Growing and Fruiting Bananas

Banana 'Super Dwarf Cavendish'

By Laurelynn Martin and Byron Martin

Whether the banana is a dwarf banana, a tall banana, a red banana or a variegated banana, in the genus Musa the basic cultural needs are the same and growing your own bananas is an exciting and rewarding process, especially when you harvest your first delicious homegrown fruit.

Plant Structure
Bananas are really bulbs much like a daffodil. The vegetative part is made up of leaf petioles tightly stacked together to form a trunk or pseudostem. Like all flowering bulbs, the bud itself is under the soil and as the cycle of flowering approaches the bud emerges from the bulb or the base of the plant and rises up through the trunk or pseudostem to emerge at the top and create a flower or inflorescence and in time bananas.

The Secret to Flowering or Fruiting a Banana
When you grow bananas for fruit, the environment has to be ideal many months before the bud is visible, therefore, a young plant must have optimum conditions for successful flowering and fruiting. Also, pay attention to the variety of banana for some bananas are more tolerant of less than optimal conditions.

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