Tag Archives: Basjoo Banana

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.


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.


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!



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.




Nice. Very nice!


Filed under General Gardening

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.


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.


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.


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!


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


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


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


Filed under General Gardening, Gus

Early morning work in the garden.

The hot and humid summers in the Mid-Atlantic states require garden work to be performed either early in the morning or later on in the evening. Temperatures have been in the 90s with humidity just as high.

Gus usually wakes me up about 5:30 to 6:00 am to go out and do his business so sometimes I take advantage of that time to do some cleaning and other garden chores.

The Basjoo bananas are suckering profusely this year. I have removed several suckers and relocated them to other areas of the garden.


The rhizomes are large on this little pup! There are two kinds of suckers on bananas. One is called a sword put and have leaves when very short, and generally, but not always, are less vigorous and poor growers. The other is watersprout sucker. They have narrow leaves and large rhizomes. They grow 2-3′ before growing regular leaves.


This is a watersprout.


So this pup was moved out near the curb garden. He should do well out there as its hot but the ground is moist.


I am always finding objects when I dig in the yard of this 50 year old house. Many bricks and bottles and I think Ruby, the former lady of the house, either put a brick or a pipe next to every shrub or tree she planted!


The mother clump.




Filed under Seasonal Maintenance