traveller palms/banana plant damage from cold

hello fellow gardeners,
a little advice please if you are so inclined.
we live in central florida and we had a brief cold snap recently.
we have a few Traveller palms and banana trees. The cold damaged them. i want to bring them back to full health of course. i may not be asking the "right" questions here so please feel free to expand the scope here as to how to bring them back.
should we water heavily, fertilize and so on? and what it the best way to trim them which will result in the least damage to the stalks?
the trunks of the banana trees and the leaves of the banana trees closest to the ground survived. the higher leaves are brown and green or totally brown. the stalks to which the dead leaves are attached are still green and look ok. where should i trim from? the trees are about 8 - 10 feet tall and they all have new growth coming in.
similar situation with the Traveller palms. these are 10-14 ft tall. Some of the leaves are totally brown and dead i fear. some are a mixture of brown and green. stalks look ok. and there is new growth coming in. where should i trim from? should i let the brown/green leaves alone of clip them?
thanks,
sammy
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hello fellow gardeners,
a little advice please if you are so inclined.
we live in central florida and we had a brief cold snap recently.
we have a few Traveller palms and banana trees. The cold damaged them. i want to bring them back to full health of course. i may not be asking the "right" questions here so please feel free to expand the scope here as to how to bring them back.
should we water heavily, fertilize and so on? and what it the best way to trim them which will result in the least damage to the stalks?
the trunks of the banana trees and the leaves of the banana trees closest to the ground survived. the higher leaves are brown and green or totally brown. the stalks to which the dead leaves are attached are still green and look ok. where should i trim from? the trees are about 8 - 10 feet tall and they all have new growth coming in.
similar situation with the Traveller palms. these are 10-14 ft tall. Some of the leaves are totally brown and dead i fear. some are a mixture of brown and green. stalks look ok. and there is new growth coming in. where should i trim from? should i let the brown/green leaves alone of clip them?
thanks,
sammy
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On Thu, 1 Mar 2007 01:29:45 -0500, "mike mahan"

all until I saw signs of new growth, then ease into normal care. I wouldn't want to get new soft growth started while there is still a chance of more cold.
I wouldn't cut off any green leaves, they can still feed the tree. Any parts that have gone brown and dry could be removed, it would only be a matter of appearance, wouldn't have any effect on the health of the tree.
The part of the tree that is critical is the new bud that will be making new leaves, buried down in the top of the plant, and likely safe.
I'm in California, my Bananas came through with little damage, some others here in town are completely brown, They'll probably come back from the roots, but the tops are gone.
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Sammy, I have no formal horitcultural training, so someone with such knowledge may have some better info for you. I had bananas and Travelers palms at my home in FL for 25 years. Don't fertilize or water for another month or so. The freezes are probably over, but the winter has been so strange that you don't want to encourage more new, tender growth and then have that damaged in another frost. When you do fertilize, I found that the bananas respond better to liquid fertilizers, rather than the granular type.

Trim only what is brown, for the sake of appearance and maybe disease. Then, in 3-4 weeks, you can start taking out the stalks that don't have some good green growth at the top, or the ones that are completely out of whack with the desired shape of the landscaping. Most of the banana plants that I had (variety unknown) were only good for one year. They sent up two or more new shoots in the early spring and the parent plant began to die off.
Both plants are very resilient. They will survive very heavy frost. There were some years when I had to do major pruning, leaving only a few sprouts of green coming from the ground. The first time, it broke my heart. It took a couple years before I learned that they would grown like weeds and not to fear pruning them.

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Sammy,
If the stalks of the bananas are firm, you are o.k. Don't do anything until you are sure you won't have another freeze, then just cut off the brown, and make sure the new growth can get out of the top. I actually cut the tops of mine back about 6 inches once after a freeze, and they came out fine. If they're mushy, cut them back to the ground and let new shoots come back up from the roots. I chop up my dead bananas and put them around the other plants, because they still have a lot of potassium in them, and they love that.
Fertilize middle of next month with a high nitrogen fertilizer. I use lawn fertilizer, but make sure it's not weed and feed. If there is no new growth from the tops or the roots by May, take them out.
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