How to Store a Banana Tree for the Winter

Banana trees will easily regrow after a severe cutting-back.
Banana trees will easily regrow after a severe cutting-back. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Banana trees are tropical plants that will die if exposed to long-term freezing conditions. You must store banana trees in a dark, cool spot over the winter to allow them to become dormant. In the spring, bring the plants back outside to resume growth. Storing a banana tree over the winter involves removing it from the outdoors, whether it is in a pot or in the ground. You will also have to cut the tree back at some point to stimulate new growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand saw
  • Water
  • Shovel
  • Black garbage bag

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Potted Bananas

Wait for the first light frost. This will cause the foliage on the tree to darken. When this happens, cut the tree down at the level of the pot's top edge.

Move the banana tree to a dark, sheltered spot that stays around 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit; a shed or garage is appropriate.

Let the soil of the banana tree become dry to the touch between waterings while it is in storage. When you water the plant, do not soak the soil.

Move the potted banana tree back outdoors after the last spring frost passes. Resume a regular watering and fertilizing schedule.

In-Ground Bananas

Wait for the foliage to become dark after the first frost, just as you would with a potted banana. Do not cut the tree back.

Dig the banana out of the ground with a shovel. Get as much of the root system as possible. Wrap the root ball in a black plastic bag.

Move the banana to a dark shed or garage that maintains a 40 to 45 degree Fahrenheit temperature. Let the soil dry out between waterings.

Cut the tree back in the spring, after the last frost passes. Cut it back so the trunk is 4 inches above the top of the root ball.

Fill a plant pot 1/2 way with potting soil. Remove the plastic bag from the root ball and lower the root ball into the pot. Fill the pot the rest of the way with soil and move it outside. Maintain a normal watering a fertilizing schedule.


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