How to Grow Dwarf Banana Trees


The dwarf banana tree is a tropical plant that quickly succumbs to freezing winters. The roots will survive temperatures just below freezing and the plant will regrow in the spring, but produce no fruit that year. They can be grown indoors in containers for a lush tropical look, but may not fruit under low-light conditions. Dwarf banana trees grow in a mat of several trunks. One trunk will flower each year, then die after fruiting. The first flowers are usually female, which develop into bananas. A number of sterile hands will follow, without fruit. Finally, the male flowers appear and fall away. During flowering, a new set of flowers can be expected almost daily according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Step 1

Choose a location in the warmest part of the landscape with full sun or partial shade. A location with well-drained soil and protection from heavy wind is ideal. In poorly drained soil, create a large mound or raised bed for planting dwarf banana trees.

Step 2

Remove grass and weeds from an area of 3 feet or larger diameter. Maintain this area weed-free around the expanding stand of trees.

Step 3

Dig a hole three to four times as wide and deep as the original container for the tree. Partially fill the hole with native soil or soil mixed with 50 percent composted organic matter.

Step 4

Place the tree in the hole at the same depth that the tree was originally growing. Back fill around the roots and press the soil lightly into the hole.

Step 5

Water immediately after planting and continue watering regularly, especially during dry weather. Bananas need about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water per week.

Step 6

Apply 3 to 6 inches of mulch under the newly planted trees to help control weeds.

Step 7

Remove weeds and grass as they appear by hoeing or by the use of herbicides. Support the plant with a stake if needed for support. Tie the tree loosely to the stake with cotton string.

Step 8

Fertilize monthly for the first four months with a high-nitrogen fertilizer such as 21-0-0, then fertilize every two to four months with a fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 3-1-6.

Step 9

Protect dwarf banana trees from cold weather by covering trees with blankets. During prolonged cold spells, the Texas A&M Extension service recommends mounding soil around the trunk to protect the rhizomes underground.

Step 10

Remove the entire trunk after fruiting. The tree dies after fruiting and a new trunk will fruit the next year.

Tips and Warnings

  • When using herbicide for weed control, be careful to keep it away from the trunk of the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Dwarf banana transplant or rhizome
  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Organic mulch
  • Organic compost (optional)
  • Fertilizer
  • Blankets, optional


  • Texas A&M Extension: Home Banana Production
  • University of Florida Extension: Banana Growing in the Florida Home Landscape
Keywords: dwarf banana trees, grow dwarf bananas, plant dwarf bananas

About this Author

Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and content around the web. Watkins has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.