Banana plant

In the Central European climate, banana plants are mostly cultivated as pots or pots, although there are more and more planted specimens. Both variants are possible if you do not live in areas with long, particularly cold winters.

Banana plants can get very tall, which is often a problem. They often reach the ceiling quickly and they can also be quite large in size. Then good advice is expensive.
Anyone who buys a banana plant should be familiar with their care. With a few basic things in mind, posture is not a problem.

Important note – this article deals with both the care of the houseplant and the hardy variant. The care instructions for hardy bananas can be found in the lower part of the article.

Table of Contents

Banana as a houseplant

Usually dwarf bananas are offered in flower pots, but there are also more varieties. It is advantageous if you can find out the exact name of the plant when you buy it. This makes it possible to obtain very precise information about the individual species.

Banana as a houseplant

Location
The location is important so that the banana plant feels comfortable. This is especially true in the dark season. If the location is right, cultivation is not a problem.

  • As bright as possible
  • Also outdoors in summer
  • Protected from the wind so that the leaves do not tear
  • Always set up as airy as possible
  • Protected from drafts
  • Humidity must be high, at least 50%

Plant substrate
As far as the plant substrate is concerned, the banana plant is undemanding. She gets along with almost any normal earth. This just mustn’t store too much water. Constantly wet feet are the death of every banana.

  • permeable
  • normal potted potting soil

Planting or repotting
Since banana plants grow quickly, they have to be repotted quite often. It is important that you plant in such a way that excess water can run off. You shouldn’t plant too deep either.

  • Drainage is important
  • Do not use a saucepan that is too large
  • Do not plant too deep
  • Ensure a firm footing
  • Don’t let the offshoots get too big
  • Better to separate in good time and potted separately

Watering and fertilizing
The banana plant must not be watered too much or too little. You need a little sure instinct for this. It is important that standing moisture is avoided.

  • Water a lot, especially in summer
  • Use lime-free water
  • The larger the leaves, the more water evaporates
  • No waterlogging
  • No drought, it damages the roots
  • Do not fertilize a lot, but all year round
  • Fertilize weekly in spring and autumn
  • Fertilize monthly in autumn and winter
  • Liquid fertilizer according to instructions

Wintering
The individual banana varieties have different requirements with regard to wintering. It is important to know these. A good address to find out more about the winter storage of the individual varieties: www.bananenhobby.de/Sorten.htm. Many bananas need so much light that additional lighting makes sense.

  • Usually at around 10 ° C
  • Some also warmer
  • Warm living room rather unsuitable
  • Some varieties can stand cool and even dark
  • The darker, the colder
  • no frost
  • not below 5 ° C for long

Cutting
Banana plants do not need to be cut. However, it is possible, for example if they have grown too big. Often a cut is necessary so that the plant fits into the winter quarters. They can also take on stately proportions in the bucket.

  • Do not cut
  • Only in emergency
  • Cut is well tolerated
  • only visual impairment

Propagation
You can propagate bananas by seeds or, more simply, by cuttings. This is quite simple. Since the Kindel should be separated in good time anyway, this is always a good opportunity to grow a new plant.

By seeds – soak for 24 hours

  • plant in a mixture of sand and peat
  • Cover the pot with cling film
  • Temperatures over 25 degrees
  • keep slightly moist

By offshoots

  • Carefully separate daughter plants or children when repotting
  • plant separately
  • normal care

Diseases and pests

The banana plant is actually not susceptible to diseases and pests. With incorrect care, especially in winter, problems can arise. It is important to check it regularly and to correct errors. However, it is quite normal for the plant to lose a leaf every now and then or to turn one yellow. Usually the banana can be saved. You cut them back a lot. Sprinkle the wound surface with ashes. Repot! Mostly it drives out again.

  • Mealybugs or spider mites – the plant is too cool or too dry
  • Brown, dry leaf margins – lack of water and / or insufficient humidity
  • Yellow leaves – lack of nutrients
  • Leaf loss – too dark and / or too wet location

From a certain age and when numerous children have already grown, the mother plant dies. That usually happens very quickly. The leaves turn yellow, later brown and die. Then it’s time to repot and grow a new banana plant.

Banana plants in the garden

Banana plants in the garden

Many banana trees that have to be overwintered frost-free can be planted out in summer. You just have to dig them up again, cut them back and hibernate them appropriately. However, there are also species that can be planted out. They need a suitable location and usually also some winter protection and so get along quite well. Of course you shouldn’t live in the mountains!

Location
The right location is crucial for a banana plant to thrive. If it is correct, it will survive even the normal German winter. In any case, the banana must be protected. In the wind, the leaves tear and look tattered. The beauty is gone.

  • Sunny
  • Sheltered from the wind
  • Do not put young plants in the blazing sun (risk of sunburn)
  • Get used to the sun slowly after wintering in the house
  • Protected all around

Plant substrate
Even specimens that have been planted make hardly any demands on the soil. The location is more important. Bananas can handle almost any garden soil.

  • Undemanding
  • Not too wet
  • Install drainage if necessary
  • Loose and permeable
  • A mixture of humus, a little loam and coarse sand or gravel is ideal

Plants
It is important not to transplant banana plants that are too young. You are too sensitive. Young bananas have to be repotted over and over again until they have reached a size of less than a meter. This is the size for the field. It takes about a year. If you want to take the banana
out of the ground in winter , a root barrier makes sense, this makes work easier.

  • Plant out in August at the latest
  • Loosen the soil well
  • Don’t plant too deep
  • Ensure a firm footing

Watering and fertilizing

  • Soil must not dry out during the growing season
  • Avoid waterlogging at all costs
  • Use lime-free water
  • Do not use water that is too cold
  • Water thoroughly two to three times a week during prolonged drought
  • Fertilize with nitrogenous fertilizers during the growing season
  • Foliar fertilization during this time is recommended for beautiful leaves
  • It is beneficial to give ripe compost in spring with potted bananas

Wintering
Wintering outdoors is not without its problems. There are a few things to consider if it is to succeed. Prolonged frost is not tolerated. You have to pack the banana plants well. A protected location is important for this.

  • Minus 10 degrees temperature minimum
  • Only short-term minus temperatures at this altitude
  • Shorten shoots to 50 to 80 cm
  • Surround the plant with 1 meter high rabbit wire and fill the cylinder with dry autumn leaves
  • Cover with bast mats so that water can drain away
  • Leave the sides open so that ventilation and drying are guaranteed

To cut

  • Cut possible
  • Cutting not necessary
  • Only cut back before wintering
  • In an emergency, cut the trunk down to 20 to 30 cm

Propagate
Bananas can be propagated by seeds or, more simply, by cuttings. This is quite simple. Since the Kindel should be separated in good time anyway, this is always a good opportunity to grow a new plant (instructions: see propagation of the indoor banana)

Banana plant diseases and pests

Diseases and pests

Too much moisture in the root area causes the roots to rot – keep it drier, repot if possible and water less. Too much dryness leads to brown, dry leaf margins – more water and spray.

  • Spider mites and aphids attack weakened plants.
  • Rather damage from frost or prevent water absorption through frozen root balls
  • Even badly damaged plants can often be saved. You cut them off, if necessary at a height of 20 to 30 cm. Improve conditions for the plant and wait!

Conclusion
A banana plant is both a very decorative houseplant, but it also looks good in the garden. Caring for them is actually quite simple, but overwintering is an exception. If the location is appropriate, banana plants can also overwinter outdoors, but not in a tub, but planted out. Indoor bananas usually do not have a long life. They grow quickly, make many offshoots, and die. But you can grow a new banana tree from one of the offshoots, without any problems.

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