Monday, March 23, 2009

The Japanese banana lives!

I worked up the courage to take the winter wrapping of my Musa Basjoo yesterday. About a week ago the top had begun to flop over in a most disturbing fashion. Perhaps this was the year that my wrapping of banana leaves and burlap wasn’t enough, perhaps I should have listened to the folks who said to use bubble wrap…

While this is rumored to be the hardiest of all bananas, and defiantly root hardy to much colder temperatures than we experienced, the pseudo-stem (trunk) is tender and likely to die back to the ground if not protected from temperatures below freezing. I was hoping to preserve the pseudo-stems and begin this year’s growth from there, having to start back at ground level would have been disappointing.

After pealing off layers of decaying leaves and burlap (along with a couple very happy slugs) I was pleasantly surprised. The 2 main pseudo-stems were solid and in fact the 4ft one was pushing out a new leaf! Ah – this was exactly what I needed! After a sad morning of cutting down our three 6ft tall cordys (dead) and chopping the crispy brown leaves off my beloved Phormiums (might be, but might as well be, dead) a little life in the danger garden is a welcome sight.

The photo below was taken the summer of 2007, a huge clump of bananas I drive by on my way home from work, they looked even better last summer. These guys were not protected this winter and the pseudo stems died back. I am watching with a curious eye to see what this year brings...

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