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OT: going bananas

 I cannot grow Bananas or Oranges either;  it
>gets too cold here and too dry.  This is USDA Zone 8b, so temperatures will
>fall below 20 F most winters.

Yes, but you could both grow bananas.  I successfully grow Musa basjoo
here.  It is supposedly hardy to at least USDA Zone 6b.  The plant freezes
back but quickly returns from the corm in spring.  Right now my plant is
over ten feet tall with six-foot-long leaves and has produced two offshoots
(M. basjoo is a clumping species).

Stokes' Tropicals in Louisiana also lists several additional hardy bananas.

My banana is surrounded by Elephant Ears and adjacent to the hardy palm,
Raphidophyllum.  Nearby is a big clump of Canna striata (8 ft, with lovely
orange species-type blooms) and the whole is partly overgrown with
Passiflora vines (the local wild May-pop, not only hardy but a difficult
weed here).


Yes, admittedly my garden is a jungley, eclectic mess.

Noelle Prince Shear
Rt. 5, Box 1950
Farmville VA 23901
(804) 392-8721

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