Ornamental banana trees grow best in warm, humid climates but we have some varieties that can handle the cold better than others. Banana trees are easy to grow and provide a feel of the tropics in any home landscape.
The banana is one of the fastest growing trees and you can see growth of up to 5 feet in one growing season. You can even grow these banana trees in containers!
These trees require full sunlight and well drained soil. It is low maintenance, pest, and disease resistant. Fertilize once a year for beautiful, lush leaves. Check out the Ornamental Banana Grow Guide for more information on planting and growing bananas.
If you are wondering where to buy a banana tree look no further!
Check out our varieties of ornamental banana trees for sale and bring a taste of tropical weather near to you. The perfect perennial plants!
How to Grow a Banana Tree
Growing banana trees is rewarding! They can bring lush, tropical vibes to any garden with easy care and maintenance. Their long, green leaves add a touch of greenery and with plenty of water, you can keep them thriving.
Can You Eat Ornamental Bananas?
While they are great for attracting squirrels, birds, and other wildlife into your landscapes, ornamental banana fruit is not edible for humans. It is not poisonous or toxic, but it is too seedy to enjoy! The banana tree leaves, banana tree flowers, and fruit are for aesthetics only.
Where Do Banana Trees Grow?
Banana trees are tropical plants that like humid and hot climates. They can only grow across the United States in USDA grow zones 8 and above. The exception to this rule is the cold hardy banana tree - the Musa Basjoo Banana. It can grow all the way down to zone 4. The stalks may die down for the winter but with a thick layer of mulch to protect the banana tree roots, the rhizomes will shoot up new banana pups in spring! For other types of bananas that are not as cold hardy, you can move the banana tree plant indoors for the winter until the weather returns warm again. You will need to have the banana tree in a pot to do this so you do not have to dig it up year after year.
Where to Plant Banana Tree
For proper banana tree care, you will want to plant your banana tree in rich well-draining soil. Your planting site should be in a full sun area that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight per day to ensure that your plant has the best growth and fruit production.
Winterizing Banana Trees
If you are in an area with cold winters, there are ways to protect your banana tree while still protecting the root zone through harsh temperatures and climates. Ornamental banana trees can tolerate much colder growing locations than fruiting banana trees with edible fruit. It’s easy to winterize banana trees! Here are some tips: cut back the stalks to the ground after the first hard freeze has damaged the leaves, spread a thick layer of organic mulch across the root system on the ground and cover it as much as possible (peat moss is a great option for this), cover the area with a tarp. When the temperatures start rising for spring, remove the tarp and let nature do its thing!
How to Plant a Banana Tree
When planting a banana tree you will want to amend the soil prior to planting. To amend the soil you will want to add plenty of nutrients such as compost, manure, or other organic matter. Once you have done this you will want to water the planting sight a few days before planting. Now that your soil is done you are ready to plant your banana tree. Take your tree from its container and make sure your hole is 2-3 times the diameter of the root ball. Place the root ball in the hole and backfill with your nutrient soil.
How to Care for a Banana Tree
When caring for a banana tree you want to ensure that it has the proper amount of light, water, and nutrients. Your banana plant will need at least 6 hours of sunlight daily in order to produce fruit. The plant will also need to be watered a daily to a few times a week depending on the season. Banana trees enjoy moist, but not wet soil so be sure to check the soil moisture by sticking your finger in knuckle deep. Lastly, you will want to provide nutrients to your tree with tons of fertilizer, about 1 ½ pounds per month.
Banana Tree Soil
Banana trees like moist, fertile soil that is well draining. They do not like wet or clay soils as this will cause wet feet and eventually causes root rot. Amend the soil annually with compost or something else that is rich in nutrients. The stalks are made up completely of almost all water. They will need very nutrient rich soil to thrive but can tolerate other soil types as well. The exception to this is salty soil - they are not salt tolerant plants and should be kept away from the ocean. Banana tree soil should have an acidic pH between 5.5-6.5.
Banana Tree Fertilizer
Banana trees need to be fertilized every month due to their rapid growth. Since they grow so fast they need about 1 ½ pounds of fertilizer a month! The best fertilizer for banana trees is a fertilizer that has an NPK ratio of 8-10-8.
Banana Tree Pruning
Knowing the proper way to prune a banana tree is crucial to caring for your plant. After you harvest your banana crop, cut back that stalk to the ground, slice it up, and use it as mulch around next year’s stalk. The best time to prune and maintain your tree is during the active growing season and after it bears fruit. Be cautious not to prune the mother plant before it produces bananas.
Transplanting Banana Trees
It is not hard to transplant banana trees to a new location. The best way to do this would be to root prune around the root zone about a week before the transplant date. Simply dig a trench to loosen the root fibers. Make sure to go around the entire plant. After the roots have been separated, you can easily lift up on the stalks and pull the young plants up. It is not as easy to do with mature banana trees.
Banana Tree in the Landscape
If you’re looking to bring island vibes to your yard this is the perfect plant. The banana tree is the perfect staple for your yard and you have the added benefit of picking bananas. If you’re looking to incorporate the banana tree in your yard, what are you waiting for? This easy going tree is perfect for anyone who lives in zones 8 and up.