Bananas and hardiness

Forum rules
This area is for Reference and discussion of plant hardiness, overwintering methods and tips, and planr protection.

Bananas and hardiness

Post by Adrian » Sat Feb 14, 2009 10:07 am

Just to add to the hardiness debate concerning basjoo and sikkimensis, not at all surprising to me as Ive grown sikkis for a number of years now but my basjoos are all mush and face down on the ground whereas my sikkis are as solid as rocks.
One of the sikkis flowered last year and I tried to pull it over to compost but I had to cut it down, it was still hard from ground to top as are the good stems that are left.
I only wished I had protected the fruit from the flowering sikki as some of the bananas were showing small seeds inside.

I had one nice surprise this morning, I checked on Ensete montbelliardii this morning, its been wintered in one of those small plastic temporary greenhouses with a fleece wrap and its still solid and has shown signs of growth so Im fairly confident that this one will make it through again (one of Dons from the Rainforest meet).
If it does make it then it will be the first Ensete that Ive managed to over winter outside.
To take a harsh winter with lows to -9 gives good hope for this nana.


Re: Bananas and hardiness

Post by musa_monkey » Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:23 am

This is interesting because mine are completely the opposite, Basjoos ok and Sikkis quite poorly although i am comparing young vs young as i do not have sikki's older than two years.


Re: Bananas and hardiness

Post by Jellybob » Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:34 am

Well, all I can say is that my sikkimensis are, I think, no more. I dug it up to save and separate but it looks like only one of the off shots is okay, but it is very small. The biggest plant and off shoots have slowly indoors turned to mush and I have had to cut them right down, I think they are no more.

The Basjoo are a mess but still standing. They have had some protection but they need air or they start to 'go off'! No more protection for those guy's....let's see how they get on. But as for sikkimensis, I'm very disapointed.

User avatar
Posts: 2418
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 6:02 pm
Location: Slough, Berkshire

Re: Bananas and hardiness

Post by simon » Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:48 am

I have similar sized Basjoo and Sikki 'red tiger' in the front garden to compare. They were both wrapped with the same amount of fleece but the Sikki is about 5 to 6ft from the house whereas the basjoo is at the top of the garden. The basjoo has flopped over but the sikki is still standing. I don't know if it is simply the proximity to the house that has given the sikki the advantage. I suspect so.


Re: Bananas and hardiness

Post by SteveW » Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:45 pm

Strange that your sikkis are doing better than the basjoo icon_scratch ,guess you must have a really good variant.Might even be good enough for Fletch to try out if you get a spare pup :idea:
All mine are still standing including yunannense,helens and velutina(these are well protected though :wink: ),but none have had to deal with the temps you've had in southampton though Ade.


Re: Bananas and hardiness

Post by DavidF » Sat Feb 14, 2009 5:38 pm

Might even be good enough for Fletch to try out if you get a spare pup
Yes please! icon_cheers

User avatar
Dave Brown
Site Admin
Posts: 19742
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 10:17 am
Location: Chalk, (Thames Estuary) Kent, England 51.5N 0.3E

Re: Bananas and hardiness

Post by Dave Brown » Sat Feb 14, 2009 6:05 pm

Basjoo solid as a rock here as they have been since 1993, no protection whatsoever, but sikki died back to ground level at least, as it does every year. Had 4 plants of sikki but now down to one, if this one is gone won't bother again as not reliably hardy in -4C last year, and not exotic enough to keep inside. This seems to be a problem with seed grown hardy bananas..... the hardiness is variable and from what I have seen most not being hardy, but the occasional few are :roll:

Helens Hybrid is firm with only a single layer of fleece which has blown off several times in -5C, so that is certainly more hardy than the average sikki.

'Montbeliardii' is firm right to the top of the stem with just one layer of fleece and this had blown away at the bottom.

Ensete maurelii (big one) is firm but a bit too early to tell. :roll:

Siam Ruby wilted badly and had all the leves cut off, but did not seem to have root damage. Roller has started to grow again icon_thumright
Best regards
Roll on summer.....


Re: Bananas and hardiness

Post by Adrian » Sat Feb 14, 2009 7:39 pm

DavidF wrote:
Might even be good enough for Fletch to try out if you get a spare pup
Yes please! icon_cheers

Ill see what I can do but they havent suckered for a few years now. Maybe the death of the flowered one might send up a few.


Re: Bananas and hardiness

Post by lucienc » Sat Feb 14, 2009 7:52 pm

Good to see everyone trying Ensete's outside (with protection).

All my bananas are left to their own through the winter. This winter they have seen -5.9C.

Currently lost (hopefully will grow back from roots):
basjoo (front garden)
siki (front garden)

Currently still alive:
Ensete maurelli (front garden, small, seems to be ok)
Ensete maurelli (back garden - the big one)
Ensete 'Montbeliardii' (back garden - unsure - it is a bit squishy - but seems firm in the middle)
basjoo (back garden - nice clump - feeling squishy on some of them, but not lost height yet)
siki (back garden - firm, started growing before basjoo last year)
Ensete hiniba (I wasn't going to risk this, so it is in the cold greenhouse, not sure how low it has gone, but it will be minus something.

This winter is going to be the big test to see if Ensete's are "hardy" (with protection) in the (south of the) UK.


User avatar
Mick C
Posts: 1364
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:09 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: Bananas and hardiness

Post by Mick C » Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:58 pm

I have a basjoo in the back garden and a sikki in the front; the sikki is older and larger with several stems. Both have been protected over winter and both seem to have survived Ok.

An interesting thing about the sikki is that it is a pup taken from a plant that I bought from Mulu a couple of years ago, that seemed to start into growth quite happily when planted, but after a few weeks began to go backwards. It had one pup which I separated from it.The following year it did much the same, started growing, did not get very big, and was barely noticeable behind a ginger plant.

The pup however is quite the opposite and grew vigorously from the off. I will try keep the mother plant alive for more pups, but don't expect anything more from it now.

Posts: 967
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:20 am
Location: lincoln lincolnshire

Re: Bananas and hardiness

Post by daz » Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:24 am

Here in lincoln i have 2 5ft sikkies planted last year.Thay are both still solid.Also 4 basjoo ranging from 2ft right up to 7ft again all very solid however i have a trex thats fleeced up and thats turned to much :ahhh!: [very p....d of thats my favorit plant]


Re: Bananas and hardiness

Post by SteveW » Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:34 am

Sorry to hear that about your Rex daz,but I wouldn't worry just yet mate.Just sit back and wait for spring to arrive and I'm sure you'll get a load of pups sprouting up from the ground icon_thumright
If not I'm sure they'll be loads being swopped/given away at the meets this year,but I'd be really surprised if it didn't come back


Re: Bananas and hardiness

Post by photonbucket » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:00 am

As I just said on another topic, my Sikkis have performed better than the Bajoos for the last 2 years. They have started growing early, faster and not shredded as readily. I would buy a Sikki over a Basjoo every time.

So what is the hardiest banana? Basjoo Sakhalin? I have some "Red Stem" bananas for the first time this year. They have turned to mush even in the greenhouse.


Re: Bananas and hardiness

Post by SteveW » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:31 am

Red stemmed cavendish/bajoo rubra are a real nice banana,butaren't anywhere near hardy Tom.Even in my heated greenhouse mines struggling :shock: Last year was the same,thankfully it managed to hold on long enough for the wether to warm up.Don't know if it'll make it this year though,fingers crossed :lol:


Re: Bananas and hardiness

Post by musa_monkey » Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:29 pm

Just to add that my Siam Ruby(s) over wintered next to a south facing window have both sprouted new rollers in the last couple of days :D

Post Reply