Ask a Question forum: When is the right time to feed banana plants?

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Name: Kevin Langley
London UK
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AmberLeaf
Oct 12, 2016 2:54 PM CST
Hi, I've never fed my banana plants, they are young banana plants that look healthy, I have 3 dwarf banana plants and one red banana plant. On the dwarf banana plants the bottom leaves go yellow after the new leaves grow... I expect this is normal they will shortly get re-potted into larger pots, however should I be feeding them at this stage?

I've heard that banana plants need lots of potassium and I'm just wondering when should I feed them? Do banana plants show any signs when they need feeding?

I have some pot ash and tomato feed to hand just encase.

Many thanks
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 12, 2016 3:58 PM CST
Kevin, bananas are heavy feeders that like lots of water, warmth and sunlight. If you want to keep them growing slowly but staying healthy, a light feed with a balanced fert every few weeks through the winter, then ramping up as warm weather gets going next spring would be good.

Balanced fertilizer is one with a formula where the three major nutrient numbers are similar or the same. eg. I have some that is 7 - 7 - 7 that I use for my Earth Boxes to grow veggies. I think if you look at the package of your tomato feed, you'll find it has the middle number (phosphorus) higher than the other two. Potassium is the third number, so as long as the fertilizer you use has all three numbers fairly equal, your plant will be getting a good dose of potassium and it's not necessary to add any potash.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Oct 13, 2016 10:41 AM CST
You can also feed your bananas with citrus fertilizer.
Name: Kevin Langley
London UK
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AmberLeaf
Oct 24, 2016 10:40 AM CST
Is it normal for banana leafs to curl?

My banana plant had grown a new leaf, it looked nice and flat but the new leaf has now curled into itself.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Oct 24, 2016 11:20 AM CST
Leaf curl is most common with underwatering but not exclusive. Bananas do like moist but not soggy soil. Is the pot large enough for the plant's root system? Bananas can grow fast. You could also examine the leaves for discoloration, pests and diseases that might also cause leaf curl as can too much or incorrect fertilizers.
Name: Kevin Langley
London UK
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AmberLeaf
Oct 24, 2016 1:02 PM CST
I re-potted the banana plant last week into a much lager pot, the plant looked ok before then, I used soil from my garden as it seems to be rich and I have had better results with growing other plants from the soil from my garden than in the potting compost I've used before. I also mixed some perlite in with the soil. The other leafs look ok its also growing another so maybe it will just be the one leaf that curls, I might have to wait another week to see if the other new leaf curls as well. The soil is pretty damp at the moment.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Oct 24, 2016 1:19 PM CST
Kevin - do keep in mind that garden soil is much heavier than potting soil/compost and may not drain as readily. It is also possible to bring in soil-borne critters and diseases. Just keep a close eye on it to make sure that the soil does drain pretty well. Prolonged excess moisture might be a problem.
Name: Kevin Langley
London UK
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AmberLeaf
Nov 2, 2016 2:43 AM CST
Update on the banana plant, it has grown 3 more healthy leafs that haven't curled so luckily it was just the one leaf that curled. I think the plant might of suffered a slight shock when it was re-potted at the time but is looking all good now.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Nov 2, 2016 8:48 AM CST
Hurray!

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