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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Growth of the Musa basjoo throughout 2012

My musa basjoos were successfully over-wintered to about 2ft last year, and they ended up close to 14ft at the peak, but frost is imminent within the next few weeks so they will be going dormant pretty soon. Here's the documentation of the growth all throughout the year.

21 April 2012: I successfully protected them up to around 2ft, and they are already getting up to 4ft within a week.

Left plant

Right plant

12 June 2012: After another 7 weeks, these guys doubled up in height reaching around 8ft.

7 July 2012: The one on the right side is starting to pull ahead by a bit, reaching the 10ft mark while the one on the right is still around 8.

28 July 2012: These guys seem to be gaining about 1ft every 3 weeks, and the pups are really starting to put on size.

19 August 2012: The one on the right is up to 12ft now while its tallest pups are getting near the 6ft mark.

23 September 2012:  The bigger one is breaking the 13ft mark while the smaller one is about 2ft behind. The diameter of the pseudo-stem on the right side banana is now up to around 8.5 inches. It's very hard to get an accurate measurement on the leaves as they aren't always pointed up, but I believe that some of of these leaves pointed up may have gotten near the 14ft mark which is still not near the size potential of this banana. It got up to around 10 1/2ft last year, and 5ft the year before then so they will likely keep getting bigger each year. I am also starting to give the pups away.

3 October 2012: These bananas are just about done with their growth as the taller one is topped off between 13 and 14ft tall, and the other one about 2ft behind. I dug out and gave away all the larger pups as it will be very hard to over-winter all of them, and each banana plant happened to produce around a dozen pups this year starting with none.

Here are the older blog posts on the musa basjoo.



This winter, I plan on over-wintering as much corm as possible with 4ft tall 55 gallon plastic rain barrels in my setup.


  1. Your basjoos has done very well this year. Hopefully your overwintering set up will be sufficient to preserve as much of the pseudostem as possible, so you start with a big plant already in the spring.

    1. I'm actually keeping the pups off every year just for that purpose so the energy doesn't get shared too much. If I could protect up to 7ft of pseudostem, they could break the 17ft mark by next year, but I do have to become more and more creative as they get harder to overwinter.

  2. Steve,
    Looking good!
    Save a few pups. You'll want a good sized replacement or two for them when they begin flowering, especially when you're able to preserve the psuedostem year over year.
    Once that exciting moment happens, goodnight Irene..... so some nice sized pups can be rather useful.
    Mine have flowered and the existing pups took over. It was a mighty tight group in there for awhile.
    That's a Northwest gardener's take anyway. Wish mine grew at a rate like yours here! Unfortunately my 'nanas are regularly a bit summer heat starved but still manage to look great for the last part of the growing season. Well at least until we get our first good freeze likely on tap for this weekend :) Time for leaf cages!

    1. I left the smaller pups on just in case they do begin to flower next year. Anyways I used barrels to over-winter mine.

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  4. Hi Steve, fantastic photos! Thanks for taking the time to photograph their growth rate through the summer months, now I know what to expect! How deep did you plant these beauties below the soil and what fertilizer if any? Thanks in advance