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Success rate of storing basjoo in basements

November 6, 2007

Since i'm trying it for the first time with storing my basjoo in my basement i just wanted to know how many people had luck with this? they are bare rooted and all trimmed up. basement stays in the 50*s and there is a little light that comes through the windows of the basement,but not much.

Comments (23)

  • mersiepoo

    Hi there! Well, last year I didn't have time to plant my basjoo, so I kept it in the pot I had it in all year. I was lazy and didn't get it in the ground. It hung on, was green for the most part (not dormant) and I would water it occasionally. It got some light (not much) and was hanging on all winter. When it warmed up outside, I took it out and watered it. Then forgot to bring it in when we had a cold snap and that did it in. Other than that it did survive until I left it outside. HTH! :)

  • gardenguy_

    Of the few varieties of bananas I've had, Basjoo's are hard to overwinter indoors in that fashion. I've yet to have one stem survive. The corm barely made it as well. I was lucky to get one pup to grow after replanting the corm.

  • blownz281

    Thanks for replies.

    gardenguy - what did you do exactly when you overwintered your basjoo's?

    some people seem to have no problem. i'm praying mine make it as i will be mad if they die..

  • chippy

    I can tell you this much, My wifes uncle had two basjoos cut down to about 5ft in the basement last year. Simply removed them from the dirt and placed in a bag. I planted them this year at my house and they blew up to more than 12ft.
    I just removed them yesterday again and storing them in the basement with the roots in a bag.
    Im assuming they will be fine.


  • blownz281

    Chip - whats the idea behind putting the roots in a plastic bag?

  • beachbum_nj

    Last summer I got my 1st Basjoo. Kept it in a pot and it grew about5 feet tall. Brought it in for the winter. kept it near (not in front of) an east facing patio door. Watered it about once a week and it continued to grow very slowly. Some of the leaves would brown out and I would cut them off. Didn't look the best but it survived and also put out a pup. Put it out again for this past summer and it produced 3 more pups. Didn't get much taller but maybe that is because it is still in the same pot. I now have it inside again this time in front of a west facing window. Hopefully it will do as good as last year.

  • xerophyte NYC

    The key for overwintering is to keep the temperature cold enough that they don't want to grow, this means that night temps must remain below about 50-55F, with daytime not much warmer either. If they grow slowly at the wrong temp range, that means they need light, water and food. If it is cold, all they need is to stay on the dry side, but not completely dry otherwise the corm may not survive.

    I also keep mine in bags, with the rootball intact. 100% success on about 10 separate occasions. They burst into growth in the spring very quickly.

  • chippy

    I put them in the bag so the dirt doesn't make a mess. They are still about 4-5ft tall sticking out of the bag.


  • blownz281

    alright thanks for the help.

  • antbeez6

    Would storing Kru or Ele ele corms in the same conditions (cold and mostly dry) work as well?

  • sunsetsammy

    The people over at bananas.org advise against storing Basjoo in this way. Apparently many people have problems with the plants rotting or the temps being too high and the things want to grow.

    I stored 6 Basjoos this way last winter. They all made it through the winter and doubled in size this summer. Lots of pups too. I left the roots bare. Its very damp in these parts so I wasn't worried about them drying out.

  • arctictropical

    Another banana (some consider a close relative) that you can overwinter in your basement is Ensete. I like these so much better than musa because they grow extremely fast and end up being much taller and robust than the typical musa which appears weak and puny in comparison. You can either grow them from seed (Park Seed Co.) or purchase small plants at a nursery (usually the red leafed variety). In any case, in the Fall, I dig them up and put them in a 15 gallon nursery pot, chop off the leaves and stick them in my dark food storage room which is unheated but does not get too cold (50-55 degrees). I water them once or twice in the winter, bring them up in the Spring when they start growing again, and plant them back outside after the last frost. Once and a while one dies, but the majority survive.

  • bearstate

    My zone is 9 and so, a lot of the techniques that folks in colder zones use don't directly apply. However, I have been ready many of the dialogues which colder zone Banana growers have engaged in and I think things can be summarized as follows ...

    1.) Overwintering indoors is more affected by light levels than by temperature.

    Basements or other indoor accomodations are typically warm. However, they typically lack the intensity of light energy necessary to sustain healthy growth. Grow lights are not as intense as direct sunlight and are only effective very close to the plants. Bananas are not small plants and so, grow lights are NOT a good solution. Lighting in northern latitudes at a window, even a south facing window, suffers from two problems, 1) winter solar azimuth is lower and so sunlight is less energy expressive and 2) winter weather may occult the sun for longer periods of time.

    2.) Bananas can go dormant and it appears the trick here is to cut back on watering. This slows down the Banana's energy expenditures.

    3.) Bananas may be left outside in colder latitudes if 1) they are growing in a protected area where heat is generated by surrounding buildings or 2) use techniques for covering the plants so that temps around them are maintained higher than if they had not been covered. Some folks put insulating foam around the cane or pile leaf litter or mulch around it. There are other techniques.

  • bearstate

    Forgot this one ...

    4.) Like Canna and Gingers, you can cut off the cane ( the above ground growth ) and pull up the corm and roots. Put these in a breathable bag and store them until Spring. Then replant them and watch your Banana rejuvinate itself.

  • ohgirl

    Heres mine.{{gwi:423769}}

  • chippy

    I moved mine in the basement as of 11/6 as posted above. I have to say they each grew over a foot leaf and continue.
    The roots are in a bag with barely any soil and no water. I even covered the tops with black bags but they burst right through!
    What gives! These things are freaking me out. lol

    Is it not cold enough? I would say its probably 60 degrees or so in my unfinished basement. Maybe I need to crack a window open to get it cooler?

    My parents bananas are in a closet with no heat against a corner in their basement and same thing, they just want to keep growing! What a crazy plant!
    Hope they make it!

  • edbtz

    I have mine in my cold room in the basement. Its aout 35 degrees in there, so I wrapped my basjoo in a blanket to keep it a little warm. I have seen no growth. Can someone tell me if this is too cold? it does not reach freezing in there.

  • subtropix

    So far my basjoo and Musella lasiocarpa (Chinese banana) look great in the garage. They have held on to all there leaves. I keep them at a minimum of about 40 F/maximums in the dead of winter are probably around 50 F. They get some light through windows and overhead flourescent and I keep it on the drier side (but not bone dry). I too have previously had problems overwintering the basjoos under warmer basement conditions. One of these years I'll experiment with overwintering in the ground, over the years I would just bring the basjoos into shelter along with the Himalayans, Kru's, sabas, red Cubans and others (only the basjoos never seemed to make it through till spring).

  • chippy

    Ya know, now I'm upset! All season I waited for my banana plant to flower and nothing.
    So now its in my basement and all joking aside, the dam thing is pushing out a large flower / banana or whatever you want to call it!!
    What gives??? It hasn't had water or soil in over a month!! Im starting to think its not cold enough down here!!

  • chippy

    Just trying to find out why my plants keep growing!!!!

  • nucci60

    bearstate,have you actually tried to store a banana corm like you would a canna? I am thinking in a box with no water and complete darkness?

  • bearstate


    No, I've never stored corms or canna tubers. I don't need to do that here in California. They survive the winter ok in the ground.

    If you read my initial post, my summary is based upon the differences in techniques that people in colder zones use to get their bananas to survive the winter.

  • tropicallvr

    Here's a link to bigdogs thread on storing corms and p-stem over winter(with pictures) He and a few others seem to have it down pretty good! He gives some great tips like leaving a couple leaves on.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Basement storage

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