Banana trees provide homes with a lush tropical look. They’re easier to grow than ever, in the ground or in containers. Nothing can replace their tropical feel, and the feeling of success you get from growing your own potassium rich fruit. Follow the simple instructions below for banana success!
When deciding where to plant your banana tree keep in mind that they prefer full sunlight. They can tolerate partial shade, but need at least six hours of sunlight a day. Banana trees don’t like extreme heat, so afternoon shade will be more beneficial for your tree than morning shade. Avoid areas that receive high winds. Heavy winds can cause the leaves to rip. If kept indoors place your banana tree by a large sunny window.
Once you’ve scouted your planting location, dig a hole that’s three times as wide as the pot, and just as deep. Take a pitchfork or shovel and loosen the soil around the sides of the hole. Remove any debris, like dirt clumps, grass, or rocks. Remove the plastic container from your tree’s roots and gently comb though the roots. Next, place your tree in the hole, and make sure that it’s level with the surrounding ground, and that it’s standing straight up. Then gently backfill the hole and give your tree a long slow drink of water.
Banana trees like water, they’re generally pretty thirsty. However, they don’t do well in standing water or areas that are prone to flooding. Be careful not to over water your tree. Keep your soil moist, but not over saturated. Water your tree every 2 to 3 days during the summer, and every few weeks in the winter, depending on your climate. Warmer areas that are more prone to drought will require water more frequently. If your tree is in a shady area it will most likely require less water.
Banana trees are often as hungry as they are thirsty. Give your tree a well-balanced organic fertilizer once a month during the growing season. Fertilizer will have a recommended dose for the size of your tree on the back of the package. We recommend giving your tree half of that dose to avoid root burn. Once your tree flowers switch to an organic fertilizer that’s low in nitrogen. If a banana leaf drops, leave it. Banana leaves provide excellent natural resources as they decompose.
Keep weeds at bay by placing a three inch layer of mulch around the base of your tree. This will prevent weeds from growing around your tree and stealing nutrients from the roots. Mulch will also help your soil retain moisture.
Remove any damaged or broken leaves that hang downwards. After your tree produces fruit trim it back to about 30 inches tall, and let the stem dry out for a week or two. Once the stem has dried, remove it. This will allow new banana tree stalks to grow. Once a stem fruits, it won’t produce again.
Pests and Diseases:
If your banana tree has a pest, they’ll be visible. Keep an eye on your tree and look for small black bugs, aphids, or webs on the leaves for spider mites. If your tree has pests simply spray it with an organic pesticide. If the leaves are discolored with spots or streaks or your fruit starts turning brown before it’s mature remove the infected items and spray your tree with an organic fungicide. Bugs, molds, and fungi are extremely easy to treat on Banana trees.
Banana trees are self-fertile and actually produce fruit without pollen. The flower grows and sets fruit all on its own.