New England Banana Tree

Connecticutian18July 4, 2014

I ordered a Candevesh banana tree online about 1.5 years ago and it showed up in less-than-decent shape. I planted it in a large pot and have provided it moderate sunlight in the cold months, and full sunlight in the summer, yet it seems to have barely changed at all; the leaves that were brown when it arrived remain brown, and it is almost exactly the same height.

What do I have to do to get this banana tree to grow and eventually bear fruit?

Here's a picture of it. (Some of the leaf damage is she to sunburn from just moving it outside)

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Looks pretty healthy actually actually. The brown is probably sunburn from moving it outside.

Its most likely a dwarf, which I think can get to 6 feet. It should fruit when its had 20-40 leaves (I cant remember exactly how many).

You can grow quite a few bananas like you are. I have quite a few I grew from seed and bought. You should also look up musa basjoo. It will survive your winters with a bit of help, maybe without it. It probably wont produce fruit but you can say you grow bananas outside!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 5:46PM
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I am not a babana expert, not even close. I want to share my experience trying to grow a banana plant in New England with you.

I bought a dwarf Cavendish from Logee's in the spring of 2013. It's supposed to bear fruit but I've found out that I can't provide the condition it needs to flourish to that point yet.

It grew very well last summer and fall. It had a few pups but I did not separate them. That's my first mistake because later they crowded the mother plant competing for nutrient.

By late fall, I moved the pot inside the house, gave it the best location for sun through windows. I have a hot water heating system. The house is very dry, probably too try for banana which likes high humidity. I may have done both overwatering and underwatering it,too.

By early spring, the mother's plant did not push out new leaves and the leaves starting turning brown. When new leave (the inner most) turned brown, that's a bad sign.

By mid spring, the mother plant looked really bad. The pups started to look bad, too, so I took the pot out on the deck. I separated the pups. Got two pups, one for each pot. The mother plant was dying. The inner trunk was brown so I did not save it.

Cavendish won't survive winter outside in my area. My house is too dry for it to thrive. Watering potted plants in a dry house is challenging. I think it's killed because of allowing the mother plant to be too crowded, overwatering/underwatering and too much dry heat.

Banana loves rich soil, high humidity and heat. Hard to provide in my house.

My two pups are growing and pushing new green leaves out on the deck. I'll see if I could make them happier indoor next winter.

If I were you, I'll separate those two plants. Don't let them compete. Fertilize them often and make sure you don't overwater or underwater them.

I had no problem growing the mother plant last year on the deck. It grew form 1 ft tall to 4 ft.and pushed a few pups in 5 months.

I am considering buying a musa basjoo to plant in ground just for a tropical feel of it.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 7:36PM
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Bigger pot, plus regular hits of fertilizer.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 3:32AM
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Thank you everyone. Ill separate the plants soon, any recommended fertilizers?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 10:38AM
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By all accounts, any fertilizer will do. I use Miracle Grow for convenience's sake.

You can check the banana forum on this Gardenweb, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fertilizer for bananas

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 12:44PM
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Bananas are considered an "herb" and in many ways the care is similar to grass. Lots of nitrogen. They also need a lot of water, never let the soil dry out. My bananas LOVED sunshine mix #4.

One thing that i noticed made my bananas grow like never before was the use of aquarium water I had from syphoning/water change.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 8:34AM
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