How to care for a musa banana plant

Written by carolyn barton
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How to care for a musa banana plant
There are many varieties of banana plant. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

The banana plant originates in Southeast Asia and New Guinea. Also referred to as musa, the name of the genus to which they belong, banana plants have been known to reach heights of up to 9 m (30 feet) when full grown. The dwarf musa is a favourite among gardeners; in part because it can be grown in an indoor container in colder climates. Other musa plants do well outdoors in regions where night temperatures do not fall under -9.44 degrees C (15 degrees F).

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Musa (banana) plant
  • Soil
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Fertiliser

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  1. 1

    Plant the musa plant in an area where it will receive as much full sun as possible. It is possible to grow the plant in a partially shady area, but this will inhibit fruit production.

  2. 2

    If planting outdoors, mix the ground soil with a high-quality potting mix and an organic compost such as peat moss. This will give the plant a good start by providing extra nourishment.

  3. 3

    Keep the area around the plant weed-free at all times. Add a thin layer of mulch around the plant to help prevent weed growth. This will also help to hold in moisture around the plant.

  4. 4

    Keep the soil of the musa plant damp. Water at least once a week, and more frequently during very warm weather. Do not allow the soil to dry out before watering the plant again.

  5. 5

    Feed the musa plant monthly during the spring and summer. Use a granulated fertiliser and apply it according to package instructions. Be careful not to apply fertiliser to soil that is too dry, as this can damage the plant.

  6. 6

    Prune any dead or fading foliage regularly to allow for new growth. When the plant produces fruit, cut off the stalk that the fruit grew on. Other pruning may be done to shape the plant, but should be carried out after the fruit has been picked.

Tips and warnings

  • If growing the plant in a container, be sure to repot at least every other year to allow for the rapid growth.
  • Allow your plant plenty of space. Banana plant roots spread widely and could be damaged by other plants growing close by.
  • Propagate the plant by removing the suckers from the bottom of an existing plant and establishing it in a smaller container until roots are well established.
  • Keep salty soil or rocks away from the banana plant.

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