The exciting story of the banana plant
The banana plant belongs to the banana family (Musaceae). The Swedish botanist Linnaeus named the plant after the Roman doctor Antonius Musa. In the first century AD, Arabs brought the banana to Africa. From there it reached the Canary Islands, Europe and South America around 1500.
There are about 70 different species, almost all from tropical and subtropical Asia and the western Pacific. In the wild, banana trees actually grow up to 30 feet tall.
Banana plants: The different tropical and subtropical species
Dwarf breeds are best suited for indoor keeping. They don't get too big and still have the typical banana shape. The pink dwarf banana (musa velutina) is very popular.
It is very easy to care for and is perfect as a beginner's banana. In summer you can place them outdoors and overwinter them at around 10-15°C.
The red-leaved banana (Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii') is also in high demand. They grow to a height of 1-3 meters and are therefore ideal for container plants.
The varieties "dwarf cavendish" and "super dwarf cavendish" are often offered, but they get quite large and reach the ceiling very quickly.
The right location for your banana plant
Banana plants need light all year round and, if possible, sun. Your indoor banana should therefore always have a place by the window so that it is exposed to enough light and sun. In the summer, however, it must not be exposed to direct sunlight.
Fresh air is just as important for the right banana plant care as a bright location. The plant also needs a lot of heat, put it in a room with at least 20°C.
When caring for the banana plant, high humidity is of great importance. If you have the opportunity to put your banana plant outside in the summer, it would be perfect for her.
Banana plant care: how to do it!
Caring for your banana plant can be so easy. With our fantastic tips you can take care of them safely and without problems.
The optimal soil for your banana plant
A banana plant is very adaptable to soil. It makes no special demands and gets by with normal potting soil.
Tip: Most banana plants don't like to be wet for too long. If you mix some perlite into the soil, then it is more permeable and the water can run off better.
The plant needs some important nutrients. You can find out more about this in our article The nutrient uptake of the plant and what needs to be considered.
How often do you have to water your banana plant
Watering the banana plant varies from variety to variety. Some like more, others less water. Your indoor banana shouldn't be watered from below, so water it directly from above.
The water requirement also depends on the size of the plant, more precisely on the number and size of the leaves. The bigger the leaves, the more water they need.
Before you water the plant, the surface of the soil must be dry. However, it must not dry out. It is best to use rainwater, because too much lime is unfavorable. You should remove excess irrigation water.
Fertilize banana plant: less is more
You don't want your banana plant to get too big? Then you should reduce the amount of fertilizer a little. Try something. Some recommend fertilizing every 2-3 weeks, others say monthly fertilizing is enough.
Repotting your banana plant
Repotting should not be ignored when caring for the banana plant. Your banana plant needs to be repotted regularly. Only transplant them when the old pot has outgrown it.
Once the roots start coming out of the waterholes in the previous pot, it's the perfect time to repot. But as with all plants, you should wait until spring to repot.
Tip: The banana plant is very susceptible to pests. Disinfect the soil before transplanting. You can bake your earth in the oven at at least 160°C. 15 minutes baking time should be enough.
Overwinter your banana plant
Banana plants also need a lot of light in winter. So you should consider buying a grow light for your banana plant. Your banana's winter quarters must have a temperature of around 10°C.
However, some varieties like it a little warmer. In most cases, the living room is not suitable. In general, the place to hibernate should be frost-free and not colder than 5°C for a long time.
In the article Overwintering plants, you can also learn more about overwintering.
This is how you propagate your banana plant
After the right plant care, you can easily propagate them. This works best by taking offshoots from the mother plant. The ideal time for this is spring or summer, as you can combine it with repotting.
The roots of the offshoots are very sensitive, so a lot of tact is required. Separate the cutting from the banana plant when it is about half the size of the plant. To separate the banana plant cuttings, use a clean and sharp knife and make a straight cut, close to the stem of the mother plant.
Water your offshoot from above and spray it from time to time with low-lime water. The small offshoots of your banana plant like it cozy and warm at first and high humidity.
Tip: Put a plastic bag with small holes over the pot with the offshoot to increase the humidity.
Is the banana plant poisonous?
No, the banana plant is not poisonous to humans or animals. In the plant's country of origin, the leaves of the banana plant are popularly used to decorate and wrap local food.
The perfect room for your banana plant
Choose a bright, warm room with high humidity. Your bathroom would be perfect for this. Of course you can also move the banana plant care to your living room.
Tips and tricks for problems with your banana plant
Does your plant seem rather sickly but you don't know why? Caring for the banana plant is more difficult in winter because there is not enough light and it also gets cooler. Above all, the dry heating air damages the leaves of the plant. So make sure there is enough humidity during the winter months.