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Best edible banana zone 6

15 years ago

I would like to try to get edible bananas to fruit in zone 6. I plan on storing the corms in the basement for the winter and give them a head start in the greenhouse in the spring. I already have a musa basjoo. I heard Brazilians produce good fruit and are some what hardy. I have found little information about what varieties ripen the fastest. Can anyone recommend a variety that ripens the fastest from flower?

Thanks,

Dan

Comments (9)

  • 15 years ago

    I have a musa ice cream "blue java" that grows very fast, much faster than musa basjoo. I figure the faster it grows, the more likely it will produce bananas. You should be able to get this banana to fruit within 2 seasons. I planted it as 1ft tall plant last spring, and it grew to 8 feet by the time I had to dig it up in the fall. I expect it to fruit this summer, seeing as the maximum height they're supposed to reach is around 12 feet. It only has 4 feet more to go, and it's already a big plant, so it should have no problem this summer producing bananas. The fruit is supposed to be very good too.

  • 15 years ago

    thanks for your reply. do you happen to know how long it takes the ice cream from flower to harvest? I heard some varieties ripen faster than others, but are not sure which ones. I believe I can get the banana to flower, however I fear I will loose the fruit to the frost with our short summers.

  • 15 years ago

    I have no idea, but if your summer is as long as ours here in Southeast Michigan, you shouldn't have a problem if you fertilize and water frequently. Here, bananas grow from about May through part of October. That's at least 5 months for bananas to develop.

  • 15 years ago

    I grow several varieties of bananas, and Ice Cream is the clear winner in both taste and reliability of fruiting. Here in zone 8a, they need to bloom by July 1st to have any hope of completely ripening by November and frost. Most varieties of bananas tend to fruit in the fall to ripen in spring, which, in a cold zone, is not the way for us to get fruit! Ice Cream can bloom in early summer if I have a good trunk.

    I leave plants outside, however, and a hard winter can kill the tall trunks. I didn't get any ripe bananas last year, because the 2007-2008 winter was harsh. This winter was also cold, so, I'm not holding my breath.

    I'm skeptical about any banana having enough time to ripen fruit in zone 6...even if you dig up. You can't get bananas to flower if you save just the corm -- you must leave the entire trunk intact.

    BTW, Ice Cream is best when the fruits are left on the inflorescence and begin to turn black. They may even start to peel themselves and drop to the ground.

    -Bruce

  • 15 years ago

    Bruce,
    Thanks for the info. I wasn't sure how long it takes bananas to ripen. I plan on storing the p-stems (just cut off the leaves for the winter and store the stems). Do you happen to know how tall ice creams p-stems get when they flower? Its going to be a back breaker to dig the stems up every winter ;)
    -Dan

  • 15 years ago

    Hi Dan --

    I would say, under ideal conditions, the ripening time is 14-16 weeks from the first appearance of the inflorescence. If you are within three to four weeks of that by the time frost arrives, I would think you could still get an acceptable flavor by cutting it early and ripening it in a cool spot. I've cut bunches early before from other varieties, but hardly ever got one to ripen to an acceptable flavor...but that's when they're six to eight weeks early.

    If they survive into the second season, my Ice Cream trunks get to the 12-14 foot range when they're ready to flower, and maybe 18" in diameter at the base. They have extremely tough mats, and chopping a pup off is quite a chore. Even an eight-foot, first-year trunk is unwieldly. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to dig one loose, and then carry the monster somewhere! You'd have to be extra careful not to crush the trunk too badly as well -- even the weight against a gloved hand might be problematic.

    I know from experience that, even when left in the ground, it still takes some consecutive warm weeks to get them going in the spring. Requiring them to reset roots, etc., from a dug-up might be too much to ask of one, PLUS get it to bloom before July 1st...in a cooler zone.

    -Bruce

  • 15 years ago

    My best bet for hardiness and shortest time to fruit is the Dwarf Orinoco. This is one tough naner. Been growing it for 25 yrs. And yes, it takes 4 months from flower to fruit ready to eat.

    Dan

  • 15 years ago

    How long dose it take for pups to grow bananas

  • last year

     I'm thinking about buying  some banana trees that produces edible fruit for for zone 6b

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