<< October, 2018 >>
SMTWTFS
123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031
Related Links
Search Blog

Categories
Archives
Photo Albums
RSS

Powered by
BlogCFM v1.1

08 April 2007

Saving a young banana tree from a late freeze

So, I have a banana tree in my front yard.  I can do this in North Carolina because the winters aren't cold enough to freeze the ground.  Banana trees aren't very tolerant of freezing - in fact, they're not at all tolerant.  The slightest frost will kill all the leaves, and a good freeze will kill the entire tree right down to the ground.

I wouldn't have thought about growing a banana tree here in North Carolina, except that there's a large grove of banana trees in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens up on campus.  I asked my coworker George, who has what you might call a green thumb, and he has some in his yard, and kindly gave me a sproute last spring.

Anyway, last night's low was going to be in the mid 20s.  A record by a long shot - the previous record was 28, and it was supposed to be 24 last night.  My little banana tree had sprouted several leaves and was a good 18-24" tall already, as we've had lovely spring weather, and no frost for over a month I'd say.

Well, I don't want it to have to start over - from the ground up, so to speak - so here's what I did.

I have an unused halogen desk lamp in my garage.  It gets quite hot when it's on, though the bulb is only like 10 watts or something.  Anyway, I ran an extension cord out to the banana tree, and plugged in the halogen lamp and sit in right next to the banana.  Then I mounded up some mulch around the base of the banana, as high as I could get it, and covered the tree and lamp with a 30 gallon plastic garbage can.  Finally, I mounded more mulch around the base of the trash can to keep the warm air inside.

This morning - about a half hour ago actually - I went out to remove the garbage can.  Success!  Not only was the banana tree nice and warm, but the inside of the garbage can was wet.  I think I created a miniature rain forest!  Hah.

Tonight the low is supposed to be in the low 30s, but then after that I think we'll be safe from future frosts.

Posted by rickroot at 8:33 AM | Link | 2 comments
Subscription Options

You are not logged in, so your subscription status for this entry is unknown. You can login or register here.

Re: Saving a young banana tree from a late freeze
wow this brings back some memories. a million years ago we did a project to locate potential commercial banana growing areas for united fruit. i was kind of shocked by the fact that some "perfect" sites in central thailand had "frost" problems that otherwise ruled them out. though i was even more shocked by their specs for the banana sites, it was as a thick as war & peace.
Posted by PaulH on April 8, 2007 at 11:04 PM

Re: Saving a young banana tree from a late freeze
wow this brings back some memories. a million years ago we did a project to locate potential commercial banana growing areas for united fruit. i was kind of shocked by the fact that some "perfect" sites in central thailand had "frost" problems that otherwise ruled them out. though i was even more shocked by their specs for the banana sites, it was as a thick as war & peace.
Posted by PaulH on April 8, 2007 at 11:05 PM

Post a comment (login required)