Banana cultivation

Banana (Musa spp.) Is a plant of rich and long past and one of the most consumed plant species in the world. It is known as the plant that is most commonly grown in the tropics, although there are more and more banana growers in the continental regions. If you want to grow a banana in the yard or in the garden, you need to know that it will be an ornamental plant (banana Musa sp.). Bananas will rarely produce fruit in our region, and because of the lack of heat and sun, its fruits will be bland and bitter and thus inedible.

All varieties grown today in the world come from two species, namely: Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. They usually bear fruit within half a year of planting, with a lifespan of 25 years.

Growing banana grows from 3 to 9 meters. Each shoot carries long leaves up to 5 meters in size. When the young is older, a flower axis is formed from it, which hangs downwards with a group of bananas. One bunch can have a whole dozen or so of twenty or more fruits. Banana gives a very large yield and is popular for cultivation.


A banana in the tropics can grow up to 15 meters, but they are generally grown in a much smaller variety. All species have large leaves and some are colorful. The banana flowers are one-or two-sexed and of different colors. Banana fruits are different in color and strength, and are generally curved and elongated. Beneath the peel, the banana is soft and rich in starch. Banana peel can be yellow, brown, green and red. Banana has a delicious taste and aroma.

The fruits develop from the heart of the banana, in large and downward hanging clusters containing up to 20 banana fruits. Such bunches can weigh between 30 and 50 pounds. A single banana fruit usually weighs about 100 grams.

Planting bananas

Bananas need rich and well compacted soil. It should be deep and well graded, but with a high percentage of moisture. It is also important to secure the bananas from the wind. The smallest varieties are planted at least three meters apart because they are extremely tall and branched.


Some smaller varieties of bananas or those reserved for germination will also grow from seeds, however propagation can best be achieved by slicing tubers with associated buds.

In colder climates they can be grown in a greenhouse. It is important that the temperature does not fall below 19 degrees and not more than 30 degrees. If you are going to grow them in pots, bring them outdoors in the summer.

Prune them regularly and they will give birth better. The banana should bear fruit after a year. Only one stalk yields a fruit, and after removing the fruit, cut off the stalk as well. It has a long life span, but commercial varieties need to be changed every 10 years.


Ground

Banana is not demanding as far as the country in which you will plant it. It is important that it be deep (at least 60 centimeters), well drained and loose. It also likes fertile soil with a pH value of 5.5 to 7.

fertilization

When watering a banana, add liquid fertilizer to it to keep the banana nice and healthy.

Temperature

Banana growth will suit warm and sunny places, which is why it suits the tropical climate the most. Does not tolerate temperatures below 16 degrees. Although it suits a lot of light, it still does not suit the sun directly. It is sensitive to draft, so be careful if you grow it in pots.

Water

It will take a lot of moisture to grow a banana (it requires 60 percent humidity) because the banana has large leaves from which moisture evaporates every day. It is therefore recommended to water it every two weeks. Be careful not to overdo it at the same time as it may cause root rot.

Water it once or twice a week in summer and less often in winter (allow the humus to dry on the surface).

Growing bananas in pots

Bananas are better suited for growing out of a greenhouse than at home, but some types of decorative bananas with decorative foliage thrive well in room conditions. They are mostly grown as decorative plants because of the leaves.

The banana is propagated by shoots that should be planted in other containers. Make sure they are sized enough to allow this large plant to grow smoothly. A banana can grow up to seven meters in ideal tropical areas, while in our region it is more likely to grow up to a maximum of 3.5 meters.

In the early spring, in April or May, bring a banana jar to the yard or garden, but choose a place that is well lit. Be careful not to expose it to direct sunlight immediately but do so gradually. Otherwise, its leaves could be fried in the sun. The plant can remain outdoors until the end of September. However, be careful not to be exposed to direct sunlight during the hottest months and allow it plenty of water.

When cooler weather comes, prepare the banana for hibernation. If you grow it in pots, bring it to a warm place and water it twice a month. But if you planted it in the garden, preparing for the winter will be a little more complicated.Cut the leaves and shorten the plant to a meter or a meter and a half in height so it can be more easily warmed. Mulch the soil and protect the plant with dried leaves and straw. Then put nylon over everything and do not forget the top of the plant as it may penetrate the plant moisture and cause rot. If you see a frozen tip of the plant in spring, shorten it to a healthy part. During severe winters, the whole plant may fail. But do not be disappointed as soon you can see healthy shoots from the underground part of the plant.

If you planted a banana as a houseplant, it will rarely bear fruit. While this is not impossible, it will take three years for the first flowers to emerge necessary to produce fruit.

Plantation maintenance

In spring, they are transplanted into a larger pot so they can grow freely. Provide them with plenty of compost and thin them out as needed. In the summer repeat everything, while autumn is reserved for the harvest of fruits. After harvesting, remove the old stems and thin them. Maintain the heat you need in the winter.

The banana should be transplanted every year in the spring. Then the substrate is mixed with sand and some peat. In the winter months, it will be best suited to a warm glass lobby where the air temperature will not drop below 12 degrees. The banana must be irrigated daily.

Banana propagation

The banana is propagated by dividing the lateral shoots that grow at the bottom of the stem.

Banana pruning and pruning

To encourage better banana growth, it is recommended to prune it. Remove any dry and damaged leaves.

Disease protection

The banana tree is not susceptible to disease or pests, it is extremely resistant.

Banana harvesting

Bananas are born after a year, and harvest is done in the fall. It is best to harvest the bananas while they are green and leave them in a warm place to ripen to yellow.

Banana storage

Bananas that are transported over longer distances are harvested while still green. From standing in a warm place, it will mature to its yellow color. Do not refrigerate green bananas in the refrigerator as this will prevent them from ripening. Bananas do not tolerate low temperatures.

Medicinal properties of bananas

Bananas are medicinal fruits that should be consumed every day, and the reason is that they are available throughout the year. They contain natural sugars that can provide our body with large amounts of energy. Vitamin B6 regulates blood sugar and keeps it balanced. It is rich in iron and thus treats anemia. Because they are rich in fiber and thus stimulate digestion, they are recommended as part of healthy weight loss.

It is rich in potassium and is therefore recommended for anyone suffering from high blood pressure. Its nutrients help for brain health, memory and concentration, and it is good for treating depression and tension.

Research shows that people who suffer from depression feel better when they eat a banana. Specifically, a banana contains tryptophan, which the body converts to serotonin. So when you feel tense and anxious, eat a banana. In addition, it contains large amounts of Vitamin B, which are known to calm the nervous system and relieve tension.

Bananas can neutralize acid, so if you have heartburn, eat a banana to help ease the symptoms.

Banana in culinary

Banana is most commonly eaten as raw fruit. It can be prepared as a dessert, so it is found in ice creams, cakes, liqueurs, various beverages, smoothies, and banana bread is also known. There is no one who has not heard of the popular banana split.

In warm tropical areas, banana is also used as a vegetable and for making flour.

Banana Interests

The banana is actually the largest herbaceous flowering plant with an annual overhead portion while the perennial tree is actually in the soil. After giving birth, the parent plant dies, but new shoots sprout from the lower parts of the plant. The aboveground part of the plant actually makes the leaves, and since that part is quite solid, many people mistake it and call it a banana woody plant.

European travelers discovered the banana by traveling to tropical and subtropical regions. The most commonly grown types of bananas come from Malaysia and East Asia. Today commercial bananas for cultivation are produced worldwide. Banana is native to East Asia, India and Australia and is one of the oldest cultivated plants. There are more than 400 types of banana around the world.

Fruits of some types of bananas are used in animal nutrition, and those textiles belonging to industrial plants have leaves suitable for the production of solid fibers.

Interestingly, bananas are slightly radioactive. Specifically, more than any other fruit, they contain potassium and a small amount of potassium isotope.

Author: M.L., Photo: Dekoelie / Wikimedia

DOLE - Harvesting Bananas (July 2020)