How well do Banana trees do in pots?

banana_babysitterAugust 6, 2010

I have a friend who recently moved form a house to a tiny apartment and I am babysitting her banana tress. She chopped off the trunks to about 2 feet high and then dug them up and stuck them in pots ranging from 5 gallons to 10 gallons. They have been in my care for two months now. Initially they looked great, made lots of new leaves and several babies came up in the pots too. Lately the edges of the leaves are a little brown, and they just don't look happy. Also, I noticed the leaves fold up during the high temps or direct sun. I assume this is a normal defense mechanism to help prevent water loss from leaves. We have had some really high temp days in the last month out here in the central valley of CA and I have tried to keep them well watered. We also have some pretty strong winds that tend to rip the leaves. I have no clue how long I will have to keep them. They are currently 4 to 6 feet tall and many of the leaves are 30 inches long. Do they need bigger pots? Should I dig out and repot the babies? Can they stay in pots indefinitely?

Any advice would be appreciated.


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I live in Maryland and have two Banana plants in pots on my Porch. They started under one foot long. They grew the pots and I transferred them in 8 gallons pots. I applied 10-10-10 fertilizer. I am 6'2" and the Banana plants are taller than me now. The leaves pend in sun is natural, self-defense. I am starting now to dig holes in the garden soil and I will bury the pots in. The holes on the bottom of pots are blocked thanks GOD. I will drill drainage holes on the side to allow the roots to travel in my Garden soil. When the freeze season arrives I will cut the roots around the pots dig the pots out and take them in. I mentioned that the drainage holes on the bottom of the pots are blocked. if not blocked and the roots go through these holes to my Garden soil I will need Bob-Eye muscles to pull these pots out. I have no idea if I will ever get Fruits in Maryland weather but the plants are pretty.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 9:13PM
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Banana sound like a very good friend, that is being taken advantage of big time! I know this isnt the advise you wanted. She dumps some huge banana 'trees' in huge pots on you, and doesn't tell you when she will take them back? She is paying you how much for taking care of them, for the water, fertilizer,new pots, soil etc... they sound like they are getting big and need bigger pots,more soil,etc. And they are going to go back into a small apartment...when? They don't fit now in the pots they are in now, and she cant handle them?...right? How is she going to handle bigger trees?

They aren't going to grow in reverse and shrink. So she won't be able to take them back. It sounds like she is taking advantage of your friendship.

I mean being a friend is one thing, taking advantage of a friend is another thing. Sure they can live in pots for a long time, certain 'ornamental' ones can live in pots all their lives inside, but fruit bearing ones, and these sound like fruit bearing ones, will just be unhappy and not look good and can grow so many pups in the soil,they can break clay pots easily! And split plastic pots in half.

They need to be outside in the ground. Call and tell her to come get her babies, or they go to the dump or a community garden, if you have one near you. Or at least ask when is she coming to get them? As you see they grow inside, sure, but as you also see, they arent to happy, they dont look to good, and to many pups are starting in the pots? Those will crack a pot very easily, so can just the roots!

They can grow a long time inside,if you had ornamental varieties, thats one thing, but these sound like fruit type, and they need room to grow and full sun and tons of water, and fertilizer. They wont go into a small apartment. You have a lot of patience.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 7:40PM
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