Rotten Basjoo

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Dave Brown
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Rotten Basjoo

Post by Dave Brown » Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:54 am

Jonty2, There is a difference between losing height on a stem and completely losing the stem. If the growth bud is still alive, the stem knows where is was in it's lifecycle, and regrows the stem in a few months. If the stem is dead, then it produces pups, which will gradually gain height over a couple of years.

Pics are of my M.basjoo recovering after 2010 freeze. The 1st pic is from April 2011 and the lines are where the stem was killed to in December 2010. You can see that in just 3 leaves it has regained a couple of feet of stem. 2nd pic is same clump in August 2011, almost back to it's original size.
2011-04-24 13-10-12 FG Musa basjoo growth .jpg
M. basjoo with lines showing where the pseudostem was killed back to, and regrowth above it. April 2011
2011-08-31 17-53-38 FG M basjoo clump.jpg
Regrowth almost complete by August 2011
Best regards
Dave
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Jonty2
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Rotten Basjoo

Post by Jonty2 » Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:43 pm

Wow, they look great! Do you have pictures of how you protect over the winter?
I’m a little confused about the ‘growth bud’ part. From what I’ve read if I want to leave the plant in the ground over winter I can either:

- cut it right back and it will from from the base again next year. All of last years height will be lost

- cut it but leave a couple of feet of the stem remaining and protect it. Next years grow will grow from this height

Is this correct? Will the small pups survive outside if I just cover them with mulch?


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Dave Brown
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Rotten Basjoo

Post by Dave Brown » Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:03 pm

Each leaf starts at the base of the stem in a bud on the rhizome, and it knows how big it is. If the stem is cut down, it knows how big it should be, but can't regrow all the height in one leaf as the stem thickness would be too thin, so it gets back to where it should be in about 5 or 6 leaves. How long that will take will be determined by temperature.

I don't protect at all, other than a mulch of organic matter around the stems to stop frost getting to the rhizome. I don't do anything to the top, and when the leaves are mushed by frost I just leave them hanging. This all adds to protection of the lower stem where the bud is. In the 'Beast' of 2018, I lost about 2 feet mushed at the top, but the lower stem was fine, and was back to normal height by June.

If you are in a hard frost area. I'd buy fleece bags with a drawer string. If the banana stem is too tall, cut the top off so they fit the bag (Mine are 6ft bags) remove the leaves from the crown, and drape these over the cut stem to protect it. Then put the bag over the top. ;)
Best regards
Dave
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Roll on summer.....
http://www.hardytropicals.co.uk


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