A Banana Plant can add a tropical look to any room in your home or office. With its dark green look and large leaves, a banana plant can be a welcomed addition to your plant collection or can simply stand independently in the corner of a room. Here is how to properly take care of a banana plant!
- Musa spp
- Musa acuminata
- Musa Basjoo
Is it a Banana Plant or Banana Tree?
While it is common to refer to this plant as a Banana Tree, it is an herb due to the leafy stem and rhizome structure. You will find wooden tissues on a tree that support the structure, but on a plant, it is a green stem at the base. While this plant can produce fruit, chances are it will only happen if you live in a hot climate year-round.
What Soil Mix Works Best for a Banana Plant?
A slightly acidic potting soil that drains well works best for Banana Plants. You can add some compost, peat moss, and manure to the potting mix as well. As long as you keep this plant in a container with drainage holes, you should be good to go. Having drainage holes and soil that empties well helps reduce the risk of root rot.
Can you use a Houseplant Fertilizer?
Banana plants are heavy feeders and fast growers, which means you should fertilize them a few times during the growing season. Use a well-balanced fertilizer on the mulch to promote new growth. You can also add compost to the soil to encourage healthy growth.
How Much Sunlight Does a Banana Plant Need?
Outdoor and indoor Banana plants enjoy getting a few hours of full sun each day. The growing season for this plant is from the spring to the fall, so try and get it a few hours of direct sunlight as possible. Consider placing this plant in front of a south-facing window to get as much sun as possible.
However, be careful about giving the plant too much direct sunlight if the leaves start to turn yellow. Yellowing leaves can indicate that the plant has too much sun. To fix that, you can place a curtain over the window to reduce the direct glares or move it further away.
What Temperature Works Best for a Banana Plant?
Since this is a tropical plant, you want to keep it in a warm to a hot environment. The target temperature for this plant is between 70 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have this plant outside, you can keep it out there until the night drops below 50 degrees. Ideally, you want to have the plant back inside before the first frost for overwintering it.
If you keep this plant indoors, be mindful of keeping it near a cold winter during winter. Also, don’t leave this plant near the AC unit during the summer, as that cold temperature will cause the plant to wilt.
What Humidity Requirements Does a Banana Plant Need?
A Banana Plant thrives in high humidity conditions. If possible, you should place this plant in a bathroom with a shower. Another way to increase the humidity for this plant is with regular misting. In addition to misting the plant to generate more humidity, you can run a humidifier next to this plant.
However, be careful not to let the humidifier run for too long next to the plant because the soil might not have time to fully dry in between waterings, which can cause root rot.
How Often Should You Water a Banana Plant?
During the growing season between the spring and fall, you will want to water a Banana Plant a few times during the week. Watering the plant a few times during the week is a good idea if the plant is getting lots of direct sunlight and fertilization. If the top inch or two of soil is dry, you will need to water it again.
However, while this plant needs more consistent watering in the warmer months, be mindful about overwatering it. Don’t water too much where there is excess water at the bottom of the container. Always use well-drained soil and put the plant into a container with drainage holes to allow the extra water to flow out of the base.
What Size Does a Banana Plant Typically Grow to?
If you plan to have this as an indoor plant, consider getting the Dwarf Cavendish Bananas since it can grow to about 8 feet tall.
Most Common Bugs
Mealybugs, Aphids, and Red Spider Mites are common pests with this plant. If you notice these bugs early enough, you can wipe them away with a wet cloth. If wiping off the plant with a damp cloth doesn’t remove them, you can then use neem oil and spray down the plant.
Most Common Diseases
Root rot is a common problem for this plant due to overwatering it. If you notice root rot, you will need to remove the plant from the current home, cut off any damaged roots, and place it in fresh potting soil.
Can you Propagate a Banana Plant?
The rhizome (corm) of the plant produces new suckers that you can propagate into new plants. Below are the steps to take for propagation plant care.
- Dig around the baby plant of the banana plant that you want to propagate. Don’t remove the roots from the mother plant
- Cut the stem that connects the baby plant from the mother plant
- Place the new cutting into fresh soil and a container
- Put the new cutting into an area of your home that can get a few hours of direct sunlight
- Give the plant water
- New leaves will form a few weeks later
Can you Repot a Banana Plant?
Repotting should occur once a year since this plant is a fast grower. Repotting is also a good idea if this is a new plant and you notice that it is also growing out of the current container. When you repot the plant, put the plant into fresh soil and a container two inches bigger in diameter.
What USDA Zone Works Best?
The hardiness zone that works best for a Banana Plant is between 9-11.
Is it Toxic?
Banana plants are not toxic to humans or pets.
Conclusion – How to Take Care of Banana Plant
In summary, a Banana Plant can bring beautiful greenery into your home. The plant loves being in a hot and humid environment, so consider placing it next to an east-facing window and giving it lots of water during the growing season. Not only can the plant look great in your home or office, but you can propagate it and share it with friends!