Banana plants (Musa spp.) are herbaceous tree-like plants that are native to Southeast Asia and enjoy tropical climates. Banana plants require 10 to 15 frost-free months in order to flower and bear fruit. The banana plant grows from underground rhizomes, producing fleshy stalks called pseudostems that produce bananas only once. Banana plants are sensitive to winds and droughts. The banana plant cannot survive temperatures colder than 22 degrees F or long periods below 28 degrees, demanding winter protection in all but the warmest regions.
Water your banana plant deeply and thoroughly once every one or two weeks during winter to prevent the soil from drying out. Water the banana plant only when rainfall is less than 1 inch per week during winter.
Spread a 2- to 6-inch-thick layer of organic mulch on the ground around your banana plant to preserve soil moisture during winter, as well as to protect the shallow roots and rhizomes.
Cover the banana plant or wrap the trunk with a blanket when temperatures below 22 to 28 degrees F are expected. Remove the covering when the air warms up in the morning.
Reduce the amount of fertilizer that you apply to the banana plant during the winter months. Apply a fertilizer with a nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium ratio of 3-1-6 and that contains magnesium once every two months at half the normal dosage rate during winter.
Continue to prune away the excess shoots growing from the base of the banana plant as they appear, even in winter. Cut back all the shoots except for the single primary stem growing from each rhizome.