Why is my indoor banana tree unhappy? with pictures

bodhiblinkJanuary 11, 2009

Please hit me with any advice you have on making this tree green and happy again. It's indoors in a well lit room with central heating at cool room temperature. The plant is not in a heater draft. The pot drains within moments of me watering, so I assume the soil is draining well enough. I don't leave water in the bottom tray and I haven't watered in about two weeks. Any ideas on what I can do?


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knotz(8/PNW SWWA)

I'm sorry but your links don't work :(


    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 9:30PM
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ooops I forgot to capitalize the file names... anyway, they work now! thanks. still looking for advice...


    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 1:59AM
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mcbdz(8 Louisiana)

Just a guess, too little light. Could be too much or too little water also.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 9:48AM
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knotz(8/PNW SWWA)

I have my 2 in a west facing window and bottom water only when they're almost dry...They are growing like crazy!!..I also put bubble wrap around the pots, not sure if that's helping hold heat in or what.

Mine look fantastic, so I'm thinking your's aren't getting enough light...Just my guess.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 12:10PM
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I've never heard of bottom watering, but I'll give that a try when it's time to water again. Thanks! Also, is it possible for them to get too much direct sunlight or not? I'll get it closer to real windows.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 3:03PM
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I had a similar issue with my indoor Musa Basjoo. I just found out that the problem is due to mites. Check your plant EXTREMELY closely (use a magnifying glass if u need) and look for these tiny little bugs. I had no idea I had any and now I realize mine is COVERED! They make little silk strands too which should help u find them. Someone suggested this to me a while ago on another forum and I was like "I don't see anything" but I didn't look hard enough.

Hope you make your banana happy again!


    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 4:40PM
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daryljurassic(OHIO 6a)

Could be spider mites. Try to routinely spray all sides of the leaves with a drop of liquid soap added to your sprayer. Remove the dead leaves

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 1:27PM
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Regarding spider mites, for years I used a variety of different outdoor and indoor insecticides but always ended up with a terrible infestation of mites each year. This year I switched to an insecticidal soap, and have not had any problem with mites! I have about 4 ensete (one 15' tall) and 3 musa (Texas star) and despite 60% humidity in the house, they all tend to get a little yellowing around the edges of the oldest leaves for some reason. Not sure is it's because of age, lack of bright light, or something else, but the overall health of the plants are great, so maybe you're OK as long as there are no mites.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 12:09PM
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beachbum_nj(N.J. z7)

These are pictures of my Musa that I bring into my house every year. I give it a good watering once a week. It is in a north-west corner of my room. It gets light, but not good sunlight. As you notice, the leaves will start to turn yellow and then crispy brown. When it gets to the point that I don't like the brown leaf, I cut it off. So far, each plant has produced 2 new leaves. They grow slowly indoors. In the spring I will then return it outdoors. All you have to do is keep it alive and it will do great when you take it back out....Good luck

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 1:27PM
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I could be wrong since I've never tried to keep a banana indoors so it might be something I don't know about, but your plant's leaves look exactly like my houseplants' when they get a buildup of salts in the soil from fertilizing. When I start to see leaves like that, I give the entire pot a good washout by taking it outside (or putting it in the shower) and running water through the soil for about half an hour to wash it out. If that doesn't fix it, I repot with fresh soil.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 9:03AM
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Your banana plant looks fine to me. Older leaves yellow, if you don't like the yellow leaves, cut them off.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 5:03PM
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Could be a salt build up as stated above. Another member in the palm forum recommended that every time you water, water thoroughly so that you see water come out of the bottom of the pot, and when water accumulates in your saucer, empty it. Don't let plants sit in standing water.

BUT...It looks even more like a mite infestation to me. I have a 9 foot Musa Ice Cream that got mites last summer. The leaves looked exactly like that, older leaves looking like the green is being sucked out of them from the edges in. A little dish soap and a lot of water in a sprayer should take care of the problem. Mites hang around the underside of the leaves. Take a look, mine were tiny red things, almost looked like dust.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 7:59PM
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They look as good as the bananas in my greenhouse. Have you ever noticed you seldom see a banana tree used as an indoor plant in the malls? Why? Because they are tempermental when indoors for us amateurs. I think yours are OK. Check them for bugs and wait another 40 days when you can begin to put them outside again.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 11:31PM
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I agree with bananafun and tsmith,yout plants look fine,if anything maybe just dry heated winter air in the house,they can go back outside soon so no worries.
I don't believe you have spidermites because they usually make the leaves blotchy and bleached out looking but it never hurts to check,I think they look good for being inside

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 12:05AM
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The Indoor Banana Tree plant is gorgeous and smells as good as it looks not to mention the tropical feel it will add to your decor.

Here is a link that might be useful: Indoor Banana Tree

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 5:20AM
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Have you tried talking to it. Sometimes when I'm unhappy having a good friend to talk to helps a lot. Just let it know you care and it will come around sooner than you think.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 2:05AM
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I have a couple of potted Bananas that are off-shoots of what would have been a three year old this year.
I bring them in every winter and they do just fine growing in the north window of my home. One of the two has six new shoots(About 12+ inches tall) the other has three. My only problem I do have with them is they get spider mites. I have treated with Neem oil since I am unwilling to treat with any other pestiside. They are in Misco Plant Spa self watering pots that are filled weekly from the bottom and use all the water each week.
The only browning I have on my plants leaves are the result of the mites. Check your plants to see if that may be the problem or else try more water since they tend to be a very thirsty plant.
Good Luck.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 9:44AM
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My indoor banana plant has been exhibiting the dry, brown ends in the pix posted above. Come to find out, months later, that, yes, in fact, there are mites. I am freaking bc my palm had the same last year, and now it's down to a few leaves. :( I will "shower" the banana to lose some of the mites, although, I understand that they live on the underside and to drain the soil that it lives in. I have spritzed the palm with above-mentioned dish soap (but it's supposed to be a soap that does not have...something, anybody?) And I guess I will cut off the leave that are painful looking. Any further advice?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 9:41PM
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