Do you have any questions on how to keep banana trees in pots for the winter? Having a banana tree in your home or garden is a terrific idea. They’re both visually appealing and good to eat, so it’s a win-win situation. Your home will feel like a tropical paradise thanks to the big leaves of a single banana tree.
It is important to know how to store banana trees for the winter if you don’t reside in a tropical area. If you’re interested in finding out more about how to overwinter bananas, keep reading.
Banana Trees in Winter
A few degrees below freezing can destroy your banana plant’s leaves, so keep that in mind. Winter temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit may not kill the roots of your banana tree, which may then produce a new trunk in the spring. You may need to relocate your plant indoors if this is not the case.
Bananas can be grown year-round if you treat them as an annual. You can plant bananas in the spring and have them grow in your home or garden during the summer season because they develop quickly in one season. You can let your banana tree die in the fall and replant it the following spring.
This can’t be avoided if you want to keep your banana trees during the winter. One alternative is to put them in a container, but another is to grow them in a greenhouse. Your banana plant should be moved indoors before autumn begins to cool down so that you can water it frequently. Although your plant is likely to die off during the winter, it should be able to survive until April.
How to Dig Up Banana Plants for Winter
Despite the fact that your environment isn’t tropical, you can still cultivate banana plants (Musa acuminata). According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, these plants, with their huge, luxuriant foliage, may be grown outside year-round in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 and 11. Banana tree winter storage allows you to grow these herbaceous perennials in lower climes as well.
In the event that temperatures dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit while your banana plants are still growing, you’ll need to dig them up and preserve them indoors. They should be kept in a cool, dry place where it won’t get below freezing. Cutting back the stem makes it easier to store the plant if you are growing it as an ornamental. The huge trim, on the other hand, is not recommended for individuals wishing for fruiting banana plants.
1. Cut Back Banana Plant
With a knife or a tree saw, reduce the banana tree’s stem or trunk to a stump that is half its original height or slightly higher. The height is determined by the amount of storage space you have and the height you want the plant to grow to in the future. The cut trunk’s center is where new growth appears and spreads outwards.
If the lowest leaves of a banana plant are obstructing the base of the plant, use a knife to remove them. Avoid piercing the stem.
2. Dig Up Banana Plant
With a shovel, excavate a circle around the base of the banana plant. It should be at least 10 to 12 inches from the stem and extend below the root ball. Cut some of the outside roots as you go along with this. This makes it easy to transport and store the banana plant. To avoid the risk of the stem and roots turning to much, Walter Reeves recommends that the plants be kept indoors.
Wiggle a garden fork under the root ball after inserting it into the circle incision. Remove the banana plant by gently prying it out of its hole. As you work on the root ball, move the fork around the circle. You can remove the root ball when it’s loose, then lower the plant on its side while doing so.
3. Caring for the Root Ball
Investigate the rhizome of the banana tree. A garden pruner or a knife can be used to remove any roots that protrude from the soil bulk. Wrap the root ball in a garbage bag-sized plastic bag. Loosely wrap the sack around the trunk’s handlebars.
4. Storing the Plant
Trimmed trees should be put away in the storage area. You haven’t severed the trunk if you have fruiting banana trees instead of ornamentals. The foliage on these plants should be straightened and twined close to the trunk to keep it in place.
Use multiple layers of newspaper and rope to secure the banana plant’s trunk and foliage. Stack the plant in the storage area for the winter.
Things You Will Need
- Tree saws or loppers
- Bags made of plastic
Before spring, wait to separate any young banana plants from their parents.
Although plants don’t need to be watered, it’s important to keep the root ball moist.
Small banana plants can be grown in pots and brought into the house as houseplants. ‘
If you don’t want to dig up the plants and your soil doesn’t typically freeze solid, prune them back and cover the trunks and roots with a thick layer of mulch.
A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Overwinter Potted Banana Trees
As previously stated, if your bananas are exposed to frigid conditions, they will die. Store them in a cool, dark place so that they can go dormant throughout the winter. Spring will bring new growth to the banana plants.
Overwintering banana trees in pots is a simple process:
When the leaves on the banana trees turn brown in the first frost, trim the stems just above the brim of the container.
Banana trees thrive in a temperature range of 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. It is possible to grow plants in your garage or shed without a greenhouse.
Despite the fact that your plants are in storage, you still need to provide them a drink. Before re-wetting the soil, make certain it is completely dry. The soil should not be saturated when you water the plant, so don’t overdo it.
After the last threat of frost has passed, you can gradually take your potted banana plant outside. Regular watering and fertilization can be resumed at this point.
Why Grow Your Plants in a Hobby Greenhouse?
Banana plants can be successfully overwintered within a greenhouse. It’s a safe place to keep your plants, and it’s ideal for storing them. Additionally, below are a few advantages of cultivating plants in a greenhouse.
Protect your banana plants from harmful insects and diseases
Weevils, thrips, nematodes, scarring beetles, and sap-sucking insects are among the most prevalent banana plant pests. Bunchy top, Moko disease, cigar tip rot, banana wilt and black leaf streak are among the diseases that can affect them. Place your banana plant in a greenhouse to prevent them from being infested by pests and disease-causing bacteria.
Keep your banana plants safe from the elements
Dormant bananas require a precise temperature and protection from the environment while they’re stored. Keeping your banana plants in a greenhouse protects them from frost, snow, heavy rain, and overheated conditions. It is possible to move your banana plant outside once the weather warms up and spring arrives.
Ideal for people who want to learn about greenhouses
Invest in a modest greenhouse if you want to learn about greenhouses. It’s less expensive and more compact, but it still provides the same benefits as a traditional greenhouse.. Greenhouse operation and the appropriate growing conditions for various plants can be learned without spending a lot of money.
Start planting early
Start planting early in the year with a greenhouse. A greenhouse is a safe haven for your plants. When the weather warms up, you can plant them again in your garden. In addition, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of earlier harvesting of your crops.
Final Thoughts on How to Store Potted Banana Trees for Winter
Using a mini greenhouse or cutting the banana plant to six inches above the soil is an option if the bananas are too large to fit in your home. Mulch can be be added if desired, and the plants should be kept in a cool, dark spot over the winter. To ensure that your plants have a healthy start to the new season, water them on a regular basis in the spring.
If you live in a region where the winters are frigid, you may want to invest in a mini greenhouse to keep your banana trees warm during the cold months.