Banana Tree Plant: Care and Growing Guide

Banana Tree Plant

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    Banana Tree Plant Profile

    Banana is one of the most common trees that come to mind when you dream of the tropics, but did you know that it is not actually a tree? In fact, it is the tallest grass in the world. In tropical banana plantations, the plants must be cut to the ground after fruiting. The trunk is formed by the main stem covered with leaves. However, due to its size, it is often considered a tree.

    Regardless of the size of your garden, there is a suitable banana. Although most species do best in warm climates, there are some cold, hardy bananas. They make good houseplants with plenty of light and water. While the fruits of many species are full of seeds and inedible, varieties have been developed over time to remove the large seeds and make the fruit palatable.

    Botanical NameMusa spp.
    Common NamesBanana, plantain tree
    Plant TypeHerbaceous perennial flowering plant
    Mature SizeWide range of sizes: 'Truly Tiny' cultivar is only about 1.5 feet tall, while 'Cuban Red' can be up to 25 feet tall.
    Sun ExposureFull sun
    Soil TypeRich, well-drained soil. Salt is not tolerated.
    Soil pHAcidic; 5.5 to 6.5
    Harvest TimeSummer
    Flower ColorWhite flowers emerge from a purple bud
    Hardiness ZonesMany cultivars grow best in Zones 9 through 10. One species, Musa basjoo, may survive outside as low as Zone 5 if mulched well. Other zones will find that the smaller cultivars make great houseplants.
    Native AreaSoutheast Asia

    Banana tree care
    Grow this plant in a place protected from the wind, as it is very sensitive to damaged leaves. The banana leaves are huge; Depending on the variety, they can be up to 2 meters wide and 2.7 meters long. Bananas are generally irregular in shape.

    Bananas form in a cluster called Main in late summer. Not all forms are edible; Some may be tasty, but they have large seeds, which makes the ratio of edible fruit to seeds very small and not worth it. These late summer fruits begin to ripen the following March. When the fruit is green but greasy, it is cut from the stem and placed in a cool, dry place. The stems can be between 2.5 and 3.6 meters long. The colors of the fruits can be yellow, pink, green, or red. The most common type that produces edible fruit is the Cavendish variety.

    Light

    Most varieties of bananas prefer full sun. A few different varieties can burn easily and are best for partial shade.

    Soil

    The soil must be well-drained, deep, and organically degraded. A slightly acidic soil (pH 5.5 to 6.5) is preferable.

    Water

    Since bananas are tropical and come from tropical forests, they need a lot of water and a lot of humidity. They do better when planted in groups than as individual specimens. If you plant together, the moisture will be trapped in the leaves. Give 2.5 to 5 cm of water a week and check regularly to make sure the soil remains evenly moist. Avoid over-hydration, which can lead to root rot. The soil should be moist if possible, but not always moist.

    Temperature and humidity

    Bananas thrive in hot, humid conditions, but protect plants as much as possible from extreme temperatures. Even very hardy and cold hardy bananas enjoy constant temperatures between 75 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

    When temperatures drop, growth slows and very low temperatures cause plants to die. Plant in sheltered locations to protect yourself from extreme temperatures. Offer additional protection when bringing your plants indoors or hibernating in cold weather.

    Fertilizer

    Bananas also need fertilization. Use a balanced fertilizer once a month. According to the California Rare Fruit Growers organization:

    “Distribute the fertilizer evenly around the plant in a circle extending 1 to 2 meters from the trunk. Do not let the compost come into contact with the log. Feed potted plants on the same monthly schedule, using about half the rate for outdoor plants."
    These heavy feeders require large amounts of organic matter, such as green sand. Pay close attention to your potassium levels. Bananas are rich in potassium, which makes them a necessary nutrient for good plant growth.

    Propagating Banana Plants

    These plants are monoecious, which means that the plant has both male and female reproductive organs on the same plant. There may also be sterile flowers. Bananas are classified as berries and the fruits actually come from female flowers that, interestingly, grow without pollination. Banana seeds are not fertile.

    The best method of propagation is division. To divide the bananas, use a very sharp shovel and a little force to separate the suckers or pups from the rhizome. Before doing this, wait until the chicks (or suckers) are at least a meter tall and have their own roots. Make sure there are multiple puppies before removing the suction cups so you don't throw the original plant out of balance. When sharing, make sure the suckers have enough roots to start the transplant right.

    After separating the nipple from the mother plant, allow the surface of the rhizome section to dry for about a day. At that time, it can be replanted anywhere you want.

    Growing in containers

    Bananas grow in containers, but require a minimum of 15-gallon jars as a minimum size for optimal growth. With it in a container, you have full control over the factory environment. It should be able to better protect you from cold and bad weather.

    They are plants that are very hungry and thirsty, and it can be difficult to meet food and water needs when grown in containers.

    Repeat and divide the bananas in containers at least every three years. Use good quality potting soil and fertilize regularly.

    Pruning

    Before fruit, prune the banana so that it is just a main stem. After 6 to 8 months of growth, it will leave behind a suction cup. This will replace the main stem in the next growing season. Once the fruit is removed, cut the main stem by 2.5 meters. In a few weeks, remove the rest of the stem, leaving the replacement nipple intact.

    Growing Indoors

    Because of the way bananas grow, you can create a beautiful, tall, and very tropical indoor summer display with a banana tree. As long as you fertilize and water frequently, the banana tree will grow extremely fast, fill your corner or window with light in no time, and be a wonderful conversation piece. However, there is a downside. Don't expect to reap rewards. Unless you live in the tropics or have a large greenhouse, your plant will not have time to flower and set fruit. Instead, focus on growing bananas for their impressive and distinctive foliage. Bananas grow indoors in full sun or dappled shade.

    During the growing season, bananas are fertile capybaras. Water the plant generously and expect more water as it grows. You can water a large banana every day.

    These plants thrive in warmer temperatures (up to 85 F). If you plan to keep the plant over the winter, try to keep the temperature as high as possible in high humidity conditions. Also use loose, well-draining, and very rich potting soil.

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    Banana Tree Plant

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