The Garden Helper

Helping Gardeners Grow Their Dreams since 1997.

No-dash-here, you've found The Real Garden Helper! Gardening on the Web since 1997

Questions about a banana tree...

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
« Prev thread: Questions| Next thread: Questions about a Jasmine plant »
Back to Thread index
by dishmanlady on April 26, 2005 05:50 PM
My hubby brought me a gift from a customer the other day...a banana tree. She told him it will not survive winter here even with lots of mulch, needs full sun, lots of water, heavy feeder, etc.
She did not mention, however, how big a pot it would take for it, or whether it needed all potting soil or a mix of sand and potting soil... and I've never had one before. (I think she plants hers directly in the ground and digs them up every year.) She did tell him that it'd make 2-3 new ones each season, so I'd really like for it to survive one season anyway...then I can experiment with the new additions.

"Heavy feeder"...should I use granular or water soluble plant food? How big a container? What mix, if any, of sand/soil? And finally, would it be ok to use a square container? (I'm thinking if the container has to be very big, a square one will stay on a hand truck better when hauling it to the basement in the Fall).

* * * *
If it's under 20 dollars, he don't need to know!
by Longy on April 26, 2005 07:07 PM
Bananas like a well drained soil so i'd go with a quality organic potting mix with a bit of coarse sand added if you think it'll need it. Just see how well the mix drains and add more sand if you reckon it's too slow. As long as the mix doesn't stay boggy it'll be fine.
Granular or liquid? Up to you. One high in potash is good for banana fruit but i don't know if you expect to get any.
The new ones which form at the base are called suckers and can just be sliced off with a sharp spade. Try and get some root with it.
A square pot is fine. The bigger the better. Their roots don't travel a long way anyway but if the wind gets hold of it you will need a bit of weight to stop it blowing over.
Bananas are pretty easy to grow. As long as it doesn't get frozen it should be right. Good luck.
by PAR_Gardener on April 27, 2005 07:04 AM
I've been growing a dwarf banana plant for several years now. It original plant passed on a few years ago, but I've got plenty of offspring. I've divided it several times and passed a few along. I use a big container, but I don't think it's necessary. The bigger the container the longer you can go before you have to divide, but it's also harder to divide a larger plant. I don't know how I'm going to divide it this time.

I keep mine in a pot that I bring in every winter. I just use regular potting soil because the pot is so big. I add some compost to the mix. Other than that I don't fertilize, but I probably should.

My banana has been hit by early frost and sun scalded quite a few times, but it's still growing and multiplying. I was hoping to get actual fruit out of it, but that hasn't happened yet, and I'm beginning to think that it never will. There probably isn't enough sun or heat up in zone 5. for the plant to bear fruit.

I've replied to messages saying that I'll post pictures, but I haven't yet, so I won't make any promises here.

* * * *
Composting is more than good for your garden. It's a way of life.
by papito on April 29, 2005 06:20 PM
Bananas are fast growers and requires ample fertilizer, water and heat. The rhizomes are hardy to 22*F. They begin bearing 12 to 18 months after planting, however, they need a uniformly warm climate and require 10 to 15 months of frost-free conditions to produce a flower stalk. This condition is best found in the southern parts of California and Florida.

Banana is well suited in containers. They are excellent indoors in bright diffuse light. The problem as pointed out by PAR_Gardener is in the division. This is quite a bit of challenge, but it can be done. Soak the banana with water to soften the soil, then run a long thin blade [a machete will do] between the soil and the container to loosen the soil. Lay the banana on it's side and tap the bottom of the container [if the container is clay or ceramic, push the banana through the drain hole with a stick] , then gently pull out the banana. To divide, hack the suckers and like Longy said, try to leave some roots.

Longy and PAR_Gardener already discussed the soil and fertilizer requirements. The soil pH should be in the range of 5.5 and 6.5. Water deeply especially during warm weather; do not let the plants dry out, but don't over water. Standing water, especially in cool weather, will cause root rot.

Other info about growing banana can be found here.

* * * *

Amor est vitae essentia.
Love is the essence of life.
by njoynit on May 05, 2005 05:42 PM
I can add they actively grow when soil temps are above 50.My cuz in jersey has one of my pups.she grew in ground beside driveway and when temps were going below 50,she dug and wrapped roots in burlap and stored in basement.she said it started getting leaves so has in pot for now an in about a month will re plant out.she uses fertilizer sticks 10 inches from base.If you get a leaf a week your plant is growing right.she has 2 leafs now,she said the 1st one looked ratty,but the 2nd one looks normal.mine is hardy for my zone 8& most have 5-7 leavves now ceept the big one.he woke slower and is forming 2nd leaf now.

which is better?cutting back before frost or spring?I didn't cut back cause the person before never did,but hear everyone ask about cutting back.our lows are in the 20s and rarely longer than 6 hours.we can be 28 @ night and a high of 60& its called winter.i do plan to grow one over winter just to see if it will fruit.I have 10 months frost free if go by last year(Dec 2nd was frost and january 28th was last frost)I give mine shade,but 3 do get total shade unless a cloud passes through.

* * * *
I will age ungracefully until I become an old woman in a small garden..doing whatever the Hell I want!

Active Garden Forum

« Prev thread: Questions| Next thread: Questions about a Jasmine plant »
Back to Thread index
Similar discussions:

Search The Garden Helper: