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Bananas

BANANAS




BANANA

Musa spp


Bananas are popular as a fruit-bearing ornamental throughout Florida and the coasts, because of their tropical appearance. If planted in a protected location, they can grow as far north as central Georgia. In northern locations, they often freeze to the ground in winter, and re-sprout from the corms (roots) in the spring. If kept from severe damage in the winter, they will fruit the following summer.  Avoid frost pockets the longer the growing season, the more tree ripened fruit you will have.  They thrive in low wet spots or on the edges of  ponds. The will grow more vigorously  and produce more fruit in full sun.  Growing bananas in the tropical climates of zones 10 through 11 are easy. They often fruit the first year after planting and continue to produce yearly with good fertilizer and water.  Bananas will grow and fruit regularly in the colder regions of the lower south. (Zones 8b-9). 

It takes two things to be successful: a variety that will fruit in around 2 years and plenty of water and fertilizer. Bananas are ferocious feeders of nitrogen and potassium.

There are many different types of bananas with wonderful flavors and characteristics. The most common is Cavendish, which is the variety found in supermarkets. Others include the small-fruited Ladyfinger, with its tangy sweet fruit, large Plantains that are popular in Latin cuisine cooked as amarones and tostones, and the cold hardy dwarf Raja Puri, from India.


Planting and Culture
Bananas have a shallow root system, are very easy to grow and can do well even in a pot indoors or in a greenhouse.  They love water and fertilizer. Bananas are ferocious feeders of nitrogen and potassium.   Mulch the roots heavily to protect them in winter, and plant in a warm micro-climate. All bananas are self-pollinating. The Secret for happy, healthy bananas is in the planting hole.  You can't  feed a banana too much, this is one plant that needs all the organic matter that it can get.

Dig a planting hole approximately 3 feet wide and 4 feet deep. Enrich the planting hole with a mix of any kind of organic matter: aged mushroom compost, aged manure, leaves, and/or rotted pine bark mixed with soil dug from the hole (50:50 mix). Aged mushroom compost or aged manure added to the planting hole or used as mulch is the VERY BEST amendment for bananas. 

Do fertilize at the time of planting at the rate of ½ cup of organic, balanced fertilizer with micro nutrients per hole. Mix thoroughly into the compost /soil mixture.

Water thoroughly at least 2-3 times a week. Soak the entire root system deeply – this usually takes 40-50 minutes. Bananas need plenty of water to look their best and produce fruit. Mulch heavily with compost and organic matter to conserve moisture. Hay makes fabulous winter mulch. Not only is hay great for protecting the banana roots but as it rots it adds lots of nitrogen to the soil.

For best fruiting it is important to limit the amount of suckers in each clump. The life cycle of a banana sucker is to grow, fruit and die, so new suckers are needed to continue the fruiting of the clump. The best system is 3 trunks staggered in age from fruiting size to newly emerging suckers. The right way to achieve this is to pick a new sucker every 3 or 4 months during the active growing season. In colder regions where the leaves have died from winter freezes it may be necessary to remove the dead tips of the trunks to help new growth emerge. Start at the top of the plant and cut a few inches off, looking for the green live center.

The secret to fruiting your bananas in Zones 8b and 9 is in (1) choosing the right varieties and (2) feeding them right. We stock varieties that fruit in our 9-month growing season, but food and water are both critical. You don’t have to push your bananas unless you want the fruit – they’ll be beautiful anywhere they grow. Nine month bananas fruit after they have produced about 40-42 leaves on a stalk. Essentially they are big bulbs. So, we have to feed them enough to produce leaves and then yet more food to produce and ripen the flower stalk. If you live in Zone 8b though 9a and cold weather arrives before your plants flower, they will often re-sprout in the spring and produce fruit the second year. People in colder regions can dig the bulbs up and store in a basement to replant the following spring

For first year banana plants, fertilize in late February, late May and late July. The type of fertilizer you choose can be chemical or organic. Make sure that the fertilizer contains iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, copper and boron. These minor elements are very important to plants and most soils are low in these elements.


Because of the tissue culture production of liners, our banana variety availability may change periodically.  Please check back regularly or call us to see what is currently in stock.


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Products 1-2 of 2
Dwarf Cavendish
Availability: Pick-up Only
Price: $24.95


Item #: Dwarf Cavendish - Dwarf Cavendish banana has lush leaves and sweet large bunches of full-sized flavorful bananas. It can be grown outdoors in zones 9 and 11, so if you live in areas that are basically free of frost...
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    Raja Puri Banana
    Availability: Out of Stock
    Price: $24.95


    Item #: Raja Puri Banana - Raja Puri is a very hardy dwarf 6-8' tree with 6-7" good flavored bananas. It has a very short fruiting cycle of 6-8 months, so can be grown in many northern locations without having to hold it over...
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      Products 1-2 of 2