Cassa banana, also called Sicana Odorifera or musk cucumber, is a perennial vine producing leaves up to 12 inches apart and large fruits 12 to 24 inches long. This is a warm-season crop, hardy down to USDA zone 4 where the temperature stays above -25 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant grows best in the warmer areas, however, where frosts do not occur. Knowledge of how to grow this plant will give you an attractive vine and unique, exotic fruits in the fall.
Start your cassa banana seeds indoors about six weeks before you wish to plant them outside. They are slow-growing in early months, so the earlier you plant the seeds the more likely you are to get fruit. Soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours in order to soften them up.
Fill a small pot with half peat and half perlite for each seed you wish to plant. Make holes about 1 inch deep for each seed. Cover them with the potting medium and tamp down firmly.
Water the pots deeply and place them in the sun. In the following weeks, water only enough to keep the seeds slightly moist. Germination should occur in four to six weeks. Repot the cassa banana seedlings if they outgrow the small pots.
Transplant the cassa banana outdoors after the danger of frost completely passes. Choose an area in full sun and carefully plant the vine seedlings at the same height they were in the pots. The stems may be delicate at this time, and you must take care not to break them.
Water the cassa banana deeply after planting. Keep it moist until it starts growing vigorously, which will occur when the weather warms up in summer. Once growing, the plant may benefit from an application of a complete fertilizer marked 10-10-10. Follow the directions on the label for application instructions.