Cultural Information & Care Sheet

Banana - Musa

Light:

  • Partial especially in summer

  • Shade needed most on our days over 90°

  • Will not fruit without proper sunlight

Temperature:

  • Young plants are killed at 33°

  • stop growth below 53° & over 100°

  • Mulch heavy to retain moisture 

Size:

10' - 15' tall

Growth Rate:

Very Fast in spring and fall

growth stops over 100°

Watering:

  • When our temps are hot banana will want extra water. 

  • Basin watering is recommended, filling the basin two-three times a week in summer months as it encourages deeper roots. 

  • Water very little in the dormant "cold" winter months, moderately in spring and fall & heavily in summer. 

  • Water in the winter just enough to keep the roots moist, Winter over-watering can result in rot

  • Mulch heavily to help maintain moisture

PH:

5.5-6.5 acidic to slightly acidic.

Container Grown:

  • Yes

Fertilizer:

  • Fertilize heavy with potassium and nitrogen,

  • Fertilize monthly with compost. and the above only during the warm season

  • plant on a mound to aid in drainage and the ability to flush salts from the soil 

  • Mulch extremely heavily when cold is predicted. 

Pruning:

  • Not necessary. 

  • Prune off old or dead leaves as wanted.

  • Recommend leaving old leaves on through summer to shade the pseudostem.

Comments:

  • Fruits in 2 years. 

  • A rhizome from a banana can live 15 years while each pseudostem will live only 1-3 years

  • Edible cultivars produce fruit automatically without pollination.

Winter Preparation & care:

  • As winter in Tucson brings temperatures close to freezing, pseudostems that have yet to flower must be protected from cold temperatures. The firs step to doing this is to, mulch the root area, cut off the pseudostem just below the bottom set of leaves, create a cage made of chicken wire, or wire mesh about 3' in diameter around the trunk of the banana and fill it with straw or shredded leaves, place a nursery pot filled with straw on top of the stem, and wrap the plant in frost cloth from top to bottom. (See the image to the left for example)

  • If growing in a large container, the plant can be moved indoors..

  • Remove the protective insulation in the spring, after the last freeze date, and after daytime temperatures stay above 50°F

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