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How to Trim Banana Trees

By Si Kingston ; Updated July 21, 2017

Banana trees require little maintenance. Mostly, they require an adequate amount of water and a little pruning. When pruning a banana tree, pay attention to the suckers. The suckers are baby banana plants that, in infancy, depend on the mother plant to survive. A well-fed sucker, one looked after by the mother banana tree, produces better fruit. All other suckers forced to survive on their own must be removed, since they won't have the maturity to produce tasty bananas.

Strip away dead, brown leaves from the banana plant.

Trim away additional stems before the banana tree bears fruit. Leave only one main stem.

Remove unnecessary suckers after the mother banana tree grows for six to eight months. Cut away all suckers at least 3 inches tall with big round leaves to ground level, using a sharp knife or gardening shears. Although these suckers look better than the smaller ones with spear-shaped leaves, they produce such full leaves as a way to capture sunlight because their nutrients weren't fully met by the mother plant. The suckers with slimmer leaves are stronger and produce better fruit. Allow one healthy sucker to replace each banana plant.

Cut the mother banana plant to no more than 30 inches above ground level after it bears fruit, using a sharp knife; the mother plant will never produce fruit again. Cut the trunk lengthwise into three or four pieces and place in a compost heap; the trunk will decompose quickly.

Remove the stump of the mother banana tree, or fruiting stalk, several weeks later. Dig a hole around the stump 3 to 4 inches deep with a shovel. Use the shovel to loosen the dirt around the root system. Tie a rope around the stump and pull it out of the ground. Place the stump in a compost heap for decomposition.


About the Author


Si Kingston has been an online content contributor since 2004, with work appearing on websites such as MadeMan. She is a professional screenwriter and young-adult novelist and was awarded the Marion-Hood Boesworth Award for Young Fiction in 2008. Kingston holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.