Banana update

Late last fall I put the bananas (Musa basjoo) to bed for the winter, as I do every year. I did things differently that last time, doing as little as I could to protect them. Yes I mulched with leaves, but this time I didn't create a cage to fill, cover it with plastic, or anything else. I just put a minimal amount of leaves and hoped for the best.


Well, the winter was not mild by any measure, especially if you're a tropical herbaceous flowering plant. I was curious to see how my "protection" worked, and what would emerge come spring. As seen above in a photo taken a month ago on May 24, everything is fine!

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Although none of last year's stems (pseudostems) survived and resprouted, as you can see...


...almost 20 new ones have emerged.

How big will these get though?

I have every reason to expect that they will reach the same size as they did last year, especially if we get a fair amount of rain. Need proof?

Here they are today...


...where they are already at least 7' (2m) tall -- although I really don't know how to measure since the terminal leaf always sticks straight up.


The nice thing about them at this size? I get to see all of the details right at eye level!




For those five or so months that these are missing from the garden, there feels like there's a hole there -- something is just not right. It's all back to normal now though!


More updates as the summer progresses.

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Rebecca  – (June 27, 2018 at 12:18 PM)  

We grow a lot of bananas too. They seem like they grow really well when they come up this way. Our main stems often die too. Such a fun tropical look!

Renee  – (June 27, 2018 at 2:36 PM)  

That's super fast growth! I'm glad they came back for you... And that your "lazy" protection worked!

Alan  – (June 27, 2018 at 2:56 PM)  

Note that I said "...if we get a fair amount of rain." I think we've had 3-4" this week. How fast can banana plants drink?

danger garden  – (June 28, 2018 at 10:25 AM)  

Happy Bananas! Your rainfall amazes me. And people think of Portland as rainy! We've only had 1.27″ of rain since the middle of April.

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