Paul,"The Wise Gardener!" Presents:
Grow Bananas for a More Tropical Garden Effect Anywhere!
Bananas (plant family MUSA), should be considered as garden subjects more often to achieve a more tropical look in any garden, from Zones 8 through 12! Just a note of thanks: I am indebted to Stokes Tropicals, in Louisiana, fine its beautiful photos of banana plants that they can provide Southern gardeners!
In Zones 8 and 9, bananas will most likely die back, after a killing frost, to the ground, only to emerge the following spring even more vigourously! What the gardener should do to the plants, after the hard freeze, is to mulch the plants heavily so that the rhizomes below ground level can remain frost free by keeping the soil fairly warm until spring returns to the area. When weather warms, to consistantly above (10 degrees C.) 50 degrees F. at night, your bananas certainly will resume healthy growth!
Always keep plants well-watered, and fertilise heavily when weather is stays above 20 degrees C. (68 degrees F.) Your plants should produce heavy new stalks within about three or four short weeks! 'Tis worth the wait!
Bananas will fruit within 18 months of thelast killing freeze, or in about a year if the plants are grown in a frost free zone like Queensland, So. Florida, So. California, Rio Grande Region of Texas, lower desert region of Arizona, the Caribbean Basin lowlands, and the usual tropical areas of Africa & South America.
Even when NOT in fruiting stage, or strictly for ornamental purposes, the banana plant's leaf is unparalleled in provided that quintessential "tropical look!" Indeed, the leaf alone is reason enough to consider the banana plant! Many beautiful varieties of bananas are grown SOLELY for the exotic leaf forms and the silhoutte the create in the garden. Nothing affords a more "tropical-looking" backdrop to the home yard, than does the lovely banana plant! These photos, provided by Stokes, readily reveal that aspect!
Your banana plant will expire after fruiting, (it has "done its work!), but by then healthy & numerous plantlets will have already formed all around the base of the mature "mother" banana plant. These "babies" can easily be separated and planted throughout your exotic banana garden!
Enjoy your banana plants with or without fruit, because as I reiterate, provides a look of the tropics that can ONLY be achieved by bananas!
Paul, "The Wise Gardener!"
Photos courtesy of Stokes Tropicals.com