Pruning a Banana Plant

dreadnought_91604October 3, 2009

Hi all --

I live in Los Angeles in Zone 9. I have a 4 year old Dwarf Cavendish. Two stems (I realize that bananas grow from a rhizome or corm below ground, but I'll call them "stems" for ease) fruited for the first time. After one fruited, the stem fell over, about halfway down its length. The other will do the same. I understand that these should be cut down as low to the ground as possible as they won't bear fruit again, and presumably in nature they would fall over anyway.

Here's the question though: should I do that on the other non-fruiting stems at this time of year also? Does it help the tree weather the cold or allow it to muster its energy for the spring? Does it matter? Does the answer depend on whether you're trying to get the tree to produce fruit or only using it as an ornamental?

Thank all!

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If you want your plant to fruit you shouldnt cut it down especially in a climate where it doesnt die to the ground. If you live in an area where frosts kill it down you can protect it to keep it green so that way it continues to grow to maturity and fruit.

You should cut all dead, or diseased plants (techincally a diseased palnt should be treated or diposed of). As you probably know an individual stalk that flowers will not grow anymore and die down eventually, so you can cut those off ad let the babies have mre room to grow.

Good luck

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 8:39PM
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Thanks tropicalzone 7. That's very helpful. I'll just cut the stems that have fruited, and leave the rest. We have frost here, but in the past it's never killed the plant down to the ground, so I don't think I need to worry about that.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 4:51PM
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here's a weird question maybe tropicalzone7 could help... if your banana has fruited can you cut the stalk down low... and winterize it, would it come back or no. i wouldnt think i just didnt know if this would "tease" the banana. thanks for the help - Justin

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 11:11PM
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