The Dwarf Banana tree is native to Asia, Africa, and Australia. Musa oriana will produce Miniature bananas. But avoid varieties such as Musa basjou, which do not produce fruit.
Dwarf Banana Tree Appearance
Often referred to as a tree, the Dwarf Banana plant actually has fleshy stalks, not woody stems. The plant grows to between 8 to 10 feet (2.4 to 3 meters) and features large, broad leaves. Blooms appear once the plant is three to four years old, provided the plant is exposed to enough sunlight. Blooming is a sign your mini banana tree is ready to produce fruit.
Dwarf Banana Plant Sunlight Requirements
The Dwarf Banana tree prefers approximately 12 hours of indirect sunlight per day. As this is hard to regularly achieve in most climates, supplement with an LED grow light as needed. Avoid direct sunlight, which will scorch the foliage.
Watering Your Mini Banana Tree
Let the top 2 inches of soil dry out between waterings, then water thoroughly. The plant does not tolerate soggy soil but does appreciate regular misting of the leaves to supplement moisture. The tree’s leaves also need regular cleaning with a damp cloth to remove dust and debris.
Soil and Fertilizer Requirements
Provide your banana tree with a well-draining potting soil amended with organic matter for nutrients. Adding perlite is also recommended to lighten the soil and improve aeration. Feed the Dwarf Banana plant once every two weeks from spring to fall. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. A 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer works well.
Harvesting Your Banana Tree
Pick the bananas from your Dwarf tree when the fruit is still green, but the fingers are well-rounded between the ribs. When harvesting the fruit, pick the entire bunch and hang it in a shady spot indoors to finish ripening.
The Dwarf Banana tree produces offsets, also called pups, from the plant’s rhizomes. These “suckers” sprout up beside the primary stalk. Carefully dig up the rhizome and use a sharp and sterile knife to remove a pup that has roots attached. Allow the pup to sit for 48 hours to dry, then plant the offset in its own pot with high-quality potting soil.
Common Pests and Diseases
Watch for spider mites on your Dwarf Banana plant. The insect looks like tiny spiders and will leave small webs on the tree. Spray your tree in the shower to remove the pests without the use of chemicals. Wipe the tree down afterwards to ensure no insects are left behind.
Root rot is caused by either overwatering your plant or using soil with poor drainage. Remove any affected foliage and repot in a lighter soil if necessary. For advanced cases of rot, inspect the root system and trim away any dark and mushy roots. Repot the plant in a clean pot with fresh soil to eliminate the soil bacteria causing the rot.
A Dwarf Banana plant is the perfect way to grow your own fruit and give your home a tropical vibe. With the right amount of sunlight and care you’ll be enjoying your own home-grown bananas in no time.
Dwarf Banana Tree FAQ
No, bananas are not considered toxic to your pets.
The tree will grow outdoors, in the ground, in USDA zones 9 to 11. If grown in a pot, you can grow the tree outdoors for the warmer parts of the year in USDA zones as low as 4.
Bananas have no fat, are high in fiber, and high in Potassium.
Repot your Banana tree in the spring. A general guideline is to repot the plant once the plant outgrows its current pot. The main plant will produce pups that can also crowd the pot. Remove these and place them in their own pot when they start to take up too much room.
There are many desserts made better with bananas. Bananas also pair well with chicken and bacon for a savory angle on the tropical fruit.