Banana root system

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Palm Nut, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. Palm Nut

    Palm Nut Active Member 10 Years

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    We would like to move well established banana plants and was wondering just how extensive/deep are the roots? Is now the time to move them. We are in Vancouver BC zone 8
     
  2. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    It will depend on the cultivar. Generally, the rhizome doesn't go much further down than about 18 inches, but it will have spread laterally considerably. Don't worry about chopping the rhizome a bit, though - the mat will regenerate any damage, and you'll also get new plants if you leave medium to large bits behind (by which I mean 6" square or more). I'm assuming yours are Musa basjoo, so what I've said should generally be true for them.

    There is no tap root to damage, so if you get tired of digging down you can always just chop them laterally at the corm level and they'll bounce right back.
     
  3. Palm Nut

    Palm Nut Active Member 10 Years

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    yes, thanks. they are musa basjoo. So is this the right time of the year to move them or should I wait until I uncover them for the season after the threat of frost?
     
  4. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Until after threat of frost has passed.
     
  5. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Lorax long time no see. I have two sets of Banana trees here full south in Vancouver they are 3 years old by now and are starting to make too many babies in the same spot but they they grow VERY close to each other .
    How must I dig the Rhizomes ? Can I sort of cut down with a bread knife vertically between the two ...but then how does one know where to does it grow horizontally does it grow away from the main to towards.. I would love to move the young ones to the front also full south.. How deep you write 18inch they are on the edge of a flower bed with rocks and I have to move all the rocks etc.
     
  6. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    A bread knife won't be strong enough, Vic. You need at least a machete, if not an iron digging bar to separate pups from an established mat like yours. The rhizome grows horizontally away from the mother following the line of pups - cut vertically and when you remove the pup from the soil, the direction the roots are bent in is the direction of lateral spread.
     

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