Can I really grow a banana tree in a container and get fruit?

gman68558(z10 So Cal)June 2, 2005

So I'm mainly into citrus but happened to notice my local plant shop has some nice banana trees for sale. Will they really grow in a container and bear fruit? I have an east/south facing deck that gets a fair amount of sun, and a banana tree would give a nice tropical flair. I'm assuming that since I live in So. Calif. (close to the beach) that I would be okay weather wise?

Thanks for any and all replies.

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I also live in So. Cal close to the beach and have grown bananas for a few years. When I first started out, I lived in an apartment and grew them on my patio in pots. I have had a few that fruited in pots....I would suggest that you put them in the biggest pot that you have room for (half whisky barrels are great). Also choose a shorter variety such as dwarf brazillian, dwarf cavendish or even the bullet proof Raja Puri. Full sun and fertilizer and your bananas should come! Good Luck.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 1:43PM
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Racer968(z5 WI)

Yes. Check this link. BTW they are plants and not trees. Common misconception.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 2:26PM
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Just don't buy a super dwarf cavendish. They're marketed as the perfect solution for containers but they constantly choke, die back, and pup.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 9:03PM
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gardenguy_(z6b PA)

Notice that the thread starter is in zone 10. As long as he leaves the super dwarf cavendish outside thoughout the year, it should be OK. But you are correct delenda, if someone lives in a suck enviroment......( ehmmm, I mean to say colder winter enviroment ) the super dwarf cavendish do tend to die back and pup. I can personally attest to that.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 4:44PM
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Hi gardenguy, what does die back and pup mean? (new to this).

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 7:37PM
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gardenguy_(z6b PA)

Hey brew, the banana plant that tends to die back and pup every winter indoors is the Super Dwarf Cavendish banana plant or as we say here ( SDC ). Basically during the spring and summer outside the SDC will start growing long stalks ( 2-3 feet ). When the plant is brought in during the colder weather in the fall, the nice long stalk you have shrivels up and dies while the corm ( part of the root base ) and roots send up many smaller new pups. This plant is great for repopulating the banana plants every year by splitting up the new pups each spring and planting them. If you live in a warm temperate zone that doesn't get any frost then you may get tasty bananas with this plant.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 12:20PM
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plantman69(z6b canada)

Hi gardenguy...I started with 3 Super dwarfs 2 years ago....they were about 6 inches, I've got about 50! I separated about 4 or 5 huge clumps about a month ago and put each into its own pot....even the suckers are forming pups already....there was a big clump of corm that i thought was dead so I put it in my compost pile, today i looked in the pile and theres about ten little banana plants growing! Amazing, Brent

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 6:43PM
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engineer(z10 CA)

Absolutely! You need direct sunlight and daily applications of a fertilizer. And nothing is cooler that seeing a banana flower and develop into edible bananas.

Here is a link that might be useful: explanations and pictures

    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 3:59PM
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austinl(Little Rock, AR, 8a)

Engineer, that's cool! What kind of bananas are those?


    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 4:39PM
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engineer(z10 CA)

Those came from a dwarf cavendish. It got to be about 10 feet tall and had leaves 18" wide and 5' long. The stem was about 8" at the base. The pot was 24" plastic and was completely dominated by the root system by the time that it fruited. If you go to my site I talk about the liquid fertilizer applications and watering. If there's enough interest I'll expand the site with pics of plumbing, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: more pics and info

    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 11:34PM
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gardenguy_(z6b PA)

Engineer, did you do that webpage? I will have to look for those granules in the store next time I'm there. I had no idea that you could use those directly on bananas. In the winter, some people will say to lay low on the fertilizer for the bananas.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2005 at 12:05AM
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Brock1(z8 GA)

Engineer, you need daily applications of fertilizer? What kind of fertilizer do you use? I have a DC growing like crazy in a pot and was wondering about fertilizer because it recently slowed its growth and some of the leaves developed funny yellow streaks/spots. I hope I'm not starving it. I had planned to use Miracle grow every few months.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 8:14PM
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gardenguy_(z6b PA)

I'm not sure that engineer knows that we are asking him questions. I know that I do not receive emails telling me that someone posted to my thread. I've checked my settings and it's what it should be. Anyone here get email notifications on replies?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 10:01PM
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bananalover(GA z7b)

Very interesting site engineer! I really liked it. Didn't realize that you could fertilize that much.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 9:21PM
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Fertilize with miracle grow EVERY DAY??? It will not burn the leaves?


    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 9:03PM
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Engineer, Your pictures are great! Thanks for sharing the info. My banana plants are in containers too and I am going to start fertilizing them per your instructions. It gives us all some hope of getting bananas. Thanks.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 2:43AM
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Only the original poster gets an email of all the follow-ups.
The blue stuff Engineer is talking about is Miracle Grow 15-30-15 is the only formula around hear. HD, Lowes, Wal-Mart has it. If not use Peter's about the same thing.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 9:30AM
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I'm planning to keep my banana tree in a container indoors, currently the container is too small so I'm forced to transplant the tree. I don't know if it's recommended to separate the "mother stalk" from the smaller stalks if I only have 2 others. I also want to know what soil mixture I should use in the pot I will be transplanting the tree into, what minimum temp.I should keep the tree at, and what organic fertilizers are recommended by other gardeners to use on this plant.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 7:57PM
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