Jump to content
Thunder?
Local
Radar
Pollen
IGNORED

Banana Plant Flowering And Fruiting In The Uk!


Recommended Posts

Posted
  • Location: Great Yeldham, North Essex
  • Location: Great Yeldham, North Essex

    I thought you might be interested to see my banana plant which is now coming into flower. It is the Japanese Hardy Banana, Musa basjoo. I have been growing it successfully outside for approx 13 years and have always wondered if it will flower. This particular plant has been planted in the ground since 1999 but I do have a few growing outside.

    It is root hardy but if you want to keep the trunks over winter, you ideally need to wrap a bit of straw or hesian around the trunks after the first Autumn frosts (although this winter I didn't get round to wrapping it u untill January and then I only used an old sack)

    When I took the sacks of the trunks in April one of them looked a bit different to the others and the top was swollen and hard. It soon became obvious that it had a developing flower bud which must have initiated during the warm Autumn months. Anyway, the flower is just beginning to opem but I think the first few were damaged by the winter frosts.

    Here are some photos and I will add more as it grows!

    post-703-1150648880_thumb.jpg

    post-703-1150648987_thumb.jpg

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    • Replies 16
    • Created
    • Last Reply
    Posted
  • Location: Dublin
  • Location: Dublin

    You lucky so and so!

    I had a banana plant for around 5 years when until about a year ago

    in my conservatory but never got a flower just leaves :p :lol:

    So last year i gave up and planted it outside and then it died so i gave up!

    Much like my lemon tree :lol: :lol:

    Oh well the strawberries and corn will have to do!

    That looks cool! Im really jealous!

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    • 3 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: Great Yeldham, North Essex
  • Location: Great Yeldham, North Essex

    Banana plants take about 5 - years to produce a flower and onced it has done this, that stem dies (but suckers then take over). There is only one reliably hardy banana and all the other will be killed by frost. The variety you were growing was probably Musa 'Dwarf Cavendish' will grow well outside in a sheltered spot right through untill the first frosts. After this, it must be brough in as it is not tolerant of the frost or the lack of light (if you wrap it up)

    With regards to my one in flower, all disaster. The strong wind today snapped it of at the base just before the female flower opened (the red knob on the end)

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Llandysul, Ceredigion, Wales
  • Location: Llandysul, Ceredigion, Wales

    That's a shame. Was it the flower knocked off at the base or the whole plant? A great shame if the whole plant. I heard or read somewhere an idea that the way banana leaves shred, protects them from wind. They look a bit tatty then though.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    • 2 months later...
    Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral

    Thing is theyre banana trees, and they will grow and look like this sooner or later

    http://www.silkplantusa.com/silkpics/banana%20tree.jpg

    The best thing is to grow a coconut palm, thats quite interesting

    http://turfgrass.com/images/pic06.jpg

    im considering growing one in my garden, but theyre impossible to get hold of outside of USA/southern Asia.

    Plus in winter they need lots of attention, they cannot be exposed to temperatures below 15°C

    Banana trees cannot really be exposed to temperatures below 10°C absolute minimum, and if thats survived over winter then im gobsmacked

    p.s although I'm not sure what temperature minimum hardy banana plants/trees grow at.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Grew banana plants in Africa and would find they fruited within 3 months of planting seedlings! Mind you, it was the equator. The bananas tasted unlike anything I've eaten that purports to carry the name 'banana' over here - a bit like comparing real coffee to instant coffee.

    I rather like banana plants Stephen! A glimpse of the exotic, rather than the Meditteranean?

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Great Yeldham, North Essex
  • Location: Great Yeldham, North Essex

    Hi Steven, Musa Basjoo is a very cold hardy variety of banana and will survive throughout the winter with little protection. If you cover the stem during the winter you get to keep all of thhe stem material for next year. having sad that, its ok to leave them unprotected, you just get lots of shoots in the spring that are starting of as smaller plants. I have been groeing them outside for 15 years and found them to be fully root hardy in this area. The stems freeze right through during the winter but the leaves go brown. Any mild days result in raid growth, even during the middle of the winter. Heres some more info on them http://www.thepalmcentre.co.uk/ .

    Also for those interested in banana like plants, try Musella Lasiocarpa which is also proving pretty hardy.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Gloucester
  • Location: Gloucester

    Amazing plant, the 'stems' are hardy to around -6 without protection, the more stems in the clump the more hardier they become, I've given up protecting mine now, the leaves always get toasted but they collapse around the clump and increase the winter hardiness.

    47454881.No2.jpg

    It's a shame about those winds, fw.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Great Yeldham, North Essex
  • Location: Great Yeldham, North Essex
    Amazing plant, the 'stems' are hardy to around -6 without protection, the more stems in the clump the more hardier they become, I've given up protecting mine now, the leaves always get toasted but they collapse around the clump and increase the winter hardiness.

    47454881.No2.jpg

    It's a shame about those winds, fw.

    Great photo there, I always protect as I love to see the plants get really tall. Having said that, you don't get as many off-shoots. My plants actually grow better during the autumn as they have plenty of leaf cover for photosynthesis, and plenty of water for growing. (they dry out so much in hot waether!)

    Thing is theyre banana trees, and they will grow and look like this sooner or later

    http://www.silkplantusa.com/silkpics/banana%20tree.jpg

    The best thing is to grow a coconut palm, thats quite interesting

    http://turfgrass.com/images/pic06.jpg

    im considering growing one in my garden, but theyre impossible to get hold of outside of USA/southern Asia.

    Plus in winter they need lots of attention, they cannot be exposed to temperatures below 15°C

    Banana trees cannot really be exposed to temperatures below 10°C absolute minimum, and if thats survived over winter then im gobsmacked

    p.s although I'm not sure what temperature minimum hardy banana plants/trees grow at.

    Stephen, cocounut tries won't cope in this country. The main problem is that in protecting them from the cold, one reduces the light levels so much that the plants, which don't have a dormancy period, die from this alone. Best thing to do is to grow a Jelly palm- Brahea armate, or a Canary Island Date palm - Phoenix canariensis or even a Chilean Date palm, Jubea chilensis. These have a much better chance of surviving and you shouldn't have any problem up on the Wirral

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
    Great photo there, I always protect as I love to see the plants get really tall. Having said that, you don't get as many off-shoots. My plants actually grow better during the autumn as they have plenty of leaf cover for photosynthesis, and plenty of water for growing. (they dry out so much in hot waether!)

    Stephen, cocounut tries won't cope in this country. The main problem is that in protecting them from the cold, one reduces the light levels so much that the plants, which don't have a dormancy period, die from this alone. Best thing to do is to grow a Jelly palm- Brahea armate, or a Canary Island Date palm - Phoenix canariensis or even a Chilean Date palm, Jubea chilensis. These have a much better chance of surviving and you shouldn't have any problem up on the Wirral

    I already grow 2 canary palms, and 2 chusan fan palms and they are really doing quite well, although the bases are thinner than they should be. The leaflet spines are vvery long, and the Canary palms are growing much faster than the Chusan palms (something that should really be the other way around), but it's 5 foot now, and the chusans are catching up.

    I'm willing to give the coconut palms a go even if they die just for an experiment. The best idea for that though would to be to grow them in controlled conditions, ie 20C with a fitting UVA lamp - could well work, then in the summer bring them out in the prolonged heat and sunny periods we have, and provide some natural watering afterwards. In the Canary Islands of course coconut palms are grown and survive in winter temperatures of 17-19C quite well, plus the Canary Islands are famed for being quite cloudy at times in the winter.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Bognor Regis West Sussex
  • Location: Bognor Regis West Sussex
    I already grow 2 canary palms, and 2 chusan fan palms and they are really doing quite well, although the bases are thinner than they should be. The leaflet spines are vvery long, and the Canary palms are growing much faster than the Chusan palms (something that should really be the other way around), but it's 5 foot now, and the chusans are catching up.

    I'm willing to give the coconut palms a go even if they die just for an experiment. The best idea for that though would to be to grow them in controlled conditions, ie 20C with a fitting UVA lamp - could well work, then in the summer bring them out in the prolonged heat and sunny periods we have, and provide some natural watering afterwards. In the Canary Islands of course coconut palms are grown and survive in winter temperatures of 17-19C quite well, plus the Canary Islands are famed for being quite cloudy at times in the winter.

    Thanks for that info Stephen, I have a canary palms I have had indoors but put out into the garden to enjoy some sunshine. I was wondering if I would have to bring it in during the winter but if your's is flourishing up in the Wirral then I am sure mine would do OK down here in the south.

    Interestingly a neighbour has a fig tree in her garden and this is the first year I have seen the fruit grow really well, large and plump (a bit like me :doh: ) and if only we had another few weeks of 20C weather I reckon they would ripen as well.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
    Thanks for that info Stephen, I have a canary palms I have had indoors but put out into the garden to enjoy some sunshine. I was wondering if I would have to bring it in during the winter but if your's is flourishing up in the Wirral then I am sure mine would do OK down here in the south.

    Interestingly a neighbour has a fig tree in her garden and this is the first year I have seen the fruit grow really well, large and plump (a bit like me :) ) and if only we had another few weeks of 20C weather I reckon they would ripen as well.

    Definitely bring them in in the winter, theyll never survive sub minus temperatures in some cold spells. You can leave fan palms out though.

    If you want to play safe safe and get a sub tropical look to your garden, then get yourself a Bulgarian Polar Palm as it can survive down to -40C so it would be great addition and would grow very fast in our climate.

    Keep your Canary palms out til there is the chance of a frost, then keep it in the whole winter.

    Also if you want your palms to grow fast starve them of water for a month then water them with more water than you would need and they have massive growth spurts. (Although it may not work)

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Great Yeldham, North Essex
  • Location: Great Yeldham, North Essex

    Stephen, its interesting to see you are into your exotics as well! I have certainly found the larger specimens of Canary Island Date palms to be pretty hardy. I started a thread last autumn about how summery the garden looked so late in the year and you can see my large Date palm which lives outside permantly. I grew it from seed in 1994 and its been outside since 1997, with winter protection on colder nights (below -5c). It gets a Duvet for the night! If you want a reliably hardy palm, Trachycarus fortunie is the easiest to try. They can stand some very low temps, http://www.polarpalm.net/ , wind is their worst enemy!

    post-703-1159654478_thumb.jpg

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral

    That looks really healthy that Canary Palm. It looks like it's sprouting as if a coconut palm would as in there is one long leaflet one side, and a short one the other if you get me.

    I may consider leaving my Canary out for the winter, because my Trachs did quite well last winter, in fact I recorded some growth in March, just after the snow event. What do you use as a 'duvet'?

    I might try fleece unless there are better alternatives.

    I could buy quite few Polar palms, because the garden in well sheltered from the wind, although I'm not sure whether they're readily available to buy outside Bulgaria. All Polar palms seem to be in a type of trachycarpus f which is 'bred' to withstand cold conditions.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    • 4 months later...

    Hi, coconut palms struggle even if grown indoors because of lack of light and humidity. But they are not hard to get hold of - they are quite often sold in the big diy chains as houseplants.

    If you would like to try a palm of similar appearance the closest may be the Mule pale, xButiagrus nabonnandii - a cross between a butia and a syagrus.

    Forget the 'polar palms' they are just trachycarpus fortunei which are agreed to be perfectly hardy for most of the country.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Posted
  • Location: Great Yeldham, North Essex
  • Location: Great Yeldham, North Essex

    For anyone interested in growing exotic plants, join the european palm society www.palmsociety.org . Interesting that you mention the Mule pale, xButiagrus nabonnandii - a cross between a butia and a syagrus. i have seen this growing in the south of France and they are truly beautiful plants with a smoth trunk. That said, they are very difficult to get hold of and this is where the EPS comes into its own with its swopping section.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Archived

    This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

    ×
    ×
    • Create New...