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Help with super dwarf novak banana in zone 7a Virginia

 
Posts: 10
Location: Southside VA foothills of the Blue Ridge 7a
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We had a great time yesterday at Edible Landscaping today in Afton, VA. Picked up Li and Lang Jujube's as well as a mango and select pawpaw... The curve ball of the day came when my wife won a door prize which were two super dwarf novak bananas. We live in zone 7a and this is beyond Zone pushing for me. We live in a small house and the crawl space isn't big enough to hold these guys in adequate sized pots during dormancy... We planned on building a small greenhouse, guess those plans just got bumped up. Anybody have experience with these guys, particularly in cooler zones where you've had to push them to keep them alive... We'd like to make this work and see it as a challenge. Everything else is going in the ground asap!
 
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In my own personal experience, raising bananas means frost protection. If it gets any colder than just a frosting, then forget it. What I've found is that the most sensitive parts of the banana is the flower. The leaves will manage an overnight frost OK, but the flowers aren't nearly as hardy and if it reaches 31F, they are gone.

One thing you might try is wrapping a long string of Christmas lights around the tree, wrapping more around the flower. Turn on the lights on nights you think the temperature will dip. If you really want to get fancy, rig up a temperture switch to turn on at ~32F.
 
Josh Smallwood
Posts: 10
Location: Southside VA foothills of the Blue Ridge 7a
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Never would have thought of the Christmas lights. Sounds like a great idea. Was thinking of doing the rocket mass heater inside of it but this may get me through this winter.
 
Whatever. Here's a tiny ad:
A rocket mass heater is the most sustainable way to heat a conventional home
http://woodheat.net
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