Banana Plant

All You Need to Know about Growing Bananas

The banana plant is loved by gardeners everywhere for its lush, tropical foliage and its sweet fruit. All the information you've ever wanted about growing bananas is here.

Includes big bananas, green bananas, red bananas, how to ripen bananas and even some fun facts about bananas.



Banana plant with red coloring on the undersides of its leaves growing in a pot at Longwood Gardens Pa.

Bananas are members of the Musa family. They are tender herbaceous perennials.

Each banana tree flowers and fruits just once before that trunk dies.

The underground portion of the plant then pushes up one or more suckers to replace the expired stalk.

Banana flower bracts are as showy and exotic as the palm-like leaves. These are usually bright pink and about 8 inches long.

They sometimes form on the end of a long, curving stalk.

The tiny flowers and developing fruit are underneath the bracts. As the fruit grows, the bract covering them falls off revealing the rows of miniature bananas.

All banana plants will fruit but the fruit is not always edible. Some cultivars produce fruit that is too small or contains large, hard seeds. These are grown purely as ornamentals like the Golden Lotus pictured below.

Lotus Banana, Golden

Buy a Rare Golden Lotus Banana Here

The highlighted headlines below link to pages of more in-depth information about that topic.


Growing Bananas the Easy Way

Banana plants are big eaters and heavy drinkers. This page is all about coaxing fruit from these tropical beauties without killing yourself.


Big Bananas

The average size of a banana fruit is about 5-6 inches. There are varieties that produce miniature or baby bananas and others that produce larger fruit.

What you may not realize is that any banana variety will produce mini fruit if it is not fed and watered in the right way.

So, even if you plant a large-fruited variety you still need to provide optimal care if you want to harvest big bananas.

Click the headline to see a list of large-fruiting banana varieties and tips for getting any banana variety to produce the biggest fruit possible.


Green Bananas

These are plantains.

They look just like banana plants but produce fruit that is more starchy than sweet and is most often eaten cooked.

There are 2 types of green bananas: bananas that remain green when ripe and unripe yellow bananas. The flesh of ripe green bananas is soft, sweet and suitable for eating raw.

The flesh of unripe yellow bananas is starchy and tastes best when cooked. Eating unripe yellow bananas raw can also give you a tummy ache.

Types of banana that remain green when ripe are listed on this page.


Red Bananas

There are 2 types of red bananas you can grow: bananas with red fruit and those with red leaves.

Red-fruited bananas are a rare sight in American markets. Their skin color ranges from dark red to nearly black.

The color of the flesh ranges from creamy white to salmon pink. Red banana hands have short, fat fingers.

It is much easier to find ornamental red banana varieties. These are my favorites when it comes to garden landscape design. There are many different kinds.

Some have red trunks and leaf stalks. Others have attractive red splotches on the upper surface of their leaves. Still others display red leaf undersides.

These plants are so striking that you may have a hard time deciding which one to plant!

This page contains a list of different types of red bananas.


How to Ripen Bananas

Banana Plant

Best Price on Dwarf Cavendish Banana Plant

Wouldn't you know it. The day you decide to bake a banana pudding, all the local market has is green bananas .

While I can't tell you how to get them to ripen by dinner time, I can tell you how to ripen bananas quickly.

I'll also tell you how to keep bananas fresh for as long as possible and the easiest way to freeze your surplus.


Fun Facts about Bananas

A page of little known and fun facts about bananas to answer all your most pressing banana questions. Questions like:

  • Do bananas cure hangovers?
  • Do bananas have seeds?
  • Why do bananas turn brown?
  • Everything you always wanted to know about bananas but were afraid to ask.

    Or maybe afraid somebody would answer...


    Cooking with Bananas

    Banana plants multiply.

    You plant 1 and, a couple of years later, you've got a clump.

    Each stalk will produce a large bunch of fruit consisting of several hands.

    All of this fruit will ripen within a short window of time. You won't be able to eat it all fresh. Once your freezer is full, you will need some ideas about what to do with the surplus.

    Banana bread to the rescue!

    There are as many different kinds of banana bread as there are bananas. Hardly a week goes by without my baking 1. (My plants do not produce year round. We love the fruit so much that I buy it when they are not fruiting.)

    I have placed my personal banana bread recipes on the site to help you with this delicious problem.

    Discover the fascinating history of banana bread here.


    Buy Banana Plants


    Buy the Cold Hardy Musa Basjoo Banana Tree

    When you order banana plants, most online nurseries will send you the corm (bulb-like organ from which a banana grows) but did you know that you can buy live banana plants in 3 different sizes from Real Palm Trees?

    Small plants will be approximately 3 feet tall. Medium plants are usually 5-7 feet tall and large plants may be as tall as 12 feet.

    If you want a large banana tree that will add instant tropical ambiance to your patio or landscape delivered to your door, this is where you need to go.

    They ship to most places in the world and often offer deals on shipping.


    Banana Tree - Small Palm Tree - $69.95

    from: Real Palm Trees


    Banana Tree - Medium Palm Tree - $229.95

    from: Real Palm Trees


    Banana Tree - Large Palm Tree - $299.95

    Retail Price: $309.95
    You Save: $10.00

    Dwarf Banana Fruit Tree

    Dwarf Banana Fruit Tree

    This super-dwarf variety produces small 4" fruits on 2-5' tall plants. Great choice for patio containers.


    Banana Manna Plant Essential Oil Stimulant 1 quart: HY

    Banana Manna Plant Essential Oil Stimulant 1 quart: HY

    Proteins in bananas contain potent hormones and vitamins that boost essential oil production in plants. Banana Manna stimulates production of these oils, which gives herbs, fruits and vegetables more flavor.




    More Delicious Homegrown Fruit:

    The Tough but Beautiful Pineapple Plant

    Growing Honeydew Melons

    Planting and Cultivating Grapes

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