The banana plant is not actually a tree - it is considered a giant herb. It is a fast-growing plant reaching heights of 10 to 20 feet after only 1 year. Banana plants harvest a stalk of bananas in about 18 months in ideal soil and climatic conditions. In less than perfect climate and soil conditions, it may take up to 2 years for a banana plant to produce a harvest of fresh fruit. Bananas are edible and ripe for eating after 3 or 4 months on the stalk. Grows well in semi-shade or no shade and in areas with less wind. Blooms white to yellowish flowers. The banana plant can tolerate light frosts. Grows well in Arizona.
Growth Rate: Fast
Soil Type: Prefers well-drained soils that are rich in hummus. Frequent watering required.
Zones: 8 to 12
Germination Range: N/A
Stratification Requirement: Plant in very warm soil with temperatures of 75-80 degrees F. Germination can take 3-7 weeks.
Indoor Planting: If your seeds require stratification or scarification – do the recommended pretreatment before planting indoors. Planting Instructions: Fill a container with seed starting mix to about ½ inch from the top. Place your seeds 1 inch to 1 ½ inches below the soil surface. Gently water your seeds to keep moist, not soaking wet. Heat & humidity is critical for germination. Germination may occur in 1 week or as long as 3 months (depending on the species). Place the seed container on a heat mat under growing light(s). Keep your growing lights on 14 hours per day. Keep your heat mat on 24 hours per day. Once your seeds germinate, move each seed into its own container under the growing lights and on the heat mat. Keep your seedlings indoors for 2-3 months before transplanting outdoors in the spring (May to June).
Outdoor Planting: If your seeds do not require stratification: the best time to plant tree and shrub seeds outdoors is after the last frost in your area (spring). In the Northern states – the best time to plant seeds outdoors is from May to June. If your seeds require pretreatment: you should plant your seeds outdoors before the ground freezes in your area (late September to early November). Your seeds will naturally stratify during the cold winter. Germination usually occurs in May or during the spring season.