Winterizing Hardy Bananas Musa basjoo

This post is about Winterizing Hardy Bananas Musa basjoo.  We go over the various steps to winterize as well as when to remove the heavy mulch.

Why Winterize

This weekend I winterized the hardy banana bushes.  If I mulch them up to 3-foot-high, they will start growing at the level next year.  Normally they grow to about ten feet.  If I winterize them, they will grow up to twelve feet or more next year.

Trim Them

Winterizing Hardy Bananas Musa basjoo

Winterizing Hardy Bananas Musa basjoo

The first thing to do is to trim them back to about three foot high.  I use a sheet rock saw to cut them back.  Make sure you put a little bit of an angle on your cut.  You do not want to make a perfectly level cut.  If it is at a bit of an angle, then any water will run off and won’t rot the stalk.

Lay all of the top parts off to the side.  We will use these later.

Winterizing Hardy Bananas Musa basjoo

Winterizing Hardy Bananas Musa basjoo

Wall of Leaves

Winterizing Hardy Bananas Musa basjoo

Winterizing Hardy Bananas Musa basjoo

I have been collecting bags of leaves for the last couple of weeks now.  At this point I put the bags of leave around the cut back banana plants as well as in the center.  Then I stuff loose leaves in between the bags to form a good solid wall of leaves.

Winterizing Hardy Bananas Musa basjoo

Winterizing Hardy Bananas Musa basjoo

Winterizing Hardy Bananas Musa basjoo

Winterizing Hardy Bananas Musa basjoo

Banana Tops

Now lay the banana tops across the leaves and bags of leaves.  This will hold all of the loose leave in place and prevent the wind from blowing them away.  I get a lot of wind and if I didn’t do this step, most of the leaves would be gone in a month.  I crisscross the banana tops so they form a good mesh across the top.

Winterizing Hardy Bananas Musa basjoo

Winterizing Hardy Bananas Musa basjoo

Mulch Removal

I remove the banana tops and leaves between mid-February and mid-March.  You don’t want to remove them too early and have the temperature go down into the low twenties again, as this could kill the stalks back to the ground.  But you also don’t want to leave them on too long as it will stifle the growth of new shoots.

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