En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Monday - March 15, 2010

From: Rocklin, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native banana plants dying back in Rocklin CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I bought a home last July in Rocklin, CA that had several banana plants growing in the yard. They died back during the winter frost. We pruned them back to the ground and placed mulch over the top. Should they be starting to sprout up by now if they weren't killed. Just wondering if I should wait a little longer to dig up and replace with more of the same or something else.

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which it is being grown. The plant most often referred to in the nursery trade as a "hardy banana" is Musa basjoo, which originates in China and Japan. It is a tropical herbaceous plant, more often grown as an indoor house plant, but it can be grown outside in warmer USDA Zones. At the East Central California area of Rocklin, you appear to be in Zone 6, and a severe freeze for that zone would probably be dangerous for this plant. Since it is non-native and out of our purview, we will refer you to this University of Illinois Extension article Hardy Banana - Musa Banjoo.

In answer to your question should you dig it up and replace it with the same thing or something else, we would, of course, prefer you dig it up and replace it with something native to your area of California. Since we don't know exactly what area you are in, what moisture and sun conditions you have for the plant, etc. you might drop us another note on the conditions and your preferences and we will see what we can find from our Native Plant Database. And there are no native banana plants.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Competition for sun between non-native loquat and Carolina laurel cherry in San Antonio
October 27, 2010 - I have planted 2 Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry)along my north side fence. I just learned my neighbor has planted a Loquat tree on the other side of the north facing fence. He told me that...
view the full question and answer

Leaves on non-native Rose Cactus
January 30, 2009 - I have a Rose Cactus (Pereskia grandifolia). The leaves have all dropped off. I was wondering if this is normal in the winter. Also, is the pear shaped fruit edible.
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree with red feathery leaves
March 08, 2012 - What is the name of a tree with dark red leaves, feathery, slim trunk; maybe in the pepper family? Jedi?
view the full question and answer

Red Shrimp Plant Poisonous for Dogs?
March 07, 2015 - Is the Red Shrimp Plant poison to dogs?
view the full question and answer

Plant ID of invasive vine from Austin
August 21, 2013 - A friend lives in southwest Austin and has a vine that's coming up all over her yard. I am a Williamson County Master Gardener and have asked all the garden gurus in my group what it is from a photo ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center