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3/13/2015 9:39 pm  #1


Any advice on restarting elephant ears and bananas stored underground?

I pulled my elephant ears and bananas out of the storm shelter last weekend as the weather is generally warmer now. I've put them in shallow soil and kept them moist on a heating mat in the garage. Is this a decent way to get them growing again? I know it can be easy to lose bulbs that aren't stored correctly over the winter and this is my first time trying to store bulbs this way. (corms is more correct wording I suppose) Normally I just store hardier EEs and bananas in the ground over the winter and the less hardy ones come inside in pots. I have saved at least one of all of my species except for my black Thai banana. I was only able to dig one decent pup off of it, because the pups grow close to the mother and I'm just not that experienced at doing it yet. So I stored one of those in the storm shelter and the main stem in the ground. I am desperately hoping one or both of these survive. It was a great grower in its first year and I am really hoping it will be hardy here. Hoping for another year like last year:

http://i1129.photobucket.com/albums/m504/pharmb2/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG744_zpsaa54fb91.jpg

Last edited by Ben OK (3/13/2015 9:44 pm)

 

3/16/2015 11:51 pm  #2


Re: Any advice on restarting elephant ears and bananas stored underground?

My advice would be not to plant them out too early.  Unless the ground has warmed up, they will just sit there and wait for warmer weather to grow.  One thing I did when I lived in Knoxville was to cover the ground in plastic a few weeks before I planted them out, which helped to warm the soil up.  I know it's tempting to plant them right after the threat of frost seems to be over, but I've noticed that bananas planted a little bit later will catch up to ones planted early.  That being said I never did lose any by planting early, so if you have to just see it in the ground then plant it, lol. 

If you go with plastic, you can use clear or black.  Clear heats the ground up better.  When I planted them, I cut a long slit in the plastic so I could dig the hole.  After a couple of weeks I removed it when it became unneccesary.

What you're doing is fine.  As long as they've got some heat at the root zone, they'll start growing.

 

3/17/2015 5:45 pm  #3


Re: Any advice on restarting elephant ears and bananas stored underground?

Frank in Nashville wrote:

My advice would be not to plant them out too early.  Unless the ground has warmed up, they will just sit there and wait for warmer weather to grow.  One thing I did when I lived in Knoxville was to cover the ground in plastic a few weeks before I planted them out, which helped to warm the soil up.  I know it's tempting to plant them right after the threat of frost seems to be over, but I've noticed that bananas planted a little bit later will catch up to ones planted early.  That being said I never did lose any by planting early, so if you have to just see it in the ground then plant it, lol. 

If you go with plastic, you can use clear or black.  Clear heats the ground up better.  When I planted them, I cut a long slit in the plastic so I could dig the hole.  After a couple of weeks I removed it when it became unneccesary.

What you're doing is fine.  As long as they've got some heat at the root zone, they'll start growing.

 
Frank IS the expert!  I learned alot from his advice.

 

3/17/2015 10:56 pm  #4


Re: Any advice on restarting elephant ears and bananas stored underground?

I really like that advice to use plastic. Might do that to jump start my cannas currently in the ground (if they are still alive after this horrible winter). I think low soil temperatures are a big part of the reason why things don't start growing in the ground until late june or so (on the flip side, the potted plants tend to burn during that time from getting too much heat and sun compared to what they were used to indoors).

Good luck with your elephant ears and bananas. That thai black is beautiful!!

 

3/18/2015 9:19 pm  #5


Re: Any advice on restarting elephant ears and bananas stored underground?

Frank in Nashville wrote:

My advice would be not to plant them out too early.  Unless the ground has warmed up, they will just sit there and wait for warmer weather to grow.  One thing I did when I lived in Knoxville was to cover the ground in plastic a few weeks before I planted them out, which helped to warm the soil up.  I know it's tempting to plant them right after the threat of frost seems to be over, but I've noticed that bananas planted a little bit later will catch up to ones planted early.  That being said I never did lose any by planting early, so if you have to just see it in the ground then plant it, lol. 

If you go with plastic, you can use clear or black.  Clear heats the ground up better.  When I planted them, I cut a long slit in the plastic so I could dig the hole.  After a couple of weeks I removed it when it became unneccesary.

What you're doing is fine.  As long as they've got some heat at the root zone, they'll start growing.

Thanks Frank. I hadn't thought about plastic to warm the ground. I'll probably just leave them where they are. I appear to already have some growth out of one banana and one EE. My biggest worry is just that we will continue to have stretches of nice weather (like we are currently having) followed by a nasty late plunge into the subfreezing temps. I don't want it all to get burned back to the ground after I get it going.
 

     Thread Starter
 

3/18/2015 9:24 pm  #6


Re: Any advice on restarting elephant ears and bananas stored underground?

Alex NYC wrote:

I really like that advice to use plastic. Might do that to jump start my cannas currently in the ground (if they are still alive after this horrible winter). I think low soil temperatures are a big part of the reason why things don't start growing in the ground until late june or so (on the flip side, the potted plants tend to burn during that time from getting too much heat and sun compared to what they were used to indoors).

Good luck with your elephant ears and bananas. That thai black is beautiful!!

Thanks Alex. I hope that Black Thai comes back. I don't think I got enough roots on the pup that I cut off last fall, so I hope the main plant has at least one stem come back. I don't know anyone else who has tried them in this area, so I have no idea how well it will come back. The pups tend to grow closer to the mother trunk than Musa basjoo, making the pups hard to separate without damaging the pup's trunk.

I also have plants get damaged when I put them back out. My Siam Rubies, get scorched when I first put them out every spring. The bounce right back, but I always to impatient to adjust them to the sun more slowly.

     Thread Starter
 

3/18/2015 9:25 pm  #7


Re: Any advice on restarting elephant ears and bananas stored underground?

Cindy NC wrote:

Frank in Nashville wrote:

My advice would be not to plant them out too early.  Unless the ground has warmed up, they will just sit there and wait for warmer weather to grow.  One thing I did when I lived in Knoxville was to cover the ground in plastic a few weeks before I planted them out, which helped to warm the soil up.  I know it's tempting to plant them right after the threat of frost seems to be over, but I've noticed that bananas planted a little bit later will catch up to ones planted early.  That being said I never did lose any by planting early, so if you have to just see it in the ground then plant it, lol. 

If you go with plastic, you can use clear or black.  Clear heats the ground up better.  When I planted them, I cut a long slit in the plastic so I could dig the hole.  After a couple of weeks I removed it when it became unneccesary.

What you're doing is fine.  As long as they've got some heat at the root zone, they'll start growing.

 
Frank IS the expert! I learned alot from his advice.

Thanks for endorsing Frank's wisdom. He is one of many on this forum who have taught me a lot.

     Thread Starter
 

3/19/2015 4:14 pm  #8


Re: Any advice on restarting elephant ears and bananas stored underground?

Ben OK wrote:

Cindy NC wrote:

Frank in Nashville wrote:

My advice would be not to plant them out too early.  Unless the ground has warmed up, they will just sit there and wait for warmer weather to grow.  One thing I did when I lived in Knoxville was to cover the ground in plastic a few weeks before I planted them out, which helped to warm the soil up.  I know it's tempting to plant them right after the threat of frost seems to be over, but I've noticed that bananas planted a little bit later will catch up to ones planted early.  That being said I never did lose any by planting early, so if you have to just see it in the ground then plant it, lol. 

If you go with plastic, you can use clear or black.  Clear heats the ground up better.  When I planted them, I cut a long slit in the plastic so I could dig the hole.  After a couple of weeks I removed it when it became unneccesary.

What you're doing is fine.  As long as they've got some heat at the root zone, they'll start growing.

 
Frank IS the expert! I learned alot from his advice.

Thanks for endorsing Frank's wisdom. He is one of many on this forum who have taught me a lot.

Agreed about the advice and advice giver!  I planted mine last year as soon a it warmed up.  They sat and sat and sat, then all of the sudden they started growing, a week later they had 3-4 leaves and a month later they were big!


Zone 6a, 20 miles SE of Pittsburgh
Previous gardens in Dubois, Pa, Walnut Creek, CA, and Lancaster, NY
Other gardening interests: Edibles, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies, and deer resistant, variegated and fragrant plants
 
 

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