We get asked questions about banana planting a lot so to make things simpler, we have summarised the ‘Top 13 Tips on Cultivating Banana Plants’ here for you to follow. Feel free to share around.
- Leaf Management: Maintain a count of 8 leaves per banana plant. This is vital for balanced growth.
- Fruit Selection: For dessert banana varieties, retain only 10-12 fruit bunches, discarding the rest along with the plant's heart. This strategic thinning is essential for yielding larger fruits with optimal weight.
- Fruit Protection: Wrap every banana bunch in UV seal bags, securing them tightly with a staple and ensuring coverage extends to the banana ends.
- Heart Emergence: Once the banana heart is visible, reduce the leaf count to 6 for focused plant energy.
- Offspring Care: Attend to the first banana offspring only after the heart's appearance. This timing ensures a robust and fertile mother plant.
- Post-Harvest Leaf Reduction: Post-harvest, limit the leaves to 4 for healthy plant recovery.
- Plant Hygiene: Regularly clean the plant base by removing dead sheaths, maintaining freshness and vigour.
- Offshoot Management: Relocate excessive offshoots to guarantee optimal sunlight exposure.
a. During planting, incorporate root-promoting fertiliser into the planting hole. b. At the 3-month mark, apply 15:15:15 fertiliser.
c. Between 6-7 months, use 12:12:17:2 fruit-specific fertiliser.
d. Limit the quantity to a handful or 250 grams per plant.
e. Mulching your plant regularly is important part of plant care regime.
- Fertilisation Cessation: Halt fertilising once the heart emerges to prevent the fruit from becoming too hard or starchy and to maintain quality.
- Weeding Practices: Regular weeding ensures nutrient availability for the plant. While manual, organic weeding is preferable, minimal chemical spraying may be necessary for controlling aggressive grass types like New Zealand's Kikuyu grass. Since bananas absorb fluids, spray at least 1.5 metres from the plant base to mitigate residue impact.
- Disease Control: Yellowing leaves with rust or black slimy spots on the stem indicate fungal attacks. Combat these by spraying the plant with a lime mixture until whitened.
- Harvesting Time: Harvest the fruits when 2-3 leaves have withered or dried.