Yesterday I talked about a plant (Tecoma capensis) that clearly survived a much colder winter than it should have. Today, I take a brief look at a plant that should have survived -- but I'm not sure to what extent yet.

It's my Musa basjoo, my cold-hardy banana. I've had this in the ground for three years now and have protected it the same way each winter, but this is the first spring that I'm concerned about it.


Here's a reminder of what it looked like at the end of last summer:

And this is how I protected it before winter set in:

Unlike the previous two mild winters where at least a couple of feet of the pseudostem have survived, this year the stems rotted down to the ground.

The parts right at soil level seem firm and viable, but since this is a new experience for me I don't know what to expect.

One of the small "pups" appears to have that white fleshy look that seems promising:

So I know that this plant is not completely dead -- it's just that I have no idea how large the growth will get this year. I'm hoping for another size increase over last year of course. (Yay big plants!)

Now that the leaf mulch has all been removed and the sun can heat up the dark soil, I expect to see some growth starting very soon.

It will be quite interesting to see these guys return from virtually "nothing", but that's part of the attraction of spring, isn't it?


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Salty Pumpkin Studio  – (April 24, 2014 at 9:27 AM)  

I hope the plant continues to grow to its full splendor. I love the leaves on the plant. They are a welcome change from the usual Vermont plants.

outlawgardener  – (April 24, 2014 at 9:36 AM)  

My Musa basjoo is looking the same as yours this spring. Usually there's some sign of life by now. They say that patience is a virtue...

Rock rose  – (April 24, 2014 at 6:15 PM)  

So sorry for your loss. It really was avery cold winter judging by how cold it got in Texas. Gardeners here lost lots of plants although some are now showing tiny signs of life. Maybe the same will happen for you.

danger garden  – (April 25, 2014 at 12:08 AM)  

I used to protect my Musa Basjoo until I realized it could die back to the ground and then catch up again in no time. Of course that was before it bloomed, which it did last year (death to the blooming stalks) and of course my low temps are not your low temps. Still I bet in another month or so you'll have lots of promising new growth.

www.ravenscourtgardens. com  – (April 25, 2014 at 9:54 AM)  

Hoping it comes back...we had nights in the teen's here in Houston which is very unusual! We didn't loose anything but a few things burnt to the ground. They are all coming back stronger than ever. Look forward to seeing pictures of new growth : )

Alan  – (April 25, 2014 at 4:39 PM)  

Rock rose: I don't expect it to be dead Jenny. I just don't know exactly what to expect.

Danger: I didn't even know you had a basjoo! Don't remember ever seeing it in a post... it looks like the pups may be growing already. I just want it BIGGER than last year! :)

Avenue –   – (May 13, 2014 at 8:51 AM)  

mine looked exactly like yours before showing signs of life recently. One stem started emerging about two weeks ago... and one woke up about 2-3 days ago (we've had a decent amount of rain and warmth lately)

Not bad for newly planted Musa in a zone 6b (Detroit) city that went through a 5b winter...

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