Abyssian Banana – Winterizing

Q: I have three Abyssinian banana trees in my yard. One of them is now ten feet tall alongside two smaller sprouts. I have a greenhouse that will hold the smaller two but not the tall one. How can I protect it without having to cut it back?

A: I don’t think you can protect the tall one. That part we call the trunk of a banana is really just lots of tightly rolled leaves. They protect the true stem inside. After a banana “tree” has been in place for 10 – 14 months, the true stem emerges from the center and makes an arching flower stem, from which bananas are produced. If you shorten the big banana to protect it with insulation you’ll damage the interior stem. Best to chop this one at ground level cover it thickly with leaves and see if it comes back in spring. The small ones will be happy in the greenhouse.