How to Grow a Banana Plant Indoors (2024 Guide)

By Sabrina Lopez | September 30, 2022

Beautiful indoor banana palm plant on wooden commode in room, space for text. House decoration

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Jump to: Fast Facts | How to Grow | How to Repot | How to Propagate | Common Issues | Our Recommendation | FAQ

Are you longing to grow bananas but live in an apartment or an area with harsh winters? It’s straightforward to grow banana plants indoors once you know the proper techniques. We’ll walk you through how to start growing banana plants indoors so you can enjoy their sweet, tasty fruit all year.

 


 

Courtesy Amazon

Wellspring Gardens Dward Cavendish Banana Tree

$18.99 $17.99

This banana plant comes in several varieties, including Dwarf Cavendish, Dwarf Namwa, Tropicana, and more. It can range from 3-8 inches tall and produces lush, medium-sized bananas. It also includes a three-inch deep pot.

$17.99 On Amazon

 

Fast Facts on Banana Plants

Banana plants are fast-growing, perennial herbs that can reach up to 20 feet tall. They feature large, oval leaves and produce clusters of yellow, red, or purple flowers. The fruit of the banana plant is an elongated, fleshy berry with many seeds. You may know it as the perfect accompaniment to ice cream, cereal, or pudding.

Common nameBanana tree, plantain tree, banana leaf plant

Plant family

Musaceae

Native climate

Asia, Africa, Australia

Light level

Full sun

Average mature height

Varies by species

Soil type

Acidic, loamy, well-draining soil

Frequency of watering

Daily

Toxicity

Nontoxic

Ideal humidity level

High

Common variations (cultivars, close relations)

Dwarf Cavendish banana, Dwarf Cuban red banana, lady finger banana, blue java banana, Japanese banana

Bananas belong to a family of plants called Musaceae, which consists of two genera—Musa and Ensete. There are about 50 species of banana plants between these two genera, most native to Africa, Central America, or Southeast Asia.

Many edible bananas come from the Musa acuminata, a species first cultivated by humans about 10,000 years ago. The common name for Musa acuminata is Dwarf Cavendish. These dwarf banana trees grow 8 to 10 feet tall and produce purple fruit that tastes sweet. Another popular banana plant is Musa basjoo or Japanese banana. Its bananas are inedible.

The plant’s underground stem is called a rhizome, a fleshy root that stays near ground level.

 


 

How to Grow Your Banana Plant Indoors

Banana plants are succulent fruit trees that can make a beautiful addition to home decor. You can purchase a plant from Amazon, a garden center, or a local gardener. As houseplants, they’re surprisingly easy to care for. Here’s a quick plant care guide to help you get started.  

Fertilization

When your banana plant shows stunted growth, it may be time to fertilize. One way to fertilize is to use one and a half pounds of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) 8-10-8 fertilizer once per month. For dwarf trees, split that amount in half.

If you prefer to fertilize more regularly, use a water-based fertilizer. Make sure your application equipment (brush, hose) is clean so that there are no contaminants introduced to the soil when you apply the fertilizer. Water the mixture thoroughly after applying it, and continue caring for your banana plant as usual.

Potting

First, choose the right pot. The pot should be at least 12 inches deep with good drainage holes. Fill the pot with commercial potting soil or mix together two parts potting soil with one part perlite or vermiculite to ensure good drainage. 

Then, place your new banana tree in the center of the container and fill in around it with more soil until there is about 1 inch between the top of the soil and the rim of the container.

You can use eggshells or pebbles at the bottom of the pot to weigh it down if necessary. 

Soil

Soil is not one-size-fits-all. Three popular options are coconut coir, gravel, and Rockwool. Coconut coir has good aeration, drainage, and water retention properties that allow roots to stay moist without rotting or flooding. Whatever medium you select, ensure it’s well-draining to help prevent root rot.

Sunlight

Bananas are tropical plants native to sunny environments, so if you live far from the equator, you will probably want to put your bananas near a window with at least five hours of direct sunlight per day. Be careful not to let the plant get too hot, or its leaf tips may burn.

On average, banana plants require six hours of full sun per day to thrive. However, many people report that they have been able to grow them in lower-light conditions as long as they have enough water and humidity. This is because the leaves store nutrients from the roots and release them when needed. 

Temperature

Banana plants prefer temperatures between 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. For gardeners who live in sunny, tropical places, the natural environment will do perfectly well. You may need an artificial source of bright light if you live in a colder climate, but your fruit will be just as tasty.

Watering

During the summer months, a banana tree should be watered daily or every other day. Feel the soil, and if the top inch feels dry, it is time to water it again. Banana plants are susceptible to root rot, so take care not to overwater.

 


 

How to Repot Your Banana Plant Indoors

Whether you’ve just purchased a banana plant or had one for a while, you will eventually need to repot it.

Here’s how to repot your plant:

  1. Wait until spring, just before the growing season. Do not start repotting your plant in the summer.
  2. Dig up the soil in the pot with your hands or a shovel.
  3. Carefully remove the old root ball from the pot by loosening the roots with your fingers.
  4. Trim off any excess roots with scissors.
  5. Place your new banana plant in its new pot with fresh soil.

 


 

How to Propagate Your Indoor Banana Plant

You’ll need to start with a sucker to propagate your indoor plants. Suckers are small, offshoot banana plants that typically sprout up near the base of the main plant. 

Here’s a quick and easy guide to propagating your banana plant:

  1. To remove a sucker, cut it away from the main plant with a sharp knife. 
  2. Once you have your sucker, you can pot it up in its own container filled with moist potting mix
  3. Place the pot in a warm, sunny spot and keep the soil moist.

 


 

Common Issues with Indoor Banana Plants

Banana plants make a beautiful addition to any indoor space, but they can be finicky. The most common issues with indoor banana plants are not enough light, not enough water, too much water, not enough fertilizer, too much fertilizer, pests, and diseases.

Improper Watering

If you do not water your plant correctly, it will produce a lesser yield, and the quality of its fruit will be poor.

Since bananas depend on a lot of moisture, frequent watering is essential; without it, your plant’s large leaves will start wilting. Be sure not to overwater the plant, though. If your plant has been exposed to too much water, it will produce blossom end rot, which will cause the skin around the fruit to look brown and papery.

Instead of dousing your banana plant, lightly mist the leaves with lukewarm water every two days until they have enough nutrients and healthy roots. Before you know it, your banana plant will grow upwards and start yielding bananas. Your baby banana plant will be fully grown and ready for harvesting in about nine months.

Not Enough Light

If you can’t provide sufficient light, your plant’s leaves will become small and yellow. The plant’s growth will slow, the fruit may contort, and the banana won’t taste good when it’s ready for harvest. 

To get around this problem, try an artificial light or a grow light that can be plugged into an electrical outlet. Many people use a 1000-watt grow light, but you should find out what type of fixture is best for your needs.

Too Much or Too Little Fertilizer

Bananas are heavy feeders and need a lot of nutrients to grow. If they don’t get enough, they will exhibit symptoms like yellowing, browning, or curling leaves; few shoots; or leafless vines. To have strong and healthy banana plants, ensure you fertilize them regularly with fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 8-10-8.

Spread the fertilizer evenly around the plant, but do not let it touch the trunk. Fertilizer can burn a banana plant. Feed your container banana trees on the same schedule as an outside tree, but use half the fertilizer.

Pests and Diseases

Aphids, weevils, and nematodes will all plague a banana plant. Red spider mites also love munching on a banana plant’s leaves. If aphids are a problem, the easiest way to get rid of them is with a blast of water. A professional pest control company can help you eliminate other plant-destroying insects.

The other thing you need to be careful about is fungus, a common issue for pot plants. To prevent or treat fungus, you can use baking soda, fungicide, or hydrogen peroxide. Be sure not to use insecticides or chemical pesticides, as these can burn your plant.

 


 

Our Recommendation

Banana plants make beautiful, tropical additions to sunrooms, gardens, and landscapes. Many varieties produce sweet and edible fruits, and the flowers bring additional health benefits. While banana plants require copious amounts of water and sunshine, they are generally hardy. Follow the care tips in this guide; you should have no trouble getting your banana plant to flourish.

 


 

Indoor Banana Plants FAQ

What does it mean if a banana plant has yellow leaves?

If your banana plant has yellow leaves, it could signify a nutrient deficiency, too much sun exposure, or overwatering. If you think your plant has a nutrient deficiency, consider fertilizing it with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. If you think your plant is getting too much sun, try moving it to a shadier spot. And if you think your plant is overwatered, try letting the soil dry out completely before watering again.

How can I make a banana plant grow faster?

Banana plants are fast growers, but you can do a few things to help them along. First, make sure they’re getting enough light. A south-facing window is ideal. Second, water regularly, but don’t overwater—the soil should be moist but not soggy. Third, feed your plant with a balanced fertilizer on a regular schedule. Fourth, watch out for pests and diseases and treat them accordingly.

How big do banana plants get indoors?

Most banana plants will stay fairly small when grown indoors. They can range from 2 to 6 feet tall, with some dwarf varieties staying smaller. Of course, the size of your plant will also depend on the pot you’re using. Generally, you’ll want to choose a pot about twice the size of the plant’s root ball.