The Q&A Archives: Banana Trees

Question: How do you grow banana trees in coastal NC so they will fruit? Are there separate sexes or do they need a special feeding program?

Answer: Ensete, the banana tree, will grow best in an area protected from strong winds that will tatter the large leaves. They make great container plants that can be wintered over in a greenhouse. If planted in the ground, the top can freeze back, but will resprout in the spring. Another member of the banana family is Musa, with similar growing requirements and appearance. Both are palm tree-looking tropical plants, and both will produce fruit from flowers, providing the weather conditions suit it. Give both types rich, moist soil, and feed monthly during the growing season to encourage rapid growth. (10-10-10 fertilizer, broadcast over the root area and watered in well.) Only one plant is necessary to produce fruit.

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