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Friday, November 2, 2012

Overwintering the bananas and other plants for winter of 2012/2013

This year I'm overwintering all the bananas with barrels that have their bottom cut out. The steps are.

1. Cut off all the excess foliage which can't survive the winter anyways
2. Shrink wrap all the trunks
3. Add additional insulation if necessary
4. Stick a cut open plastic barrel over the entire banana stem
5. Fill the barrel with leaves
6. Add additional leaf bags with leaves if the stem is too long
7. Shrink wrap the entire set up to keep it stable

Here's the musa mekong giant which was much easier to over-winter since it is still very small.

The musa basjoos are a lot bigger so they require a little bit more work, but it will be well worth it if I am able to save most of the pseudo-stem to the banana plant can pick up growing where it left off this year instead of dying back to the ground.

I use leaf bags on many of my other plants such as elephant ears to hopefully get them through the winter and come back next spring.

Here's a semi-tropical plant that grows like a banana that lacks a pseudo-stem.

I am also saving all my bhut joloka hot pepper plants by sticking many of them in the same pot, and I will eventually place them by a window indoors. If I can over-winter these plants this way, I should be able to get a much faster start and faster harvest with next year's peppers. They were 3ft tall before I cut them back, and that would take up too much window space.

This one was in its pot the whole time, and not huge like the rest so I didn't cut it back.


  1. I don't know if it is a good idea to wrap the basjoo stem with plastic on the p-stem, it can promote moisture retention and rot. Otherwise all is looking very good!

    1. I wrapped them with plastic for the past 2 winters and the pseudo-stems ended up surviving so I don't think there will be any problems.

      Maybe there might not be enough protection towards the top, but I can't imagine the corms having any problems.

  2. I don't know about your bananas as this is my first year growing them but I overwinter hot peppers in my office at work.

    Some will have peppers all winter if given enough light.

    I leave my florescent lights on all the time and water only when dry.

    1. So far they are looking alright as I have brought them indoors by a window. I did have an aphid problem that started up last week, but constant applications of neem oil seem to be taking care of the problem.

      They are trying to make some leaves, but not much in terms of new growth. I think it is best if they remain as dormant as possible through the winter so I can bring them back outside by spring.