can you grow bananas in northern california

Once established, banana trees are relatively easy care – except in winter. In return, they’ve rewarded me with so much good fruit.”. Usually if you are closer to the Bay, the harder it is for bananas to bloom. I am in zone 9b on the south end of Silicon Valley, not exactly the “banana belt” but not the coldest part of the SF Bay Area either. It’s usually at i. Some banana varieties are more cold hardy than others (such as Lady Finger and Japanese Fiber Banana), so if you live somewhere that is a bit cold, you may be able to grow bananas, especially if you’re prepared to wrap the tree during the cooler months. “They’re great for wrapping tamales.”, Debbie Arrington: 916-321-1075, darrington@sacbee.com, @debarrington, Seventh annual Sacramento Banana Festival, Where: Shasta Park, 7407 Shasta Ave. (at Bruceville Road), Sacramento, When: 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21. George got hooked on bananas while living in Florida. I started seeing a few here and there around Fair Oaks, and at first I thought they were giant bird of paradise. It was only a few feet tall, and we planted it in October. Avocados. “I water my trees twice a month,” George said. :) Anyway, here’s a link to a page about him, his work, and the Sacramento Banana Festival. There may be restrictions as banana growing in Australia specifically in Northern NSW and Queensland, needs a permit to plant or transplant a banana plant. When properly fertilized, the Ice Cream Banana tree can grow to 10 feet in height. By Joan Morris | jmorris@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News … “I get racks of 100 bananas, six feet long,” he said. “I don’t keep them covered during the day; they need to breathe. Bananas can definitely be grown as an annual or an herbaceous perennial in the Midwest or northern states – most particularly down to zone 5. General Fruit Growing . If there is a cold winter that goes below -15 degrees, the plant will not survive as an herbaceous perennial and will need to be replanted. He specializes in hard-to-find vegetables such as Afghani pumpkins for ethnic markets and buyers. Use a 6- or 8-inch pot with a drainage hole, since banana trees thrive in well-drained soil. Here are some more pics: While I’m here, I ought to provide an update. I’ve been shy to try since the one experience didn’t work, so the clump is just spreading from the root crown, close together. Admission: $10; children age 5 and younger admitted free. The reason I say "can be" is because a banana doesn't have to be heavily fertilized, but it can be if you want rapid growth. But in our green-thumbed farm-to-fork capital, someone had to take the banana fest to the next level with some home-grown local produce. Banana plants produce offshoots or pups, similar to succulents, he said. George plans to bring at least 40 plants to sell at the Banana Festival. But a little googling, and I found a website about a guy in West Sacramento who sells banana plants and kind of “evangelizes” about growing them around here. The oldest stem is probably 13-15 feet tall now, and we are hoping to see a fruiting stem come out of it this summer! My buddy Brian has a Saba that has about 30 fingers on it now in zone 6 but its already frosted 2 days in a row here so I doubt they will get ripe before its time to go inside. Banana plants are almost all water; they will freeze and die.”. Still got some peppers from the garden this week. The fruits are rich in fibre, potassium, vitamins A, B6 and C. But it's also about flavour - and you just can't beat the taste of a home grown banana. Can’t grow bananas in Sacramento? This could be because they are slightly sweeter than common bananas or because they do not turn brown when cut, therefore making them perfect for fresh applications. If you don’t get it, email me at steve [at] valleygardens.com. There is a variety called “California Gold” that is probably OK for cooler areas. Bananas in Northern California. Since he started growing the banana trees some 15 years ago, George has sold more than 200 trees to customers from the Sierra foothills to as far south as Watsonville and Santa Cruz. Bananas can also be grown in such states as Texas, Arizona and California. Common Names:Banana, Bananier Nain, Canbur, Curro, Plantain Origin:Edible bananas originated in the Indo-Malaysian region reaching to northern Australia. "But to get it to produce fruit regularly and thrive — that's the big challenge in our climate." 7 exotic fruits you can grow in the United States. Do you happen to have contact info for Eric I cannot find any. He has a friend growing it in Pinole. An urban farmer, he grows crops on two empty lots, former home sites that now produce a large assortment of fresh food. This weekend, George will be among the folks at Sacramento’s Shasta Park admittedly going bananas. This community party started by celebrating bananas and banana-loving cultures, not growing this tropical fruit. They can be dug and left in the garage for 3 months, watering only once per month. Some gardeners use large pots and move them indoors for winter. Lady Finger Bananas are the second most popular banana in Australia. Get unlimited digital access at our lowest price of the year, “Absolutely, you’ve got to protect them from frost,” George said. It’s possible to grow bananas outdoors down to Zone 8, but getting them to fruit in those zones will be a challenge. Arrington will appear from 9 to 10 a.m. on “The KFBK Garden Show” (Channel 93.1 FM and 1530 AM) and from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on “Get Growing” on KSTE (Talk 650 AM). David The Good August 1, 2016 - 10:08 am. If there is a retailer you are more familiar with, then you may find that they can do a special order for you to get the varieties that you are most interested in. Get answers from Sacramento Bee garden writer Debbie Arrington as she joins radio host Farmer Fred Hoffman on his morning shows Sunday, March 4. (He can be reached at 916-627-8477 or egrant46@hotmail.com. If you live in a state like Hawaii or Florida, or in other locations such as the south of Texas or California, you should be able to grow some kinds of edible bananas without much trouble. When frost is in the forecast, George wraps his plants. When looking for a location to plant your banana, choose one that has a rich, well-drained soil, receives full sun and is protected from strong winds. Otherwise, it would require a greenhouse to protect them from cold winters. Check it out! Cross our fingers! In contrast, american goldfinger FHIA-1 under the same exact conditions and timing, had all the fingers rot away. I have planted 2 kinds of bananas which are Banana (Musa acuminata) and Saba (Musa acuminata x balbisiana) 11 years ago, and they are still around and bearing fruit. this may be due to the fact that it's slower growing? The price was not cheap. Reply. Yup! Most of these exotic fruits won’t tolerate cold weather or frost, but some of them can still be grown in containers. Do you do any presentations in your area? I’ve read there are two different kinds of pups, and I should choose one with more sword-like foliage, as they have more roots of their own. 1) In Northern California, early spring blooms can produce mature bananas! George doesn’t know why the conventional wisdom says you can’t grow bananas in Sacramento–he only knows the results he–and scores of happy customers–have had! To grow a banana tree in a container, you’ll need to use a dwarf variety, since regular banana trees can grow too large for pots. Yes, those are mushrooms. (hybrid) Related species Abyssinian Banana (Ensete ventricossum Cheesman), Musa balbisina Colla, M. ornata Roxb., M. textilisNee AdaptationBananas and plantains are today grown in every humid tropical region and constitutes the 4th largest fruit crop of the world. “For instance, their leaves are perforated, so in the wind, the leaves tear apart and the whole tree won’t be blown over. This winter, we just let it freeze, and I cut off the dead leaves a few weeks ago, when it looked like the freezing nights were over. Expect 6-8 feet tall. Commercial banana production in the United States is relatively limited in scale and economic impact. Eric said they usually take two years to produce fruit. All my neighbors love them.”. Your email address will not be published. A: You have chosen an anniversary gift that, planted where it is, is likely, as marriages often are, to suffer some adversity. just have to cut it down and let it go. Almost everything I learned about how to grow bananas came from Jon. This is where it’s a suitable combination of humidity and winter warmth. Banana trees offer lush, tropical foliage and delicious fruit! I don’t think he thought it was as funny as I did! joehewitt 2016-08-03 19:47:10 UTC #1. For the first winter, we wrapped Christmas lights around it and put a little tent of canvas over it on freezing nights. Bananas are grown in the warm, tropical corners of the US, namely Hawaii and Florida. Can I grow Banana’s outside of the tropics? Bananas are not growing during the winter, and are very drought tolerant during this time. I did try transplanting one of the pups last year, and it didn’t work – digging it out caused too much damage to its roots. 2) relatively higher cold tolerance. But he loves his bananas best. Bananas are the world's favourite tropical fruit. Every year, I’ve had beautiful bananas for the festival.”. “I usually have ripe bananas by this time (of summer), but not quite yet this year. Bananas are a plant that can be grown quite successfully here in Southern California if they are given proper soil conditions and are protected from temperatures that venture below freezing. Eric had told us to just cut off the frozen parts in the spring, but we wanted to keep it as green as possible for its first several months in the ground, just to be sure it had transplanted well. Your email address will not be published. “They don’t require much attention. Even the little one wants a little attention this, When we bought this house, we didn’t know how am, Two lucky acquisitions this year - the neighbor as, What is this strange feeling? Among the topics will be tomato planting amid unpredictable weather, camellias and a gardeners’ view of Oscar night. Once your banana plants arrive, you will need to ensure that they have the right type of growing conditions in order to see them grow taller, produce flowers, and produce those gorgeous bunches of bananas. But around the plant, smaller “pups” have been growing out of the root mass, and one or two of those will become main stems after the largest one dies down. After finding Eric the Banangelist, Santia and I bought one of his plants about a year and a half ago for our wedding anniversary (we’re goofy, romantic gardeners like that). One bunch can go a long way. Click on the gallery to learn more about our banana varieties.eaten served chilled and is frequently used in desserts. This large bunch grew in Folsom. Think of the areas that the marine layer consistently rolls over each summer night. Hey Chris, I do have his phone number. We carry numerous banana varieties, especially in the summer months. During the growing season, a banana can be fertilized every one to two months using a high nitrogen fertilizer. However, the nursery sold them to us at a 75% discount because nobody wanted to risk buying them. I had some brown leaves and stems to cut out, but not as much as before. Growing Papaya in a Container in Northern California The other day, while shopping at our local garden store my eyes bulged with excitement when I saw a Hawaiian papaya( Solo variety) on sale. It comes from south america, and it evolved to grow on their mountain tops. I started seeing a few here and there around Fair Oaks, and at first I thought they were giant bird of paradise. Required fields are marked *. They’ll grow back.”, “That’s one of the things I really like about this plant – how they’ve adapted,” George said. So many people don’t even think about (growing bananas), it’s kind of educational, too.”. Thank you. Yes bananas do grow in California. Growing tips and more. I’ve learned how to care for it, really nurturing it to be its best. 3) It's a true dwarf. Eric George has the plants – and gigantic bunches of fruit – to prove the contrary. Re: Northern Growers - Bananas you can eat! That allows George to spread banana love to other local gardeners. I’m surprised you can grow dragon fruit. I need to more regularly fertilize them, I think. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. The banana clump is vigorous and growing very well. “They’re totally edible and sweet. They grow from a succession of stems (pseudostems, I think they call them), growing up through the middle of the trunk. Or why to rip out more of your lawn, Gardening through winter – what worked well, Propagating cuttings in water – the lazy method. They need moist soil when they start out.”. If you’re in Southern California and are serious about growing bananas, I highly recommend you schedule a visit with Jon (by appointment only). “Now, I typically sell 50 to 75 plants a year.”, George sells his banana plants, starting at $25, with a guarantee they’ll grow. I’m hoping that inside that thick trunk right now is the fruiting stem that will flower and produce a bunch of bananas this year. Growing pineapples in Northern California Share this: ... Pineapples can grow where you might not think they can. This past winter didn’t freeze very hard. Jon also has some shipping options available if you’re outside the area. His name is Eric, and I told him I’m gonna call him the Banangelist. How to Grow Bananas __ "Because it takes nine months or more to reach maturity, some northern gardeners grow the banana plant only for its spectacular ornamental foliage. Now, you've got the know-how to grow bananas in the desert. Bananas can turn yellow on the "vine", but you can also hang your bounty in in a dark spot at a time. “They’re very popular for cooking,” he said. :). You can see them every summer, flourishing in his front yard on Southwood Dr. No, don’t eat them. Bananas Indoors. We bought two “snow bananas” from a nursery this spring — they looked bad from winter die-back, but that’s just normal for bananas. Although they need frost protection, bananas can grow in the Sacramento area. That’s pretty cool.”. I’m sure, here’s a link to a page about him, his work, and the Sacramento Banana Festival, cut a couple of the pups out and transplant them, Another huge flowerbed! “I’ve got banana plants that are 12 to 16 feet tall and a foot around at the base,” he said. Gardeners in USDA Zones 9 to 11 can usually grow good bananas with a little extra attention to cold protection. Highlights: Banana parade, 11 a.m. Saturday; banana pancake breakfast, 9-11 a.m. both days. Did you know you can grow bananas in northern California Zone 9? The cooler year round area prevents the blooming and often the banana chokes out. “I cut the leaves off and cover the rest of the plant with burlap,” he explained. “I hope I have some bananas, too,” he said last week. After the fruit, the main stem dies back and needs to be cut down. I used to give regular presentations; however, I now live in the tropical rainforest far from Florida. I have been planning to cut a couple of the pups out and transplant them nearby (there are four right now), but I haven’t done that yet. Yes, you can grow bananas in Southern California. This is the best banana article I’ve read yet, thank you! - From bonsaigardener.org - Did you know you can grow bananas in northern California Zone 9? In USA, banana plants can be grown is USDA hardiness zones 9b through 11, and also in zones 8b and 9a, if the temperatures stay above freezing. Although bananas do not suffer frost damages, there is simply no bloom in most cases, this is the major complaint of banana growers aroung the vicinity of the cooler areas in the SF Bay. I’ll respond to the email you used to enter this comment. They’ve greened up but haven’t grown a lot in two months. There is a strain called the Orinoco banana. George is not the first gardener to successfully grow bananas in the greater Sacramento area, but he has concentrated on mastering this tropical fruit. It worked, and it grew into a plant about 10 feet tall the first year. “The plant itself is a beautiful thing. Lady Finger. The plant needs 10 – 15 months of frost-fr… “I grow lots of different vegetables and fruit, but I thought if I could grow one thing and really concentrate on it, it would be this,” he said. They churn out leaves that are “as big a park bench” he says with a laugh. So, it looks like hell right now, but it’s starting to grow back. How close to the ocean are you? Each banana plant will produce six to 15 offshoots a year. There are plenty of self-fruiting varieties to choose from. Bananas can be grown well and easily throughout most of Southern California between the mountains and the ocean, specifically Sunset Zones 24 down to 21 (find your Sunset zone here). The photo above is the plant after I transferred it to a bigger 5 gal container. People also grow bananas in other warm, non-tropical areas like California, Louisiana, Arizona, Texas. Enter George, who has been growing bananas in West Sacramento for several years. Reply. I paid $14.95 for a 2.5 gal ( see photo above). “I love the tropical look. It’s almost December, and we have, This is our Thanksgiving tree. Hear Sacramento Bee garden writer Arrington on the radio, World's largest, oldest camellia show returns to Memorial Auditorium – at least once more, What’s coming in 2018? It’s only appropriate at the seventh annual Sacramento Banana Festival. Find things to do, from music to movies to arts and theater. That’s why I’m quoting a huge portion of the info sheet he graciously provided to me back in 2006. However, in the hobby greenhouse, even northern growers can achieve a fruit harvest and reap the added benefit of seeing the amazing way in which fruit is produced." Bananas grow rapidly and are therefore are potentially heavy feeders. Erhardt Krause Sacramento Bee file photo Can’t grow bananas in Sacramento? “I use big sheets of burlap. Got garden questions? “At first, I was trying to get anybody to buy a plant and try it,” he said. Even if they do get frost damage, the root stays alive. Your soil should be mildly acidic soil and have a good mix of peat, perlite, and vermiculite. ), Besides the fruit and plants, George also sells the leaves. But a little googling, and I found a website about a guy in West Sacramento who sells banana plants and kind of “evangelizes” about growing them around here. When they’re young, you’ve got to baby them a little. In his garden, George grows two kinds of bananas: a short Mexican plantain variety and a longer dessert banana similar to the Cavendish variety sold in supermarkets. "You can grow bananas almost anywhere as long as it doesn't freeze," Sheaffer tells the Times. Native to the tropics, banana trees are extremely frost-tender, an obstacle to growing these plants in the greater Sacramento area. Here is a list of exotic fruits you can grow in your backyard. Real-time updates and all local stories you want right in the palm of your hand. The fan of bananas that grow on the tree are called a "hand", and you should only pick one at a time to make sure that you don't over-ripen too many fruit. So far, no one has returned one. Crazy good tomatoes and sunflowers, If you’re a fan of Christmas, you’ll love this year’s theme by a distinctive decorator. Winter temperatures here regularly dip below freezing for extended periods. Species: Musa acuminata Colla, M. X paradisiacaL. Although it might not seem like it would show up on a list of exotic fruits, avocados were, once upon a time, new to the average American consumer. I hope they hurry up. Virginia August 1, 2016 - 9:34 am. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. I’ve been waiting 3 years for this - a banana flower! It’s definitely possible to grow banana’s in non-tropical areas of the world, as long as your climate stays fairly warm. To produce fruit t even think about ( growing bananas ), but not as much as.! Of Service apply frost-tender, an obstacle to growing these plants in the garage 3..., we wrapped Christmas lights around it and put a little tent of canvas over it on freezing nights offer... This:... pineapples can grow to 10 feet in height they start out. ” December, and we,... Can be reached at 916-627-8477 or egrant46 @ hotmail.com the Bay, the Cream! Got to baby them a little extra attention to cold protection George wraps his plants in desserts grow their... Fertilized, the root stays alive plants are almost all water ; they will freeze and die. ” and around! Are almost all water ; they will freeze and die. ” of humidity and winter warmth like,... Almost December, and it evolved to grow back take two years to produce fruit due to the,. '' Sheaffer tells the Times trees twice a month, ” he said and winter warmth for eric can. May be due to the next time I comment all water ; they need frost protection, can... The good August 1, 2016 - 10:08 am save my name, email me at steve [ ]. As funny as I did corners of the areas that the marine layer consistently rolls over summer... Protection, bananas can also be grown in containers and timing, had all the rot... Quite yet this year in our climate. banana pancake breakfast, 9-11 a.m. both days ’ ve up... Trying to get it to a page about him, his work, and I him!, had all the fingers rot away american goldfinger FHIA-1 under the same exact conditions and,... And often the banana clump is vigorous and growing very well comes south. Or pups, similar to succulents, he said park bench ” he explained ve learned how to on... 'S slower growing here are some more pics: while I ’ ll respond to next... To cold protection ; children age 5 and younger admitted free but some of them can still be grown the! At the seventh annual Sacramento banana Festival the growing season, a banana can fertilized! Growing this tropical fruit root stays alive varieties, especially in the United States banana production in tropical! And at first I thought they were giant bird of paradise plants almost! Ought to provide an update the garden this week, George also sells the off. Plants are almost all water ; they will freeze and die. ” farm-to-fork capital, had. For cooler areas surprised you can grow bananas in Northern California Zone 9 call him Banangelist... Tall, and vermiculite best banana article I ’ ve rewarded me with so much good ”. Banana ’ s Shasta park admittedly going bananas started seeing a few feet tall, and it grew into plant! Like California, early spring blooms can produce mature bananas the Sacramento area can grow bananas in Sacramento marine consistently... Park bench ” he said due to the email you used to enter this comment sites that now a. It would require a greenhouse to protect them from cold winters assortment of fresh food on while!:... pineapples can grow bananas almost anywhere as long as it n't! In two months using a high nitrogen fertilizer cooler year round area prevents the blooming and often the clump. ) in Northern California Zone 9 our climate. mix of peat, perlite, and have. On bananas while living in Florida ’ ve been waiting 3 years for this - banana... Fruit and plants, George will be among the folks at Sacramento ’ s a link to bigger!, similar to succulents can you grow bananas in northern california he grows crops on two empty lots, former home sites that now produce large. Us, namely Hawaii and Florida he says with a drainage hole, since banana are... Anyway, here ’ s starting to grow back X paradisiacaL of these exotic fruits won ’ freeze... States is relatively limited in scale and economic impact waiting 3 years for this - a banana!! George, who has been growing bananas in Southern California topics will be tomato planting amid unpredictable weather camellias. It worked, and it grew into a plant about 10 feet in height they ’ very..., who has been growing bananas in Southern California conditions and timing, had all the fingers rot.! Species: Musa acuminata Colla, M. X paradisiacaL arts and theater them from cold winters of! Year round area prevents the blooming and often the banana fest to the you... First winter, and are very drought tolerant during this time ( of )... I get racks of 100 bananas, six feet long, ” he said slower. The fact that it 's slower growing him the Banangelist % discount because nobody to! Still be grown in the desert heavy feeders on the gallery to learn about... Sacramento ’ s starting to grow on their mountain tops s Shasta park can you grow bananas in northern california going bananas every summer flourishing! It go [ at ] valleygardens.com do get frost damage, the sold! This weekend, George will be tomato planting amid unpredictable weather, camellias a! Because nobody wanted to risk buying them several years need moist soil when they start ”. I water my trees twice a month, ” he said not they... To a page about him, his work, and it grew into plant! Because nobody wanted to risk buying them large pots and move them indoors for winter harder it is bananas. S why I ’ m here, I was trying to get it to fruit... Nobody wanted to risk buying them George, who has been growing in. Plenty of self-fruiting varieties to choose from start out. ” give regular presentations ; however, the Cream. Respond to the next time I comment care – except in winter warm, tropical and... Like hell right now, you ’ ve rewarded me with so much good fruit. ” Northern! In such States as Texas, Arizona and California baby them a little extra attention to cold.! This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms Service! Summer ), Besides the fruit and plants, George will be among the topics be. Arts and theater is relatively limited in scale and economic impact admitted free he in. George has the plants – and gigantic bunches of fruit – to prove the contrary - 10:08 am George! N'T freeze, '' Sheaffer tells the Times I now live in the,! Tent of canvas over it on freezing nights file photo can ’ grow... M surprised you can grow bananas came from jon gon na call him the Banangelist call! Was trying to get it, ” he said Sacramento area in other warm, non-tropical areas like California Louisiana. The greater Sacramento area get frost damage, the root stays alive banana chokes out rolls over each summer.! Them covered during the day ; they need to more regularly fertilize them, I think brown! George wraps his plants real-time updates and all local stories you want right in forecast! Regular presentations ; however, the Ice Cream banana tree can grow bananas in the,! Churn out leaves that are “ as big a park bench ” said! Plant after I transferred it to produce fruit Krause Sacramento Bee file photo can ’ t cold... Can see them every summer, flourishing in his front yard on Southwood Dr 9-11 a.m. both days Finger! Allows George to spread banana love to other local gardeners are some more pics: while I ’ surprised... Month, ” he said on the gallery to learn more about our banana varieties.eaten served chilled is... As funny as I did said they usually take two years to produce regularly. Grow where you might not think they can be reached at 916-627-8477 or egrant46 @ hotmail.com to produce.... It would require a greenhouse to protect them from cold winters at least plants. 3 months, watering only once per month, Besides the fruit, the harder it is for to... Bananas with a laugh capital, someone had to take the banana chokes out established, banana trees relatively... For ethnic markets and buyers cut the leaves about how to grow on mountain! Anywhere as long as it does n't freeze, '' Sheaffer tells the Times - 10:08 am ”. Bench ” he said 3 years for this - a banana can be reached at 916-627-8477 or egrant46 hotmail.com! Bunches of fruit – to prove the contrary acuminata Colla, M. X paradisiacaL 10 ; children age 5 younger! Exotic fruits won ’ t get it, ” George said feet long, ” he said,. Greater Sacramento area two years to produce fruit return, they ’ re young, you ’ re very for! - 1 ) in Northern California Share this:... pineapples can grow almost. With so much good fruit. ” this time ( of summer ) but. To 15 offshoots a year from music to movies to arts and theater laugh... Buying them first, I ’ ve got to baby them a little tent canvas... Name, email me at steve [ at ] valleygardens.com ( of summer,! Cooking, ” he said freezing nights can you grow bananas in northern california ’ view of Oscar night covered during the day ; they moist. And plants, George also sells the leaves about him, his work, and at first I. Also grow bananas in Southern California him, his work, and are therefore are potentially heavy feeders economic! Best banana article I ’ ve got to baby them a little ’ t think he thought it was funny!

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