Growing banana plants in pots is an easy way to add a tropical look to your garden, patio, or deck. Growing these giant-leaved plants can be done in the ground or containers, and the right container is often the deciding factor in whether a plant survives or dies
The banana plant is special because it’s so big and has simple needs. It doesn’t require water or fertilizer, or pruning. It just sits there looking tropical and making you feel rich.
Bananas grow best in the tropics and subtropics and areas with high humidity. They are a popular plant for growing in pots, especially in areas that do not get frost. Banana plants do not do well in cold conditions, so potted plants should be brought indoors or stored in a greenhouse during the winter months. Potted banana plants need to be watered frequently and fertilized regularly.
How to Grow Bananas from Corm?
Bananas are perennial crops. They are not grown from seeds but suckers or corms.
The banana is a very popular fruit and is grown in many countries worldwide. It is also easy to grow, so it has become an important crop for millions of small farmers and large plantations.
The banana plant grows from an underground stem called a corm. Corms are planted in spring or early summer, and after about a year, they begin producing roots. Once the roots have grown sufficiently, the plants are transferred to the fields where they will grow.
Banana plants take about nine months to grow and flower, but the fruit takes another 4-5 months to ripen properly.
All bananas plants produce one bunch of fruit per year, after which the plant dies. When this happens, new plants grow from suckers or small shoots which grow out of the base of the plant.
Suckers can also be removed from the base of a mature plant without killing it, and then replanted elsewhere to produce new banana plants. These can then be allowed to grow into mature plants themselves and produce bunches of bananas in their turn.
To grow a banana from a corm you need to cut it in half, plant the two halves in a pot, and then water it.
In about a week you will see green shoots coming out of the corm and the pot. This is when you should change your water.
Once the shoots are about 6 inches tall you can move them into larger pots. Make sure you use well-drained soil when transplanting them into the larger pots. Then just water as needed. Keep your plantings evenly watered but not too wet or they will rot.
Grow a Banana Plant from Seed
Following are the steps for growing banana plants from seed.
- Fill a 4-inch (10 cm) pot with a good quality seed compost mix.
- Sow one seed per pot, just under the surface of the soil.
- Place the pots in a warm location between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 C). A sunny window sill is ideal.
- Maintain moderate moisture levels in the soil. Do not allow it to dry out completely, but do not become soggy either.
- Once sprouted, place the plants in an area with warm temperatures of 70 to 80 F (21 to 27 C) and bright light.
- Once they are 2 or 3 years old and have produced several leaves, they can be taken outdoors during warm weather.
Care for Banana Plants
Banana plants require some special care. This is because they are true herbaceous perennials, which means that they die back to the ground every year, then grow back from their “underground stem” or rhizome each spring. The way you care for them during their winter dormancy is critical to their health and survival.
In cold climates where banana plants cannot be kept outdoors all year, it is important to provide a warm location in your home with plenty of light (a south-facing window is best) and high humidity (you can achieve this by setting the plant on a tray of pebbles that you keep filled with water).
They should be watered regularly to keep the soil moist throughout the plant’s growing season. When your plant is dormant and not putting out new leaves during the winter months, you can cut back on watering.
Pest and Diseases Banana Plant
Here are some of the most common pests and diseases affecting banana plants.
- Banana Bunchy Top Virus – Infected plants will produce small, yellow leaves and stunted fruit. The virus is spread by aphids. Control aphids with a systemic insecticide. Plants infected with the virus should be destroyed.
- Banana Leaf Spot – Yellow spots appear on leaves, which may turn brown and fall off. Prevent by spraying regularly with a fungicide. Remove fallen leaves to prevent reinfection.
- Black Sigatoka – A leaf spot fungus that causes yellow leaves to eventually turning to brown and falling off. Spraying every 7-10 days with a fungicide can prevent this disease.
- Fusarium Wilt – A vascular wilt disease that cannot be cured or prevented once it infects the plant. The plant will have stunted growth and fruit production, yellowing of foliage, and eventually, die. Remove infected plants before the disease spreads to other plants in your garden.
- Moko Disease – Moko disease is a bacterial wilt disease caused by the soil-borne pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum. The disease affects any aerial part of the banana plant and is characterized by rapid wilt that leads to yellowing and premature leaf drop.
Potting and Repotting of Banana Plant
Banana plants need to be repotted when they become root bound, or you see roots growing out of the bottom of the pot. You should repot your banana plant in spring or summer. You can use a temporary container for the winter months since this is the plant’s dormant season.
The banana plant does not require a large container but it does need room to grow. Use a larger pot than the one you are removing it from so that it has room to grow even more. A banana plant grows quickly and will outgrow its pot within two years. The larger the pot, the longer it will take to outgrow it. When repotting, move up one size, not two sizes, at a time.
Select a container that has drainage holes on the bottom. Without these holes, your plant will suffer root rot and die. You can use plastic or clay pots for your banana plant but plastic is lighter and easier to move. You can also paint clay pots if you want something more decorative in your home or outdoors on the patio.