The Q&A Archives: Banana Plant

Question: My plant was doing great, until September. It started to wilt, then the edges turned yellow. Now black spots have appeared. What's going on?

Answer: Banana trees are actually herbaceous shrubs, with a large stem that resembles a trunk, and large, frond-like foliage. True bananas grow from the species 'Ensete', but most commonly grown Banana trees are 'Musa', which do not produce edible fruit. Culture for both Ensete and Musa are the same; give full sun and lots of water. The tops of either plant may die down in cold weather, but new growth will begin in the spring. Both are very fast growing and need frequent, deep watering during the growing season (spring - summer). Because the leaves are sensitive to cold weather, it might be that your plant is showing stress from winter weather, or from wind, which tends to dry the foliage out. Cut brown leaves off and destroy them. Then keep the plant well watered and wait for new growth in the spring.

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