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Overwintering-Banana-Plant-THUMB.jpg

Overwintering Banana Plant

I purchased a huge banana plant for my patio this summer.  I live in zone 5 and hate to let it die over winter.  Any suggestions?

You have several options.  Bring the plant indoors and grow it in a sunny window like your other houseplants.  Most of us don't have the space or sunny conditions to do this.  Or treat it like a canna.  Dig the rhizome in fall and store it in a cool dark place for winter.  Start the rhizome indoors next spring with your cannas, tuberous begonias, and other non hardy bulbs.  Or plant it outdoors in the garden after the danger of frost has passed.  A few zone 5-6 gardeners have reported success leaving fiber bananas in the ground and mulched in a protected space for the winter.  This is only for the strong of heart willing to fight the odds on survival.  For more on pushing the zonal limits see Palms Won't Grow Here and Other Myths: Warm-Climate Plants for Cooler Areas by David A. Francko

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