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How to Grow Banana Fruit

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How to Grow Banana Fruit

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Overview

If you live in a warm climate, don't buy bananas in the grocery store when you can raise your own crop of this sweet, delicious fruit at home. The tropical banana tree grows quickly and thrives anywhere where the soil temperature stays above 60 F, according to the University of Florida. Start your own banana grove from suckers cut off from an existing banana tree and provide it with the care it needs to experience optimal growth and fruit production.

Step 1

Obtain a banana sucker from a nursery. Alternatively, harvest one off of a mature plant. A mature banana tree will produce several rooted side shoots throughout the year. Sever and dig out the sucker from next to the original banana tree when the sucker measures approximately 48 inches tall, according to the University of Florida.

Step 2

Choose and prepare the gardening site. Bananas thrive in full sun and tolerate all types of soil as long as it drains well, according to Texas A&M University. Breakup the soil to a depth of 1 to 2 feet and mix in 6 to 8 inches of compost. Compost improves drainage and aeration.

Step 3

Dig a hole that's the size of the sucker's root ball. Place the sucker in the hole and fill in the space with soil, burying it at the depth that its stem was originally buried. If you're replanting more than one sucker, space them apart by at least 10 feet, according to the University of Hawaii.

Step 4

Fertilize the banana tree. Spread 1/2 lb. of 6-2-12 fertilizer bimonthly around the banana's roots. Once the tree produces its first set of flowers, increase fertilization to approximately 5 lbs. every two months.

Step 5

Water the banana tree once a day, using enough moisture to moisten the soil to a depth of 12 inches until the newly planted tree is established. New growth signifies establishment. After establishment, reduce watering to once a week.

Step 6

Harvest the banana fruit once it appears on the tree. The banana bunch is ready when the bananas turn light green or yellow-green, according to the University of Hawaii. Allow the bunch to ripen indoors on a counter until the fruit is yellow. Allowing the fruit to ripen on the tree increases the risk of attacks from rodents and hungry birds.

Things You'll Need

  • Banana sucker
  • Spade
  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Water

References

  • Hot Plants for Cool Climates: Gardening With Tropical Plants in Temperate Zones; Susan A. Roth and Dennis Schrader; 2005
  • University of Hawaii: Banana General Crop Information
  • University of Florida: Banana Growing in the Florida Home Landscape
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: Home Fruit Production: Banana
  • Purdue University: Banana
Keywords: grow banana fruit, grow banana trees, banana tree care

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.