Musa Dwarf Cavendish: How To Grow Your Own Dwarf Banana Plant Indoors

Banana plants (Musa spp.) are perennial herbaceous flowering plants that are native to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and belong to the Musaceae family of flowering plants. Most banana trees have an average height of 5 meters (16 ft) and produce sweet edible fruits that are very nutritious. Bananas in general are considered evergreen and their leaves grow in a spiral format.

A Dwarf Cavendish banana is a variety of Musa banana plants that you can easily grow as a houseplant. It is popular for its short stalk, which has an average height of 2 to 3 meters. They produce massive and quick-growing paddle-shaped foliage just like any regular Musa banana plant variety. Their leaves also grow in a spiral manner and start with a purple or red color, which turns green as the plant ages.

Growing a banana plant indoors can add a layer of beauty to your building’s interior. They are fairly easy to grow, with average maintenance required. Apart from adding beauty to your home, the large leaves of bananas are also used for cooking and wrapping foods in most Asian and African countries.

Scientific name Musa × paradisiaca ‘Dwarf Cavendish’
Common name Dwarf banana plant, dwarf banana tree, dwarf Cavendish
Origin Asia
Size 2 to 3 meters tall.
Lighting From partial shade to full sunlight.
Soil Moist but also well-drained soil.
Temperature 64 – 80 °Fahrenheit ( 18 – 27 °Celsius). 
Fertilizer Balanced fertilizer.
Toxicity Non-toxic.
Propagation Suckering.

Dwarf Banana Care

As a tropical plant, the best way to care for your dwarf Musa banana plant is by replicating its habitat. This involves growing them in a warm environment with lots of humidity. It is important to note that the large leaves of the Musa banana plant are fragile and easily prone to damage, bruises, and tears.

Light Requirements

When it comes to its light requirements, the dwarf Cavendish banana plant grows best under bright direct or indirect sunlight. It can also tolerate partial shade, but continuous exposure will slow its growth.

When growing indoors, place your dwarf banana plant close to a window with access to bright indirect sunlight. The south-facing window would be a great choice as it provides the plant with access to full sunlight.

Note that long and continuous exposure to direct and full sunlight can cause the large leaves to fold.

Soil Requirements

When growing your dwarf Cavendish banana plant in a container, your potting mix should be able to retain a little bit of moisture, helping to keep the soil moist or damp at all times.

Dwarf banana trees thrive better in a well-drained potting mix consisting of loamy soil, perlite, moss, and coco peat. These ingredients will help the soil drain faster and as well remain moist. 

Also, the dwarf Cavendish banana plant loves its soil to be slightly acidic, having a pH level between 5.5 and 6.5.

Water Requirements

The Dwarf Cavendish banana plant needs lots of water, especially during the warmer months. When it comes to watering the dwarf banana plant, the main aim would be to always keep the soil moist or damp. Avoid watering your plants to the extent that the soil becomes waterlogged or soggy. Waterlogged soil will restrict the flow of nutrients and air within the soil.

Also, the roots of banana plants are susceptible to root rot, which is normally caused by waterlogged soil. Dwarf Cavendish banana plants grown in containers indoors tend to dry out compared to those planted directly in garden soil.

So the frequency with which you water the dwarf banana plant will be dependent on how fast the soil dries.

Fertilizer Requirements

For your dwarf banana plant to continue producing its large leaves, you need to feed it.

When growing the dwarf Cavendish banana plant in containers indoors, you can feed it with a soluble, well-balanced fertilizer. Before feeding the plant, dilute the fertilizer to half its strength. The best time to feed the plant is when you are watering it. This can be done once every 2 to 3 weeks. Any general garden fertilizer or even organic manure should be enough to feed the plant.

Avoid fertilizing when the plant is in a dormant state or has stopped growing so as not to stress out its roots.

Temperature And Humidity

The dwarf banana plant can be grown under most household temperatures. The ideal temperature for growing them should be around 64-80 °F (or 18-27 °Celsius). The dwarf Cavendish banana plant can even withstand temperatures as low as 10° Celsius. Anything below that could cause more damage than good.

Also, for more beautiful and greener foliage, you should provide the plant with lots of humidity. Growing under dry conditions can cause the leaves to dry up and break.

Pruning

As the dwarf banana plant grows, it produces new sets of leaves at the top of its stalk. Old and mature leaves tend to grow large and break under their weight. All old leaves should be pruned off to allow the plant to concentrate its energy on growing newer leaves. Also, cut off all dry edges or patches on the existing leaves to help give the plant a healthy look.

Propagation

Almost all varieties of Musa banana trees can be propagated through their suckers. As they age, adult Musa banana trees will produce multiple young suckers called offsets. These suckers can be easily replanted to grow a new plant.

Start by selecting a healthy dwarf Cavendish banana plant with young suckers growing alongside them. Using a large, clean, sharp, and disinfected knife, uproot and cut off the offset from the body of the plant, making sure to leave some of its roots attached.

Move this offset to another container with a well-drained potting mix. Plant the offset and place it in an area with access to bright and direct light.

Common Health Problems/Pests And Diseases

When growing the banana plant, one of the most common health problems you might face is slow or no growth. This is mostly caused by inadequate lighting, low temperatures, and infertile soil.

Low humidity and high temperatures can cause the leaves to develop brown and dry edges. Also, overwatering can lead to root rot.

As for pests, spider mites and aphids are common occurrences.

FAQs

Is the dwarf Cavendish banana plant toxic to pets?

No. Musa banana plants are not toxic to either pets or humans. They produce edible fruits, and their leaves are also used for cooking.

Can Musa bananas be grown indoors?

Most Musa banana varieties are too large to grow indoors, but there are varieties like the Musa × paradisiaca ‘Dwarf Cavendish’ that are smaller in size.

How tall can dwarf banana plants grow?

They have an average height of 2 to 3 meters.

Do dwarf banana plants need fertilizer?

Yes. Always feed your dwarf Cavendish banana plant so it can produce larger leaves faster.

Do dwarf Cavendish banana plants like high temperatures?

Dwarf Cavendish banana plants can survive under most household temperatures. However, growing in freezing temperatures may cause the plant to stop growing.

Marijke Puts
About Marijke Puts
Marijke Puts has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Science and is from The Netherlands. She has a certified master gardener and loves everything about houseplants and gardening.

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