upper 80's here by the end of the week, I'm hoping any frosts are a couple of weeks late. I'm not ready to start digging up all of this stuff yet!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:51 pm 
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Yeah, 80's here too but with only weekends to get stuff out of the ground I have to be ready a week ahead. It will be sad to dig out the Thai Giant that thing is freaking huge with new leaves the size of a dining table.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:17 pm 
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I've actually had a hard time growing Colocasia gigantea this year -- both my normal one and 'Thai Giant' started out fine by then at one point died, eventually only producing a new small survival leaf. They were in pots, waiting until they got big enough -- which they never did. Disappointing.

My normal Colocasia esculenta though... I've got some HUGE ones this year.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:44 am 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
Looks like my ensete maurelii plants got to a pretty decent size after 1 season of growth. The bigger one is around 54 inches tall by 10 inches in diameter at the base. Here are some pictures. I know the first frost should be hitting in the next couple of weeks so these will be getting dug out soon to over-winter.

Before picture on June 22nd
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October 14th, just shy of 4 months.
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I'm not sure if it's because the other one got a slower start, or soil conditions, but this one is no more than 40 inches tall by about 6.5 inches in diameter.
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Some of my basjoos not that big, but looking alright.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:34 am 
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I got the ensete maurelii dig up and found that with the leaves and roots cut off, the corms weigh 19lbs and 11lbs each which is not bad for 1st year plants. I wonder how much they can weigh after 2 seasons.

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They are placed upside down to drain off excess water in preparation for dormancy and over-winter for 6 months.
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After 3 days, they do look like they are drying up, and need to be stored in a cool, but not freezing cold place. Sulphur will be applied to prevent rotting and these do need to be checked from time to time as condensation can build up, and these things can rot over the winter.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:39 pm 
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I'm curious: why did you cut them off so low? You go to great lengths to keep as much of the pseudostem of your basjoo alive as possible, but then you hack these down. Is there some advantage other than less storage space) (which is definitely a plus)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:13 pm 
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The main reason I cut these low is because I intend to over-winter them as dry as possible so I can help reduce the chance of any rotting while they stay dormant.

I'm sure they may lose some weight through dormancy, but I think they will get back to speed pretty quickly once they are activated again, given that this works.

Here's a video showing how they should turn out.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:59 pm 
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I've overwintered my potted Ensete for the past 3 years just by bringing the pot into the garage -- maybe cutting off a couple leaves. Was I just lucky --is leaving the pseudostem intact really a risky way to do it?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:08 pm 
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That's good to know. How much does your ensete weight now?

I'm guessing the bigger one on mine can weigh over 50lbs in another season of growth easily, but another reason why I don't want to keep it actively growing is because they eat up a lot of space and I know that bananas bounce back way faster than a lot of other plants. I think I may bring these out of dormancy by around mid March indoors, then transfer them over to the greenhouse by around April, then put them back outdoors by May or right past the first frost.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:07 pm 
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Location: Seabeck, Washington Zone 8b Elevation: 531 Feet
My Mekong Giant (and other bananas) are still alive and kicking outside after several 34f-37f nights ln the past 2 weeks. New growth has pretty much come to a stop though. There are some seriously thick rhizomes deforming it's pot. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:37 pm 
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You might be able to try taking a rhizome division off mekong giant to see if it takes. I get a 1-2ft long rhizome attached to a tiny pup which didn't have any leave yet to a neighbor, and that has transformed into a massive 10ft plant with many of its own pups and rhizome going all over the place.

If somebody can get a hardier version of mekong giant, then it would be awesome to have a running banana in zone 6.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:49 pm 
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Can I use the same procedure for storing several 3 foot basjoos for the winter - i.e. chop off roots and the top as shown with Maurellii? I assume the pups will die.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:39 pm 
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I've never done it myself with basjoo because it is hardy enough to survive the winters pretty easily here, but I've heard of a lot of people who are successful storing them dry in a cool place through the winter.

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