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Overwintering Musa Basjoo

Even a hardy banana tree like a musa basjoo isn’t going to fair too well over a New Jersey winter. So once the weather starts getting cool, I grab my favorite shovel and I start digging up banana trees.

The roots aren’t very deep so it’s not a tough chore. I usually cut all the leaves off first too. Some people like to leave the leader leaf on the plant to help kick start it's growth in the spring but I rarely bother. They grow just fine without it.

A few years back I bought a tiny little basjoo from Plant Delights and it’s done really well in my yard. These banana plants like to have babies or "pups" as they’re called in the banana world. So every year I have more and more plants. I’m up to 10 decent sized plants at this point and I’ve given a few away too. They look great in my yard during the warm months but they’re completely taking over my garage during the winter.

My garage, which on a good day looks like a disaster zone gets this nice tropical disaster zone feel to it when it’s stuffed with 10 giant banana stalks. But I’m fine with that as long as my trees are nice and toasty warm for the winter.


  1. sarah k. said...
    I guess your garage is attached to your house? Ours isn't, so I don't think that would work for me. But our basement stays at about 55 degrees in the winter. Is that warm enough?
    Anthony said...
    Hi Sarah,
    55 degrees is definitely warm enough. My garage is attached to the house but it isn't heated. It stays above 40 degrees in there and my plants are fine.
    Parsec said...
    Those are big plants!

    I though they were hardy to about zone 5 at the most? Maybe you could try putting blankets over the cut-down stalks and see if they can survive the winter...
    Annie in Austin said...
    Most people leave them in the ground here. They die back pretty hard but usually resprout. You're doing way better with pups than I have, Anthony!
    My Musa 'Cardaba' has made it through two winters, getting up to about 7-feet in summer, but never made a pup.
    Did you ever find your wife's cellphone?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose
    lisa said...
    I really appreciate you posting about musa...I killed one already by asking it to survive Wisconsin in winter. Now I know how to keep one alive!
    keila said...
    when do you dig up your bananas? and do you do anything special like fertilize and or water?

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