You care for your banana plant through the summer, but when the warm weather fades, you must prepare the plant to survive over the winter. Bananas are tropical plants, but some, such as musa basjoo and musa sikkimensis, are cold hardy. The success in keeping a banana plant alive throughout the winter depends on the overall health of the plant at the start of the winter, the severity of the weather and how well the plant is prepared for the experience.
Monitor local weather forecasts in the fall and use your judgment and experience to identify the time when the first frost in your area will occur.
Cut off the leaves from the plant's pseudostem with a clean, sharp blade, before the first frost. Use a machete or the same cutting implement used to remove tattered leaves during the summer.
Create a circle around the pseudostem with chicken wire. Make the diameter of the circle large enough to provide for several inches of space between the pseudostem and the chicken wire.
Fill the space between the chicken wire and the pseudostem of the plant completely with mulch material, including straw, hardwood or pine bark mulch. For taller plants, build an additional chicken wire frame atop of the first to cover the upper portions of the plant, and pack it with mulch.
Cover the top of the pseudostem with an upside-down, mulch-filled plastic flower pot. Place chicken wire over the pot and secure to the chicken wire covering the pseudostem.
- Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images