Dwarf Banana

moonshiner(7)March 6, 2009

Hello all!

I just received a message from Spring Hill Nursery that a friend of mine is sending me a gift. I am receiving (whenever it warms up enough in the northwest to mail it) a Musa 'Dwarf Cavendish', and it will be my first banana plant. I am in Southern California, and the plant will most likely have to be grown in a container.

I have done some reading and have found that it is a heavy feeder, likes to stay moist but not wet, and may require special soil. Other than that, it looks like a new experiment for me. My questions to you all:

What is the best fertilizer & soil to use?

Will it do well in a spot that is mostly sunny but partial shade in the late afternoon? (aka succulent lighting)

Plastic or ceramic?

Any other advice will truly be welcomed. I have much experience with cacti, succulents and other flora, just never a banana.

Many thanks!

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Sorry...the plant is coming from the northeast.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 11:27PM
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rayandgwenn(z11 Puerto Rico)

I will try to answer some of your questions. But I am sure people who grow in pots might have better info.

Dwarf Cavendish get to be about 6 ft tall for me, maybe they will be a little shorter in a pot. In the end, it will need to be a big pot, but start smaller and work its way up. Use plastic pots.

Soil- I have found bananas will grow in anything. I grow mine in the ground here (I have clay soil). They do great. When I plant up pups, I grow them in pots using soil-less media until they established. They do great. I think any soil that will dry out between waterings is fine.

As for feeding- they do like food, I give my inground bananas fertilizer every 3 months, but in pots, I do a much less concentrated liquid fertilizer every time I water.

Sun- we do full sun here in PR.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 8:28AM
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Thanks! I have done a lot of research and ansered many of my own questions. I have a plan in mind, but am always looking for input.

Plastic 25 gallon pot.

Kellogg's Patio Plus soil, amended with coir

Grow More 20-5-30 fertilizer

As much sun as it can handle.

Water regularly, but don't drown it. (common sense)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 2:35AM
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hey there why cant you grow outside your going to get hooked on bananas and want them everywere. Socal should be great for outdoor growing.Dwarf C. is very easy to grow indoors or out but to get the full effect outside is better.I think I have heard of people who have grown D.C. successfully to fruiting in a pot but it is probably rare.What out for bugs growing indoors bananas seem to draw insects that were never there previously. I would also recommend some lighting source to prevent stretching and creating week leaves and a deformed looking plant. Good luck what out it addicting

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 6:07PM
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I plan to grow it outside year round, and only give it cover in the winter if the temps drop below freezing, which is an extremely rare occurrence.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 7:47PM
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A 25 gallon pot seems kinda big for a dwarf banana.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 5:08PM
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rokal - I was thinking that at first but, after much consultation with the folks at bananas.org, the consensus seems to be that it's better to just put it in it's new home with room to spare than to have to transplant it later. If it was in the ground, you wouldn't dig it up and replant it after the root ball reached 10".

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 1:54AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Well, there's 'Dwarf Cavendish' and there's 'Super Dwarf Cavendish'. Super Dwarf will probably only reach 5-6 feet, while Dwarf Cavendish, planted in the ground, can reach over 8 feet tall. It will eventually need a very large pot.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:48AM
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yep, Dave. This is a regular DC, so it will eventually need all the room it can get. I'll take a pic and post it after it's all potted and settled in it's new home.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 1:05PM
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It begins........

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 5:07PM
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I've wintered mine in my laundry room all winter and the Carolinas have had a very cold winter! I'm growing mine in a pot also. Last year, it grew to about 5 ft. as it turns cold in October with frosts at night. I've been putting mine out in the sun to get it acclimated now that it's warmer. Thing is, Mom is slow about putting leaves out and there are 2 pups duking it out for unfurling leaves. Do I need to cut these pups out and repot as I worry they might be sapping Mom's strength. I read about cutting and I did one last year and did it wrong. I hesitate to cut on Mom afraid that I'll lose her and the pups if the cut goes badly. Any help with hints will do.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 7:57PM
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From everything I have read, leave the pups alone. 2-3 is perfectly fine with a potted DC. Of course this comes from reading and learning, as I am still very much the novice.

More info here:


    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 1:06AM
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