Often mistaken for a tree, the banana "tree" is actually a tropical plant that is native to Southeast Asia. The plant is cultivated for its popular fruit. Bananas grow in bunches that have approximately 20 bananas per tier, with three to 20 tiers. Bananas are a great source of potassium and vitamin C and the plants are not difficult to grow in warm, sunny climates.
Plant your banana tree in late spring to early summer when the temperatures are beginning to get warm. Night temperatures should not fall below 67 degrees and daytime lows should be in the low 80s. Choose an area that gets a lot of bright light. The plants should be exposed to plenty of sunshine (approximately 12 hours per day).
Use a well-drained all-purpose potting soil to plant your bananas. If you plant your bananas in a large pot be sure to choose one with a drainage hole in the bottom so the roots do not get too much water. The soil should remain moist but not soaking wet.
Water the plant every other day. It is important to keep the plant root system moist. Do not allow the soil to get dry. You may need to water them every day if you live in an extremely warm climate. Apply a layer of mulch if you live in a very dry climate. This will hold in the moisture and prevent weeds from attacking the plants. You will not have to water every day if you apply a 3-inch layer of mulch at the base of the plant.
Fertilize the banana tree plant every 6-8 weeks with a good 10-10-10 fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer as directed on container of fertilizer. You should also apply a layer of lime around the base of the tree twice a year to improve the soil. If the soil is not replenished with fertilizer regularly the plant will not produce fruit
Place a cover over the banana bunches 2 weeks after they have formed the fruit. This will help ripen the bananas while keeping insects and other pests out of the area. It takes approximately 9-14 months for the bananas to fully mature. Once you cut the bananas down it will be easier to handle the fruit when it is still in the bag.