How to Take Care of a Banana Tree Plant


Native to Southeast Asia, banana tree plants (Musa acuminata or M. balbisiana) are herbaceous plants that can range in size among different cultivated varieties. Banana plants cannot tolerate frosts and thrive in consistently hot to warm temperatures, most commonly grown outdoors in tropical to subtropical regions. Some smaller or dwarf banana plant varieties can be grown easily indoors in containers in colder climates. Banana plants produce one or several trunklike shoots called "pseudostems" that grow from underground rhizomes and produce stalks that bear fruits for just a single year.

Step 1

Water your banana plants once each week to apply 1 to 1 ½ inches of water when rainfall is inadequate. Water the banana trees during the spring, summer and early autumn, soaking the soil down to and around the roots.

Step 2

Feed your banana plant once every 2 months with ½ lb. of 6-2-12 NPK fertilizer that contains 2 to 3 percent magnesium. Gradually increase the fertilizer amount to 5 or 6 lbs. when the banana plant is flowering and bearing fruits.

Step 3

Spray your banana tree plant with a foliar spray containing copper, manganese and zinc once each year. Follow the application instructions on the label.

Step 4

Apply a weed mat around the banana tree, covering a 2- to 6-foot-diameter area around the plant. Spread a 2- to 6-inch-thick layer of organic mulch over the weed mat.

Step 5

Prune away all stalks that grow from the base of the tree immediately after they're finished fruiting. Cut off any dead leaves, leaves that are rubbing against the banana bunches and the ends of flowering stalks that aren't producing fruit hanging below the bottommost banana bunches.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't plant the banana tree in the ground outdoors if you live in a region with winter temperatures that reach below 32 degrees F. Banana plants grow best when daytime temperatures stay between 78 to 86 degrees and nighttime temperatures stay above 60 degrees.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • 6-2-12 NPK fertilizer
  • Foliar spray
  • Weed mat
  • Organic mulch
  • Pruning tools


  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Banana Growing in the Florida Home Landscape

Who Can Help

  • Banana Tree Care
Keywords: grow banana trees, banana plant care, Musa acuminata, Musa balbisiana

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.