How to Separate Banana Sucker Plants


Banana (Musa) is an herbaceous perennial in the Musaceae family. The tropical banana is well adapted to in-ground plantings in the warm, subtropical and tropical regions of the United States. Plants stop growing when temperatures reach 50 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Though called a tree, banana plants really are herbs with a succulent and watery main trunk system. New plants, or pups, develop from underground rhizomes produced in about 10 to 15 months. Separating the pups and growing them separately is essential for proper growth, fruit size and production.

Step 1

Allow three to four pups to reach to about 3 feet high before separating them from the parent plant. The original small, spaded leaves will begin to develop into larger, full-size ones as the parent banana.

Step 2

Remove some of the soil around the pups you will be separating, exposing the roots. This allows you to see the connection between the pup and the parent better, assuring a cleaner cut.

Step 3

Slice through the soil between the parent and the pup using a spade or large knife, severing their connection. Dig the pup from the area, being sure to include a portion of the roots.

Step 4

Fill a container three times larger than the root ball halfway full with an organically rich, well-draining potting mix, if you are transplanting the pup into a container.

Step 5

Place the pup inside the container and cover with potting mix. Plant the pup no deeper than it was growing in soil. Water the container well, saturating the roots.

Step 6

Prepare an in-ground planting site situated in full to partial sun with good drainage. Remove any weeds and dig a hole two times larger than the pup's root ball.

Step 7

Amend the planting site with compost or manure, working it into the soil approximately six inches down. Bananas grow best in rich soil mediums.

Step 8

Plant the banana pup at the same depth it was growing in the ground. Stomp on the soil to firm it up and water, saturating the roots.

Step 9

Water the pup daily, keeping the soil moist for about two weeks. Continue watering three to four times per week because bananas have high water requirements.

Step 10

Fertilize every two months with an 8-10-8 fertilizer. Banana plants are heavy feeders, requiring frequent fertilization for best fruit production and growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Knife
  • Container
  • Potting mix
  • Water
  • Compost
  • Manure
  • Fertilizer


  • Plants Delight Nursery, Inc: Bananas-Apeeling Plants for the Garden
  • California Rare Fruit Growers: Banana
  • Purdue University: Bananas

Who Can Help

  • California Rare Fruit Growers: Banana
Keywords: separating banana pups, transplanting banana suckers, removing banana pups

About this Author

Joyce Starr is a freelance writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawncare, gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.