Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Winter protection with a touch of class

Driving to work one cool morning I noticed the owner of these bananas out wrapping them in bubble wrap*. My first thought was “OMG, what does he know that I don’t?!” Turns out nothing, there was no freeze predicted. Maybe he’s one of those lucky birds that fly south for the winter and he was preparing to depart for a few months?
The next day I saw the end result with the bamboo wrap covering the plastic. Nice! So many times winter protection for tender plants ends up looking trashy. Not this one…it actually looks like a tropical themed party might break out at any moment! *If you’re unfamiliar with overwintering Musa basjoo in Portland typically the “trunk” or pseudo-stem is wrapped in bubble wrap, burlap, insulation or some such material to keep it from dying back to the ground. That way you start out in spring with some height already on your bananas. I typically wait until after the leaves have been killed by a frost to wrap mine. Last year I must have done a poor job on one because it flopped over in a pile of mush in January, however by mid summer it had re-grown to its previous height.


  1. I love this!
    What a great way to enhance the wrapped banana. As a first-timer with my musa basjoo this winter, I'm delighted, because I happen to have some of that very same reed fencing to use. Now I just need to get some bubble wrap.
    Thanks, Loree!

  2. Interesting, this is becoming more common, I give credit to the Chinese Garden for the winterizing instructions, because before then, all I ever heard was advice to cut them down and mulch. There, they wrap the stems in R13 insulation, then add a couple feet of mulch around the base. I drove by today and noticed they had all been wrapped up. I see lows in the mid thirties in the end of week forecast, so I guess it's time to start thinking about it. Mine turned to mush last year despite the wrapping, too. About this time of year I start thinking I should stick to hardy plants. The laziness is kicking in, it seems like a better idea to sit on the couch. (maybe that's one more good reason to get out there and insulate before it gets too cold)

  3. Hi Loree~~ It seems like I just saw rolled bamboo somewhere for dirt cheep. I couldn't think of a reason to buy it but using it on the bananas is genius. Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. Jane, so glad that I helped you find a use for your fencing!

    Megan, no doubt you are right, about the Chinese garden. I can't remember where I first heard about wrapping my bananas, but I do it faithfully every year. Better safe than sorry!

    Grace, dirt cheap? Uhm...that is a favorite price of mine!


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