How do I Trim Banana Plants?

Written by mary francis
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How do I Trim Banana Plants?
Dead leaves, though unsightly, do not harm banana plants. (banana flower image by Anastacia Gudz from

Bananas add a lush, tropical look and feel to your landscape and provide fruit in subtropical and tropical climates. Banana plants grow from the middle, much like grass, and the bottom leaves are constantly dying and being shed. In order to keep a banana plant looking its best, these leaves must be trimmed regularly. Proper trimming techniques are essential to keeping your banana healthy and thriving.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sharp scissors (not garden trimmers or shears)
  • Bleach
  • Container or compost pile
  • Step ladder (optional)

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  1. 1

    Clean your scissors with a solution of 10:1 water to bleach to prevent the spread of disease to the banana plant. Banana plants are particularly susceptible to fungus and moulds.

  2. 2

    Place the ladder firmly on the ground so that it does not fall when you are climbing it, if your banana plant is tall enough to require a step ladder.

  3. 3

    Cut banana leaves when they are dead and hanging down the trunk. Pull the bottommost dead leaf down the stalk until it gives resistance. Do not cut leaves with green stems. Do not peel a leaf back past the dead parts, as this will leave a wound on the banana plant where insects and disease can attack.

  4. 4

    Cut the leaf off close to the tree, leaving about 1/2 inch of brown at the top. Don't worry about the remaining green leaf on the stalk. Trim it back as it turns brown. Eventually, it will die back to the ground and can be cut completely off.

  5. 5

    Dispose of the banana leaves in a container or add to the compost pile. Banana leaves contain potassium, so you may want to cut them up and bury them into the soil around the banana plant, since they need extra potassium for healthy growth.

Tips and warnings

  • Kitchen shears work well for trimming banana plants.
  • Do not use a ladder that must be leant against the banana plant. Banana roots are not stable enough to support the weight, and the plant may fall over, causing injury to yourself and your plant.

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