Who else is growing a dwarf banana indoors?

summersunlight(5b)August 5, 2011

Since it seems like banana plants are pretty commonly sold as houseplants, I was surprised that there was not much about growing them as a houseplant on here.

Anyone else growing one? How is it doing for you? Do you find them easy to grow?

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birdsnblooms

Hi Summersunshine. I purchased a Ruby Red Musa/Banana 4 or so months ago. Although it came from a reputable seller on Ebay, it arrived skimpy.

Bananas aren't the easiest plants growing indoors, especially during winter months. Not enough humidity or light.
Two years ago I did something dumb..planted two, small banana trees in the garden. By Autumn, both were over 12'..lol.
I didn't think to cut them back, or remove pups, so they froze during our IL winter.

I have two old Bird-of-Paradise that are related to Bananas and look somewhat similiar. One reason I decided not to buy another Banana after the garden experiment.
However, the leaves on the Ruby are green and red..red attracted me to the plant.
We'll see how it does come winter. I also have a Pomegranate Tree..neither plant will like indoor living, that's for sure, but both are worth a try.

A couple other problems growing Bananas indoors. Sometimes they're sold as dwarves..yet they grow and grow.
But worse, lack of humidity plus dry air, the perfect climate, begets insects to hatch. Mealy has been a problem the last two years. Mites also attack banana trees.

Some people rather stay away from more difficult plants because they don't want to bother with pests.
Maybe that's one reason Bananas aren't talked about much, at least not here on House Plants.

Do you have a Banana? Toni

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 8:19PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

A friend of mine in OH has had a banana growing for 10+ years. Her house has almost solid windows on the south side and this plant sits right next to those windows. Her plant is growing in a big brass tub with no drain holes, not soggy but not allowed to dry out. The individual stalks are short-lived but new pups come up to take their place.

If you have other plants you can put near your banana, they can help each other with humidity. Don't put it in the draft of a furnace vent. A bowl of water can be set on the soil surface.

Bananas (and many other plants) are known for guttation, so avoid placing them where they can drip on wood furniture or floors. Mites do love banana plants but can be removed by wiping the leaves with a cotton ball of rubbing alcohol.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 1:52PM
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seaecho1(SW CA)

I grew one in hydroculture for two or three years before it died. It had "Little Prince" in the name. I have very low humidity, but the plant was very happy and healthy, steadily putting out new leaves. I don't know what caused it to succumb, but I sure do miss it to this day, and its been gone for at least 8 years.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 2:28PM
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summersunlight(5b)

Thanks for the replies. I am glad to see that some others are trying to grow bananas indoors.
I had one that was a Super Dwarf cavendish a few years ago. It seemed very vigorous and easy to take care of even though I had it in low light. I think I ended up neglecting it for a while and it died from lack of water.
I bought another one recently. Not sure if it's a Super Dwarf, but we'll see how it goes.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 6:02PM
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birdsnblooms

Seacho!!! Sorry about your loss. ):

Summer, low light is a problem. Bananas need sunshine, like your name implies..:)

I've never heard the term, Super-Dwarf, although cavendish is a dwarf, compared to other varieties.

Let's hope ours do well over winter, and one day bear flowers and fruit. Toni

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 2:36PM
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summersunlight(5b)

Yes, It would be ideal if it was getting more sun, but for now the best I can do is a spot several feet from a southern window.
It has continued to put out leaves in spite of the less than ideal lighting. I enjoy watching its rapid growth rate. It seems like every day it is a little bigger.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 8:52PM
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birdsnblooms

Artificial lights, humidifers and indoor water fountains are helpful additions.
Misting, showering and humidity trays work great, too.

Ordinary light bulbs work..'for smaller plants.'

Without the above mentioned, my tropicals would kick the bucket during winter months..long, gray, dry winter months.

I recently purchased Banana Fertilizer on Ebay. It's slow-release, but I wonder if it's too late to apply.

Can't believe it's nearing Sept. It feels like I just carried plants outdoors...soon they'll be coming back in..lol. Why, why why??? Toni

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 1:13AM
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