Growing Banana In Containers, Pots, Backyards

Growing Banana In Containers, Pots, Backyards

Growing Banana in Containers:

The following information is all about Growing Banana In Containers.

Introduction to Banana:

Bananas are edible fruits produced by many kinds of large, herbaceous flowering plants. The Bananas variable in size, color, and firmness. The fruits will be in an elongated and curved, with a soft flesh covered with think the skin/rind, which can be in green, yellow, red, purple, or brown. The clusters hanging from the top of the plant produce fruits. The truck of the banana tree is wrapped tightly with a base of all leaves in the form of a tube. The stems of the plant grown directly from the ground and produces the stalks which will bear fruits. Each stalk of banana tree produces large flower cluster that bears fruit and dies. And new stalk develops from rhizome.  Some varieties of banana produce fruit in 8 to 9 months and some produce fruits in 4 to 8 months. Bananas are tropical plants and need warm temperature with bright light and high humidity levels. All the varieties of banana plants can be easily grown in containers.   Banana are quick crops and don’t even need high care.

  • Scientific Name for Banana: Scientific name for most cultivated bananas are Musa acuminate, Musa balbisiana, and Musa Paradisiaca.
  • Family: Banana belongs to the family of Musaceae.
  • Common Name of Banana: Banana, Kela, banana, etc.
Varieties of Banana in India.
Varieties of Banana in India.

Varieties of Banana for Growing in Containers:

There are many varieties of bananas that grow well in containers, bananas grown in containers can easily withstand with temperature fluctuations. Select a right variety based on climatic conditions and disease resistant plants. For growing a banana tree in a container, you need to select a dwarf variety plants.

Dwarf banana has a greater taste than supermarket bananas, dwarf banana trees can grow up to 2 to 4 meters while the regular varieties take grown up to 15 meters tall.  Their compatible size of dwarf banana trees makes it suitable for growing in containers.  The best dwarf varieties suitable for container gardening and indoor gardening are:

  • Dwarf Red, Dwarf Cavendish, Dwarf Brazilian, Dwarf Jamaican, Rajapuri, Williams Hybrid, Grain Nainm, and Dwarf Ladies Finger.
  • Ornamental Banana Plants: the banana plant grown for beautiful leaves and colorful flowers. Some varieties of banana plants produce edible fruits. Some varieties of ornamental plants are Enseteventricosum, Musa sikkimensis “red tiger” or Musa Ornata.

Propagating methods for Growing Banana in Containers:

Bananas are propagated from both seeds and transplanting/corms. Bananas cultivated for consumption don’t have seeds. Only wild bananas are cultivated from seeds. The most popular variety bananas are Cavendish bananas that we from the supermarkets, these bananas are propagated by planting/corms.  But if you are propagating banana from seeds the fruit produced will not be like the banana you buy in the supermarkets.  And banana propagated from seeds will have many seeds in it and they will be in large size. For propagating bananas from corm or planting, buy the plantings/corm from reputed nurseries or garden stores.  Select a dwarf banana, which grows well in containers, a dwarf banana tree grows up to 1 to 4 m. the Corm is the base of the banana tree, that contain banana tree roots. If you don’t like to banana tree from corms, grow them from young plantings.

Suitable Climate for Growing Banana in Containers: 

Growing Conditions For Banana.
Growing Conditions For Banana.
  • The banana plants need warm subtropical or tropical climates to thrive. Banana plants can handle extreme heat, with a good amount of water.
  • And Banana trees can also bear cool weather for a short period, but if the temperature falls 14 °C, the tree stops growing.
  • In Cool areas when the temperature drops, leaves turn yellow and the skin of the fruits turns grayish. The banana tree in containers can be ground anytime, in winters move containers to indoors.
  • The ideal temperatures for growing banana in containers is 26°C to 30°C.

Soil Requirement for Growing Banana in Containers:

  • The banana tree requires well-drained, sandy soil that is highly fertile and rich in organic matter.
  • Enrich the soil with organic or natural composts.
  • It is recommended to use good quality commercial potting soil instead of gardening soil. But don’t buy standard heavy potting soil, go for cactus or palm tree potting soil, which is an excellent choice for banana tree in containers.
  • For preparing homemade potting soil, mix equal quantities of Sand, Perlite or Vermiculite, and compost or manure.
  • The pH levels of soil should be around 6.0 to 7.0. For balancing pH levels use sulfur to decrease pH levels.
  • The banana tree prefers slightly acidic to neutral to produce tasty bananas.

Suitable Container for Growing Banana in Containers:

  • The banana tree requires wide and deep container to grow.
  • Choose a medium sized container with a hole for growing banana in containers.
  • The ideal size of the container in banana tree is 6 to 8 inches depth and 5 inch width.
  • Depth plays a key role, as the roots of banana tree need a good room to expand.
  • The container can be made of ceramic, plastic, metal or wood pot. Using clay containers is highly recommended.
  • The banana tree can be transplanted after 2 to 3 years.

Growing Banana in Containers from Seeds:

  • For growing banana from seeds, buy good quality seeds from reputed nurseries or garden centers. Don’t buy old stock.
  • To fasten the germination process, soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours, this breaks the seed dormancy and softens the hard seed coat.
  • Fill the container or seed tray with potting mix, that is rich in organic matter.
  • Sow the seeds ¼ inch deep and cover it with compost.
  • Maintain the constant moisture levels of the soil, and damp conditions for growing banana in containers.
  • To fasten the germination, keep a constant temperature (15 to 17 °C) throughout the germination period. Temperature levels may vary depending on the variety of banana, choose to grow. But don’t allow the temperature to fluctuate, in case of temperature fluctuations use a heat propagator to maintain desired temperature levels.
  • Banana seeds take 2-3 weeks to germinate, and some varieties even take 2 to 3 months to germinate.
  • Once the plant reaches certain height transplant it into the desired containers.

Growing Banana in Containers from Corm/Plantings: 

  • Buy banana corms or plantings from nearby nurseries or garden centers.
  • If planning to grow from corms, after getting corm for market wash them in warm. Washing can remove the fungal, bacterial growth over the corm.
  • For growing a banana tree in the container from corms, choose a medium sized container. With good draining system. Fill the container with a suitable potting soil.
  • Dig a hole at the center of the container and plant corm upwards so the top of the corm should be uncovered and exposed to air and light.
  • And the corm should be fully covered with potting soil or compost, when the shoots or sucker start to grow from corms. Once the plant gets bound in the container, replant it into the desired container.
  • Instead of planting corm, buy a young banana tree and plant in the desired container.

Suitable Location for Growing Banana in Containers:

  • Bananas are tropical plants, they love sun, heat and humidity.
  • Choose a location where it receives 6 to 7 hours of sun and the location should be protected from wind.
  • Place the containers in, back yards, front yards, balconies, or in terrace garden where it receives more sun and sheltered from strong winds.
  • If placing in indoor, place them near the window sill or any other areas where you get a good amount of sunlight in the day.

Watering Requirements for Growing Banana in Containers:

  • Banana tree needs more water than other fruit trees. More water make fruits, sweet and more starchy.
  • Water the trees regularly and deeply. Don’t over water the plants, over watering can cause root rot.
  • In summer seasons, the banana tree should be watered every day. During  very hot summer days the trees should watered two times a day.
  • Commercial potting soils dry faster than the gardening soil, so check moisture levels regularly. And keep the soil moist uniformly. Use organic mulch during summer seasons to preserve the moisture in the soil.
  • In winter seasons, reduce the watering levels.

Sunlight Requirement for Growing Banana in Containers:

Sunlight Requirement for Banana Tree.
Sunlight Requirement for Banana Tree. 
  • The banana tree thrives well in full sun, partial sunlight, indirect sunlight and also shaded areas.
  • When you are growing banana tree in seasonal climates, place the container in outdoor during the summer season where the banana tree receives sunlight completely without interruption. And rotate the plant regularly so that all sides of the tree receive a good amount of sunlight.
  • If growing in indoors, place the containers near a large window where it can get 5 to 6 hours of sunlight per day.

Humidity Requirement for Growing Banana in Containers: 

  • Good humidity levels in air improves the growth banana tree.
  • For a good growth of banana tree, the humidity levels above 50%.
  • In case, lower humidity levels in the air around the plant, mist the plant at regular intervals.
  • Another way to increase humidity levels is, place the banana container over a tray with pebbles and filled with water covering pebbles completely. The water in tray to increase the humidity around the trees.

Pruning Requirement for Growing Banana in Containers:

  • If you are growing banana tree from planting/corms, after 6-8 weeks of sustained and healthy growth of tree, prune the tree. Suckers start forming on banana tree, use gardening shear to prune all the suckers, a healthy and largest suckers can be used to grow another banana tree.
  • Once again prune the tree before it starts to produce fruits. And again, after harvesting, cut down the tree up to 2.5 feet from the ground without damaging main stem.

Winter Care for Growing Banana in Containers:

Banana Plant Care.
Banana Plant Care.
  • Banana can resistant cool temperature to a certain range. And the banana trees stop growing when the temperature falls below 10 °C.
  • So, before the onset of winter, apply a thick layer of organic mulch that protects the banana rhizome for temperature fluctuation and prune the leaves.
  • Move the container to a warm and bright location in indoors till the spring.

Fertilizer for Growing Banana in Containers:

  • Banana trees in container are heavy feeders. Feed the banana trees regularly for a healthy growth and fast growth of the tree.
  • The Young banana plant should be fertilized with nitrogen rich fertilizer to fasten its growth.
  • Use the fertilizers that are rich in magnesium, potassium and nitrogen. Use a water-soluble fertilizer or sprinkle granular fertilizer on the top of the soil without contacting the main stem.
  • During the spring and summer seasons, the tree should be fertilized once in a week.
  • It is recommended to use water soluble tropical plant fertilizer to feed banana tree, if it that is not available, fertilize the tree with 20-20-20 fertilizer.
  • Fish emulsion and compost tea are also best feed for the banana tree.

Pests and Diseases in Growing Banana in Containers:

  • The banana trees are pest and diseases resistant.
  • Major problem in banana tree is caused due to overwatering, the leaves of tree turn brown and dying at the edges.
  • When the leaves of a tree turn yellow it indicates that the tree is having lack of nutrients.
  • Common pests that attack banana tree are banana aphids, banana weevil and coconut scale. Use organic spray or fertilizer to control these pests.
  • Washing the stem and leaves time to time with water to keep them dust free, this keeps tree away from the bugs like spider mites. Use mild soapy water and sponge to clean, and the both sides of the leaves should be cleaned.

Harvesting Tips for Growing Banana in Containers:

  • A banana tree can take 6 to 9 months to flower, it depends on temperature.
  • When the flower appears, leave the leaves around it to protect the stalk from sunburn.
  • When the purple flower petals curl back and drop off, you can see bananas under each petal. And the bananas take nearly 2 to 3 months to get prepared completely.
  • Banana brunches can be covered with a plastic cover to protect them from pests and birds.
  • When the bananas look well-rounded with ribs, and with some dry little flowers at the end.
  • The banana ripen on the bunch have a great taste.

Tip for Growing Banana in Containers:

Tips for Growing Banana.
Tips for Growing Banana.
  • The ideal temperature of growing banana tree should be ranging from 26 to 30 °C. Even through banana is temperature resistant place, a constant temperature will fasten the growth of tree and increases fruit production.
  • The banana tree can resist the cool temperature for a short period, and when the temperature falls below 14 °C the banana tree stops growing.
  • Prune the banana tree at regular intervals to increase the fruit production. Suckers should be pruned immediately, suckers look like shoot that grow from the corm and have leaves.
  • Cold and heavy winds can damage the growth of the fruits. In case of cold and heavy winds move the banana tree to indoor or insulate it with rows of trees.
  • During the change of seasons, it is best to move the banana tree to indoors. Sudden changes in temperature can interrupt the growth of the tree.
  • Repotting: Repot the banana tree in a large container before it gets root-bound. When the tree stops growing vertically, it indicates that tree needs repotting. Transplant the tree without harming the roots, to remove trees from the pot just tap on the side of the
  • The Soil under the banana tree should be kept moist constant. Dip the finger into the soil to check the moisture levels. If the surface of the soil is moist and soggy, it indicated that you are overwatering the tree.
  • Don’t use a saucer under the container of banana tree, a pool of water under the container can lead to bacterial or root rot.
  • A mature banana tree should be fertilized with a fertilizer in a ration of 15:5:30.
  • Some popular fertilizer for banana tree are Agrium, Haifa, PotashCrop, and Yara international.

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Last Updated: June 8, 2018
Author: Jagdish

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