Those peanuts in the supermarket are when compared with this yummy and exciting cultivars you can develop yourself if your climate permits. Their flavors vary from the vanilla notes of Blue Java to the tartness of this Apple banana, their colours vary from light blue to bright crimson, and they’re found in shapes which range from squat and jelqing to slender and delicate.
Their leaves can be used to wrap and grill seafood; the flowers can be eaten as vegetables; and at the scene, their strong type and daring existence are rivaled by few other plants. In other words, you must start bananas.
Botanical names: Musa acuminata, Musa balbisana, Ensete ventricosum (revealed)
Common names: Banana, plantain
USDA zones: 8b to 11 (find your zone)
Moisture necessity: Ample water
Light requirement: Full sun
Mature size: 5 to 20 feet tall, depending on the cultivar
Seasonal interest: Year-round except for winters where there are freezes
When to plant: Year-round in zones 9b to 11; spring in zones 7 to 9
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Bananas impart a carefree ambience where they’re planted.
That Banana Plant Is Right for You?
Some bananas develop only a couple feet tall, while others surpass 30 feet. And size isn’t the only thing. There are ornamental bananas and edible bananas, sweet bananas and starchy bananas, and even bananas which can be grown in containers.
Ornamental bananas. Not all bananas are grown for the table, and while all of these are attractive enough to be grown as ornamentals, these species have been grown exclusively because of their looks. Pink flowering banana (Musa ornata, zones 8b to 11), revealed, creates stunning lavender-pink flowers on upright stalks, held aloft right at eye level. Chinese yellow banana (Musella lasiocarpa, zones 7b to 11) is a close relative of the banana and can also be grown primarily because of its impressive bloom. The Japanese fiber banana (Musa basjoo, zones 6 to 11) is your cold-hardiest banana and can be grown in temperate zones together with protection. Abyssinian banana (Ensete ventricosum, zones 9 to 11) has striking upright leaves with prominent ribs.
Dessert bananas. Dessert bananas are the most popular, since they’re what we are utilized to eating, however the kinds of bananas you can grow in your garden are far superior to those ones that you’ll find at the supermarket. Double Mahoi (Musa acuminata ‘Double Mahoi’, zones 9 to 11) is unique since it generates two fruiting stalks on one plant. Blue Java (Musa acuminata ‘Blue Java’, zones 9 to 11) is also known as the ice cream banana, since its light blue bananas taste like vanilla ice cream. Rajapuri (Musa acuminata ‘Rajapuri’, zones 8 to 11) is famous in the coastal and lower U.S. South because of the cold hardiness and sweet fruit. If all you need is your familiar banana of the supermarket, plant Dwarf Cavendish (Musa acuminata ‘Dwarf Cavendish’, zones 8b to 11).
Plantains. Starchy plantain-type bananas are a acceptable substitute for potatoes and other starch crops in the tropics and are excellent served up fried. They’ve found their way into Latin American, Caribbean, African and Southeast Asian cuisines, but many shoppers in Britain and the United States of America know them only as “green bananas.” They do require cooking before being served.
Some choices for your garden include Ae Ae (Musa X paradisiaca ‘Ae Ae’, zones 10 to 11), Dwarf Orinoco (Musa x paradisiaca ‘Dwarf Orinoco’, zones 7b to 11) and Mysore (Musa x paradisiaca ‘Mysore’, zones 10 to 11).
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How to Use Banana Plants
In containers. If you lack the space, live out the tropics or simply require a dramatic focal point in your container structures, there are numerous bananas with the right size for your job. Super Dwarf Cavendish (Musa acuminata ‘Super Dwarf Cavendish’, zones 9b to 11) is a much briefer version of this dwarf Cavendish, attaining only a couple feet tall. Siam Red (Musa acuminata ‘Siam Red’, zones 10 to 11) has extreme orange-red leaves with green. Red Abyssinian banana (Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelli’, zones 9a to 11) is a banana relative that also has red leaves, however they are upright and give the plant the appearance of a shuttlecock. They can get quite large but will last a few years at a container.
In the landscape. Banana plants look great almost anywhere they’re placed, but the biggest consideration when siting them is how big they will gradually get. Since bananas form new stems at their base, things can get crowded quite fast. Use bananas where a strong architectural presence is required: at the corner of a bed, to indicate a curve at a path or to draw attention to an outdoor seating area. Sitting beneath banana leaves throughout a day shower is one of life’s great pleasures, so be sure to put them where they can be enjoyed.
If you’re growing edible kinds, keep in mind you will need to harvest the fruit and thin out the declining stems, meaning that the plantings (if any) beneath the bananas should be durable enough to take care of occasional traffic.
Ornamental bananas are perfect as focal points at a bed of perennials or ground covers, and occasionally as specimens surrounded by open area. Smaller types seem fantastic when massed together like cannas.
FOCAL POINT STYLING
Decorating with bananas. Let’s not overlook bananas can contribute to the attractiveness of your property. Banana leaves make a bold statement in large vases or when used as a makeshift table runner or wall ornament. Just be sure to allow the sap dry off from the cut end first, as it can cause stains. Banana flowers are amazing displayed in bowls of water or as centerpieces, as would be the banana fruits themselves.
Try utilizing pink velvet bananas (Musa velutina, zones 7b to 11) and red bananas (Musa acuminata ‘Red Dacca’, zones 9 to 10) due to their little size and unexpected hues. Nothing says tropical fashion like a freshly cut “hand” of bananas on the kitchen counter.
How to Care to Banana Plants
Believe it or not, bananas are pretty magical once they’re established. Even though they are tolerant of many ailments, they flourish best with lots of abundant sunlight, moisture and fertilizer.
Planting. Amend the planting site with plenty of compost or topsoil and maintain the banana watered, especially during its initial months in the floor. Feed it on a regular schedule based on the mosquito label instructions.
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Harvest. Though each banana stem will take two to three years to bloom and produce fruit, then they will do so throughout the year, with recognized clumps producing more fruit than you’ll know what to do with.
When the banana blossoms, the blossom (instead a collection of flowers) will hang downward and form bananas since it stinks. Remove the banana “hands” with a sharp knife or machete the moment they reach a mature size, leaving the bloom set up to form new fruits. After the bloom is invested, the stem will perish. Cut the entire stem to the floor, allowing the other stalks to take its place. The stem can be sliced up and spread across the planting site within a powerful mulch.