Hardy banana plants, Musa basjoo, are the ultimate plants for creating a lush, tropical look in your garden. Large tall stems and huge leaves are a favourite near pools, hot tubs and other sunny, humid locations. While they will need winter protection, they can be planted in the Pacific Northwest and will survive most typical Vancouver winters. In hach winters, protect them or risk losing them.
Exposure / Light:
Banana plants do best in bright, direct sunlight like a south or west facing wall. 6-8 hours of sunlight per day is recommended. Banana plants are also attractive indoors or in a greenhouse or sunroom.
Moisture / Light
Banana plants prefer to be grown in moist, but well drained soil. In the warm summer months, water periodically, but do not overwater. Bananas like humidity. Position them near water features, pools, fountains or mist them occasionally.
Bananas are fairly heavy feeders. Fertilize every couple of weeks with a well balanced fertilizer from spring through summer. Do not fertilize after September.
Will My Banana Produce Fruit?
Although it is possible, it usually is not warm enough in our climate to produce fruit. If you keep your plant in a warm humid environment (ie a greenhouse), then the probability of fruiting does increase. For these varieties, fruit are generally small, but tasty.
Banana plants don’t require too much care during the growing season except to remove tattered, wind blown leaves as required. They are a favourite of Aphids so examine the undersides of the leaves from time to time and either remove aphids with a hard stream of water or perhaps a soap spray.
Winter Protection of Bananas
If you plan on over wintering your banana plants outside, begin by cutting back the plant to within 1-2 ft of the ground before hard frosts begin. Apply a 2-3 inch mulch around the base of the plant. Next surround the plant with burlap or straw. Finally, surround the stem and straw with plastic. The intent is to prevent water, snow and ice from getting into the middle of the plant. Secure the plastic so that it does not blow away when windy. Remove your protective cover after all chance of spring frost has passed. This is usually around late March.
For More Information:
Arts Nursery carries both hardy bananas and red leaved banana plants. Best selection is available in late spring and throughout the summer. For more information about Banana plants, visit us in person or call 604.882.1201.