Tag Archives: Basjoo Banana

A third Basjoo banana is beginning to bloom.

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It’s that a “flag” on that banana plant, or is it just happy to see me?

The bananas have been growing new leaves for some time now. The Basjoo are the most frost resistant and usually the 8 to 10 foot trunks do not freeze all the way to the ground. This means every few years they will reward you with the exotic looking blooms and small bananas by Fall.

The bananas are only about three or four inches long and with the thickness of a thumb. The flesh is full of tiny seeds and is very starchy and not worth the effort to eat. None the less, it is exciting when they do bloom.

This past winter there was one night where the temps were below 10f so I knew they would be damaged back to the roots with no expectation of blooms. Not even on the pink Veluntina bananas which usually bloom and fruit when they reach five feet tall in the fall.

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In the spring I cut the trunks down until I found live tissue which was amazingly at about four feet from the ground. They have been slowly growing new leaves. Today I noticed what looks like a flag leaf on the largest trunk. A flag leaf is the leaf which appears just before a bloom stalk! It is rounder with a flag-like shape.

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The Southern magnolias are blooming. too I am lucky to have a large and old tree between the house and garden sheds. They are so fragrant!

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And my favorites of the hydrangea world- the very large oakleaf hydrangeas. A few of the flower corymbs or panicles are almost 18 inches long this season.

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Nice. Very nice!

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First hard frost cleanup.

The first killing frost has occurred with temperature reaching about 27f last night.

The Basjoo bananas are wilted and dark. The leaves are frost resistant and are not harmed until the temps are below 29f or so. The trunks will protect their growing buds and they will grow new leaves in the Spring from those buds. I will later remove the damaged leaves with sharp shears.

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The acuba’s leaves will wilt when the temps are in the 20s to prevent the loss of water but they are not damaged by the cold. They return to normal when the temps go back above 30.

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The low temps caused the Empress Trees to drop all their leaves at once. The leaves dry out in a few days and then they crumble and disintegrate to improve the soil. Gus enjoys looking under the large leaves for creatures.

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While removing frost damaged plants and raking leaves I discovered a dead vole. It’s rare to come across my arch nemesis! They have eaten every hosta and tiger lily I have planted!

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Of course, the cold mornings do not stop Gus from waking me up at dawn to go out!

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I rather have an iced double mocha latte from Cup A Joe!

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I think we can both get what we are looking for?

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Filed under General Gardening, Gus