banana dig

Yesterday I wrote about how I protect my cold-hardy banana (Musa basjoo). I mentioned that I wasn't yet prepared to dig up the big tropical banana clump yet.

With a low temperature of 23ºF (-5ºC) predicted for last night, it no longer mattered that I was ready -- it was time to dig!


This banana is in a large planter box which made it a little more difficult to dig, as I kept losing my balance and had to jump down.

I eventually got it out though, mainly by rocking the plant back and forth to loosen the roots.

I really should find a cheap bathroom scale and use it in the garden, because I often wonder how much the stuff I lug around weighs. I guess that this was 75 lbs (34 kg) but it could have been more -- maybe 100 lbs (45 kg).

I wrapped the rootball in plastic, mainly to help keep my garage clean.

Then I loaded it onto my dolly and hauled it up the hill into the garage. Easier said than done after a long day of moving heavy pots.

Speaking of pots...

My huge potted Ensete got moved into the garage too. That one is definitely going into the ground next year, as it's just too large for any pot now. The diameter of the "trunk" is almost 12" (30 cm), and it is heavy.

Lots of pots of smaller bananas too. Next year some of these plants will graduate to bigger pots and some will go into the ground.

I'll be digging up several hundred pounds of banana plants next year it seems. And to think that just a few years ago I didn't have a single banana plant, as I didn't like them.

It's funny how plant tastes change, isn't it?


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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (November 24, 2012 at 11:53 AM)  

It sure is a look of work, but the upside is that 7 or 8 months out of the year you have the exotic look of bananas adding that something special to your garden.

I want to get an Ensete maurelii next year, knowing full well it has to come inside on the coldest nights.

scottweberpdx  – (November 24, 2012 at 4:23 PM)  

OMG, back hurts just reading this!

Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (November 25, 2012 at 4:06 AM)  

I admire your dedication to your plants and garden. I know I could not do this every year!

Alan  – (November 25, 2012 at 7:32 AM)  

Gerhard: my Ensete can handle 27ºF, maybe even 25ºF. Not the leaves, just the "trunk" of course. Do you get colder than that?

jpal20002001  – (December 8, 2013 at 9:36 PM)  

Sweet.. I too will be starting this venture. I am totally excited and i cant wait for my first canna lily phasians.
I wintered my first plants... Elephant ear. I hope i didnt do anything wrong.
How fast will the tubers & bulbs reach their original size after replanting?

jpal20002001  – (December 8, 2013 at 9:37 PM)  

How long does it take for the bulbs or tubers to reach their original size after replanting?

Alan  – (December 9, 2013 at 7:50 AM)  

jpal: Elephant ear is pretty easy to overwinter -- I rarely lose a tuber regardless of what I do. Some smaller ones will rot, but mostly they're just fine.

The plants reach their original size almost as soon as they start growing -- that's the point of overwintering like this. :)

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