Where the conditions are correct, bananas can grow and bear fruit. Banana plants need temperatures that average around 80°F (26°C) during the day and 70°F (21°C) at night in order to bear fruit. Ideal conditions include a constant humidity of about 50% and twelve hours of daylight every day. In less than optimal circumstances, bananas will ripen, but the fruit’s quality will deteriorate.
Variety of Bananas
Bananas come in two varieties: starchy cooking bananas and sweet dessert bananas, which are both frequently consumed raw and used in a variety of dishes. Plantains are used when preparing bananas.
- The typical yellow bananas are the dessert varieties. They are typically yellow, 7 to 9 inches long, and 1 and a half inches in diameter. The flesh is soft, moist, slightly sticky, and sweet when it is fully mature.
- Compared to yellow bananas, cooking bananas are larger, have thicker skin, and have three or four clearly distinct sides. When unripe, they are green; when ripe, they turn yellow, then brown, and finally black. To be edible, they need to be cooked. When prepared, they have a flavour somewhat reminiscent of winter squash.
Best location and climate for banana cultivation
- Tropical humid climates are ideal for banana growth. Bananas can be grown in USDA Zones 9 through 11 in the United States. With protection, a few cultivars may endure frigid climates as severe as Zone 5.
- 78° to 86°F is the ideal range for producing bananas.
- For a plant to generate a flower stalk, 10 to 15 months of frost-free weather are necessary. When temperatures go below 57°, the majority of types stop growing. Temperatures below freezing will damage the greenery. Bananas, on the other hand, will stop growing at 100°F and start to slow down at 80°F. Bananas need a lot of water when it’s extremely hot outside.
- The leaves and fruit of bananas will sunburn and scorch in direct sunlight when temperatures are high, even though full sun is optimum for growing bananas. Check the variety’s growing requirements before planting; in some environments, some kinds do well planted in partial shade.
- Plant bananas in loamy, compost-rich soil that is well-drained.
- The pH range for banana-friendly soil is 5.5 to 6.5.
- To get the best yield, shield bananas from the wind. Bananas are vulnerable to wind damage; the wind has the power to uproot and knock them over.
- The easiest way to grow bananas is to group them together in a block or clump. Block planting enhances the humidity surrounding plants and enables shallow-rooted plants to support one another. Plants in the middle of blocks typically bear the best fruit because they are shielded from the wind. A block could consist of 5 rows with 5 plants in each row, each spaced approximately 5 feet apart.
- Cuttings or root divisions are used to develop banana plants. A mother plant’s root is divided, with or without leafy growth known as suckers, and transplanted in a new location. It is recommended to use a root division with leafy growth.
- Pick a sucker off a healthy banana plant. Select a sucker with tiny, spear-like leaves. Ideal sucker height is between three and four feet. The initial banana bunch will be smaller since tiny suckers take longer to fruit.
- Use a sharp spade to remove the sucker from the main banana plant. Between the mature plant and the sucker, make a downward cut. Use a pruning knife or saw to remove the sucker if a spade is not sharp enough. Roots must be present in the sucker.
- The roots should be covered at roughly the same level as when they were growing with the mother plant when you replant the division. Replanting a root-only division means placing it 1 to 2 inches below the surface of the soil.
- Spacing between banana tree
- Plant bananas five to six feet apart. The best way to grow bananas is in clumps or blocks. Plant numerous plants close together, spaced 5 to 6 feet apart.
How to Grow Bananas
- Not trees, rather perennial herbs, banana plants. The trunk of a banana plant is made up of leaf stalks that have been wrapped in concentric rounds around one another. The trunk is not made of wood, but rather of leaves. Older leaves are pushed out when new leaves emerge from the trunk’s centre. The root system of a banana plant is a large rhizome or corm that is buried beneath the soil around the plant’s base.
- Banana fruit develops on flowering stalks that protrude from the trunk’s middle. Fruit is produced by a blooming stalk after about nine months. Flowers develop into fruit clusters, which are referred to as “hands,” and each individual fruit, or banana, is referred to as a “finger.”
- Late summer is when banana fruits develop. The following spring, they grow to adult size. The fruit is cut from the stalk when it is green and chubby, which indicates that it is almost ripe. Once it is removed from the plant, the fruit has finished ripening. The colour of mature fingertips frequently transitions from green to yellow. Cooking bananas, or plantains, mature by going from yellow to brown to black.
- The leafy trunk of a banana plant dies back to the ground after fruit is produced. The rhizome root of the plant, also known as a corm, which has several growth sites, produces new banana plants. Pups are the baby plants that take the place of the mother plant. They can also be split off from the mother plant’s rhizome and planted in different locations.
- Depending on the cultivar, banana plants can reach heights of up to 25 feet. There are varieties that only reach a height of 3 to 4 feet. Depending on the cultivar, banana leaves can reach a maximum size of 2 feet broad and 9 feet long.
Care, nutrients, and water for bananas
- Consistently moisten the soil. During warm weather, regular deep watering is required. Bananas prefer humid climates; use sprinkler irrigation two or three times daily to maintain high levels of humidity surrounding plants.
- Make sure the soil has good drainage. Particularly in cool climates, root rot can be caused by standing water or perpetually damp soil.
- Mulch helps protect lower roots and retain soil moisture.
- Because bananas consume a lot of food, feed them once a month with a complete fertiliser that is a little higher in phosphorus, like 8-10-8. Don’t let the plant’s leafy trunk come into contact with fertiliser.
- When frost is a possibility, cover plants with a plant blanket or construct a frame around the plant and cover it with transparent plastic sheeting.