Wait until the last possible day before a freeze threatens to destroy the plant and fruit to give the bunch plenty of time to mature on the plant. Once mature, although still green, bananas will ripen indoors. Bananas are mature when the individual bananas are plump (full) and rounded.
Harvest the bananas by cutting off the entire stem (bunch). Hang the stem of fruit a cool, shaded place to ripen. A garage also works well. Ripening will proceed naturally in a few days (if properly harvested), but can be hastened by enclosing the bunch in a plastic bag (like a dry cleaner's bag) with a sliced apple for about a day. The apple gives off ethylene which will cause the bananas to ripen more rapidly. Once ripening starts on the oldest hand (cluster of bananas), the entire bunch will ripen within a couple of days.
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