Has anyone tried the Veinte Cohol Banana? It fruits much earlier than typical bananas. I got it to fruit in October in zone 8 but it was a little too late. Not sure about the cold hardiness. I know a guy in Georgia was growing this variety several years ago but haven’t heard much about it recently
Much is known about V. Cohol. When grown in the tropics it produces quickly in relation to other Musa cultivars. The taste of the fruit is ok: about halfway between Orinoco (poor) and Namwah (very good). When grown out of the tropics it can produce outdoors within 5 months IF given a big head start indoors in greenhouse conditions. When grown entirely outdoors here in coastal-influenced areas of San Diego county Calif. (USDA zones 9b to 11a), it will flower about 14 months after start from tissue culture IF started in Spring or Summer. But like all fruiting bananas in our climate it will take another 3-4 months to ripen on the plant before harvest and final curing hanging up indoors for a week or so. Those critical ripening months must be completed here by October. When grown entirely indoors in greenhouse conditions the maturation time is about 18 months.
Richard, would you get any kind of head start bringing V. Cohol indoors into an unheated room for the winter…this would be in Topanga Canyon, S. Calif. Actually, when small and young I would have it under grow lights but the room gets down to 50’s on cold nights.
I’ve been looking for this variety for a few years but the online nurseries that sell clones are always out of stock. It must be in demand and sell out quickly.
No. You’d be better off growing it full time outdoors in Topanga Canyon. Further, Namwa does well also and in my opinion tastes better.
@jbclem, I also recommend you try Pisang Ceylon at your location. Which Sunset climate zone are you in, 19 or 23?
I’m zone 9b, and of the Sunset zones 19 looks about right. I get to 26-28F three times each winter, with 17F in 2007. I have around 1000-1100 chill hours each year and no problem getting apples to bloom. I’ve kept a few bananas alive all winter by really bundling them up on cold night, but the always die in the spring from what I assume is rot (even though I’ve been keeping winter rain away from the roots and not watering during the cold months). The only ones that have survived for me are the ones I bring inside. Viente Cohol was interesting only because it was supposed to produce fruit in a shorter period of time that other bananas.
I see that AgriStarts is producing Pisang Ceylon, so that means it’ll probably be available at the online nurseries. I’ll check it out. Will it grow in cool weather, or only when it’s hot?
If you’d like to come in the early spring I can give you (N/C) a pup each of Pisang Ceylon and Namwa. I don’t ship or sell plants.
Here’s a guide to growing bananas in temperate climates I wrote awhile back. Also below is a photo of 6 varieties of fruiting bananas growing at my previous home in Rancho Penasquitos (zone 9b) in 2009.
Banana Cultivation In Non-Tropical Climates
Thanks for the banana(s) offer. I don’t think I’ll be able to get down to your area, but if I do I’ll get in touch.
I’m really curious about your overwintering the banana plants (in the photo) in Rancho Penasquitos. Did you cover them when it was cold, or just cut them way back for the winter. And how much did you water them in cold weather? I had a Calif. Gold in a 4x4 above ground box with deep soil, and even well covered (3 layers frost cloth and thick padded moving blankets) the leaves still were burnt. I kept the ground dry through the winter but in the spring the plant developed rot in the trunk that traveled downward and eventually killed it.
Your banana growing guide has a lot of good information, especially in the details. You mention 40F as the lowest permissible temperature, but I routinely leave bananas out until the temps are in the low 30’s, and there are plenty of nights here in the mid and low 30’s. Do you think that much cold exposure would affect the plants growing and fruiting ability in the upcoming year even though there is also plenty of warm/hot weather up here. And the largest container I’ve used so far is 15 gallon, not sure where I would find a 45 gal (as you recommend) one at an affordable price. I have some 25 gal laundry hampers that I’m going to try next, they are ubiquitous and inexpensive.
I watered them weekly unless there was sufficient rain.
I agree with Richard, both are really good tasting banana cultivars here for us, and my bananas do not need any special overwintering either. I am supposed to have Ice Cream (Musa acuminata ss. Java Blue), but I think it isn’t. There was some issue with this grower selling this cultivar, but supposedly it really is Namwa., which I’ve heard is actually better tasting, so not that displeased. I haven’t had fruit, yet, so waiting to see what it really is. Hoping it is Dwarf Namwa - lower fruit stalk would be nice. Need to add a few other bananas to my front slope. I’d really like to plane Pisang Ceylon.
Keep in mind that a dwarf banana also has dwarf fruit.
Actually it’s an ABB hybrid, Musa x Java Blue (aka Ice Cream).
I currently have 3 pups.
Dwarf fruit is good Once my questionable cultivar banana sets fruit, I’ll know whether it’s Ice Cream of Namwa. If it’s blue, it’s probably Ice Cream, but this grower (whose name is escaping me at the moment) is known to be selling Namwa as Ice Cream. So, thinking it’s probably the latter. Gotta hike up my slope and check my plant out and see how it looks. Haven’t had a gander at it for a while. My next door neighbor also has banana up the slope about 20’ further up, but I’m betting they are cooking bananas based on their culture. Can’t remember seeing a stalk on their bananas, but then, wasn’t really looking. And, thank you for offering your pups, Richard, I’d love to buy a couple of them from you. I understand it is a handsome banana plant, too.
They’re here for the taking. I don’t ship or sell plants .
That’s very generous of you, Richard! I’ll PM you and see if I can run over this Saturday to pick them up. Think they’ll be okay planted in the ground this late? Or better to leave in pots and plant in February/March?
A bit iffy to separate and pot up this month. Let’s wait 'till Spring. I’ll tag the pups for now.
That sounds like the right idea to me. Thanks, Richard, we’ll meet up in a few months down the road, when the weather is warming up. Sure appreciate it. I know if I get the pups from you, it WILL be the correct cultivar. Bananas are as bad if not worse than figs for being misidentified.