Does A Banana Tree Need Full Sun?

Close up shot of a banana tree bearing fruit on a hot day, Does A Banana Tree Need Full Sun?If you want to incorporate an ornamental banana tree into your home decor or exterior landscape, you have probably wondered if a banana tree needs full sun. We’ve researched the best growing conditions for banana tree varieties to get the answer for you.

Banana trees are tropical plants that prefer full sun to partial shade for optimal growth.

Keep reading, and we’ll discuss some of the best places to plant ornamental banana trees based on the ideal conditions needed for your trees to stay healthy.

What is the Best Place to Plant a Banana Tree?

Just imagine sitting beneath the broad, outstretched leaves of an ornamental banana tree. You will feel as though you have been transported to the tropics! Ornamental banana trees are easy to grow either potted, indoors, or planted in the ground, outdoors.

Ornamental banana trees planted outside look great near the poolside.


Planted in proximity to outdoor seating, an ornamental banana tree provides refreshing shade.


Lush greenery from breezy leaves enhances the landscaping near backyard perimeters, fences, and walkways.


Transform your indoor sunroom into a resort-like sanctuary by placing a potted ornamental banana tree amid the decor.


Feel the warmth that an ornamental banana tree projects when placed in your living room.


Welcome guests to your home with cool island hospitality when a potted ornamental banana tree is placed at the front entryway.


Consider the following factors to find the perfect location for an ornamental banana tree at your home environment, so you can keep these plants thriving.

Overhead Clearance

Look skyward as you assess the yard for the location of banana trees. Ornamental banana trees can reach heights between 5 and 15 feet tall, so look for any overhead restrictions like overhanging rooftops, power lines, clotheslines, shade covers, or lighting that might interfere with the plant’s growth or knock down leaves. 

Wind Protection

Banana leaves are delicate, and can easily tear when blown about by strong winds. Look for a location that is somewhat sheltered from the wind.

Wind protection can be provided in your backyard by other plants, lawn ornaments, fences, and walls.  

Seasonal Display

Ornamental banana trees are perennial plants, meaning they die each year during the winter season and regrow during the spring season.  In the summertime, banana trees flourish, displaying vibrant leaves.

If you locate your banana tree outdoors intending to hide an eyesore, like an electrical box or pool heater, remember that the area will be bare throughout half the year. You might want to share the space with other, cold-hardy foliage to fill the void during autumn and winter or consider another more appealing location.


As tropical plants, banana trees prefer full to partial sun. But, too much direct sunlight can scorch the tree’s leaves. Try to find a location in your backyard that receives at least six hours of bright sunshine each day. 

Soil & Water

Ornamental banana trees prefer nutrient-rich soil that is slightly acidic, ideally with a pH level between 5.5 and 6. Depending on the soil quality at your home, you might need to fertilize banana trees between 2-3 times during the growing season to stimulate growth. 

Thirsty banana trees thrive in permeable soil because the soil will stay moist but allow enough drainage not to become soggy. Water your banana trees frequently. Especially during dry summer spells, you will need to water these plants daily.


Subtropical plants, ornamental banana trees thrive in warm, humid climates where the temperature range is between 75-90℉. You can grow banana trees throughout USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10 thru 5.

In temperate climates, banana trees can be protected to survive winter months by either insulating outdoor trees or relocating trees indoors. 

What is the Best Time of Year to Plant a Banana Tree?

The best time to plant an ornamental banana tree is during the late spring. You can also plant and transplant banana trees anytime during summer to early autumn, the plant’s prime growing season.

Keep your backyard landscape in full bloom throughout seasonal changes. Check out our blog, “19 Gorgeous Large Flowering Trees.”

How Much Room Do Banana Trees Need?

Banana trees have a shallow, fibrous root system that sprawls well beyond the base of the stem. When planing banana trees outdoors, be mindful to keep between 8-feet and 10-feet of clearance from patios, pipelines, irrigation systems, and underground wiring. Keeping distance will give the root system ample space to grow without uprooting or damaging underground infrastructure. 

Outdoor Spacing

Plant smaller, dwarf varieties of ornamental banana trees in the ground spaced between 8-feet and 10-feet apart. Larger outdoor varieties will need at least 12-feet between each tree.

You may need to divide banana trees every two to three years, as new offshoots or suckers begin to grow at the base of the stem. Suckers can overcrowd mature trees. After the banana tree has flowered, cut away the dead stem and foliage. You can then uproot and divide suckers to either keep appropriate spacing or propagate new plants.

Want to transform your backyard into an island paradise? Check out our blog, “11 Palm Trees That Provides Shade,” to coordinate a tropical landscape.

Container Spacing

To plant ornamental banana trees in containers, you will want to select a large enough pot, so the growth of the tree is not stunted. Plant only one tree per pot. You may need to separate and remove offshoots within two years to provide ample space for the mature plant to stay healthy.

Small banana tree varieties can grow in 5-gallon to 10-gallon pots. 

Click here to find this ceramic pot on Amazon.

Pots between 15-gallons and 25-gallons work well for most larger ornamental banana tree varieties and will provide ample room for the plant to reach its maximum height.

Click here to find this dwarf banana tree on Amazon.

How Long Does a Banana Tree Live?

Ornamental banana trees are perennial plants. The foliage dies each year, but the underground rhizome survives to regenerate roots, pseudostems and leaves the following season. Banana trees’ leaves and pseudostems die naturally after flowering or producing fruit. Most banana tree varieties will continue to regenerate new growth annually for up to 6-years.

When the foliage of a banana tree dies, you can cut away the leaves and pseudostem to promote new growth. In warm climates, new offshoots will emerge and grow another banana tree from the same rhizome.

In cold climates, you will need to protect a dormant rhizome during winter so that it will produce new growth come spring. Cut away the dead foliage and insulate the remaining above-ground stem by covering it with piled mulch, leaves, or wood chips. The following spring, when there is no longer a threat of frost, remove the pile and watch for new growth to emerge.  

Now that you know where you can plant an ornamental banana tree, you will soon be able to enjoy those picturesque, nonchalantly swaying leaves in your own home and yard.

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