How to Grow a Dwarf Banana Tree
A banana Tree as a house plant, some would think this was a crazy idea but they are very commonly used on an office desk or window sill or even in a corner decoration.
They are not really trees either but they are a large perennial herb that bare edible fruit that are much like the bananas you can buy at a farmers market or store just a bit shorter. These can get as tall as 4 to 7 feet in height and need the same care as the larger banana trees needs. There are different types of Dwarf Banana Trees. I will go into details for different types of these plants. The type that I am about to tell you how to care for is like a Musa the Dwarf Cavendish banana tree
These Dwarf Banana Trees are just like most bananas trees and likes warm weather in places where the temperature does not get below 65 degrees making the indoors a perfect place for them to thrive on.
They like full light but they manage just fine in partly shady areas but they still need to be placed where they can get some sun light and they will still produce fruit but not as much or as large as if it would do in full sun. If you are planting them for decorative foliage then it is best to let them be grown in 30 to about 60 percent shaded areas because the leaves will be more of a darker green and will keep their deep dark colors year around. If you want them for their fruits only then full sun is the best but their leaves will turn slightly yellow baring more fruits.
When picking the right pot for your Dwarf Banana Tree take in consideration how big they will get and that they need plenty of room for the roots to spread out. So the bigger the pot the better results you will have with them. You can start them out in a small container but as they grow you will need to keep re-potting them until they are fully grown.
Watering is very important to this plant for it is well known for root rot and fungal infection. So make sure that the soil is perfect for them. Soil for them needs to be at a pH balance of 5.5 to about 7.0 and will stay moist but not wet. The root rot and fungal infection will increase ten times if they are over watered or stays wet to long the Dwarf Banana Tree will take well at all to being flooded and will die fast if they are watered to much. The soil needs to be almost dry but still moist before the next watering time for them.
If a Dwarf Banana Tree is out doors in full sun they will use allot more water and allow them to dry slightly before re-watering. When growing these out doors they do much better with more water but still do not flood them and do not let them set in soppy water to long.
Fertilizer should be applied to your Dwarf Banana Tree at least once a month. The best fertilizer is 8-10-8 and higher in phosphorus and pour it around your plant evenly. With young Dwarf Banana Trees you should mix the fertilizer about a quarter to a third weaker then the directions says to. Give about a quarter to a third of what you would give to a mature Dwarf Banana Tree.
Also remember that when pouring liquid fertilizer for your plant, never let it touch the plants leaves or stems. Also pour it as far from the plant as you can. If it touches the plant it will burn it up. This is not just for this plant but for all plants.
If you have planted your Dwarf Banana Tree out side and your winter months gets below 28 degrees then it would be best that you plant them in a container so they can be brought indoors for the winter time. If you have mild winters and the night time temps do not get below 28 degrees then they will be fine all that you will have to do is bring some dirt up the around the stalk and maybe wrap a blanket around it which will maintain enough heat to keep it from dying. Even planting them under an eve or on the warmest side of the house can help to shelter them from the frost and keep them getting damaged.
Ok as I said there are different types of Dwarf Banana Trees One is called Ice Cream. They can survive out in the cold for a short period of time. The bananas they give have a hint of a vanilla taste to them.
Dwarf Red bananas that has a peachy taste to them. They are short and takes a small a space.
Dwarf Green Red banana plant banana tree. This a green plant that has red markings through out its plants leaves and bananas. The fruits are very sweet tasting to the tongue.
Rowe Red Banana Tree bares fruits that you can not eat and can live in cold climates. This is only a decorative foliage plant and will only grow to about 3 to 5 feet in height.
Hawaiian Red Iholena banana trees. With its beautiful burgundy colors on it is not just a decorative foliage but the fruits are very tasty and can be picked right off the tree and ate and the fruits can be dehydrated and cooked with. This one of the prettiest bananas trees there are.
There are tons more. I have only listed a few of them with a brief description. Just remember when you decide to plant one or more of these beautiful plants read up on what type you are getting and make sure that the fruits are edible or not.
Written by Tasha Slone, Copyright 2011 HousePlantsForYou.com