Banana trees form numerous offshoots that can be used for propagation. In our detailed instructions, we explain step by step how you can best grow your own banana plant.

win offshoots

The offshoots sprout out of the ground as side shoots at the lower end of the maternal shoot axis. They are also referred to as children. They are de facto natural clones of the mother plant and allow for asexual reproduction, so you can easily grow more banana plants. To do this, separate the Kindel from the main shoot and pot them separately in their own pot. In order for this to succeed, however, the small side shoots must already be mature enough. You can tell whether the children are ready for a separation by these characteristics:

  • Sufficient growth height: at least a third of the maternal height
  • Number of leaves: at least two (preferably four) large leaves
  • own roots at the bottom

While you can easily judge the height and number of leaves, checking root growth requires carefully exposing the bottom of the cuttings.

Note: Not all types of bananas make children. Plants of the Ensete genus – sometimes sold commercially as ‘Red Banana’ or ‘Abyssinian Banana’ – are therefore propagated by division or cuttings.

Best time

The best time to separate and plant the children is spring, when you are going to move your banana plant to a larger pot anyway. Bananas grow very quickly and – depending on the type, variety and available space – can reach several meters in height. That is why the plant needs a larger planter every year and, as a pronounced heavy feeder, also fresh, nutrient-rich substrate. The months of April to May are a very good time for repotting, because the new growing season is now beginning and the plant is just waiting to sprout again.

Note: So that the banana has enough space to form offshoots, the planter should be chosen wide rather than deep.


Once your banana plant has rooted children, you can grow new ones from them. In order to child off the young plants, as the specialist says, you need the following utensils:

  • sharp, sanitized knife
  • Breeding pots with a diameter of 10, 12 or 14 centimeters (one for each child)
  • Cultivation soil or pricking soil for the children
  • humus-rich tub plant or other potting soil for the mother plant
  • Pottery shards and expanded clay for pot drainage
  • charcoal ash

The charcoal ash is necessary for the disinfection of plant cuts, since the children have to be cut off from the mother plant. This does not come without injuries, which in turn can allow fungi or other pathogens to enter the plant. Sprinkle the freshly cut wounds with some wood ash immediately, this has a disinfecting effect and diseases don’t stand a chance.

Tip: For the same reason – and also to avoid the appearance of fungus gnats and other pests – any substrate should be disinfected in the oven at 150 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes before use.


Once all the materials are ready and the substrate and knife have been freshly disinfected, you can finally start to chill out. This is a delicate task, because when cutting off the side shoots you must not cut off any roots. It is best to proceed as follows:

  • Pot mother plant
  • carefully remove old substrate
  • Look for the junction between the child and the mother plant
  • select the best interface
  • Cut off the noodles with a sharp knife
  • don’t leave a “hump”.
  • Rinse the interface under clear, running water
  • then dust with charcoal powder

Now you can set aside finished Kindel for the time being and put the mother plant back into fresh substrate.

potting childel

Now you can pot the Kindel as well. Here it is important that you – as with the mother plant – pay attention to good pot drainage so that excess water runs off and waterlogging can be avoided. Thats how it works:

  • Choose a planter with a drainage hole at the bottom
  • Cover this with a potsherd.
  • Fill in about two to three centimeters of expanded clay as the first layer.
  • This is followed by the substrate up to about two thirds of the pot.
  • Hold the cuttings in the middle of the pot.
  • The rooted side must point downwards
  • Fill all around with substrate.
  • Press the substrate lightly.
  • Water the young plant vigorously.

Now place the pot with the children in a warm and bright place, but not directly sunny.

proper care

In order for the banana plant to grow successfully, the young plants need careful care over the next few weeks. They are still very sensitive and must first form new, strong roots. The existing ones are usually not enough to provide the large leaves with sufficient moisture – anyway, a lot of water is lost through evaporation. To avoid this and thus drought stress for the small bananas, you should cut the leaves in half (simply cut off one half) and cultivate the plant under a cover made from a cut-off PET bottle or a transparent plastic bag. A “tense air” is created here, ie the air humidity is constantly high. This in turn promotes root development and prevents the plant from drying out.

  • Air the cover daily (otherwise mold will form)
  • Always keep the substrate slightly moist (not wet!).
  • Water droplets should form on the cover, then it is moist enough
  • only use lime-free water at room temperature
  • do not fertilize

As soon as the young plant sprouts again or the first root tips peek out of the pot, the rooting has been successful and you have to move the banana plant to a larger container with more nutrient-rich soil. Now continue to care for them like an adult banana.

Tip: If you don’t want to put anything on the plant, you can also spray it daily with room temperature, lime-free water to keep the humidity high.

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