Last Updated:March 3, 2020

The February freeze forced me to cut my Ice Cream Bananas

We may not have icy winters here, but the cold temps we do get wreak havoc on the exotics and sub-tropicals. In late January my tropical zone was lush with cannas, passion fruit, monstera, hoja santa and bananas. Then a week of night freezes rolled in early February and turned the whole thing into a burn zone.

Hardest hit were the Ice Cream Bananas (Musa acuminata), a cold tolerant banana, but also one which didn’t have any shelter and took the full brunt of the icy air. I’d been waiting (hoping really) for one bunch of bananas from last fall to ripen on the plant, but now that the plant was fried, that wasn’t going to happen So I figured I’d cut them down and bring them indoors to ripen up.

I’d hoped to used my machete to cut the bananas from the tree, but the Indiana Jones method didn’t work because the plant was on a slope and far too tall to get close to whack at. SO instead I turned to my trusty pole saw to cut it free. A couple minutes later I had the banana bunch in hand.

All told there’s about 50 little bananas on the bunch. Hopefully they ripen up because it’d be terribly ironic if it was the cold that ruined something named “ice cream.”

Update February 23, 2020:
After sitting inside for a few days, the bananas ripened just fine. There were a few with burst skins and frost burned tips, but that’s about it. One thing I didn’t know — how much spiders love bananas. The were dozens hiding in the bunches just waiting to jump out and scurry across the counter. Here’s a couple photos:

Update March 3, 2020: With so many little bananas, eating them all before they turned brown wasn’t a possibility. So instead, I decided to slice them up and dry them. 24 hours later we had a whole container of dried banana chips which were eaten a lot faster than the fresh bananas had been.

Pretty good eating too, I have to admit. Like eating banana candy. Here’s how to make your own banana chips.