In India traditions and festivals will be incomplete without its fruits and leaves. Be it Hindu culture, Parsi, Jain traditions, or the cuisine in South India and famous food serving style all of this will be incomplete without this very plant, “The Banana”.
In Indian culture, they are placed at venue entrance of Grihapravesha, Marriage and other religious functions. Banana plants symbolizes fertility and is considered auspicious. They are equated to Devaguru Brihaspati (Planet Jupiter) and Lord Vishnu.
Traditions apart, Banana is the power house of quick release carbohydrates required during or after heavy workout. Not only vital carobs, it is also rich in minerals like Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium etc and is not limited to these there are other host of other health benefits that come along with this humble fruit. If you have space it is one of the must grow plant species.
Believe it or not Banana is technically (or Botanically) a berry of the Genus Musa. It is also the largest herbaceous flowering plant. In simple words Banana is actually World’s largest herb. Plants are normally tall and fairly sturdy, and are often mistaken for trees, but what appears to be a trunk is actually a “false stem” or pseudo-stem. Bananas grow in a wide variety of soils, as long as the soil is at least 60 cm deep, has good drainage and is not compacted.
As with all potassium-containing objects on Earth, including many common foods and people, bananas emit radioactivity at very low levels occurring naturally from potassium-40 (40K or K-40), which is one of several isotopes of potassium. The banana equivalent dose of radiation was developed in 1995 as a simple teaching-tool to educate the public about the natural, small amount of K-40 radiation occurring in every human and in common foods – where the banana was used as an example. The radiation exposure from consuming one banana is approximately 1% of the average daily exposure to radiation.
We now know that Banana is a herb. Banana can be grown over a large variety of soils ranging from Deep to rich loamy the conditions for qualifying as a good soil for Banana is it should have good drainage, adequate fertility and moisture. A soil that is not too acidic & not too alkaline, rich in organic material with high nitrogen content, adequate phosphorus level and plenty of potash are good for banana.
Bananas thrive in warm, humid conditions. When temperatures drop, growth slows down, and very cold temperatures cause plants to die back.
Since banana trees are tropical and originate in rain forests, they need a lot of water and plenty of moisture in the air. They do best when planted in groups rather than as single specimens. Planting close together helps retain moisture in the leaves. Provide 1 or 2 inches of water weekly and check frequently to make certain the soil stays evenly moist. Avoid over-watering which can cause root rot. The soil should be moist but not soggy at all times, if possible.
Like all herbs Banana also loves soil pH ranging from 6 to 7.5.
These plants are monoecious—meaning the plant has both the male and female reproductive organs in the same individual plant. There also may be neutered flowers. Bananas are classified as a berry, and the fruit actually comes from the female flowers, which, strangely enough, develop without pollination. The seeds of bananas may not be fertile.
The best method of propagation is division. To divide banana plants, separate the suckers or pups from the rhizome using a very sharp spade and quite a bit of strength. Before you do this, wait until the pups (or suckers) are at least 3 feet tall and have their own roots. Make sure there are several pups before you take any suckers off, so it does not unbalance the original plant. When dividing, make sure the suckers have plenty of roots to get a good start when replanted.
Once you separate the sucker from the parent plant, allow the surface of the rhizome section to dry for a day or so. At this point, it will be ready for replanting in any desired location.
Banana trees will grow in containers but need at least 15-gallon pots as the minimum size for optimum growth. When it is in a container, you can have complete control over the plant’s environment. You should be able to protect it better in cold and inclement weather.
These are very hungry and thirsty plants and you may find it difficult to keep up with the feeding and watering requirements when growing them in pots
Repot and divide container grown banana plants at least once every three years. Use a very high quality potting mix and make sure to fertilize regularly.
Banana plants are heavy feeders and require monthly application of fertilizers rich in Nitrogen and potassium or at best any organic fertilizer with balanced nutrition. To conserve nutrition soil must be mulched with organic mulch like garden leaves. We at Ecotika strive to bring to you the best possible combination for Banana Plant. In this effort we have developed Abundant Banana the liquid fertilizer blend designed especially for Banana.
Abundant Banana is a fertilizer designed for fortnightly use. Do check out the product to have your Banana love you back.