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Musa basjoo

 
Musa basjoo
Late October, just before first frost
Japanese fiber banana

Common name Japanese fiber banana
Family musaceae
Life cycle perennial
Size to 12-18'
Light sun

A novelty in temperate gardens, for sure - this hardy banana won't bear fruit, but it's fun to have such a tropical interloper as a permanent resident of the garden. Not sure if we'll manage to make it permanent though - we planted ours in early September, which may be a bit late for the plant to sufficiently root itself and dig in for winter. We'll certainly mulch it heavily to help it get through its first winter in our garden. If it does survive, it will be interesting to watch its fast growth when warm weather returns. I doubt we'll see the 12-18 ft height that it can achieve in ideal conditions, but anything that makes a statement would be appreciated.
Unfortunately, we'll have to wait a while before we see banana trees in action in our garden – the specimen described and pictured here gave up in its first winter. We may try again some time, in which case I'll make sure to establish it in spring or early summer.

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

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Last modified: March 15, 2014
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