Several species of banana plants, such as musa sikkimensis, musa basjoo and musella lasiocarpa plants that are more than two years old, can be left outside year-round. They will tolerate fairly severe frosts as long as they have with some protection. Other species will need to be brought inside to ensure they survive the winter. The amount of protection you need depends on several factors, such as how sheltered the plant is and what type of soil it is planted in. There are a number of methods you can use to care for banana plants over winter.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Sharp knife
- Horticultural fleece
- Clothes pegs
- Plastic rubbish bin
- Bark chip
- Polythene or breathable agricultural waterproofing
- Wooden canes
- String or rope
- Chicken wire
Grow the plant in a pot year round, or dig up any plants that are in the ground and replant them in a pot in winter. Bring the pots inside the house or into a greenhouse from October until the end of April or May.
Cut the plant down and wrap it. Cut the stem down to about 3 feet high. Wrap the plant with horticultural fleece. Secure the fleece with clothes pegs. Cover the wrapped plant with a plastic rubbish bin. Remove the can and fleece in the spring once the danger of frost has passed.
Cut the stem down to just above ground level. Cover the stem with bark chip, or with horticultural fleece and then a layer of polythene or other waterproof and breathable material. Uncover after the danger of frost has passed.
Wrap the entire plant. Cut away any unhealthy or dying lower leaves. Wrap chicken wire loosely around the plant. Fill the area between the plant and the chicken wire with dry straw or horticultural fleece. Cover the chicken wire frame with polythene, or another waterproof and breathable material. Use string or rope to tie the chicken wire and waterproofing in place---wrap the string around the wire and tie it.
Tips and warnings
- Do not use bubble wrap to insulate the plant because there will be no air circulation and the plant will rot.
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