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How to Care for Banana Plants

By Robin Lewis ; Updated September 21, 2017
Banana plants yield plenty when properly cared for

When caring for banana plants, it is important to remember that they are tropical plants and therefore need to be warm and moist, and planted in soil that drains very well. Bananas plants come in hundreds of varieties and some are more tolerant to colder temperatures, but most like for environmental temperatures to stay above 50 degrees F degrees. Banana plants are easy to maintain, but do require frequent care.

Plant banana plants in an area that will get 12 hours of bright light each day. This doesn't have to be direct sunlight, as that will require more water than usual on hot, dry days and some burning can occur on the leaves. About 30 percent shade is the ideal amount of light for this plant.

Mulch banana plants heavily. The mulch will retain moisture and as the mulch breaks down it will provide nitrogen for the plant. If you have oak trees, use the fallen, dried leaves as mulch for your banana plants. Oak leaves are somewhat acidic and are excellent fertilizer for these plants as they decompose.

Check banana plants daily for moisture in the soil. The soil should always be moist, but not saturated. Check the top inch of soil; if it is dry, it is time to water.

Use a balanced fertilizer and mix it as a mild solution to be used at each watering. A balanced fertilizer is one whose N-P-K numbers are very close in range such as a 10-10-10 or an 8-10-8. Banana plants need a lot of food to thrive, so keeping them fertilized is important.

Mist the banana plants daily if your humidity is below 50 percent. Hot, dry air can damage banana leaves, so keep them in humid conditions as much as possible.

Cut off the bottom leaves as they die off with a sharp knife. Keep the dead leaves trimmed by cutting them back to within a few inches of the stalk after they have turned brown.


Things You Will Need

  • Water
  • Balanced fertilizer
  • Knife


  • Mixing perlite into the soil is very helpful for this type of plant as it helps oxygen flow through the soil by keeping the dirt from compacting tightly. This also helps to make the soil drain more freely.

About the Author


Robin Lewis is a freelance artist, designer and writer. Her articles have appeared in newspapers, national magazines and on several self-help areas of the Web. Lewis specializes in gardening articles, publishing frequently on a variety of websites.