Plantains are one variety of bananas that are used for cooking. Compared to the familiar yellow fruit banana, plantains are usually green, and they are drier, starchier and not as sweet. Plantains are most popular in African and Caribbean countries. They are typically fried and served as plantain chips, or as a side dish like mashed potatoes.
Choose your planting site, particularly a site where the plantains will get the most sunlight. Make sure it is protected from wind and cold weather as these elements can damage the plantains. Plant the root stocks in well-drained soil during the spring when the climate is warmer. You can find the root stocks at a nursery.
Watch the plantain stalks grow upward 10 to 15 months after planting them. Leaves will eventually bloom, making the banana plant look similar to a palm tree. Flower clusters develop to produce the fruit.
Prop up the plants with braces as they grow. Propping prevents the plantain plants from swaying or tipping over.
Water the plants at least a couple of times per week to help the plantains grow. Apply some mulch to the soil to cover the roots and to keep the plant from drying out.
Use an NPK fertilizer, or a fertilizer mixed with nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous. Fertilizing the plantains once a month will stimulate growth. The fertilizer should be placed evenly in a circle that is four to eight feet from the trunk.
Prune excess shoots from the plantain as soon as they are noticeable. Trimming helps to increase fruit production.