Banana Plants

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The banana plant is the largest herbaceous flowering plant. All the above-ground parts of a banana plant grow from a structure usually called a “corm”. Plants are normally tall and fairly sturdy, and are often mistaken for trees, but what appears to be a trunk is actually a “false stem” or pseudostem .As the flower stalk grows, it bends downward. The female flowers emerge first, and these are the ones that produce bananas. Sterile and then male flowers form below the female flowers, but these don’t develop fruit and usually fall off. Because they don’t need pollination, a lone “Cavendish” plant will produce fruit.The banana is a perennial plant that replaces itself. Bananas do not grow from a seed but from a bulb or rhizome. The time between planting a banana plant and the harvest of the banana bunch is from 9 to 12 months. The flower appears in the sixth or seventh month.The banana plant is called a ‘banana tree’ in popular use, but it’s technically regarded as a herbaceous plant (or ‘herb‘), not a tree, because the stem does not contain true woody tissue.Sow the banana seeds 1/4 inch deep and backfill with compost. Water the seeds until the soil is moist, not drenched, and maintain damp conditions while growing banana trees from seeds. When germinating banana seeds, even hardy bananas, keep the temperature at least 60 degrees F. (15 C.).When soil has a concentration of 100-500 ppm soluble salts Banana growth is satisfactory. From 500 ppm plants are affected and from 1000 ppm plants are stunted or dead. The 1:3 (nitrogen:potassium) ratio is required by the banana plant which makes Multi-K to the ideal fertilizer for it.Even though banana plants can grow to be 30 feet in height, they’re not technically trees: their stems are sturdy, but contain no woody tissue. They’re not trunks, but “pseudostems,” made of densely packed leaves.

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So a banana plant is actually a perennial herb, like a lily or an orchid.Thus, the origins of the banana have been difficult at best to pinpoint. In general, however, it can be said that bananas originated in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific around 8,000 to 5,000 BCE. From New Guinea and the Philippines, bananas dispersed far and wide across the tropics, in all directions.Use the remaining soil to build a berm around the plantBananas need regualr  watering to sustain the large tropical leaves and produce sweet tasty fruit. You should expect to water slowly and deeply every 2 or 3 days during the warmer months. A test when to water is when the top 1/2-1 inch of soil is dry.To keep banana trees dormant in the winter cut them back to about 12″ tall and allow them to weep and water will drain from the stalk. Then carefully dig up the plant and gently remove as much dirt from the roots as possible. If you see any baby plants, separate them because you can plant them in the spring.Banana tree heights vary depending on the specific cultivar. Most trees are a hybrid of the two species. All grow quickly, however. “Manzana,” which is popular for its sweet-tasting bananas, grows to a height of about 12 feet.Even though banana plants can grow to be 30 feet in height, they’re not technically trees: their stems are sturdy, but contain no woody tissue. They’re not trunks, but “pseudostems,” made of densely packed leaves. So a banana plant is actually a perennial herb, like a lily or an orchid.These bananas don’t come from a bushBananas (Musa spp.) are relatively strange-looking fruit that grow on even odder plants. Though bushy in appearance,banana plants are not shrubs, but they are also not trees. To make matters more confusing, there is a plant called a banana shrub (Michelia figo).

 

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