Bananas are beautiful exotic plants with lush green foliage that are fast growing and can give a tropical look and feel to any garden or home. If you are a fan of exotic tropical plants like us and want to grow banana trees but don’t have enough space or you live in a cold climate, you can opt for growing them in pots. It is actually very easy and yes – bananas grown in pots can bear fruits! There are many banana varieties that grow well in pots and can also withstand temperature drops. We will help you choose the right variety for you and show you how to easily take care for it so it grows into a healthy and strong plant. All you need to do is carefully read these 10 tips on growing banana trees in pots and you will instantly become an expert!
1. Choosing The Right Variety
If you chose to grow bananas in a pot you will probably need a dwarf variety, especially if you need to take it indoors before the first frost. What is unique about dwarf varieties is that they taste so much better than the regular supermarket bananas. Dwarf varieties of banana trees can grow anywhere between 2 to 4 meters. The best dwarf varieties to choose for growing in containers or indoors are Dwarf Red, Dwarf Cavendish, Dwarf Brazilian, Dwarf Jamaican, Rajapuri, Williams Hybrid, Gran Nain and Dwarf ‘Lady Finger’. If you decide to grow ornamental bananas then try Ensete ventricosum, Musa sikkimensis ‘Red Tiger’ or Musa ornata.
2. Buying The Banana Plant
Once you have chosen which varieties to grow it is time to buy your banana. Although most of the nursery do not carry bananas they can order them for you or you can easily order some online. Most banana plants come as bulbs or corms so you should be prepared what to do once the plant arrives. The first step is very important and it involves washing the corm in lukewarm water to remove any fungal or bacterial growth, which may have developed during shipping. Then it is planting time!
3. Planting The Banana
Start by choosing a standard medium sized container that has a hole at the bottom which will allow good drainage. Now plant the rhizome upwards so the top part is uncovered and can be exposed to light. You can cover the corm with soil after few leaves appear. When the plant becomes container bound it is time for replanting in a bigger container in order to ensure fruits.
4. Choosing The Right Location
Bananas are tropical plants so logically they love lots of sun, heat but also humidity. Have this in mind when choosing the location for your banana tree once it is planted. Choose a spot that receives sun during most of the day but make sure it is sheltered from the wind.
5. Soil Requirements
When buying the potting mix for your banana plant go for quality. Bananas require well drained, sandy soil that is also rich in organic matters and compost. You can choose to make your own potting mix, just make sure you include some sand, perlite as well as compost or manure. Bananas need soil with pH around 6-7. If your soil is alkaline mix sulfur to decrease the pH.
As we mentioned bananas are tropical plants that need humidity even higher than 50%. To obtain this it is crucial to mist your banana tree as well as to place it on a layer of pebbles in a tray filled with water. This way you will increase the humidity levels around the plant.
7. Watering Your Potted Banana
Bananas need to be watered at least once a week, but if they receive a lot of direct sunlight and the room temperature is high than they will need watering every two days. Before each watering check the moisture level about 1 inch below the surface of the soil. If it is dry then it is the right time for watering. In order to keep better moisture apply some mulch.
8. Fertilizing Needs
As bananas are plants that grow very fast it is obvious that they need fertilizing in order to grow at their full strength. For young plants use nitrogen-rich fertilizer which will help it grow faster. Once the banana plant is mature enough to produce fruits fertilize it with 15:5:30 fertilizer regularly.
9. Diseases and Pests
Luckily bananas are quite resistant to pests. However there are some pests that can attack your plant, most likely aphids, banana weevil, and coconut scale. To fight them use organic pesticides. If you notice that the leaves of your banana tree turn brown it means you are over watering the plant. If they turn yellow then banana plant is having a lack of nutrients.
10. Overwintering Banana Trees
When temperatures fall under 50 ° Fahrenheit banana trees stop growing. This is why before the winter comes you should apply mulch heavily as well as prune the leaves. Once prepared, place the plant in a warm, bright room until spring.