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How to Care for a Dwarf Banana Tree

By Joyce Starr ; Updated September 21, 2017

Dwarf bananas, such as the dwarf cavendish, require the same care as their taller cousins. The only difference between the two varieties is their height. Dwarf bananas reach a height of anywhere between 4 to 7 feet, while taller varieties can grow 12 to 18 feet tall. Being a tropical fruit, bananas require warm conditions to grow. Plant outside in zones 9 and 10. Cooler climates will need to grow dwarf bananas inside of containers to protect them from frosts and freezes. Dwarf bananas are relatively hardy plants that even a novice gardener should have success growing.

Grow dwarf bananas outside in a warm location, such as on the south side of the house, next to a building or a cement driveway. Grow in an area that receives either full sun or at least four hours of sunlight throughout the day.

Plant and grow the dwarf banana in soil that is rich with organic material. Amend the planting site with compost, manure or peat. Tolerant to a wide range of soils, bananas will perform best when grown in rich soil conditions.

Grow dwarf bananas planted in containers in a rich potting mix that has peat moss added to it. Use a container that is approximately 5 to 7 gallons in size, to give the roots room to grow. Be sure the container has drain holes.

Water the dwarf banana regularly, keeping the soil moist but not flooded. Bananas require moderate amounts of water to perform well. Keep container grown plants moist, but not soggy. Do not allow the planting area or container to completely dry out.

Fertilize outdoor dwarf banana plants once per month with an 8-10-8 fertilizer. Apply at a rate of 2 pounds per plant. Spread the fertilizer in a circle extending approximately 4 feet from the banana’s trunk. Do not allow the fertilizer to touch the trunk. Fertilize container-grown plants on the same schedule, but with half the amount. Bananas are heavy feeders.

Protect the dwarf banana from freezing temperatures by bringing container grown plants indoors. Cover outdoor trees with blankets or wrap the trunk on taller trees.

Prune off all suckers except one. Allow the main stem to develop and grow bananas to put all the plants energy there. Cut down the main stem once the bananas are harvested, allowing the remaining sucker to develop and mature. Banana plants die off after they have produced fruit.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Compost
  • Manure
  • Peat
  • Water
  • Fertilizer

Tips

  • Pests are usually not a problem.
  • Cut stalks from the tree once they become plump and green. Hang the stalk in a cool, shady area until it ripens. Speed up the ripening process by placing the stalk inside of a plastic bag.

About the Author

 

For over 25 years, Joyce Starr has owned businesses dealing with landscape & design, lawn maintenance, specialty herbs and a garden center. She holds certificates in landscape design and xeriscaping. Starr shares her passion for nature in her writing, publishing articles on horticulture, outdoor recreation, travel as well as business.