Care of Banana Plants


The tropical banana plant (Musa spp.) can grow in any temperate climate where the outdoor temperature doesn't dip below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the University of Florida. Gardeners like it for its rapid growth and its sweet fruit. Give your banana plants the care they need to grow quickly, extending their giant green fronds, underneath which hang the plump, yellow fruit for which they're known.

Step 1

Measure the soil pH with a soil testing kit from a nursery or garden store. Banana plants grow best in soils with a pH ranging between a high of 7.0 and a low of 5.5, according to the University of Florida. Adjust the pH by applying amendments like sulphates or lime. Your regional cooperative extension office (see Resources) can provide guidance on what amendments are commonly used in your area.

Step 2

Incorporate 4 to 6 inches of compost around the base of the banana plant. This improves drainage and aeration. Texas A&M University says bananas cannot tolerate poorly draining soil.

Step 3

Water the banana plants once a week during the first eight weeks after planting, recommends Purdue University. After that, reduce watering to once every four weeks. When irrigating the bananas, use enough water to moisten the dirt at a depth of 18 to 24 inches.

Step 4

Fertilize the banana plant with 1/4 cup of 21-0-0 fertilizer, according to Texas A&M University. The university suggests applying it once a month, and boosting the amount to 2 cups monthly once the banana plant starts growing its fruit.

Step 5

Prune the banana plant of any side shoots that it grows. Purdue University recommends removing all of the shoots except the largest one to ensure a replacement plant when the main banana plant dies after fruiting. Remove them by pulling them out by hand or pruning them to the ground with pruning shears or a saw.

Things You'll Need

  • Banana plant
  • Soil pH testing kit
  • Soil pH amendment
  • Compost
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears


  • "Hot Plants for Cool Climates: Gardening Wth Tropical Plants in Temperate Zones"; Susan Roth; 2005
  • Texas A&M University: Banana
  • Purdue University: Banana
  • University of Florida: Banana Growing

Who Can Help

  • USDA: Find a Cooperative Extension Office
Keywords: growing bananas, banana tree care, banana plant management

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.