My banana tree is looking a little trashy right now, but it's for a good reason. I swear.
|West corner of the patio|
I want to winterize my hardy banana, Musa basjoo (hardy to -10), in such a way that I protect the main pseudostem. Last winter was mild and my banana's main pseudo-stem survived intact and it was able to reach 4 1/2 feet tall this past summer. Most winters, here in USDA Zone 8b, it gets too cold for the banana and it dies all the way to the ground and then sets up new sprouts in the spring.
(I'm sorry about the picture quality. I was in a hurry today with the picture taking because it was raining and My Pirate demands a bottle of rum when he works on a garden project for longer than one hour. No bottle of rum for you today, My Pirate!)
I went into research mode and started looking for ways to help the new growth get through the winter. And I kept finding the same advice over and over about cutting the stalk down to two feet tall and then insulating it. I was relieved when I found Nest Maker's blog post detailing how the Portland Chinese Garden winterizes their tall bananas. Their reusable insulation design captured my imagination and I decided to make a budget version.
My Pirate asked our friend, a contractor, if he happened to have any insulation scraps hanging around and he did. He gave us a nice chunk of water heater insulation. Thanks Mark!
We slid the insulation into a large black garbage bag.
And cut off a narrow strip of excess insulation that didn't fit.
We folded the garbage bag's open edge and duct taped it shut.
We even duct taped the edges.
I trimmed the banana leaves off the side of the trunk (pseudostem). Do you see the new pup beside the main trunk?
We wrapped the insulation filled garbage bag around the trunk of the banana and duct taped it in place.
I tied a piece of twine around the top of the bag to help prevent water from getting inside the wrapping. And I laid the trimmed banana leaves around the base of the plant.
So there you have it. My trashy looking banana tree, all wrapped up tight for the winter. I might add a layer of burlap to dress it up a bit. I'll let you know next spring how it turns out.
Do you think that it'll work?