From adding appeal to your landscape design to the ability to grow and enjoy a favorite fruit, the benefits of a banana tree are easy to see. While durable and easy to grow, the banana tree does require maintenance from time to time. Whether you have planted one or more dwarf trees or a cold hardy banana tree that can grow up to 11 feet tall, sun, heat, and a great deal of care will be necessary to promote growth that bears a great deal of fruit. With this guide and your tree specialist's assistance, you will learn a few tips on how to care for your banana tree.
1. Protect From the Cold
The winter season can be a big problem for banana trees, even in Florida. Without the proper protection, your banana tree will be stunted, reducing any further growth and fruit production.
Thankfully, protecting this tree from the cooler temperatures is an easy task.
Surround the base of the tree with mulch. This helps trap in moisture, but it also protects the tree's roots from weeds and the cold. If you believe temperatures will dip to the point of causing frost buildup, cover the entire tree with a sheet or gardening burlap.
2. Cutting Back and Pruning
If your tree experienced frost due to the cooler temperatures, the leaves of your tree will drop to the ground. Removing this dead foliage after the winter season is essential if you want the tree to begin growing and thriving again in the spring season.
Wind is also a problem for banana trees. A sheet is not capable of protecting your tree in heavy winds, so a hurricane or severe storm will most likely cause the leaves to shred and die back.
Avoid cutting the shredded foliage, but use your pruning shears to trim away leaves underlying leaves. This will give the top layer of leaves the boost they need to grow back fuller.
During the warmer season when bananas are harvested, it is best to cut the entire tree back down to the point where the stem is approximately 30 inches above the ground. Shred the leftover stem and spread it around the base of your banana tree to act as mulch.
You may not think cutting back and pruning is too excessive, but it is the best way to ensure new growth that produces a large supply of bananas.
3. Give it a Friend
One of the best ways to protect your banana tree is to give it a friend. One or more banana trees planted together will create a strong grouping that will protect each tree from extreme temperatures and heavy wind gusts.
A grouping of trees that share the same space and soil will also help conserve vital nutrients, which are essential for growth.
In addition, planting multiple trees together will reward you and your family more bananas.
4. Fertilize with Ferocity
Fertilizing your tree is imperative for new, healthy growth and larger bananas. For the best growth and fruit production, fertilize the trees 4 to 6 times per year.
Since a lack of nitrogen and potassium is one of the most problematic issues, use a fertilizer that contains high amounts of these nutrients.
Choose from fertilizer pellets, which can be spread around the base of the tree. Be sure to mix these pellets into the soil and water thoroughly. Additional fertilizer should be added in periods of heavy rain or wind since the pellets wash away easily.
The banana tree is a beautiful and functional tree for your landscape design and family's needs. For more information on growing and maintaining your trees, contact A Advanced Tree Service of Brevard.