banana trees - Knowledgebase Question

savannah, tn
Avatar for tvturtle
Question by tvturtle
April 25, 2007
I have a banana tree. How do I take care of it?

Answer from NGA
April 25, 2007
Bananas love sun and heat so pick a sunny location where they will receive light most of the day. Fruiting banana plants will stop growing if in a mostly shady location; as well shady locations tend to stay wet longer especially in the winter when it is important to reduce watering as it may lead to root rot. Dig a hole twice as wide as the container and about 1 1/2 times as deep. At the bottom of the hole add about 2-4 inches of steer manure and then cover with soil mix to bring the depth to a level that will accommodate the plant. Bananas like well draining organic soil that is rocky and has lava sand, much like you would find in Hawaii. I have had best results with cactus mix soils and the best product has been Organo Patio Mix. It contains lava rock, lava sand amongst other beneficial items. Next cut the bottom of the container and set the plant in the hole, it should be about 2 inches above soil level to accommodate for settling. Next cut away the sides of the container and refill the hole with a mix of 2/3 soil mix and 1/3 native soil and water well. Use the remaining soil to build a berm around the plant.

Bananas need regualr watering to sustain the large tropical leaves and produce sweet tasty fruit. You should expect to water slowly and deeply every 2 or 3 days during the warmer months. A test when to water is when the top 1/2-1 inch of soil is dry. If you planted in a shady spot or one that tends to stay wet for some other reason you may have water less. Bananas are suspectable to root rot and don't like continually wet soil or standing water, though this should only be a concern during the winter as during the midst of summer it is important that you water and don't be afraid to do so as the result would be equally as bad. Banana plants stop growing during the cooler months when temperatures stay below 50's so wont need much water. Don't take this to mean that you let the plant just dry out, it just means that between watering every couple of weeks and our normal winter rains your plant should survive just fine.

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