En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Growing Florist Roses
January 23, 2016 - Often I find that florist roses sprout for me, but I fail to get them to grow into a bush. Do you have the answer?
view the full question and answer

What is hollowing out my rosebuds in Austin, TX?
April 28, 2012 - I recently noticed some of my rose buds had been hollowed out from the inside. I have seen no evidence of insect though. What do you think it is and how can I treat the problem?
view the full question and answer

Are non-native hostas causing fly invasion from Eastpointe MI
July 14, 2013 - I live in Michigan with a small backyard. I have 5 large hostas with the purple flower blooms which are located by my patio. I was wondering if they can be causing my large population of unwanted flie...
view the full question and answer

Hurricane resistant alternatives to crape myrtle
September 02, 2007 - Are there any native small to medium trees (15-25 ft) to use instead of crapemyrtles (Lagerstroemia indica)? Crapemyrtles come in many colors and bend with hurricane winds instead of snapping or uproo...
view the full question and answer

Growing Citrus Trees in Glendora CA
August 16, 2012 - We're considering moving to Glendora, CA (from the East Coast) and wondered if it is possible to successfully grow orange and other citrus trees that far inland? Any advice you can offer will be muc...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center