Growing bananas the easy way shows you how to grow bananas without the work.
These bananas are growing vigorously at Selby Gardens in Florida.
Bananas are large, fast-growing herbaceous plants that grow from an underground corm. The corm is large and contains lots of nourishment. This is what enables banana plants to grow so quickly. You can plant a corm in the spring and have a six or seven foot banana plant by fall.
What’s so hard about that?
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Well, nothing. Growing banana plants is easy.
Unless you want fruit.
You see, bananas are heavy feeders. All that fast growth uses a lot of energy. Fruit production also requires a great deal of energy. To a banana plant, growing those lush tropical-looking leaves is a higher priority than producing fruit. The fruit is important to you. But your banana plants couldn’t care less about it. If you want those tasty home-grown bananas, you’ll have to provide the plants with more than enough food and water.
This is easier said than done.
Banana plants love to eat and drink. Think of them as the teenage boys of the plant kingdom. To get good quality fruit, you have to put them on a weekly feeding schedule. Their water intake must also be constantly monitored. Their soil needs to be kept moist. If they are allowed to dry out, the plants will not show any outward sign of stress but the quality of the fruit could be diminished. Over the course of a long, hot summer this can get to be quite a chore.
How To Grow Bananas Without So Much Work
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I know you’ve got better things to do with your summer than spend it hovering over a stand of bananas with a watering can in one hand and a bag of plant food in the other. That’s why I’m going to tell you how to grow bananas an easier way.
It starts with the soil. Before you plant the corms, I want you to add as much organic compost as you can to the planting area without creating a raised bed. You don’t want to create a raised bed because the soil in them tends to drain a little too well. This will cause it to dry out more quickly and create more of a watering issue.
While you’re digging in the compost, it’s a good idea to add a slow-release, organic fertilizer. Choose something that has a high third number. Fast growing bananas need a lot of potassium.
Now you’re ready to plant the corms. Plant them so that they have about two inches of soil covering them. The eyes should be facing up. There may be several eyes. As long as most are facing up, you’re good.
Bananas are also sold as rooted suckers or large plants. Just plant these so that the surrounding soil is level with the soil in the pot.
Everything you’ve done so far has gotten your plants off to a healthy start. But, if you want big bananas, you’ll have to do a bit more to get them.
Remember that feeding and watering schedule we talked about? Let’s set that up so you can virtually forget about it.
If you don’t have a drip irrigation system and don’t wish to invest in one, you can use a simple soaker hose. Snake it around the planting area and test it to make sure you’re not leaving any dry spots. Attach a timer to turn the water on and off for you. You’ll have to monitor and adjust at first to get the right amount of water to your banana plants. Then you can just walk away.
But not before you sprinkle the bed with a slow-release plant food–something that promises to feed for four months. Now you can just feed the bananas whenever you feed the rest of your garden.
Don’t worry about overfeeding them. It’s not possible.
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If you start growing bananas this way in the spring, you should have nice big bananas before the first frost.
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The banana plant is loved by gardeners everywhere for its lush, tropical foliage and its sweet fruit. All the information you’ve ever wanted about growing bananas is here.
How to Ripen Bananas
Wouldn’t you know it. The day you decide to bake a banana pudding, all the local market has is green bananas. While I can’t tell you how to get them to ripen by dinner time, I can tell you how to ripen bananas quickly: