While their large, glossy leaves and bold flowers the Banana plant, Musa, make lovely ornamental plants. They can also bear regular bananas as a bonus! If you want to spruce up your living room with some tropical foliage, banana trees are the one for you.
Since Banana plants can grow quite large, even indoors, you can also choose a Dwarf Banana tree. Dwarf Banana trees are also known as Dwarf cavendish or Musa Acuminate, Dwarf banana trees are adult trees that grow much smaller than their non-dwarf brethren. Usually, the height of adult Dwarf banana trees stays between 2 meter, making them ideal for indoor life.
The cavendish is a full-sun plant, meaning it needs around 6 hours in the sun daily. It wants plenty of indirect sunlight too. If you’re not growing it outside, keep your banana in a well-lit spot, preferably near an east-opening window.
The more sun the plant gets, the faster it will grow. If your cavendish receives enough sunlight, it will reward you with sweet, tasty bananas. You can still grow a banana entirely indoors. However, without direct sun, it is unlikely to bear flowers or fruit. But hey, it would still make a lovely indoor tropical foliage.
Banana trees are native to tropical rainforests, meaning they need a lot of water. The banana is not that different and requires regular irrigation. Allowing water to sit in the soil for long periods will invite root rot. A fast-draining soil and an effectively vented container will ensure excess water drains away.
Ideally, keep your banana tree in temperatures between 18 degrees at night and 32 degrees during the day. It can still take temperatures colder than 18 degrees. But if the temperature falls below 10 degrees, the plant will take damage.
Tropical plants love humidity, so keep the air around your banana tree from drying. Growing it in a close bunch with other plants will trap moisture longer, keeping the air comfortably humid.
Alternatively, regularly spraying water on the leaves will simulate the damp atmosphere of its native habitat. Use a wet rag or soft sponge to wipe the leaves occasionally. This will keep them clean and moisturized.
Bananas are rich sources of potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorous, elements vital for numerous body functions. Naturally, this means that the banana tree needs food containing those minerals.
Use a diluted fertilizer containing 6% nitrogen, 2% phosphorous, and 12% potassium to nourish the plant. Feed once every 2-3 weeks before watering for best results. During winter, the banana prefers to rest and doesn’t need fertilization. Ideal seasons for fertilization are spring and summer.
Bananas are the most popular fruit in the world. It’s perfectly safe for consumption by humans and animals. Aside from that, neither their leaves nor flowers contain any toxins, poisons, or irritants.
If you have a young banana plant, you may need to pot 2-3 times in the first year. The banana stops growing so fast after getting a bit older, needing repotting only once a year.
If you want edible fruit from the banana, pot it in a deep pot with adequate drainage. When repotting, use a sterilized substrate mixed with high-quality fertilizer.
It is usual for the banana tree to never flower or produce fruit if you’ve been growing it indoors. If you want the tree to bear fruit, move it to a spot where it gets plenty of direct sunlight. Do so gradually if the plant is accustomed to indoor life.
If you use a high-quality, sterilized potting mix or substrate, there aren’t many diseases that can attack a Cavendish. Keep your watering habits in check to prevent root rot, though.
Being non-toxic and fibrous, the plant makes a lovely treat for pests and bugs. Spray it with pesticide whenever you see any creepy crawly munching on your leafy friend.
The banana tree is an ideal houseplant for the tropical aesthetic it adds to the room. While the huge, glossy leaves and the strikingly contrasting flowers are enough to keep the plant around, the yummy, nutritious fruit it bears is a plus.