How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Banana Plants

Banana plants are pleasant additions to tropical gardens, whether you grow them indoors for their foliage or outside for their delectable fruits. Master gardener Madison Moulton shares her banana plant-growing secrets. 

1. Characteristic

Long, glossy green leaves cover these pseudostems, which can grow to 20 feet tall. Tropical-looking leaves with an arching curve instantly transform your backyard (or home) into a vacation spot. The essential part—the fruits.  Larger-than-expected banana hands form.  

2. Varieties

While most people are familiar with the yellow Cavendish banana offered in grocery shops, cultivating your own provides new doors. There are several varieties, letting you to cultivate something unique you wouldn't find in a store.  

3. Planting

Late spring or early summer is the greatest time to plant because the earth has warmed enough for quick root growth. Growing bananas requires replicating their native surroundings, starting with the right location.   

4. Light

Tropical bananas thrive under direct sunlight. Full sun (6–8 hours each day) gives plants the energy they need to grow lots of fruits. A little afternoon shade helps avoid leaf burning in intense sunlight. More sunlight is usually preferable for these plants.  

5. Water

Water is essential for bananas, especially during their peak season. They are rot-prone and need well-draining soil to avoid waterlogging. Regular and deep watering without overwatering keeps banana plants healthy and disease-free.  

6. Soil

Rich, well-draining soil with needed nutrients supports banana growth. Strong roots thrive in loamy soil with organic stuff like compost or manure.  

7. Temperature and Humidity

Banana plants are tropical and hate cold.  Year-round 60F–80F temperatures promote rapid growth. Any temperature below 50F slows growth. Frost can be dangerous.  

8. Fertilizing

Bananas are big feeders that need lots of nutrition. A 10-10-10 fertilizer with equal nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) is advised for banana plants.  

9. Maintenance

Maintenance requires occasional trimming to remove dead or browning foliage and fruit stalks. This improves the plant's look and promotes growth and fruiting. Selective sucker thinning may also help the main plant grow.  

10. Harvesting

Bananas can be harvested 10–14 months after planting, depending on conditions. Bananas ripen after picking, unlike other fruits. Watch for flattened ridges and little yellowing at the tips. The little blossoms at the tops of the bananas should be dry and easily brushed off.  

11. Propagation

The easiest and most usual propagation method is carefully extracting a healthy sucker from the mother plant and transplanting it nearby or elsewhere in your yard. Planting a sucker with roots and three leaves is likely to succeed.  

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Also see

10 Different Types of Blueberries For Your Garden