The banana is a tropical fruit consumed all over the world. Banana plants are often mistakenly called banana trees because of their height and wide foliage. They grow well in warm, humid climates and can produce several harvests of fruit. Reaping the benefits of growing your own banana tree takes patience, as most banana plants take nine months to reach maturity and produce fruit. Greenhouse conditions are ideal for healthy banana plants. As space is often limited in greenhouses, try growing dwarf varieties of banana plants to maximize your efforts.
Order a young banana plant online, or visit your local nursery for the species best suited to your area. Banana plants can also grow from “suckers” or the shoots growing from the base of the stem. You can cut a new sucker from a friend’s plant, but make sure it is at least partially rooted and no less than six inches tall.
Prepare your container. Use a pot twice as wide as the container your young banana plant comes in and half the height the adult banana plant will be. Place large rocks or shards of clay pots in the bottom of the pot. Fill it with a mixture of 20 percent perlite and the rest compost or very rich potting soil.
Make a hole in the soil in the center of the pot with your hand. Place the banana plant in the center of the hole and fill in with dirt. The roots should be fully covered with at least a half inch of soil. Use your hand to pat the soil around the base of the plant to eliminate any air pockets.
Place your banana plant in an sunny location within the greenhouse. Banana plants need 10 to 12 hours of sunlight a day, all year round.
Water the banana plant regularly. Soak the plant with water until it begins to run from the bottom of the pot. Allow the soil to dry to a half inch in depth between waterings. It is crucial to keep the soil of your banana plant moist but well-drained.
Banana plants are heavy feeders and benefit from the regular use of a balanced fertilizer intended for fruiting plants. Fertilize up to once a month.
Monitor greenhouse conditions. For optimum growth, the temperature in your greenhouse should stay between 70° and 80° Fahrenheit. The greenhouse should be considerably humid.
Things You Will Need
- Young banana plant
- Large container
- Remove all but one of the emerging shoots. This will help focus all the plant's energy on producing fruit.
- Protect your banana plant from temperatures below freezing. Wrap the leaves and stalks in blankets and plastic. If freezing temperatures are sustained for a long period of time, your banana plant will not survive.
- Do not let the plant stand in water, especially in cold weather, as this will cause root rot and kill the plant.