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By Railmad

West Midlands, United Kingdom Gb

Thinking of Planting some Japanese Banana down the North East bottom of my garden. Will they be ok under a 45' Sycamore tree . It is a slightly shaded area.



What it won't be alright with is our winters - this is a tender perennial and should be removed somewhere frost free over winter. Needs a fair bit of sun too.

10 Nov, 2011


Japanese banana or musa basjoo is root hardy down to minus 20 c. They will get cut down by frosts each winter then come up from the ground in late spring and can get up to 8 feet each year. The trunks can be protected bt removing all the leaves in winter, putting a series of pipes over the stem and then stuffing them with straw, By doing this, the plant can actually attain a height of up to 20 foot tall.

Bananas need lots of water and enjoy a bit of sun so the area you suggest probably won't be too good for them. They need lots of feed too but an area under a large tree will probably be starved.

10 Nov, 2011


You reckon they'd survive in the West Midlands in a bad winter, Andy Jeavor, even if only the roots? I'd give it a shot in London, right by the coast, or the West, but I'm not sure I'd risk it up there, so I'm interested to hear your opinion.

10 Nov, 2011


I'm sorry to say that I agree with Bamboo. You might get away with it in a sheltered London, coastal or West Country garden with a southerly or westerly aspect.

10 Nov, 2011


Got to minus 15 at times last december down on the south coast. My Jap bananas all came up and were totally uncovered. Give it a go...they're pretty common and available fairly small. Remind me next spring and i'll send you an offset...they really are hard as nails.

On another forum, a lady in germany was absolutely astonished that i had some Fatsias growing outdoors all year round as they only ever grew them as house plants over there. I suggested she gave one a try and all her neighbours thought she was mad. The fatsia looked pretty sad in the they often do, but is as healthy as when she bought it.

She also tried a basjoo and this came up the following year.

Wikipedia says root hardy to minus 25 with a good mulch

10 Nov, 2011


Plenty of Fatsias outside here, and I also grow Canna indica, been in the ground 8 years, comes up every year, no protection - but I am in West London. I know temps up north and in the midlands last year dropped to below minus 20 at times, so I still ain't too sure about up there - depends on just how arctic the winters are going to be in the immediate future I reckon... but maybe you're right, need someone up there to actually try it out, lol!

10 Nov, 2011


I Agree with Andy. I live in Lancashire, bought a musa basjoo 4 years ago, planted it in the ground and it's survived every winter. I just pile a lot of wet leaves around the base to insulate the roots.

The only problem I have found is that the frost kills the leaves and trunk and when the warmer weather comes it starts again from ground level so doesn't really get too big. I have taken many pups from the base to give away, I simply wait until the pups grow to about 2 ft high and cut downwards taking some root with it.

This year I grew one of these pups in a pot on my patio in the summer. I've moved it into my consevatory for the winter and it's already about 6 ft tall. When I move it outdoors in the spring I fear it will attain a height too tall to fit back into my conservatory to overwinter next year, so I will try what you said Andy with the pipes and straw. I read about that somewhere else. If I lose it I have many more babies protected in my conservatory in pots ready to maybe try a different method if that fails. I'll let you know how I get on and post some pictures.

10 Nov, 2011


Thank you for all your comments, still a bit unsure what to do. Will let you know what i decide.

11 Nov, 2011


Railmad, the info to take away is you shouldn't plant it under your sycamore, even if you want to risk growing it in your part of the country. And if you do grow it, you will need to protect the topgrowth during winter if you want a plant of any size year on year.

11 Nov, 2011

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