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How to Cut Back Banana Plants

By Lucinda Gunnin ; Updated September 21, 2017

Being traditionally found in more tropical environments, banana plants often experience difficulties when cultivated in areas that are prone to colder temperatures or that suffer from intermittent freezes. The reason for this is the incredibly high moisture content in the stalks of the banana plants. The freezing-thawing cycle often will lead to rot and the subsequent decay and death of your banana plants. To prevent this, it is possible to cut back the banana plants and prepare them for the cold weather.

Put on coveralls and gloves. The sap from a banana plant will stain anything it contacts and is very resistant to being removed, so it is best to gear up with coveralls and gloves before beginning to cut back the banana plant.

Cut the trunk of the banana plant as close to the ground as possible. Cutting can be done with a hand saw for smaller stalks or with a chain saw for plants with wider base stalks. As always, proper precautions should be taken when felling the stalk of the banana plant.

Remove the fallen stalk and debris. Due to the high moisture content of the banana plant, the remnants of the felled plant will decay and decompose very quickly. It is best to remove them before this occurs.

Pack the stump of the banana plant with a thick layer of mulch. The mulch will help feed the banana plant over the winter months and will help to insulate it and protect it from the cold.

Cover the mulch and the banana plant stump with a loose-fitting plastic mesh. Though only necessary in areas that experience freezing conditions, covering the stump with a plastic mesh will help hold in the warmth and keep the banana plant from perishing.


Things You Will Need

  • Coveralls
  • Gloves
  • Hand saw
  • Chain saw
  • Plastic mesh
  • Mulch


About the Author


Lucinda Gunnin began writing in 1988 for the “Milford Times." Her work has appeared in “Illinois Issues” and dozens more newspapers, magazines and online outlets. Gunnin holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science from Adams State College and a Master of Arts in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield.