- 1 Banana –Musa | Introduction
- 2 Nutritional Information
- 3 Companion Plants
- 4 Banana Varieties
- 5 Growing Banana Tree in Pots
- 6 Flower & Fruit
- 7 Pests and Diseases
- 8 Fertilizers
- 9 Harvesting
- 10 Grafting Banana Plants
- 11 How do you Care for Banana Plants?
- 12 Health Benefits
- 13 Is banana tree edible?
- 14 How often do you water banana trees?
- 15 What causes banana tree leaves to turn yellow?
- 16 What are the side effects of eating bananas?
Banana –Musa | Introduction
Banana is an edible flowering plant and the species are native to Australia, America, Europe, China and South Asian countries. Fruits are varied in size (elongated & curved), color and firmness. It is rich in starch and covered with the rind that may be green, yellow, brown or red. Plants are about 5 meters tall and can grow in the wide variety of soils. Leaves are composed of stalk and blade.
Banana leaves have numerous applications as they are large, flexible and decorative. They are used for wrapping, cooking, and food serving in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Fruits can be eaten or juiced. It can also be used in ice-creams, desserts, cakes, milkshakes, jams, smoothies and also in preparing recipes.
Banana contains 105 calories and 100 grams of raw banana contains 75% water, 23 grams of carbohydrates and lower quantities of proteins & fats. It is also rich in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, and antioxidants like biotin, dopamine, catechin, and carotenoids that help to boost the immune system.
Companion plants are those that thrive together in the same growing regions. These plants mutually help each other by protecting themselves from pests, diseases and other effects that damage the plant growth.
Coffee beans, castor beans, and marigolds are the good companions for banana plants. Do not plant bananas with wall trees as they release harmful chemicals that damage the banana plant growth and big trees which compete with banana plants for nutrients in the soil.
There are almost 1000 varieties (50 groups) of bananas in the world. Most common variety is Cavendish banana grown in more than 150 countries and produces 105 million tons of fruits per year. Banana varieties are categorized into Cavendish and non-cavendish bananas to grow in your garden space.
|1||Manzano||South Central America||Strong tart apple aroma|
|2||Burro||Mexico||Yellow skin, sweet & sour taste|
|3||Plantain||Latin America||Starchy, low in sugar content|
|4||Red||Philippines||Sweet & creamy texture|
Growing Banana Tree in Pots
Many people grow banana outdoors, but you can actually thrive them in a pot or container. If you do proper planting and care, then you can grow the banana tree at your home. It does not grow from seed but from bulb or rhizome.
- Choose a pot about 6-8 inches containing well-drained peat or vermiculite soil.
- Maintain the soil pH between 5.6 & 6.5. Prefer dwarf variety for growing banana in your pot as it grows around 2-4 meters.
- Place the dwarf variety in a pot and when it grows 30 centimeters you can shift it to larger pots. Expose Small portion of it to the sunlight.
- Water your plant thoroughly and allow it to drain for some time.
- Maintain the temperature about 75-85F. It grows to a height of 5 meters depending upon variety and starts flowering after 6-7 months.
- Fruit develops after 2 months from flowering. You can select the desired fruit i.e. raw or ripen and harvest the bananas.
Flower & Fruit
Banana flowers are available in re-orange to deep purple colors with tightly packed petals and white tubular flowers within. A large cone shape flower stalk appears on the top of the plant. These multiple flowers are protected by a leathery covering. As the flower blooms open up by revealing white flowers and then small bananas. After producing banana fruits it is better to remove banana plants and replant them.
Pests and Diseases
Identifying pests and diseases helps to control and maintain the growth of banana trees. Pests like aphids, caterpillar, spider mites, fruit fly, scab moths and rust thrips damage the plant growth. Diseases like crown rot, leaf speckle, leaf rust and Panama disease are due to the lack of nutrients that includes insufficient sunlight, watering, soil and fertilizing.
To keep pests and diseases away from banana trees, maintain well drainage system and control weeds from spoiling. You can also prefer organic methods like adding Eggshells, Epsom salt, Baking soda and Vinegar to the plant soil.
Use organic fertilizers that are rich magnesium, potassium, and nitrogen to promote the plant growth. Mix the fertilizer with water and sprinkle it on plants or soil. Fertilize the plant once in a month that provides nutrients and minerals to the plant growth.
Depending upon the banana variety it takes 9-12 months for the fruit to develop from sowing to harvesting. You can harvest bananas by cutting the stalk full of green bananas. Place them in a cool, dark place to become yellow or wait for the fruits to turn yellow that can be eaten immediately after plucking.
Grafting Banana Plants
Grafting is a horticultural technique where 2 different plant tissues join to form a single hybrid plant and continue their growth. The upper part of the combined plant (stems, leaves, flowers & fruits) is called Scion and the lower part (roots) is called rootstock.
Graft banana shoots for creating a new variety. It results in vascular tissue growth of banana plants. The new shoot is a mixture of 2 varieties, produces tasteful fruits and promotes high yielding for a long time.
How do you Care for Banana Plants?
- Fertilize the banana plant with organic fertilizers once in a month.
- Bring banana plant indoors if the outdoor temperature is below 50F.
- Keep an eye on dying leaves, fruits, discoloration, pests, and diseases.
- Use sharp tools to harvest bananas and protect yourself from injuries.
- Avoid overwatering and overfertilizing as it damages the plant growth.
- Use bottle method or bamboo method to avoid toppling of the plants from strong winds.
- Keep pets (dogs & cats) away from dwarf plants as they can eat and spoil the banana plants.
- Weight loss: Banana has a great impact on weight loss. Eating bananas rich in fiber helps to maintain the proper diet and lowers the body weight. It may also help to reduce the allergies and appetite problems.
- Diabetics: It contains 15 grams of sugar and has the low impact on your blood sugar levels. Starch in unripe bananas improves sugar levels and insulin response.
- Digestive health: Dietary fiber, starch content in unripe and pectin in ripe bananas helps to improve digestive health by feeding friendly gut bacteria in the stomach.
- Kidney problems: Potassium is essential to control and monitor kidney functions. Studies show that woman who ate 2-3 bananas per week have 33% fewer chances to have of kidney problems.
- Blood pressure: Minerals like potassium and magnesium in banana balances the effect of salt on the body. Consuming banana juice daily helps to lower blood pressure by 10%.
- Cancer: It increases the white blood cell count, enhances immunity and also fights against prostate and colon cancer.
- Cardiovascular health: Eating banana improves the overall health of the heart. It smoothens the blood flow in arteries and veins and supplies oxygen to various body parts. It also eliminates atherosclerosis and subsequent strokes.
- Anaemia: Banana serves the best to cure anemia as it stimulates the hemoglobin content in blood by providing iron. It also contains copper for creating RBC (red blood cells). It is also responsible for strong and healthy bones throughout the life.
- Vision: Antioxidants and carotenoids boost the eye health. It also helps to cure macular degeneration, night blindness, and cataracts in eyes.
Is banana tree edible?
Banana is an edible fruit produced by large flowering plants in the family Musa. Not only the fruit but the banana leaves are also edible and may not be harmful. Bananas used for cooking are called as plantains in some countries and the leaves are served as wrappers to keep rice, meat and other foods during cooking.
How often do you water banana trees?
Banana plants need regular watering and to maintain large tropical leaves and produces tasty fruits. You can also water the plants deeply and slowly for every 2-3 days during the warmer months (i.e.summer season). Do not overwater as it can spread root rot disease in banana plants.
What causes banana tree leaves to turn yellow?
Moving the plant from low light to high light conditions can cause sun burns, brown leaf edges and brittle leaves. Discoloration of leaves from the margins may infect with anthracnose diseases. Sometimes extreme heat and cold conditions can also cause the banana leaves to turn yellow color.
What are the side effects of eating bananas?
There are no significant side effects of eating the banana. Consuming excess amounts of fruits may result in a headache and sleeping disorders caused by amino acids in bananas.
Start growing banana trees in a pot that balances your diet and makes surrounding attractive. If you have wonderful ideas about growing banana trees, please share your experience with us.