Banana tree grow and care – herbaceous of the genus Musa also known as Banana, Banana tree perennial evergreen plant, mostly used for the edible fruits but also used as ornamental plant, can grow in tropic, mediterranean or subtropical climate and growing in hardiness zone 10+ and with the right care in hardiness zone 9.
Leaves color green, size of the can be 1-3 m.
Flowers inflorescence color pink with bracts, female flowers shape look like little Banana.
Rich soil, mulch, heavy soil, moist soil, organic matter, humus, some plants need support in order not to fall with the fruits
How to care Fertilizer 3-4 in life of a plant (plant consider from young plant to fruits), add organic matter and humus, when the plant is young add mulch to keep the moist of the soil, cut dead plants and don’t through the dead plant until full dead keep it on the soil vertical or 45° that all the mineral will go back to the soil.
Methods of growing: Reduce the amount of plant in the same location leave one mature plant and next one daughter plant (sucker), the reason to grow like this, it’s that there are limit for the amount of mineral that the plant can provide (possible to use big amount of fertilizers and water but still the amount of the fruits and the size of the fruits will be better in this method)
What is the best way to start growing: Plant / Vegetative Reproduction by suckers (seeds are not viable in the edible cultivars)
How to propagate by suckers Suckers of banana grow next to the mother plant, in order to create more plant, need to have more than one sucker because always need at least one sucker to have future plant without suckers the plant will die, separation need to do when the plant arrive to 20-40cm (8-16 inches) depend on the cultivars at least 3 leaves, need to wet the soil and need to search for few roots, need to cut it with at least one root but better more.
Is it necessary to graft or use vegetative reproduction? Yes, edible bananas don’t have seeds, the seeds not viable
Difficulties/Problems with growing: Aggressive, the plant might fall
Planting season: Spring in hardiness zone 9, spring to summer in hardiness zone 10a (better in the spring), spring to autumn in hardiness zone 10b-11 (better in spring), all year in hardiness zone 12+
How to plant: Dig hole bigger 100% more than the roots ball, add to the hole, organic matter, dead leaves and humus put back some soil and mix it, after this put the tree cover strong enough that won’t fall put support for the plant if needed, water it twice in the first day and every day for two weeks increase the amount of water until the plant establish.
Pests and diseases: Worms, nematodes, Panama wilt, crown rot, mosaic virus
Pruning season: All year for the leaves and to cut all the plant after the fruits when start to grow at least one sucker
How to prune: Dead leaves, recommend not to let grow more than daughter and mother in the same spot the other daughter need to replant or to prune, and after the fruit the cane need to be prune 2 option one to wait until the cane dry (problem that when it can fall on the daughter and cause damage), the second it’s to prune with the fruit and cut it to slices and let it dry and bring all the mineral to the ground
Size of the plant: 1-6 m, 3-20 feet (depend the cultivar)
Growth speed in optimal condition: Fast growing in tropical in hardiness zone 11b+ / Medium growing in subtropical in hardiness zone 9-11a (and in hardiness zone 9 might be slow)
Irrigation water management requirement: Big amount of water – average amount of water, depend the soil, temperatures, winds and mulch
Light conditions in optimal condition for growing: Full Sun, in very hot summer better to reduce little bit the amount of sun, possible to grow it half shade but the problem that it will bear less fruits and also will take more time
Is it possible to grow indoor as houseplant? No
Growing is also possible in a planter /flowerpot / containers: Yes, but only for dwarf cultivars, the problem it’s not the root system is when the plant is too much high and the container fall with the plant in this case better to put heavy rock in the base of the container, size of the container depend on the cultivar 25-125L (5-25 gallons) (for small cultivars can be even smaller), soil need to rich, organic matter, mulch to keep the soil moist and better to put fertilize 2-4 times in life of the plant, water the plant and keep the soil moist, check that there are enough holes, every time that the plant die (after the fruits) better to take the sucker and replant it in new soil and through all the roots of the dead plant, when the plant bear fruits better to support the plant that won’t fall with the fruits
How long does a banana tree live: The plant live until bear fruits, usually one year in the tropical in hardiness zone 11b+ and to 1.5-2 years in hardiness zone 9-11a, colder the place it will take more time for the fruits, until the plant bear the fruits after this the plant die slowly, before the plant new shoots grow up and until the plant fully die there is option for new shoots.
When does flowers bloom? In tropical all year round in subtropical and mediterranean spring – summer
General information about the flower Flowers inflorescence color pink with bracts, female flowers shape look like little Banana fruits
When does it yield: In tropical all year round in subtropical and mediterranean summer – autumn
Pestsor diseases in Banana fruit: Birds, warm, bats
What can be donewith bigquantities of Bananas fruit? Eat raw, cooked, cakes,
Work requirements on the fruit: In case of bats need to cover with nylon or net
How long does it take to bear fruit? 1-2 years (depend the climate) in tropical climate in hardiness zone 1+ takes 1 year, in hardiness zone 11 takes 1.5 year, in hardiness zone 9-10 takes 2 years, but also depend the cultivars, plants are dying after bear fruits.
Ripening of fruit: Better to pick when the fruit is half ready, possible to let the fruits be ready home when the fruits still connected to the stems