If home gardening is a process of love that can reap huge rewards, growing bananas can add even more benefits. Tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and peas are all common and easily grown vegetables that can be found in just about any gardener’s backyard. But who wants to be common? For those who want to take gardening one step further, growing bananas at home can be a very rewarding venture.
Most people think bananas can only be grown in tropical conditions, like Brazil or Chile. While a banana tree does need warmth and sunshine, in seasonal areas the plants can be transferred indoors to protect them from harsh and freezing conditions. Growing bananas at home can be achieved easily with just a little knowledge and care.
A banana plant can be started with a mail ordered, ready to plant corm or rhizome. Dwarf trees, with heights of approximately 6’, are ideal for Northern climates since they can readily be taken indoors. The fruit of the Dwarf Cavendish variety is considered to be very comparable to the flavor of bananas produced by larger variety trees, and to that of bananas purchased in grocery stores. When restricted to space, a dwarf tree may be the perfect plant with which to start, although larger trees are available and able to be grown at home as well.
Growing bananas at home requires a good plant, proper soil, temperatures of 70° to 90° and regular fertilization. When working through a mail order company, it is important to deal with one that has extensive knowledge with growing bananas. Most companies ship rhizomes that are stripped of leaves to protect the plant. Once received, the rhizome should be planted immediately in an appropriately sized container, watered and fertilized regularly and kept in a warm, humid area away from direct and constant wind. Leaves should begin to appear within 4-10 days of planting.
Banana plants grown with the right care should start bearing fruit between 18 months and 3 years after planting, depending on the type of plant. While waiting for the first fruit, the banana plant itself can be enjoyed as a beautiful addition to your yard, or as a house plant while wintering over. Within the first few months, one or more banana fruit buds should appear.
The process of growing bananas can provide many hours of stimulating interest, as you watch the progress of the buds, enlarging to emerge as flowers that will balance on small growths shaped like bananas. The flowers grow smaller as the stem grows larger; the banana taking shape.
Take gardening to the next level this year by growing bananas at home. The fascinating process of the plant growing and maturing to fruition will be rewarding mentally and physically as well when you begin enjoying the “fruits” of your labor at your first of many banana harvests.