Growing a tropical fruit like bananas to enjoy at home, whether you choose to raise a banana tree indoors or outdoors, is a fun project. Even though the banana tree looks like a tree, this plant is the largest herbaceous flowering plant in the world, as bananas are a giant berry. You may be wondering, how do you get your banana tree to produce fruit? We did some research to find out more about what encourages banana plants to create their nutritious and delicious fruits.
Here’s what you need to know about getting bananas to develop ripe, healthy fruit.
- Make sure your banana plant’s soil is no less than 68 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
- Protect bananas against cold, drought, and keep them out of the shade to thrive.
- Use a soil that is rich, well-draining, and is adequately fertilized with nutrients to feed your plant.
- Provide at least 12 hours of sunlight to encourage growth, flowering, and fruit.
- Regularly water your banana plant thoroughly and deeply, so the soil stays moist.
- Give your banana plant time to be mature (at least nine months to produce fruit).
If you provide your banana plant with the perfect environmental conditions and give it enough time to mature, you are likely to produce lots of fruit. Be patient with yourself and your banana plant, and be mindful of the variety you are growing. You may need to make some adjustments to how you care for your banana tree based on whether it is being grown indoors or outdoors. Keep reading to discover what banana plants are hiding under the peel.
Increase Your Banana Plant’s Yield
Bananas are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, potassium, fiber, are low-fat, and travel well. It is no surprise that gardeners are interested in producing as much fruit as they can from a mature banana tree. Before you get into the fine points of steps to take to encourage banana plants to flower and fruit, do consider the type of banana tree you wish to grow.
Some varieties of banana plants that thrive indoors include the ‘Dwarf Lady Finger’ Cavendish or the ‘Super Dwarf Cavendish.’ If you are growing bananas outdoors, look into the fast producing ‘Viente Cohol,’ which can produce fruit under a year. The ‘Dwarf Red’ variety of banana may take 3 to 4 years before it is ready to produce fruit. Keep in mind that not all types of banana plants will bear fruit, as there are ornamental varieties available that make excellent indoor plants.
Bananas like things hot and humid, so keep its soil no lower than 68 degrees Fahrenheit all year round. The roots need to feel warm and secure so that the banana plant will produce flowers and later fruit. Protect your banana tree against the cold, drought, and shady spots. Banana trees thrive in zones 9 through 10 and should not experience contact with frost. Even 50% shade can inhibit a banana plant’s growth and ability to produce fruit.
Make sure your banana tree is mature enough, as this herbaceous plant needs nine months to produce fruit. But first, your banana plant needs to grow for 10 to 15 months without encountering any frost or bitterly cold temperatures. Frigid temperatures and frost will quickly kill off any chance of your banana producing fruit and might severely harm your plant. Banana trees thrive in zones 9 through 10 and should not experience contact with frost. Even 50% shade can inhibit a banana plant’s growth and ability to produce fruit.
Grow banana plants in fertile, well-draining soil and expose them to 12 hours of sunlight, but don’t let them become overheated. Also, check the soil often and water your banana plant when the topmost inch of soil is dry. Watering a banana tree every 2 to 3 days as needed, deeply, and thoroughly to nurture the roots will help encourage a healthy plant. This is more likely to bear fruit.
Remember, not all varieties of banana plants will produce fruit. Some varieties of the banana plant are purely ornamental, no matter how long you try to encourage them to flower and bear fruit. Also, the conditions that a banana plant needs to thrive, mature, and produce fruit must be maintained. Keep reading and learn more about how to move from plant to plate.
Why Do Some Banana Trees Not Produce Fruit?
There are a few reasons why a banana tree might not be producing fruit. If the variety of banana trees you are growing is ornamental, it will not bear fruit. The ‘Basjoo’ is a variety of banana that will never bear fruit as it is purely for visual appeal. Also, if your banana plant is growing under low light conditions, lower temperatures, and is not given a significant amount of fertilizer, it may lead to a slowed or reduced production of fruit.
A banana plant needs to grow in fertile, humus-type soil that drains well, receive copious amounts of water, 12 hours of sunlight, and warm temperatures to mature, thrive, and encourage flowering and fruit development. If a banana tree is shocked by frost, frigid temperatures, or is dry, it may not bear fruit and can perish.
How Long Does It Take For a Banana Tree to Produce Fruit?
The Cavendish variety of banana is the most popular and frequently found in stores for consumption. But, did you know there are different varieties of banana plants that also produce tasty fruit? Of course, depending on the type of variety of banana plant you are growing, the time it takes for it to produce fruit may vary.
The Super Dwarf Cavendish is a popular indoor banana plant because it is ornamental and is capable of producing edible fruit too. Growing this variety of banana requires 9 to 15 months to reach the flowering stage, and then after 60 to 180 days, it may produce fruit.
The ‘Blue Java’ or Ice Cream Banana produces bananas that are a unique hue, compared to red and yellow banana varieties. Expect to wait up to 24 months for this variety of banana plant to produce flowers, and 115 to 150 days before you will see fruit.
Can a Banana Tree Produce Fruit More Than Once?
Yes, a banana tree can bear fruit more than once, and provide bananas for many years. The rhizomes of the banana plant are responsible for producing pseudostems. These pseudostems form the trunks of this clumping herb, producing only one banana cluster per stem. Once a pseudostem produces healthy flowers and fruit, it dies and does not create fruit again. However, other pseudostems emerging from the rhizomes will bear fruit as long as the plant is healthy and proper environmental conditions are met.
Check out these articles and learn more about growing indoor trees and fruit.