Hello Gardeners, today can be the topic of growing Banana in containers? why not, let us start. Banana is one of the main important fruit crops in the world. The word “Banana” is a general term embracing several species or hybrids in the genus Musa of the Musaceae family. The scientific name of Banana is the Musa sapientum.
Bananas are an excellent source of ascorbic acid, Vitamin B 6, and potassium. Banana fruit is one of the most produced and commercialized fruits in the world. Banana fruits are rich in potassium and fiber. They could help prevent asthma, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and digestive problems.
A step by step guide and requirements to growing Banana in containers
- Growing Banana trees in containers are very easy. Banana trees can grow easily in containers if you live in tropical areas. It is beneficial for people who are fond of planting banana trees and cannot find it due to lack of space. The leaves of this Banana tree are ornamental and green; so many people take it as a houseplant.
- The banana plant is a lush green, fast-growing plant that can give any place a tropical look and feel. Many Banana varieties become excellent houseplants that don’t need much care and grow up very quickly. Dwarf varieties of Banana trees can develop anywhere between 2 to 4 meters. When compared to the ordinary Banana trees that can reach up to 15 meters high.
- When choosing the material for the pot or container, decide on how much you want to spend and purchase a material like ceramic, plastic, metal, or wood pot.
- When your Banana tree outgrows the first pot, you can transport it to a larger pot. Once the Banana tree is big enough for a 30 cm (10 inch) pot, increase the size of your pot by 10-15 cm (4-6 inches) every two to three years.
- Choose a container about 6-8 inches containing well-drained peat or vermiculite soil.
- Banana trees will develop in containers but need at least 15-gallon pots as the minimum size for optimum growth. When Banana trees are in a container, you can have complete control over the plant’s environment. You must be able to protect it better in cold and inclement weather.
- Repot and divide container-grown Banana plants at least once every 3 years. Use high quality of potting mix and make sure to fertilize regularly.
Different varieties of Banana trees suitable for growing in containers:
Dwarf varieties of Banana plant restrict up to only 1.5 to 4 m. (4 to 12 feet) tall and they are suitable to grow in containers. You can also grow these Banana plant varieties indoors. Some of the dwarf varieties of Banana trees suitable for grow in containers are;
- Dwarf Red
- Dwarf Cavendish
- Dwarf Brazilian
- Dwarf Jamaican
- Williams Hybrid
- Gran Nain
- Dwarf ‘Lady Finger’
If you would like to grow ornamental Banana trees in containers the below varieties are suitable;
- Ensete ventricosum
- Musa sikkimensis ‘Red Tiger’
- Musa ornata
Soil requirement for growing Banana trees in containers:
Banana trees thrive in well-drained soil and when looking for the right type of soil, consider ones with a good mix of peat, perlite, and vermiculite. A cactus or palm tree soil mixture is an excellent choice for growing Banana trees. And purchase bags of this soil at most home and gardening stores.
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Some soil is not beneficial for Banana tree development, such as standard heavy potting soil or soil that’s found in your yard.
Your Banana plant will do best in soil with a pH level of 5.6 – 6.5. Prefer dwarf variety for growing Banana in containers as it grows around 2-4 meters.
Place the dwarf Banana variety in a pot and when it grows 30 centimeters you can shift it to larger pots. Expose small section of it to the sunlight.
Please maintain the temperature of about 75-85F. It grows to a height of 5 meters depending upon variety and starts flowering after 6 to 7 months.
Sun requirement for growing Banana trees:
Banana trees grow in tropical and subtropical parts of the world and hence they love full sun, heat, and humidity. If you’re growing a Banana tree in containers you should keep it in a spot that receives the sun most of the day but preferably sheltered from the wind.
Growing Banana plants from seed:
- To begin germinating the Banana seeds, soak the seed in warm water for 24 – 48 hours to break the seed dormancy. This softens the seed coat, enabling the embryo to sprout more simply and rapidly.
- Use a seed tray or container and fill with potting soil enriched with plenty of organic compost in the amount of 60% sand or airy, loam to 40% organic matter. Sow the Banana seeds 1/4 inch deep and then backfill with compost. Water the seed until the soil is moist, not drenched, and maintain damp conditions while growing Banana trees from seeds.
- When germinating Banana seeds, even hardy bananas, maintain the temperature at least 60 degrees F. (15 C.).
- Different varieties respond to temperature fluxes differently. Some do well with 19 hours of cool and 5 hours of warm temperatures. Using a heated propagator and turning it on during the day and off at night can be the easiest way to monitor temperature fluctuations.
- The time that a Banana seed germinates depends on the Banana variety. Some germinate in 2-3 weeks while others can take two or more months, so be patient when propagating banana plants via seed.
- As each seed germinates, lift carefully from the container to prevent any damage to the juvenile root system, and transfer it to a 3-inch pot of good quality, free-draining compost.
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The watering requirement for growing Banana plants in containers:
A Banana plant loves moisture. Water Banana plants regularly and deeply but cares not to overwater. In summer, water it every day. It can need water even two times a day in hot weather or when it is root-bound. Soil for growing Banana plants must be kept uniformly moist. Reduce watering in the winter season. Water Banana plant thoroughly and allow it to drain for some time. Fruit develops after two months from flowering. You can select the desired fruit that is raw or ripens and harvest the Bananas.
Fertilizer requirement for growing Banana plants:
The banana plant is a fast-growing plant and it requires heavy feeding to grow at its full strength. Fertilize young plant when it establishes well with nitrogen-rich fertilizer to help it develop faster. Once your banana tree in the container becomes mature enough to produce fruit, fertilize it with 15:5:30 fertilizers regularly.
Pests and diseases:
- Bananas are quite resistant to diseases, still, when you see the plant leaves turning brown and drying at the edges it means you’re overwatering. And if the plant leaves turn yellow, Banana plant is having a lack of nutrients.
- The Banana plant diseases have including bacterial wilt, blackhead, black leaf streak, fusarium wilt, banana bunchy top, and root rot.
- Some of the pests that might attack Banana plant are banana aphids, corn weevil, banana weevil, mealy bugs, and coconut scale. These pests can easily be repelled using organic pesticides.
- The Banana weevil borer is a very small, white insect that enters into the stems and causes rotting. Young leaves may often wilt and fruit production could be reduced dramatically.
- Good hygiene is necessary for the prevention of pests. Remove old leaves from the base of the Banana plant.
When to pick Bananas:
Depending upon the Banana variety it takes 9 to 12 months for the fruit to develop from sowing to harvesting. You can harvest Banana fruits by cutting the stalk full of green bananas. Place them in a cool, dark place to become yellow color or wait for the fruits to turn yellow that can be eaten immediately after plucking.
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