Palms and Bananas suitable for containers in Victoria BC

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by andyb1, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. andyb1

    andyb1 Member

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    Hi! I am going to grow a palm and a banana in separate 25-30 gallon containers in Victoria BC, Canada. The patio is very warm (actually quite hot), south facing, and has some wind. No overhead protection.

    I'd like to grow a banana and a palm that won't grow much higher than 10 feet, preferably around 6. I'd like to see a nice size plant this summer, so I am also wondering how old a plant I should buy, or if I can grow from seed for the banana. I am considering Ensete vetricosum 'Maurellii' for the banana and Trachycarpus Fortunei or Brahea armata, for the palm. What type of soil mix would be recommended?

    Any suggestions for nurseries on Vancouver Island would be great too, or if you have something you would like to sell, let me know. Tropi-cole Trading seems good.

    Any suggestions on an arbutus that would do well in a container or a cycad would also be welcome.

    Looks like there is alot of great knowledge here!

    Thanks, Andy
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2007
  2. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Andy are you sure bannanas are possible?? I am looking at map and if I translate latitude to Australia it is lower than Tasmania. We have trouble growing banannas in Melbourne. [we do get 40C summer weather] It is a source of great joy to the gardener if it fruits let alone ripens. I will be most interested to see what is suggested. If it will not work maybe you better emmigrate to Queensland or similar. :)
    Liz
     
  3. PhillyPalms

    PhillyPalms Active Member

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    First,I would recommend seperate containers for the banana and palm. They will need the room.
    I grow Dwarf Cavendish in pots, but I take them in by November. Outdoors, in the ground, I grow Musa Basjoo, which survive the winters here, but get way too big for a pot.
    Have you been to www.bananas.org ?
     
  4. andyb1

    andyb1 Member

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    Thanks, I will check that website, there are some great resources out there. I will be using separate containers (which I forgot to mention in my post, but just edited).
    What size pots do you use for the dwarf cavendish? They seem like a good candidate. How well do they overwinter indoors? Do you cut them back severely?
     
  5. andyb1

    andyb1 Member

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    We won't get fruit here in Victoria (unlikely anyway), but they do grow. I will be using them as an ornamental. And yes, I will accept your invitation and move to Queensland. :)

    Thanks!
     
  6. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Oh I see what these bannanas are to be used for. Never occured to me they could be an ornamental. May look into this as well but in my case I think I would add it to the edge of the fern garden as extra leaves. I will watch this with interest thank you for the original thread and those who have the knowledge. I am fascinated by the standing on heads that goes on to get things to survive in the cold of Canada, NY and else where or do I have the weather all wrong.
    Your most welcome to QSLD. Bit steamy for me up there :)

    Liz
     
  7. PhillyPalms

    PhillyPalms Active Member

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    I had them in 30 gallon pots (half wiskey barrels) Get the widest container you can find because a little wind could topple them once they get taller.
    As far as cutting them. I never did cut those. Just kept them in the pot under lower light and cooler temperature until spring. (In the basement) By spring it looks pretty bad, but by May or June it's beautiful again.
    My Basjoos get cut to within 18 inches of the ground. Then I cover them with loads of peat moss and dry oak leaves. So far that works. Growing bananas is easy and fun. Good luck !
     
  8. jenf

    jenf Member

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    Liz, yes we do jump through some hoops to get some stuff to grow here. But the climate in Victoria, BC is considerably warmer and different than New York. Some bananas will fruit around here, and live outdoors year round. Victoria doesn't get the extreme heat in the summer, but also rarely gets below freezing in the winter (although this last ones been a bad one). New York's weather is more extreme. Unfortunately, is still not quite as warm in Victoria, BC as Melbourne, but still good gardening weather :)
     
  9. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    A few answers.

    "I'd like to grow a banana and a palm that won't grow much higher than 10 feet, preferably around 6."

    Most banana plants will grow taller than 6' although Dwarf Cavendish should fit the bill. Ensete vetricosum 'Maurellii' is a behemoth!
    You'll have conciderable trouble finding a plam that won't exceed 6' - 10' in height. Trachycarpus fortunei and Brahea armata grow much taller than your needs. Brahea is much slower growing and may take many years to reach sizeable proportions. Another slow growing, clustering palm is Chamaerops humilis which works well in containers for quite a few years.

    "Any suggestions for nurseries on Vancouver Island would be great too, or if you have something you would like to sell, let me know. Tropi-cole Trading seems good."

    None better or cheaper than Tropi-cole but all quite large.

    "Any suggestions on an arbutus that would do well in a container or a cycad would also be welcome."

    I've never heard of an Arbutus being successful in a container other than perhaps Arbutus unedo. Many cycads are suitable for container use.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  10. Sunset Cycads

    Sunset Cycads Active Member 10 Years

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    Cycads for containers

    Many cycads do very well in containers. If you are planning on leaving them outdoors for the winter I would recommend Cycas panzihuanensis (reputed to be hardy to -7 Celsius), Macrozamia communis (-4), or Dioon edule (-6). Depending on how protected your patio is, even some of the zamias may do well: Zamia furfuracea (-3) loves full sun and is actually a coastal cycad, tolerant of salt spray. Zamia vasquezi will also withstand some frost (-3) but prefers a little shade. All cycads need excellent drainage and some protection from protracted rainfall, so moving them under the eaves of the house during the wettest part of winter would be a good idea.
     
  11. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    My Cycad Revoluta that I have had outside for several years (Not under the eaves) has survived another winter. I will say it is looking a little rougher than normal, as we had so much snow.
     
  12. palmera

    palmera Active Member

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    I have a 3 year old Dwarf Cavendish that I over winter indoors. As long as I mist it frequently and give it the occasional sponge bath with a little oil and soap in the water, the spider mites stay away. In May it goes back out on the deck. It doesn't like temps below 10 celcius or the leaves start to blacken.
     

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  13. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Carol ... you give me new hope to try Cycas revoluta again.
    palmera ... hope to see fruit on that DC this year!

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  14. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    LPN, I got three dirt cheap at the Superstore in Duncan a few years back, not very big, I stuck one outside, one in my living room, and the last one is slightly tortured in the Kindie room at school.
     
  15. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Carol ... I thought I saw the same deal here in Nanaimo as well, or at least periodically they have them. The deal I got was even better - Free! A fellow stopped by one day (there's always a story) and offered me a number of Cycads because he had plans of moving to Costa Rica and becoming a cycad grower / imported for North America. I'm not sure if he did his homework or new much about the details of his endevour. I just smiled and graciously accepted his offer. I've not seen him since, but his cycads live on here at Las Palmas Norte.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  16. palmera

    palmera Active Member

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    Barrie,

    I can see you accepting those cycads...a bit like the Cheshire cat!
     
  17. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    palmera ... seems as though you know me too well. hahaha!
    As a side note here's a few new palm seeds I'm trying. All are reportedly fresh and that's the best one can hope for.

    Cheers, Barrie.
     

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