Depending on the species, the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 11 are suitable for growing banana trees, which most people are unaware of. Since most of them are tropical plants that like warmth and humidity. The only way to grow them in regions frozen during the winter is to transplant banana trees into pots.
Move bananas indoors and keep them warm throughout the winter because they need nearly 18 months of growth before they can yield fruits. These exotic tropical plants only need the most basic care; however, you must give it consistently and in sufficient amounts.
In our guide, you can learn how to transplant a banana tree using banana tree pups. Bananas are fast growers before they can deliver fruit, yet they only offer one harvest per plant.
Here, you need to know how to grow banana plants from the mother plant using a banana tree sprout. By the end, you’ll know how to transplant a banana tree into a new location and how to deliver all the best banana tree care to achieve this. (Learn How To Grow An Avocado Tree That Bears Fruit)
How To Transplant A Banana Tree?
Bananas, like the “Dwarf Cavendish” (Musa acuminata), which are hardy in USDA zones 10 through 11, must be protected from cold. Therefore, bananas are typically planted in tropical regions.
These kinds of banana plants can be dug up in the garden and moved within for the winter in sizable flowerpots.
Alternately, keep them in large containers to make it easier to bring them inside when the weather gets chilly quickly.
Here you can see how to offer the best care for your banana tree.
Move Your Banana Tree Indoors
When it gets below 50 degrees outside, bring your banana plant inside. If there is an unexpected cold spell, cover the plant with burlap bubble wrap or a blanket to shield it from the danger of frost.
Dig up the rhizome and bring it inside if you forget to cover it and the plant appears to have died. If there is still life after a few days, it will show new growth.
Trim Your Banana Plant
- Before being transplanted, banana trees must be pruned back because they can reach heights of up to 6 feet.
- Use a sharp knife you have sanitized in rubbing alcohol to cut the large outer leaves from the stem.
- Trim the main stem to a height of around 3 feet.
Remove Excess Shoots
Remove large sprouts from the main rhizome by chopping them. Repot and bring indoors until spring.
Dig Up for Potting
- To reveal the underground rhizome and roots, remove the earth from around the banana tree.
- Dig around the plant while slanting your shovel toward the center when you have a beautiful ball of dirt.
- Try not to harm the main rhizome.
- Lift the root ball and entire stem out of the ground, set it in a planting container, and then add potting soil to the pot.
Place In A Sunny Window
Place the newly planted banana tree in a warm, bright window indoors with partial shade rather than full sun.
Regularly water and fertilize but avoid letting the soil become damp. Every week, turn the banana tree so that it receives light from all directions. (Learn How Far Apart To Plant Fruit Trees)
Place Outside In The Summer
Once the weather has warmed and there is no danger of frost, you can move the banana tree back outside.
As a heavy feeder, it requires regular watering and fertilization. Bananas develop when a cluster of blooms has formed on the fruiting stem.
The plant will regenerate from the lateral shoots on the rhizome when the main stem dies down and must be removed after fruiting.
How To Plant Hardy Bananas
There are some fruits in the Musaceae family. Cold-hardy bananas (Musa basjoo) have large leaves that give a garden a tropical feel but do not bear bananas.
The basjoo banana, hardy in USDA zones 5 through 10, can withstand winter lows of -10 degrees Fahrenheit if it is adequately mulched.
Dig Your Planting Hole
In a sunny, wind-protected, well-drained area, dig a planting hole. Compost and properly decayed animal dung should be added to the soil as needed.
At the same depth as the grower’s container, the hole should be two to three times the breadth of the root ball.
Untangle Banana Tree Roots
Get rid of the circular, twisted roots. Cut out broken and decaying roots with sterile scissors or pruners whenever necessary. To promote rapid insertion into the soil, loosen the margins of the root ball.
Plant Your Banana Tree
Place the banana tree in the planting hole at the same level as in the growers’ pot. Backfill the soil around the roots, then lightly compact it. Thoroughly water.
Hardy Banana Care
- Pull the mulch back 4 inches from the stem and add a 3- to 4-inch layer around the banana tree.
- Water the soil 2 to 3 inches deep when it’s dry; keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. Use an 8-10-10 liquid fertilizer every two weeks to fertilize.
- The Durable Japanese Banana, also known as Musa sp. basjoo, is a hardy banana tree with leaves up to twelve feet long.
- They freeze to the ground every fall, but with the right care, they will sprout the following spring again.
- It takes approximately two years for a plant to attain its full growth, and hardy bananas grow quickly enough to catch up to their size from the previous year by early to midsummer.
Is Growing A Banana Tree Hard?
For successful transplanting of a banana tree, you need to present the ideal conditions, and to do this, you need:
- Mulch and other organic matter
- Potassium and Nitrogen
- Consistent warmth, moisture, and humidity
- Fertile, Dark, Rich Soil
A banana tree plant does not want to stand alone besides supplying these circumstances.
From a central corm, they grow (rhizome). After bearing fruit, the parent plant in nature withers away, and its pups and sprouts emerge from the corm to take its place.
Banana plants benefit from growing in small clumps because they can withstand severe temperatures, dry spells, and prolonged exposure.
Popular Cold Hardy Bananas
Choose from the more well-liked and resilient options while looking for the best banana plant for your region. Here are some to think about:
Musa velutina (Pink Banana): Because this variety flowers earlier, it is more likely to bear fruit. A pink fruit that is ornamentally grown rather than as food.
A dwarf banana tree kind that is related to bananas but not the same thing. The plant yields a large, artichoke-shaped fruit that is bright yellow. Also known as the Chinese dwarf banana and Ensete lasiocarpum
These are some of the most well-liked types. Hardy banana types come in a wide range of excellent kinds.
Consult your neighborhood nursery, garden club, and other gardeners to determine which types thrive there. (Read Why Paint Trees White)
Musa x paradisiaca
- A sterile triploid, suckering hybrid with large, rapid growth needs well-drained soil to thrive.
- Grows for its delicious yellow-skinned fruit in USDA Zones 9 to 11.
- Commonly referred to as the French plantain or the edible banana produces enormous, up to 8 feet long, oblong to paddle-shaped leaves.
- Flowers that are yellow with purple-red bracts
- Following fruiting and flowering, the pseudo stem expires.
Banana Plant Care and Growing Steps
As previously noted, bananas grow from a corm or rhizome and create a pseudostem with folded-up leaves and the beginning of the banana blossom.
The female flowers develop into a berry-like fruit that initially curls up toward the light as the plant grows and matures.
A “bunch” is the collective noun for all the fruit. As the bananas ripen, they grow downward and divide into smaller groups known as “hands.” In hand, each banana is referred to as a “finger.”
A banana tree matures, develops leaves, blooms, and bears fruit in around nine months. Once finished, the parent plant dies back and is replaced with young plants, sometimes known as suckers or pups.
Realizing that your banana plants won’t bear fruit in non-tropical environments is crucial.
The blossoms and the large, luxuriant foliage are attractive. However, even if your plant does produce bananas, the fruit may only have aesthetic (as opposed to culinary) value.
Proper Care For A Banana Tree
You should occasionally divide your individual banana plant to avoid overpopulation like other rhizomes.
The need for this is because they have quick growth; they will all fight for nutrients unless you carry out the dividing and transplanting like other plants
Separate them once a year. Use a sharp spade and considerable force to detach the suckers or pups from the rhizome to divide bananas. After you have separated the sucker from the parent plant, give the rhizome section’s surface a day or two to dry out.
Banana pups may be planted in pots so that you can keep them indoors over the winter as potted plants.
Replant in larger containers or into the ground outside once the threat of frost has passed.
Remember that they are fragile when new plants of all types are initially brought outside after the winter months.
Before transplanting banana trees outside, take precautions to adapt them, and after moving banana plants, cover them from the sun’s direct rays for a few weeks. (Read Do Copper Nails Kill A Tree)
Grow Banana Trees Successfully
After the first frost risk has passed, plant new banana trees as young plants can’t grow in temperatures below 57°F.
Bananas like sun, although some variegated types with scorch-prone leaves like moderate shade. You need a deep hole for growing bananas, and before planting, thoroughly prepare the soil.
You’ll need well-drained soil you have organically modified with a pH of 5.52-6.5 pH.
Bananas need lots of feeding with organic materials, a balanced fertilizer, or green sand. In addition, bananas are full of potassium; thus, they need added nutrients.
Banana trees are from tropical regions and have a warm climate. Therefore, they need water and humidity and one entire plant when surrounded by others than if growing alone.
Many plants nearby help keep leaves wet, although you must weekly water banana plants with 1 to 2 inches of water to keep the soil moist.
Plants need shelter from severe winds as the large leaves can easily damage in storms.
Strong gusts of more than 30 mph rip leaves, yet winds over 40 mph can break the pseudostem and kill the plant. If they fall, they won’t produce fruit for that growing season.
Can Banana Plants Grow In a Container?
You can transplant a banana into a large container, and for optimal growth, you may need larger than a 15-gallon pot for your young plant.
- When using a planting pot, you can regulate the plant’s environment. For example, it’s well protected from cold and rain.
- The transplanting pots need to be full of well-draining soil, and the pot needs drainage holes so they won’t hold excess water.
- Younger, smaller plants can be watered every few days, but older plants need daily watering. Potted bananas need frequent and plentiful banana tree fertilizer.
- Repot banana plants every three years. Fertilize regularly and use a high-quality potting mix.
- In winter, transfer container banana plants indoors and keep them as a houseplant if you have enough room. A banana can grow 12 to 18 feet.
- Give your indoor banana plant light, warmth, and humidity.
- It’s hard to keep a banana plant indoors in winter. Many gardeners overwinter plants in a cold, dark basement. Some winterize indoor plants.
- When the weather is cold, you’ll find that Panama disease chances are reduced than in warmer conditions.