Valley Permaculture Alliance

A year and a half ago, I bought an approximately 1 year old banana tree for my parents' backyard. They planted it underneath their misting system, and it gets adequate water. The banana tree has doubled in size and grew two baby banana trees from its root system. One of the babies is the size of the banana tree when I bought it. It is definitely a happy tree!

Just a month ago or so, the eldest banana tree sprouted its big, red flower. Now the flower has at least half a dozen clusters of bananas, but the bananas are still small. I opened one banana up, still green, and there was hardly any flesh inside, and it was dry and bitter tasting. The largest bananas on the tree are only about 3 or 4 inches long, and very green. Our landscaper said that the bananas aren't likely to grow much larger.

Does anyone know if the bananas will grow much larger? Do we need to give it mulch or compost in order to boost banana growth? Do we leave the bananas on the tree until they turn yellow? I believe the type of banana tree is called Goldfinger, and the instructions said it should grow to 12 feet tall, but I believe the tree is about 7 feet tall right now. Perhaps the bananas will be bigger after the tree grows to its maximum size- then should we hack off all the bananas so that the tree can concentrate on growing? Thanks for any advice you can give!

Tags: banana, tree

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Thanks so much for the help! That website is very helpful. I guess I just have to wait and see if the bananas grow any larger or turn yellow. At ASU, I've seen banana trees that were cut down to a stump actually regrow from the same stump- what a miraculous herb!
Your landscaper is probably right, and they will be on the small size. If you leave them on they will eventually turn yellow. Most bananas in the store are harvested green, and they ripen during shipping.

I met a guy, Phil Gardner, who grows and sells banana trees here locally. They like about a half day of sun, deep watering (you mention a misting system, and I assume there is additional water besides that?) and it takes 85 leaves before a banana will flower. So, how tall it is will have nothing to do with flowering and fruit size. Maybe things are smaller for a number of reasons, but since it was newly planted, it is just getting it's groove on. I would suspect your next pups to be even better than the mother plant.
Ah, good to know. Thank you for your wisdom. And yes, the banana tree gets additional water- we planted it in a perfect spot that is protected from wind, half day of sun, and mist from the misters since it likes humidity, but it also has its own drip system. We have not fertilized it; I am waiting for my compost pile to turn into good soil so I can fertilize it with that (I don't believe in buying fertilizer when it is so easy to make your own, with help of nature's own processes!). Now that you suggest that the babies may get bigger, I am excited now to see what the 2 babies bring us in the future! Thank you again!
I grew a banana tree in CA and it took a lot of fertilizer. I never used so much on any plant.

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