Friday, 1 January 2016


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Although Banana plants are tender, there are some species that can be grown successfully outside in the UK.  However they do require a sheltered spot and some protection during the winter.

But before you even think about wrapping your bananas up for winter you need to get the planting and location right. Choose a sheltered, sunny site protected from frost and plant in a well drained soil enriched with organic matter. This will give protection to the leaves too, which become easily shredded in the wind.

Not all species of banana (Musa and Ensete) can be grown successfully outside in the UK but hardier species such as Musa basjoo can be left in the garden over the winter.  They will need protection against rain, snow, ice and frost during the colder winter period so start covering them before it gets too cold, usually around the end of October.

First of all remove the leaves with just above the top of stem. Use sharp secateurs and cut at an angle, sloping away from the centre of the plant to prevent water channelling back into the stem.

With three large bamboo canes make a cylinder structure around your banana, just slightly larger than the plant itself. Create a frame around the canes with chicken wire.  Use straw to insulate the banana from the cold and carefully pack it around the plant taking care not to damage the trunk. Cover the top of the frame with plastic bubble wrap to prevent water entering the structure and secure with ties.

In milder areas you can protect your plant in a much simpler way by wrapping the stem with horticultural fleece and securing with twine.  Take care not to tie too tightly as this will damage the stem.

Check on the structure throughout the winter to ensure it is still intact and protecting the plant.  The wrapping can be removed after the risk of frost has passed in the spring.

Cold hardy bananas
How to overwinter banana plants
How to grow hardy bananas

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