Banana tree plants (Musaceae) grow best in tropical climates, and are actually not a tree, but a large herb with succulent stems that can reach 20 to 25 feet in height. Banana trees are often grown for their tropical appearance, as well as the tasty fruits they produce. Caring for banana trees begins at planting.
Select an area to plant the banana tree that provides full sun, wind protection and rich, well-draining soil. California Rare Fruit Growers recommends planting banana trees near sidewalks, driveways or structures to provide extra warmth and protection from wind.
Clear the area of all foliage, and break up the soil to a depth of 1 1/2 feet extending out more than 2 feet in diameter. Mix in at least 6 inches of compost to enrich the soil. Phoenix Tropicals recommends digging a hole at least two times the width of the root ball, or no less than 2 feet wide, and 1 1/2 feet deep.
Place the banana tree in the hole. Backfill the hole with the removed soil mixture. Gently firm the soil around the banana tree. Create a watering ring out of the extra soil that is larger than the planting hole. Pile up the dirt to form a wall at least 3 or more inches tall and wide.
Fill the watering ring with water to settle the soil and remove any air pockets. Water the banana tree when the top 1 to 2 inches of soil is dry. Supply water through filling the ring up to three times weekly during the hot months of summer, and every two to four weeks during the winter.
Cover an area extending out 3 feet from the banana tree with a layer of at least 3 inches of mulch. Keep the mulch away from the banana plant's trunk. This will keep the soil free of weeds, and keep the soil moister and cooler.
Apply a fertilizer (as directed), such as 8-10-8 monthly during the warm temperatures, suggests California Rare Fruit Growers. Spread the fertilizer away from the banana tree's trunk in a 4- to 8-foot diameter area.