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The banana plant is not actually a tree – it is considered a giant herb. It is a fast-growing plant reaching heights of 10 to 20 feet after only 1 year. Banana plants harvest a stalk of bananas in about 18 months in ideal soil and climatic conditions. In less than perfect climate and soil conditions, it may take up to 2 years for a banana plant to produce a harvest of fresh fruit. Bananas are edible and ripe for eating after 3 or 4 months on the stalk. Grows well in semi-shade or no shade and in areas with less wind. Blooms white to yellowish flowers. The banana plant can tolerate light frosts. Grows well in Arizona.
Growth Rate: Fast
Soil Type: Prefers well-drained soils that are rich in hummus. Frequent watering required.
Zones: 8 to 12
Germination Range: N/A
Stratification Requirement: Plant in very warm soil with temperatures of 75-80 degrees F. Germination can take 3-7 weeks.
Indoor Planting: If your seeds require stratification or scarification – do the recommended pretreatment before planting indoors. Planting Instructions: Fill a container with seed starting mix to about ½ inch from the top. Place your seeds 1 inch to 1 ½ inches below the soil surface. Gently water your seeds to keep moist, not soaking wet. Heat & humidity is critical for germination. Germination may occur in 1 week or as long as 3 months (depending on the species). Place the seed container on a heat mat under growing light(s). Keep your growing lights on 14 hours per day. Keep your heat mat on 24 hours per day. Once your seeds germinate, move each seed into its own container under the growing lights and on the heat mat. Keep your seedlings indoors for 2-3 months before transplanting outdoors in the spring (May to June).
Outdoor Planting: If your seeds do not require stratification: the best time to plant tree and shrub seeds outdoors is after the last frost in your area (spring). In the Northern states – the best time to plant seeds outdoors is from May to June. If your seeds require pretreatment: you should plant your seeds outdoors before the ground freezes in your area (late September to early November). Your seeds will naturally stratify during the cold winter. Germination usually occurs in May or during the spring season.
Buy banana seeds at TreeSeeds.com. Shop where experienced nurserymen buy seeds. Choose from over 600 species of tree and shrub seeds for sale. Get free world-wide shipping on orders over $75. Order online or call (802) 363-1582 to place your order.
Propagating Banana Plants – Growing Banana Trees From Seeds
Commercially grown bananas that are cultivated specifically for consumption don’t have seeds. Over time, they have been modified to have three sets of genes instead of two (triploid) and produce no seeds. In nature, however, one encounters many banana types with seeds; in fact, some seeds are so large it is difficult to get to the pulp. That said, can you grow bananas from seed? Read on to find out about growing banana trees from seeds.
Can You Grow Bananas from Seed?
As mentioned above, the banana you are eating for breakfast has been genetically tinkered with to lack seeds and are usually Cavendish bananas. There are many other banana varieties out there and they do contain seeds.
Cavendish bananas are propagated by pups or suckers, pieces of rhizome that form into miniature banana plants that can be severed from the parent and planted to become a separate plant. In the wild, bananas are propagated via seed. You, too, can grow seed grown bananas.
Propagating Banana Plants
If you want to grow seed grown bananas, be aware that the resulting fruit will not be like those you buy at the grocers. They will contain seeds and, depending upon the variety, might be so large that the fruit is difficult to get to. That said, from what I have read, many people say the flavor of wild bananas is superior to the grocery store version.
To begin germinating the banana seeds, soak the seed in warm water for 24 to 48 hours to break the seed dormancy. This softens the seed coat, enabling the embryo to sprout more easily and rapidly.
Prepare an outdoor bed in a sunny area or use a seed tray or other container and fill with potting soil enriched with plenty of organic compost in the amount of 60% sand or airy, loam to 40% organic matter. Sow the banana seeds 1/4 inch (.6 cm.) deep and backfill with compost. Water the seeds until the soil is moist, not drenched, and maintain damp conditions while growing banana trees from seeds.
When germinating banana seeds, even hardy bananas, keep the temperature at least 60 degrees F. (15 C.). Different varieties respond to temperature fluxes differently, however. Some do well with 19 hours of cool and 5 hours of warm temps. Using a heated propagator and turning it on during the day and off at night may be the easiest way to monitor temperature fluctuations.
The time that a banana seed germinates, again, depends on the variety. Some germinate in 2-3 weeks while others may take two or more months, so be patient when propagating banana plants via seed.
Commercially grown bananas don't have seeds. In nature, many banana plants have seeds. Can you grow bananas from seed? Click here to find out.