How to Grow Banana Plants and Keep them Happy
We all love Bananas. It is the one fruit that is available throughout the year, all over the world, and all at a handsome price. But what do we know about the tree that bestows us with this marvellous fruit? Find out here!
The Banana plant is succulent, the thick juicy stem of the plant is always equipped to make ends meet for the plant in times of neglect. The fleshy green leaves of the Banana tree are what mark it as unique, given their considerably large size. There are several different variegated and hybrid qualities of the banana plant, each of them requiring distinct care and growing to different sizes.
Use of Banana Tree
The Banana tree is extremely beneficial in many ways. Almost all the Banana tree parts can be employed one way or the other to earn some good benefits. Let us have a look at what exactly these uses are.
Banana Tree Fruit
The Banana is one tasty fruit, there’s no denying that. The fruit is rich in potassium, good fibre, and many vitamins essential for good health. Consuming the Banana fruit also aids in digestion, improving bowel movements. In addition to this, the fruit also improves cardiovascular health, treats cholesterol and lowers blood pressure levels.
Banana Tree Flower
The Banana plant also produces a flower, when it is met with proper care. This flower is very effective when consumed by people suffering from Type-2 diabetes, as it helps balance the sugar levels in the human body. The flower is also quite rich in antioxidants and thus has anti-ageing properties as well. It also contains many important amino acids and vitamins that aid metabolism and is especially very beneficial for new moms.
Raw Banana Fruit
The mature banana fruit, when consumed, has many different benefits. But that’s not all; even the raw fruit is packed with goodness. The raw banana, again, is very beneficial for diabetic people as it has lesser natural sugars. It is also helpful in improving bowel movements, as they are rich in fibre. The raw banana also ensures emotional and mental wellness.
Banana Tree Leaves
As we all know, the Banana plant leaves aren’t edible under any circumstance or care pattern. However, eating off of these banana leaves is greatly beneficial, and thus, has been in practice for thousands of years. This is because the leaf of banana consists of certain compounds that mix with the food, and aid in digestive health and cell growth. It is also an environmentally-friendly option.
Banana Tree Stem
Even the stem of the banana plant is loaded with many benefits to offer. The juice of the banana stem, when consumed, helps to flush out all sorts of toxins from the human body, thus cleansing the system. When mixed with fibre, the juice helps to keep the sugar levels in check, also slowing down the release of fats in the human body. When mixed with lime, this juice helps to prevent kidney stones.
Banana Tree Roots
The root of the Banana plant, too, is not left devoid of benefits; they too can offer bits of help. You can easily clean the roots, boil them with lots and lots of salt for around 15 minutes or so. Use this mixture to gargle in the morning, and it will recede your suffering from toothache. The roots of some other varieties are also used to treat oral ulcers.
Growing Banana Plants in Pots
Although the Banana tree is considered more as an outdoor plant, it can very well be potted indoors as well. The best benefit of growing bananas in pots is that it is a considerably easy procedure. To top that, the banana plant is very easy to grow and care for.
Here is a step-by-step breakdown of growing banana plants in pots.
- Start with soaking the banana seeds in some water for a day or two, as it helps break the seeds’ dormant state and also softens the coating of the seed, allowing the sprout to pop out easily enough.
- Take a container or tray to grow the plant in, and start prepping it with some potting soil that is rich in organic compost. Sow the banana seeds at least ¼ inch deep in the soil, and add some compost as backfill.
- Water the seeds until the soil start getting moist. It is important to maintain the damp temperature while the seeds germinate. Also, make sure that you maintain a temperature of at least 15 degrees Celsius.
- Now, the time that the seed takes to germinate, depends very much on the variety of the plant that you are going to grow. Some germinate as quickly as in 3 weeks, while others may take as long as 12 weeks.
- Once the seed germinates, that as it starts sprouting leaves, it is time to move it into a nice planter. Gently lift it out from the tray, without harming it in any way, and transfer it to a nice planter, with some well-draining soil.
The Banana tree is originally native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Thus, it is more suited to a condition that is similar to its natural habitat. For instance, as these regions receive ample sunlight, the Banana plant too requires lots and lots of sunlight to grow. The plant loves the full sun and prefers average humidity and heat. So place the plant at a spot that meets the requirements of the plant.
While growing Banana plants in pots at home, it is important to ensure that you water the plant regularly, and into the depths. You must water the plant every day during the summers, gradually lowering the regularity during the winters. The Banana plant loves being watered, but it doesn’t prefer being over-watered. So make sure that you do not end up over-watering the plant and allow the roots some time to breathe in, letting the soil dry out every once in a while.
Remember, the banana plant thrives best when planted in well-draining soil. You can easily prepare a suitable potting mix yourself by mixing in some vermiculite, coco peat and perlite. Or, you can also use a Cactus or Palm potting mix that you can easily source from any store nearby. While choosing a planter, make sure that it fits the plant well. Do not use a planter that is either too big or too small for the plant.
The plant grows considerably fast when it is met with the right and proper care. Needless to say, it also requires its proper nutrient intake to keep with the growth. To alleviate the growth process, it is advisable to use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer on the plant just as it starts growing. Once the plant becomes mature enough to produce fruit, you can shift to a fertilizer with 15:5:30 formulations.
Protect your plant from cold temperatures and winter drafts. The banana rhizomes survive only as long as the soil temperature remains above 22 degrees Fahrenheit.
Banana Leaf Plant
The Banana Leaf Plant, or the Musa spp., is a rather popular houseplant. As the name suggests, the Banana Leaf Plant comprises mostly beautiful large leaves and is easily a statement piece in any room. The plant doesn’t produce any fruits, but its majestic appearance pretty much makes up for that flaw.
The Banana Leaf Plant is a herbaceous perennial. When planted indoors, it can grow up to a height of 8 to 10 feet tall and around 6 to 8 feet wide. The Banana Leaf Plant loves the full sun and thus, is best placed at a south-east facing window. The plant prefers some rich well-draining soil to grow in, favouring the soil pH level of 5.5 to 7.
Native to Australia, Eastern Africa and Southeast Asia, the Musa Acuminata, a kind of wild banana, generally grows up to a height of 12 to 20 feet. A flowering Banana plant, the Musa Acuminata is a seasonal bloomer, producing flowers that are cream or white.
The Musa Acuminata is an evergreen herbaceous perennial. It prefers to be growing in the full sun, without any filters whatsoever. The plant requires regular fertilization, but only during the growing season. The Musa Acuminata, or wild banana, needs to be planted in some moist soil, without letting it dry out.
The Musa Balbisiana, another kind of wild banana, is popularly referred to as the Plantain Tree, or the Plantain Banana. native to South and Southeast Asia, the plant is found in large numbers especially in China. The Musa Balbisiana, when planted indoors, generally grows to a height of just 6 meters, with the base accounting for a diameter of 30 centimetres.
The Plantain tree prefers some loamy and well-draining soil to grow in. The plant is particularly known for attracting wildlife and hence, is constantly pollinated by bees and birds. The Musa Balbisiana is not tolerant to windy conditions but can grow very well even in low-lit regions.
A hybrid variety that is a mix of the Musa Acuminata and Musa Balbisiana is known as the Musa Paradisiaca. The Musa Paradisiaca is also popularly known as the Edible Banana or as theFrench Plantain.
Popularly known as the Japanese Banana plant, the Musa Basjoo is a very hardy variety among banana plants. The Musa Basjoo is specifically known for being very tolerant to cold conditions, even temperatures that go way below -5 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the plant is just made up of rolled leaves and doesn’t consist of any wooden structure.
The fast-growing Japanese Banana plant can grow as high as 12 feet, with some leaves even growing as long as 6 feet. The plant loves some fertile soil to grow in and a sunny location. The Japanese banana plants require a lot of nutrients to thrive and hence, need to be fed with fertilizers once every month or so.
Red Banana Plant/ Red Banana Tree
The Red Banana tree is called so because of the bright red specks on the otherwise green leaves. It is more of an ornamental plant, especially grown to admire its bright red-green foliage. The plant can generally grow up to 12 to 15 feet wide and around 8 feet wide.
Native to East African highlands, the Red Banana plant naturally prefers a dry climate to grow. The plant neither likes frosts nor can it tolerate high levels of humidity. The plant can live anywhere between 3 to 10 years but requires utmost care to be thriving well. Place the plant at a spot with the full sun, and in some well-draining soil.
SenecioRadicans/ String of Bananas Plant
The SenecioRadicans or the String of Bananas plant is a very popular trailing houseplant. The plant is naturally succulent and can thrive well even when neglected. The leaves of the plant resemble the shape of bananas and thus the plant is more popularly known as the String of Bananas.
The String of Bananas is very easy to grow and care for. It has minimal requirements, without you having to be fussy about it. The plant prefers some indirect sunlight to grow in and can do considerably well even when placed in partial light. The SenecioRadicans require watering only as and when the soil goes dry.
Dwarf Banana Tree
Given its tiny size, the Dwarf Banana Tree is the best variety that one can easily grow indoors. To begin with, the plant is much smaller in size, doing away with the crowded feeling indoors. Also, it is very mesmerizing to look at, given that it is the very same Banana tree, but in a small size.
The Dwarf Banana tree prefers being exposed to bright sunlight for at least 4 to 6 hours in the day. The plant also loves some extra humidity and thus, requires some misting now and then. It is also important to ensure that the plant dries out a little before you decide on watering it again. Avoid over-watering at all costs as the plant is very prone to root rot.
Dwarf Cavendish Banana
The Dwarf Cavendish Banana trees can do very well in both indoor and outdoor settings. It is also one of the toughest Banana plant varieties as it can survive and thrive in almost any condition. The plant grows just to a height of 8 to 10 feet and is marked by the leaves that start as purple or red and they turn green as a sign of maturation.
The Dwarf Cavendish Banana Plant prefers to grow in bright and direct sunlight. The plant can grow considerably well in partial shade as well but grow at a slower intensity. The plant prefers to grow in loamy well-draining soil that maintains a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. It is also advisable to use a 6:2:12 formulation fertilizer on the plant, once in two months.
Also, the widely popular G 9 banana is a yielding variety of the Cavendish Banana plants. The G 9 is also known as the Grand Nain Banana.
Bonsai Banana Tree
The Bonsai trees are the miniature versions of generally large trees. These trees are generally grown in shallow containers or trays, growing to a height of just a few feet. The Bonsai Banana Tree is one of the most famous Bonsai arrangements and is specifically native to India and Southwest Asia.
The Banana Bonsai Tree is a good option when you do not want to overcrowd a room with a fully grown large Banana tree. The Bonsai can easily be grown with banana seeds and thrives best when placed in a sunny spot. It is also important to ensure that the Bonsai container has drainage holes to flush out the excess water.
Artificial Banana Tree
Everyone loves to have a little touch of greenery in their households. But not all of us are adept at growing and caring for plants. That’s where artificial plants come in. Nowadays several artificial plants look similar to real plants and thrive with particularly no need of attention from us.
There are different kinds of artificial banana plants available in the market. Even different varieties of the plant are also available in the artificial form. The plants bear a close resemblance to the actual Banana trees and are a great choice to have indoors.
Blue Java Banana Price
The Blue Java Banana is more popularly known as the Ice Cream Banana. The Ice Cream banana is blue as it grows but takes on a creamy yellow colour as it ripens. The fruit is slightly gooey than the other varieties but tastes vanilla.
Also referred to as the Hawaiian Banana, the Blue Java Banana plant requires the full sun to grow., It needs regular watering, and thus should be watered every one or two days. The plant is very easy to find and can easily be sourced from a nursery, or any online site, and that too for a handsome price.
Here we have answered some FAQS to help you know more about the Banana plant.
Is the banana plant a tree?
The Banana plant is naturally called a tree but is a herb. It is made up of rolled-up leaves mostly, and a juicy stem that stores water. There is no wooden structure on a Banana plant.
What is the difference between a banana tree and a banana plant?
A banana tree and a banana plant refer to the same herb. Some address it as a plant, while others address it as a tree.
What is a banana plant called?
A Banana plant is often called a Banana tree. But, in reality, it is a herb. The plant consists of large green leaves, edible fruits and a juicy stem.
Do banana plants need full sun?
The Banana plant loves the full sun. It requires at least 4 to 6 hours of sun each day to grow well. Thus, the plant is best placed at a window facing the southwest, where it will get enough sunlight throughout the day.
Are bananas a vegetable?
The bananas are a plant, bearing a Banana fruit. It is not a vegetable at any cost. The fruit of the banana plant is very beneficial to human health as it is rich in fibre and potassium.
How many years do banana trees produce fruit for?
A banana tree can survive as long as 30 years, at least some varieties can. The plant starts producing fruits after being planted for 2 to 3 years. However, remember to cut away the stalk after producing the fruits as one stalk produces fruits only once.
If bananas don't have seeds, how do they reproduce?
Bananas propagate by the means of asexual propagation.
What is the average life of a banana plant?
The average lifespan of a banana plant is around 25 years. However, different varieties of the plant can last for fewer or longer times.
What do wild bananas look and taste like?
Wild bananas look a little darker than general bananas. They taste creamier.
Can we plant banana trees at home?
Yes, you can easily have a banana tree at home. Just ensure that the plant is placed in the sun where it gets at least 4 to 6 hours of sunlight on an everyday basis.
Why is the banana plant herb not a tree?
The banana plant is a herb, not a tree. It does not have a trunk or any other wooden structure whatsoever. It is made up of just leaves and a juicy stem.
What are the best times to plant bananas?
The best times to plant bananas are the growing seasons of spring and summer.
Which type of root does a banana tree have?
Banana trees have a fibrous root system. The roots start forming gradually as a banana seed germinates and starts sprouting leaves.
Where can I buy/get/grow seeded bananas?
You can easily source seeded bananas from a nursery or through any site online.