Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Lists of medicinal plants from New York City
April 11, 2014 - Do you know any resources for lists of medicinal plants native to New York? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Moving "lily of the valley" from MD to TX. Is that OK?
January 17, 2012 - My question pertains to lily of the valley. From your database, I learned that it is a native plant but only the following states were listed: GA , KY , NC , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV. I am moving from...
view the full question and answer

Pollination of non-native cucumber plants in Austin
July 15, 2010 - I have 3 cucumber plants that are in planter boxes hanging from my wrought iron fence and they use it as a trellis. All 3 plants are producing only female flowers. No male. None of them have produc...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native plumbago in San Antonio
November 21, 2009 - Plumbago problem. Live in San Antonio. Planted about 7 of these last spring, all from same store and at the same time. They are HUGE, blooming, thriving, except for the two on the end. They're in a d...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Chinaberry tree from Tucson AZ
September 05, 2013 - I have a 30+ year old Chinaberry tree and this year the branches are much sparser with leaves and there are a lot of small dead branches. Should I fertilize and what should I use? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.