How To Grow a Musa Basjoo Banana Plant In The North

Garden — By on February 18, 2013 6:11 am

Shawna Coronado's Musa Basjoo Banana Plant

Life is full of little surprises. Like, for instance, did you know that you could grow a full-on tropical banana plant in the North? As long as you are in zones 5 or higher it is possible. You can see the results above in my front garden.

Bananas are actually the largest perennial plants on earth and a gorgeous contribution to a tropical foliage garden. Brian Williams from Brian’s Botanicals in Kentucky, taught me how easy it is to grow a banana in the North and I am dying with excitement to see if it survives this season. It is torture waiting for my little plant babies to pop up in April.

How To Grow A Banana Plant in the North

  1. Get the right plant variety to survive the temps. Musa Basjoo and MeKong Giant both seem to have the ability to survive down to zone 5 cold. Musa Basjoo can grow up to 25′ and a MeKong Giant can get much taller. They do produce bananas, but the bananas are inedible.
  2. Plant in a full sun, fertile soil location – I added rotted manure to my planting bed to encourage growth.
  3. Water frequently – this season we had a drought and it seemed to make significant growth with rain water, so utilizing your rain barrels to support this plant is a wise idea. Growth directly correlates to how much water it receives.
  4. Fertilize with an organic fertilizer several times through out the season.
  5. When fall comes, cut the plant to around 12″ high and cover with a foot of leaves or hard wood mulch. To add even more protection you could cover with a thick layer of plastic (I did not do the plastic step).
  6. In spring, uncover the plant and water well. If the winter has not been too cold, you should have easy success.

Special Note – Because the FTC requires it, I am letting you know that  Brian’s Botanicals  supplied the banana plants in this garden. Even in a drought these plants performed – I would write about them whether the plants were given to me or not and as always – all gardening opinions on bananas are completely my own!

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