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How to Plant a Banana Tree in Georgia

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Warning

Banana plants can only be grown in South Georgia, with limited success.

The problem with growing bananas in Georgia is that, although they may produce fruit, early frosts strike before the fruit can mature. Out of the 900 to 1,200 banana varieties in the world, at least one of them ought to consistently produce edible fruit in Georgia, or so thinks Richard Wallace of Armstrong Atlantic State University. That variety, according to studies still being performed, may be Veinte Cohol. Then there are those, such as agriculturists with the University of Georgia, who feel that Cavendish is ideal for Georgia growers. Whichever you choose, get the banana plant into the ground in late April or early May, after all danger of frost has passed.

Find a location in the Georgia landscape to plant the banana. It should receive at least 12 hours of sun per day. Temperatures in the daytime should be in the 80s F while at night they should get no lower than 67 F. Fifty percent humidity is ideal as dry air will burn the leaves.

Perform a soil pH test and adjust the pH if it is not between 5.5 and 6.5. The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offers soil testing for a small fee. It will also offer guidance on how to amend the soil to adjust it to the proper pH.

Amend the soil with a 3-inch layer of compost, a 3-inch layer of well-rotted manure and the amendments needed to adjust the soil pH. Mix the materials to a depth of 12 inches.

Dig a planting hole for the banana plant. If you are planting a sucker, the hole should be the same depth as the root ball. If you are planting a rhizome, dig a shallow hole, deep enough for the roots and for 1/2 inch of the base to be covered with soil.

Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch on the soil, completely surrounding the banana plant. Mulch helps maintain even soil temperatures in the heat of the Georgia summer.

Water the area until the water puddles. Keep the soil moist, not soggy.

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