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Banana trees are happiest in nutrient-rich soil, but you might be wondering what the best fertilizer to use is. We’ve done the research for you, so you can properly feed your growing banana trees.
Banana trees will thrive throughout the growing season if provided ample amounts of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K). Feed regularly using either 8-10-8 (NPK) chemical fertilizer or organic composted manure.
If you want to see the results from fertilizing banana trees, keep reading to learn how to feed your trees. We will also share our top picks of the eight best fertilizers for banana trees.
When Should I Fertilize My Banana Tree?
Apply fertilizer once a month throughout the entire growing season. Your routine might vary depending on the type of fertilizer you use, so let’s take a closer look at how to feed your banana tree.
Use at least 8-10-8 (NPK) fertilizer for banana trees. Apply 1.5 pounds of granular fertilizer each month by spreading the fertilizer in an even circle around the base of the stem. Do not let the fertilizer directly touch the stem. Loosely dig the fertilizer into the topsoil. Water regularly. Feed potted banana trees by using half the amount of granular fertilizer.
By using a liquid fertilizer, you can provide a light application each time you water the banana tree. You will know it is time to water/fertilize the tree when the topmost layer of soil (approximately 1/2-inch deep) is dried out. Follow the dilution instructions provided to add fertilizer to the water. Banana trees are thirsty plants, so water/fertilize deeply as often as needed.
If you are using high-nitrogen or high-potassium fertilizer, adjust your feeding regime throughout the growing season. Provide high-nitrogen fertilizer once a month at a full dose by following the instructions provided. When the banana tree begins to flower, reduce the dose of high-nitrogen but continue to feed a full dose of high-potassium fertilizer. Monitor the soil pH. Banana trees prefer a pH between 5.6 - 6.5, so you should stop feeding if the pH drops.
Composted manure is rich in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus that banana trees need to flourish. Provide copious amounts of manure by piling around the base of the plant, but not letting the compost come into direct contact with the stem. There is no need to worry about over-fertilizing your banana tree if feeding with organic compost.
Organic compost also contains micronutrients that aid plant growth and soil health. Check out our blog, “6 Types of Compost You Should Know,” to learn about organic compost options for your plants.
Are Coffee Grounds Good for Banana Trees?
Coffee grounds are a great source of nitrogen for banana trees and can either be added directly to the soil or your organic compost. Coffee grounds are neutral in pH, so they should not alter the acidity of the soil.
Simply spread used coffee grounds around the base of your banana tree, and either loosely dig the grounds into the topsoil or just let them lie sprinkled on top of the soil. Water regularly.
Water banana trees as needed with coffee-infused water by adding grounds to the water and letting the grounds seep overnight.
Is Miracle-Gro Good for Banana Trees?
Miracle-Gro produces several different, water-soluble, and granular formulas of synthetic fertilizers. Using Miracle-Gro can promote growth for your banana trees, but follow the instructions carefully to not over-fertilize because the percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are quite high.
Miracle-Gro’s All Purpose Plant Food is a 24-8-16 (NPK) blend intended for broad coverage areas and quick results. It can be used for various types of plants, such as flowers, shrubs, vegetables, trees, and houseplants.
Miracle-Gro’s Flower Food formula of 15-30-15 (NPK) might be a bit gentler for your banana trees, but still packs in plenty of supplemental nutrients. It is intended for flowering annuals and perennials.
Can I Use Fertilizer Spikes for Banana Trees?
Fertilizer spikes are probably the simplest method to feed plants because they are pre-measured. All you need to do is insert the spike into the ground, near the plant’s drip-line, and continue your watering routine. Fertilizer spikes slowly release fertilizer into the soil for several months.
Although you can find fertilizer spikes specially formulated for fruit and citrus trees, we’d caution against using fertilizer spikes for banana trees because:
- Fertilizer is distributed unevenly in concentrated areas near the spike. This can stimulate root growth in some areas while other areas lag, potentially making the tree’s root base unstable.
- Spike fertilizers tend to be more expensive than granular, water-soluble, and organic types.
- Plastic caps on fertilizer spikes can litter your soil.
- Banana trees require different doses of nutrients as the growing season progresses, which you can adjust using granular, water-soluble, and organic fertilizers.
8 Best Fertilizers for Banana Trees
Purely Organic Tomato & Vegetable Plant Food
The organic 8-8-8 (NPK) fertilizer by Purely Organic is ideal for banana trees because it is formulated for vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Did you know that the banana is a herbaceous plant and not a tree? Feed your indoor or outdoor banana plants with this granular fertilizer.
Hi-Yield Garden Fertilizer
Not only does this granular fertilizer have the right combination of 8-8-8 (NPK) for your banana trees, but you can use it to feed all of your vegetables, flowers, shrubs, and trees.
Great Big Plants
Gain essential micronutrients added to the soil with Great Big Plants’ organic food. Water-soluble, 6-5-5 (NPK) formula also provides magnesium (1%), calcium (6%), sulfur, (3%), and humic acid (2%) to your banana trees.
Schultz Plant Food
Water-soluble formula from Shultz is 10-15-10 (NPK), a hardy dose of nitrogen and potassium for banana trees. Use for either indoor or outdoor plants and follow instructions provided to dilute this fertilizer.
Lilly Miller All Purpose Planting & Growing Food
This slow-release, granular formula by Lilly Miller has ample 10-10-10 (NPK) nutrients for banana trees. Use this fertilizer for all of your flowering plants, vegetables, and shrubs for lovely results.
Southern AG All Purpose Fertilizer
Southern AG’s fast-acting formula will help your banana trees to flourish with 10-10-10 (NPK) nutrient content. Apply granular fertilizer to your plants throughout the growing season, following the instructions provided.
Scott’s Flower & Vegetable Fertilizer
You might think of Scott’s brand lawn fertilizers, but with this flower and vegetable formula, you have just the right blend of 10-10-10 (NPK) for your banana trees. Continued release lets you feed plants less often while providing evenly spread nutrients into the soil.
Bonide Liquid Plant Food
Fertilize each time you water banana trees by using Bonide’s balanced 10-10-10 (NPK) formula. Particularly designed for houseplants, this fertilizer is ideal for potted banana trees.
Now that you know how to feed your banana trees, get ready to watch them grow! Check out our blog, “How Fast Do Banana Trees Grow?”