Banana Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#52
The big and beautiful Banana Plant is not an easy houseplant, but it is truly worth the work! With its expansive foliage and big impact, you should definitely consider this for your next houseplant!
Musa Banana are most commonly found as houseplants. The Musa Bananas are dwarf Banana plants that fit much better in your home. You can trim this plant back like you can a large Ficus, so sticking to the smaller varieties is probably best.
Botanical Name: Musa acuminata
Common Varieties: Zebrina, Dwarf Cavendish, Thai Black, Royal Hawaiian (Ae Ae).
Varieties span from bright green, or a combination of green, red, and white. White variegated varieties are considered rare but the red variegated are not rare.
Bright, indirect light is best and make sure to keep it out of direct sunlight.
This plant needs medium moisture, but does not need to be not soaking wet. Underwatering will cause browning, and a lack of moisture could cause spider mites.
Keeping this plant in medium to high humidity can help the leaves healthy and prevent pests.
As I always say, there are LOTS of ways to fertilize plants. Unless you are extremely over-fertilizing your plant, there isn't necessarily a wrong way to do this. I currently use Fox Farm's Grow Big Liquid Fertilizer and I fertilize every 2 weeks when I water my plants, starting around the end of February through October. I honestly probably only fertilize once or twice in winter because the plant isn't as active! I use about 1/2 to 3/4 the recommended amount of fertilizer because I would rather under-fertilize than over-fertilize my plants. Based on the below info from Fox Farm it looks like I could increase my fertilizing a bit if needed!
There is an overall consensus that these are heavy feeders, so consistent fertilizing is important to keeping Banana Plants looking their best! In the winter they die back a bit so you can cut back on fertilizer then slightly.
There are MANY ways to fertilize and it is completely up to you! There are tons of products out there you can try but an overall rule of thumb for houseplants is that it is best to under-fertilize, rather than over-fertilize. Always use the recommended amount, or less, when applying your fertilizer to houseplants.
Best way to propagate is dividing when there are banana pups growing on the side of the mother plant.
Part of the Musaceae family.
Native to Southeastern Asia and South Pacific.
Even some Musa varieties still get upwards of 20ft tall, so if you are able to care for the plant appropriately, be prepared for a big houseplant!
Actual bananas RARELY grow on indoor Banana Plants so don't expect that! Before the banana is produced there is a white or light yellow flower that blooms.
It is common for Banana's to die back in winter and to regenerate new growth in spring.
Non-toxic to pets and humans. Check out Podcast Ep#31 for more info or the corresponding blog post!
I asked followers if they had any specific plant questions I could address in this podcast and blog. Here are the questions and answers for the Banana Plants...
"Can you get bananas to grow from them in your house?! Also, do they really grow bananas?"
The short answer is yes and yes (but probably not)! In your home, you will probably never see bananas, and usually this plant is not grown for that as a houseplant. You can get bananas if you keep it in the perfect environment. But you would have to keep it in conservatory or greenhouse conditions.
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Always written with extreme plant passion!
Love, Holly (Owner & Creator of Houseplant Homebody LLC)