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Cutting Bananas to Fit... for Winter

This year, in late October, I decided to cut the tallest banana plants to 1 metre height instead of moving them out of the greenhouse.

Trimming leaves off the banana plant before topping it.

When November's cold temperature arrives it's time to install the energy curtain in the greenhouse and some of the trees require a good pruning before the curtain will close.

The hardy Japanese fibre banana (Musa basjoo) will have grown to 14' tall over the summer, way too tall for the curtain. They don't produce an edible fruit and they tend to have a good crop of pups for the next year, so I usually call our local banana enthusiast 'Banana Joe' to dig out the largest plants in November. He transplants them outside on his property and they survive the winter weather.

The downside of sending off the largest trees is that the remaining trees are rarely flower.

First I pruned off the leaves. (The best ones went to a friend who has a restaurant.) Then I sawed through the soft fibered stalk easily.

The watery stalks seem too special, and rare in Canada, to throw in the compost pile. I remember years ago, in Bali, seeing a large box built log-house style with banana stalks for walls. An impressively hot fire was burning inside this fire-proof container.

Searching on the internet for uses for banana stalks I found this ingenious method of utilizing the high water content for seedling production.


And here’s how my banana plants look two months later in late December. The new leaves have grown well!

Hopefully these plants will flower this spring.