All about the Banana plant
The banana plant is the type of plant one might think of as a bizarre choice at first glance but grows to fall in love with after it fabricates its striking appearance at home. It features white flowers that emerge from purple buds and green riveting, large and oblong foliage growing from fleshy and upright stalks.
There are more than 400 species worldwide of bananas, all characterized by large, smooth-edged leaves and a slightly wavy edge with crisscrossed stems creating an exciting pseudo trunk. While most species grow well in warm climates, there are also somewhat cold-hardy bananas.
Scientifically known as Musa paradisiaca, banana plants originate from South-East Asia and the South Pacific and are one of the oldest cultivated crops, usually for its fruit. However, it has also successfully made its way to the ornamental plant section as an indoor plant.
Your banana plant will reward you with its dynamic look only if you pay extra heed to it and nurture it correctly. That's right; bananas aren't deemed as plants one can easily take care of. Let's take a look at how you can foster them.
How to (generally) take care of a Banana plant
The banana plant will prove to be an excellent addition to your home. Remember to provide it with the basic growing environment and be faithful in accomplishing its care practices; you'll surely be able to grow a flourishing tropical banana plant in no time.
Watering can make or break a banana plant. It demands a high intake of water but doesn't like sitting in it for too long. It craves moist soil, but too much moisture causes its roots to rot. At the same time, it is susceptible to drought but can't live through overwatering. Therefore, you must be extra careful in this regard.
Keeping a regular and consistent watering schedule for this plant, say every 2-3 days of watering banana uniformly and deeply, ensures healthy growth. To make sure you're on the right track, watch out for its soil conditions i.e., it must not be too dry or too wet.
A banana plant wishes to be placed in a location where its lightning, soil, temperature, and humidity needs are gratified to sustain its sizable tropical foliage.
Sunlight exposure: Whether placed inside or outside, bananas need an ample amount of bright light. Avoid putting it in sheltered areas as too much shade can hinder its growth. In case of the absence of natural light, artificial grow light can be utilized as a supplement.
Temperature requirement: Bananas thrive in warm conditions. For shoot growth, a temperature range of 26–28°C is ideal while for fruit growth, 29–30°C is suitable.
Humidity preference: Bananas require high humidity levels due to their tropical nature. That's why it's best to place your plant among a bonsai of additional banana plants or other tropical plants to keep the ambient moisture levels high.
Soil necessities: To ensure steady health, make sure it is placed in soil that is well-drained, highly organic, and slightly acidic with a pH range of 5.5–7.0. The draining potting mix prevents waterlogging in the ground, and organic matter helps supply micronutrients to the plant.
Musa paradisiaca is known to grow reasonably quickly with consistent and heavy fertilization. Feed it every week during its active summer and spring seasons with a diluted liquid fertilizer to sustain its growth. Overfertilization causes its leaves' tips to burn; therefore, wash off the fertilizer immediately with water to avoid this danger.
Thanks to their large leaves, bananas serve as eco-friendly green air cleaners that complement your active and healthy lifestyle by filtering out harmful toxins from the surrounding air and releasing oxygen in return.
Banana is nowhere near a toxic plant. You can place it anywhere at your home or outside in your garden without any worry as it has no toxic compounds that can harm pets or humans.
Propagating a Banana plant
The best and easy method of propagation for a banana plant is division. To perform this, separate the suckers (offshoots that grow from the banana plant's rhizome) rhizome (horizontal underground stem) via a sharp spade. By doing so, you'll be able to separate the sucker from its mother plant and let it grow separately.
Before commencing the propagation, make sure the suckers are at least 3 feet tall and have their roots. Also, there should be more than one suckers present, so when you cut off the other, there's another one remaining. Once cut, allow the wounded area to dry before replanting in different soil.