How to grow bananas - It does not take much effort and is relatively easy to do when you get a few things right on how to grow bananas in your own garden. It is important to note that bananas grow in a tropical or warm tropical climate and needs lots of water to thrive well. You cannot grow bananas from seeds; they only grow from suckers pull out from a mother plant.
Bananas are perennial herbs with all the leaf stalks wrapped each other consisting its trunk. A banana plant takes about 9 months to grow up and produce a bunch of bananas. Before knowing how to grow bananas, you should first know which banana variety will suit your needs. Here are the most commonly used varieties:
- Cavendish -
- Lady fingers - very tall and slender plants and have sweeter fruit.
- Plantains - cooking bananas which are drier and starchier and are used green like you would use potatoes, and they taste similar.
You should also note that bananas don’t like strong winds and extremes in temperature, so choose a place where your trees will be protected from both. Also make sure that the areas where you will plant your bananas have a steady warmth and moisture both in the ground and in the air.
Growing requirements for bananas:
- Climate – this plant can handle extreme heat given that they have enough water.They can also handle cool weather for a short span of time but tend to stop growing in temperatures below 57F. Lower temperatures than this and the fruit skin turn grey and the leaves turn yellow.
- Water – Huge amount of water is needed to grow bananas since its huge soft leaves evaporate a lot. It also needs high humidity. The most common cause of death for bananas is lack of water.
- Soil – You will need a very rich soil for your bananas. Incorporate lots of compost and chicken manure before planting. Thick mulch is also needed to conserve the soil’s moisture.
- Spacing – if you plan to plant several banana trees together, make sure you have enough room. Growing many bananas together increases the humidity in the middle. You would not like to cook the flower that is growing in the middle, so even out the spacing of your trees. Plant them in blocks or clumps, not single rows.
- Pruning – Remove any dead leaves and cut down dead plants every now and then. You can get bigger fruits if you remove all unwanted suckers and keep the best ones.The best suckers are the ones with the small, spear shaped leaves.
- Harvesting – Banana fruits are ready to be harvested when they look well rounded with ribs and the little flowers at the end are dry and rub off easily. Once they start to ripen, they do so very quickly, faster than you can eat or use them. So you may as well cut the top hands off a bit earlier and ripen them on the kitchen. You can preserve bananas for use in cooking and baking by peeling and freezing them. Or, to preserve them for eating, peel, split in half lengthwise and dry them.