This article is shared with permission from our friends at dietoflife.com.
If you are unable to grow bananas either because of lack of planting space or cold climate conditions, then opt for growing them in pots. Learn how to grow banana trees in pots in this article.
Some banana varieties can withstand temperature drops and grow well in containers too. Growing bananas is especially popular among fans of growing exotic tropical plants in their garden and backyard.
You may be thinking, “Will a banana tree growing in a pot bear fruit?”
The answer is YES. A banana tree can bear fruit in a pot as prolifically as a banana tree grown in the ground. However, when grown in a pot, bananas may take up to 3-5 years to bear fruit if grown from their seeds.
About growing banana trees in pots
The banana is a fast-growing plant with lush green leaves that can give any place a tropical look and feel. Many varieties of bananas become excellent houseplants that don’t need too much care and grow as quickly as a beanstalk.
The so-called “dwarf varieties” of banana trees can grow up to anywhere between 2 – 4 meters, whereas your traditional banana can reach up to 15 meters in height.
Growing banana trees in pots in tropical climate
Growing a banana tree in a container in tropical climate is extremely easy since it takes little-to-no care. If you live in USDA Zones 9 to 11, keep your young banana tree in a shaded area during the summer. All the other requirements are similar to the requirements for temperate zones.
These are the banana varieties you can grow in pots or indoors
Dwarf varieties of banana trees only reach up to 1.5 and 4 meters (4 – 12 feet) which makes them suitable for growing in containers. You can also grow these banana varieties indoors:
Dwarf ‘Lady Finger’
But if you prefer to grow ornamental varieties of banana, check out these ones:
Musa sikkimensis – ‘Red Tiger’
Requirements for Growing a Banana Tree in a Pot
Growing a banana tree requires a well-drained, sandy soil that is rich in organic matter and compost. First you must buy a high quality potting mix for your banana tree. If you are making it at home, make sure to mix sand, perlite and compost or manure.
The banana needs slightly acidic to neutral soil to produce tasty and potassium-rich nutritious bananas. The soil pH should be around 6 – 7. But, if your soil is too alkaline, you should mix it with sulfur to decrease the soil pH value.
Bananas love good moisture. So, water the banana plant regularly and deeply, but make you sure that you don’t overdo it. Stick to these requirements:
Water the banana plant every day in the summer.
It may need watering twice a day in hot weather or when it is root bound.
The soil for growing banana plants should be kept uniformly moist (meaning don’t let it dry out and then over-water it!).
Reduce the plant watering in winter to avoid diseases.
3. Sun exposure
It is known that banana trees grow in tropical and subtropical belts of the world and therefore they love full sunlight, heat and humidity. If you are growing a banana tree, you should keep it in a spot that receives sun for the most part of the day, but preferably sheltered from strong wind.
Taking Additional Care of Your Banana Tree
The banana plant ‘prefers’ humidity levels above 50 percent. In order to increase humidity levels around the plant, mist the plant and place it on a layer of pebbles in a tray filled with water.
Preparing your banana tree for the cold
Banana plants stop growing when the temperature level drops below 10°C (50° Fahrenheit). So, before the onset of winter, do some heavy mulching and pruning of the leaves. Then, place your banana plant in a warm, bright room until the spring.
Since the banana is a fast-growing plant, it requires heavy feeding to grow to its full size. Fertilize the young plant when it establishes well with nitrogen-rich fertilizer to help it grow faster. Once your banana tree is in the pot, fertilize it with 15:5:30 fertilizer regularly until it becomes mature enough to produce fruit.
Pests and diseases
Bananas are naturally resistant to disease. But if you see the leaves turning brown and becoming dry at the edges, it means that you are over-watering it. If the leaves turn yellow, it signals that the banana plant lacks nutrients.
Some pests like banana aphids, banana weevil and coconut scale might attack your banana plant. But don’t worry – these pests can be easily be repelled using organic pesticides!