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 Basjoo overwintering 
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Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:08 pm
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Location: Dudley, West Midlands UK
Post Basjoo overwintering
Hi

I am planning on bringing my musa basjoo (approx. 3') which is currently in a pot into my greenhouse/garage for winter. Can anyone advise when is the best time to cut the leaves and stem to bring in as I don't want to do it too early or on the other hand be caught out by frost either. Do you wait for the first frost or is this risky? Not at all sure on the procedure for this. If someone could point me to a relevant thread or offer advice that would be a massive help.

Many thanks

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Tim


Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:10 pm
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Location: Loughborough, Leics, central UK
Post Re: Basjoo overwintering
Tim these are hardy outdoors especially planted near a house, something to think of in the future, do not cut anything just leave it to its own devices.
I would put it away when you have frost forecast I normally keep an eye on the weather and put stuff away the weekend before.
The 10 day forecast suggest no frosts in the Midlands so do not worry it will probably keep growing through winter if you greenhouse is frost free


Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:33 pm
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Location: Islington, London UK
Post Re: Basjoo overwintering
Light frosts are not an issue. Just wait for the first frosts to fry the leaves before you do anything.

Transient frosts are not an issue either. The root ball and "corm" of this species is absolutely bone-hardy anywhere in the UK. I am aware of people growing Musa basjoo in Indiana. Every year, you get weeks of deep, unbroken frosts in Indiana.

Unless you want the plant to start from the base again every year, the thing is to protect the pseudo-stem. The leaves are unimportant. A normally-thick M. basjoo pseudo-stem will tolerate an overnight freeze of -2ºC to -3ºC. You'll get a bit of die-back, but that will soon grow out in spring. Anything sustained, i.e., a freeze that lasts all day, or anything at -5ºC or below, is likely to kill the top growth.

But this is a seriously tough and hardy species. People worry way too much about M. basjoo. Mine are also in pots these days, because I don't like looking at in situ protection all winter and my garden is too dry for them to be happy in the ground without heavy irrigation. My routine is to leave them out all winter whenever possible, generally leafless unless it's a very mild winter. If we have an overnight frost lower than about -1ºC, I chuck a blanket over them and then take it off when the frost is gone. If we have a sustained heavy frost, I bring them indoors and then put them straight out again when the temperature is above freezing.

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51º33'07"N x 0º07'21"W
43m (142 feet) ASL


Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:23 pm
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Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:08 pm
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Location: Dudley, West Midlands UK
Post Re: Basjoo overwintering
Thanks Kev

That's good news then so hopefully next year it will reach a good size. I saw the pics of your Basjoo by the house and that's impressively huge. Such a beautiful garden with lots and lots of interesting plants. The Chillean wine palm is magnificent and a real favourite of mine. Was this bought as a large specimen or sown many years ago? I am going to buy a couple more Basjoo in the Spring to create a clump in the one corner of my garden, protected by the fence. I have three Sikkimensis that I grew from seed and they are coming on nicely so with a bit of luck will plant these by the garage wall in the spring so will have two nice permanent clumps in the garden.


Image

I have a good sized Burgundy Stem Colocasia hybrid which I am led to believe will be o.k. in the greenhouse. I also have a smaller Thai giant which I am thinking of bringing into my house as a house plant over winter to keep it going ready for Summer so when the corm is larger next autumn I can keep it on the dry side through winter in the greenhouse if this is the right thing to do.

Thanks

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Tim


Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:37 pm
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Location: Dudley, West Midlands UK
Post Re: Basjoo overwintering
Thanks David for the advice also. It seems there are many ways to do things with tropicals and so the more approaches the better. I like the idea of trying different approaches and hedging my bets too. How root hardy are the Sikkimensis in practice? I have read they approach the basjoo in this respect when mature. My Basjoo is quite small as it was bought late in the year. My soil is sandy so I would need to dig in plenty of compost etc if going in the ground. Only problem is my compost heap was only started this Summer so will not be ready by spring! Do you have any garden pics up in the gallery area for me to get some more ideas from?

Cheers

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Tim


Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:14 pm
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Post Re: Basjoo overwintering
Timedwards wrote:
How root hardy are the Sikkimensis in practice? I have read they approach the basjoo in this respect when mature.


I've grown Musa sikkimensis here since the late David Constantine sent me a three inch high seedling in about 2002. It's less hardy than M. basjoo and generally a bit fussier, but still pretty tough.

Timedwards wrote:
My Basjoo is quite small as it was bought late in the year. My soil is sandy so I would need to dig in plenty of compost etc if going in the ground. Only problem is my compost heap was only started this Summer so will not be ready by spring!


Just mulch it with what you have now. Any old leaf-litter will do for winter. Sometimes I wrap its own dead leaves around the base. Then when the compost is ready, use that. Bananas are robust and greedy. They just want lots of everything: fertiliser, water and organic matter.

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51º33'07"N x 0º07'21"W
43m (142 feet) ASL


Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:35 am
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Location: Dudley, West Midlands UK
Post Re: Basjoo overwintering
My neighbour's trees drop leaves all over my garden so from now on I won't be moaning about sweeping them up any more :D

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Tim


Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:01 am
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Post Re: Basjoo overwintering
Leaves are good our tree ferns grow in a small orchard and they drop all their leaves into the crowns leaving me with virtually nothing to do now
Btw my Jub was bought oil drum size planted 2004 probably 30 years old now


Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:44 am
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