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How to Care for a Musa Banana Plant

By Thomas K. Arnold ; Updated September 21, 2017

Musa banana plants are any banana plants that bear edible fruit--a family that includes some 500 different species. Caring for banana plants is relatively easy, with one caveat--you must live in the tropical or subtropical climate in which they occur naturally.

Pick a location with lots of sun. Banana plants can grow and even thrive in areas of partial shade and even full shade, but they won't bear nearly as much fruit, if any, as they would in a sunny locale.

Prepare the soil before you plant your musa banana plant by mixing in equal parts compost, rich topsoil and perlite (for drainage). Compost and topsoil both contain a lot of organic materials your new banana tree will need to flourish and grow. If your banana plant already is in the ground, amend with compost, topsoil and perlite to a depth of one foot all around the plant.

Spread mulch around your musa banana plant. Mulch not only helps hold in moisture, but it also creates added nutrients and beneficial bacteria as it decays. Banana trees need a continuous supply of food and water, as they are heavy feeders and drinkers.

Water thoroughly and often, enough to keep the ground moist but not soaking wet. But don't fret if you forget an occasional watering; once banana plants mature, they are virtually indestructible.

Fertilize frequently, spreading the granules of fertilizer around the drip line. Use a quick-release type of fertilizer, high in ammonium sulfate, every 3-5 weeks. Banana plants don't really need fertilizer to grow fast, but it does lead to improved fruit production.

Prune only after fruiting. A stalk that has yielded a bundle of bananas should be cut down immediately to its base, as it will never produce fruit again.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Compost
  • Potting soil
  • Perlite
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Water
  • Shovel
  • Pruning shears
  • Saw

Warnings

  • Do not overwater. Standing water can cause corm rot. It also can stunt growth and even kill the plant.
  • Banana plants are very sensitive to salt, which can stunt growth and limit their development.

About the Author

 

Thomas K. Arnold is publisher and editorial director of "Home Media Magazine" and a regular contributor to "Variety." He is a former editorial writer for U-T San Diego. He also has written for "San Diego Magazine," "USA Today" and the Copley News Service. Arnold attended San Diego State University.