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newtopalmsMD

Banana plants for zone 7a Maryland?

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newtopalmsMD

I have several Musa Basjoo banana plants (along with several of the cold hardier palm tree varieties) already planted around my pool.  I am looking for some other ornamental banana plans that I could overwinter in the ground with just large leaf pile coverage in zone 7a (north of Wash DC).  I have seen more and less optimistic claims on line about several Musa varieties with M. Sikkimensis and M. Mekong Giant seeming to be the more hardy, and very conflicting claims about ensete glaucum (snow banana).  Has anyone grown bananas other than M. Basjoo in this (or colder) region with overwintering in the ground?  (I'm also looking for other large leaf tropical looking plants that can overwinter in the ground.  I am trying for the first time Colocasia, Pink China.) 

Thanks

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Chester B

I have sikkamensis in 8b and it’s not nearly as hardy or robust as basjoo. First winter it froze to the ground and didn’t make an appearance until sometime in June and only grew a couple feet tall. This year the basjoo have all made it through winter without losing any trunks but the sikkamensis froze to the ground again. I may move it to a spot that is full blazing sun all day to see if that makes a difference. 
 

Pink china are supposed to be very hardy, even down to zone 6 I hear. The good thing is they multiply pretty quick so one becomes many fast. 
 

I don’t think any Ensete have a chance in your climate. 

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Allen

Here are the tropical plants I grow in 7a that come back year after year with only a layer of wood mulch.  

Most varieties Colocasia.  pink china is very invasive and tough - I got rid of mine.  I'd recommend 'aloha' from plant delight nursery.  I also have the small dwarf varieties as a ground cover.  Colocasia coffee cup is a absolute must!!!!!!

Musa basjoo and musa lasiocarpa.  Other Bananas will come back most years like "Ice cream"

Canna Lily - Almost all varieties are tough.

Pineapple lily

ferns - ferns are tropical companion plants in Miami, hawaii, etc.  'Christmas' fern is green year round.  A guy on ebay has bulbs 20 for $18

Hardy ginger

Hardy hibiscus

I also dig up and put in the garage the following

Alocasia (Upright elephant ear)

Ensete Maurelli

I have in large pots Bisettii Bamboo and Spectabilis bamboo.  These can be planted in ground if you know what you're doing.  Get advice on these.  they can be controlled but have some controls you need to take.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Allen
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RedRabbit
8 hours ago, Allen said:

Here are the tropical plants I grow in 7a that come back year after year with only a layer of wood mulch.  

Most varieties Colocasia.  pink china is very invasive and tough - I got rid of mine.  I'd recommend 'aloha' from plant delight nursery.  I also have the small dwarf varieties as a ground cover.  Colocasia coffee cup is a absolute must!!!!!!

Musa basjoo and musa lasiocarpa.  Other Bananas will come back most years like "Ice cream"

Canna Lily - Almost all varieties are tough.

Pineapple lily

ferns - ferns are tropical companion plants in Miami, hawaii, etc.  'Christmas' fern is green year round.  A guy on ebay has bulbs 20 for $18

Hardy ginger

Hardy hibiscus

I also dig up and put in the garage the following

Alocasia (Upright elephant ear)

Ensete Maurelli

I have in large pots Bisettii Bamboo and Spectabilis bamboo.  These can be planted in ground if you know what you're doing.  Get advice on these.  they can be controlled but have some controls you need to take.  

Awesome job Allen!

Regarding Colocasia, can they really take full sun? I recently bought a 'Thai Giant' and 'Mammoth' and they seller claimed they could, but it's difficult to believe. 

Edited by RedRabbit

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Allen
1 hour ago, RedRabbit said:

Awesome job Allen!

Regarding Colocasia, can they really take full sun? I recently bought a 'Thai Giant' and 'Mammoth' and they seller claimed they could, but it's difficult to believe. 

They can take full sun but will need constant water.  Either planted in a super wet area or sitting in a pot where the bottom stays full of water.  Or they can be watered once or twice per day when it's hot.  Otherwise part shade if you can't do that.  The Colocasia coffee cups (Look in very middle of pic #3) can take full sun better without as high of water needs but still pretty high.  I have drip irrigation daily in summer.  It's set for every 3 days now.  Sometimes twice per day during  hot/dry spells.  I can tell you how to pot plant them, you cover the bottom holes in your planter and put the drain hole in the side a few inches up so it holds water.

Here is a better 'coffee cup' photo.  These get 6-7' tall and are very robust.  

I don't have room for a Thai giant lol.  Those get big if well taken care of.  I recommend Osmocote and compost type soil for it as well if you want it huge.

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here's my biggest Alocasia 'Portora'  it now has a 3 ft 'trunk' and is 10' tall.  This was last year going in for winter.

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Edited by Allen
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VA Jeff

On the 8a/7b border in SE VA, sikkimensis never had any problems for several years.  Rajapuri as well.

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newtopalmsMD

Hi Allen,

Yes the pink China have grown in places they were not planted last year.   I can see how they could be thought of as invasive.  Has anyone had success controlling where they grow?

 

Thanks

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Allen
6 hours ago, newtopalmsMD said:

Hi Allen,

Yes the pink China have grown in places they were not planted last year.   I can see how they could be thought of as invasive.  Has anyone had success controlling where they grow?

 

Thanks

I would highly recommend you steer away from that variety and move toward a more decorative variety like "aloha (coal miner), or something like coffee cups.  Pink china will come back from the smallest of root/rhizome.  They are very hard to even get rid of.  I am still trying to eradicate them after 1 year.  Basically all elephant ear will come back for you with the mildest mulch 2-4" treatment in winter.  

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newtopalmsMD

Thanks Allen,

Just wondering if you have tried general herbacides like  isopropylamine salt of glyphosate? I was thinking of spraying the few that have wondered far from where I want them

 

Thanks

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