Banana cultivation — instructions for planting and growing at home (110 photos)
Bananas are currently no surprise to anyone. We are used to their year-round sales in supermarkets and markets. However, we know very little about this plant and how to grow fruits, as a rule. Many people live in full confidence that bananas grow on palm trees in warm climes. And everything, it turns out, is not so unattainably difficult.
If you try, you can grow a banana at home and enjoy the sweet fruits collected from it. In this article we will talk about the plant, its fruits, varieties, methods of reproduction and agriculture of growing this exotic in our latitudes. And now in order.
They do not grow on palm trees, but on herbaceous plants, spherical fleshy roots of which are located deep underground. From the rhizome (rhizome) grows a juicy stem formed from the petioles of the leaves (false stem).
Around the main stem, root scions grow from the rhizome. The plants have huge leaves, the length of which reaches up to 2-4 m, and the width is up to 60 cm. Rather rapidly growing leaves gradually die off. Their dried and hardened petioles form a false trunk of the plant.
If you look at the photo of a banana tree, you can see that the stems of the lower dead leaves have formed a kind of trunk, and green leaves are located in the upper part. During this period, the plant really resembles a palm tree.
In favorable growing conditions, one leaf appears in a week. When about 45 leaves grow and a real stem is formed inside the false stem, the plant releases one huge peduncle. This happens approximately after the expiration of 8 to 12 months.
White tubular flowers filled with nectar hang down in a multi-tiered cascade. Male, the smallest, are located in the upper part of the peduncle. In the middle part of it there are larger bisexual flowers, and in the lower part – the largest — female. It is from them that fruits are tied after pollination.
The upper flowers, having performed the function of pollination, crumble, and on the lower tiers of the peduncle there is further development, growth and ripening of fruits. The cluster consists of separate tiers. Several brushes grow in each tier. Depending on the variety and conditions, there can be from 6 to 15 brushes.
The total height of the tree can reach 5-8, and in natural conditions of growth and 15 meters.
At first, the fruits have a light green color. When maturing, depending on the variety, they gradually acquire shades of yellow or red. For the purpose of a longer period of storage and transportation, they are cut green. At this stage of maturity, they are also not eaten by rodents.
The ground part of the fertilized plant dies. Next year, a new stem grows from the oldest of the rhizome processes and the plant repeats the same cycle of growth, flowering and fruiting. When growing bananas in agriculture, the strongest appendage is left for the next year, and the rest is removed to avoid depletion of the land.
According to the technique of cultivation, bananas belong to berries.
With all the diversity of wild species (there are about 40 of them in total), plants growing in nature have oval inedible fruits filled with seeds. The bananas grown as agriculture that we buy for food are the result of the work of breeders. There are no such varieties in nature.
Some of the wild species live in nature for up to a hundred years. Intensive fruiting on industrial plantations lasts for ten to fifteen years, after which it is resumed.
Now you know how bananas grow. There are no fundamental differences in their growth, flowering and fruiting in the wild and in agriculture. There are significant differences in reproduction.
Propagation of bananas in nature and in agriculture
Bananas growing in nature with inedible fruits filled with seeds are propagated by seeds and vegetatively by root processes.
Ornamental varieties can be grown from seeds, the fruits of which are mostly unsuitable for food. Such varieties are grown for landscaping and decoration of premises.
Fruit (or edible) varieties have no seeds. They are propagated vegetatively from root processes. A sprout obtained from the root process of a fruit banana can be purchased at garden centers or other stores selling similar goods.
The wisdom of growing bananas at home and in a greenhouse
Some ornamental or fruit varieties of bananas can be grown at home or in greenhouses.
Decorative, suitable for growing at home, include the following varieties:
- bright red;
- chinese dwarf;
Their height ranges from one to one and a half meters.
Fruit varieties with high taste qualities suitable for growing at home include the following:
- Kiev supercarlik (1 m);
- cavendish super dwarf (1-1.3 m);
- cavendish dwarf (1.8-2.4 m);
- pointed (2 m).
Growing a banana in an apartment and getting delicious fruits is quite realistic if there is a desire, certain care skills and the possibility of creating the necessary conditions, which we will discuss further. So, where to start? Of course, with planting material. To grow an ornamental variety, you can buy seeds, for a fruit variety, you can buy a rooted specimen in a pot. Dwarf and super dwarf varieties are suitable for this purpose.
Next, you need to prepare the substrate. For this purpose, the land from the deciduous forest is suitable, which we take under acacia, linden, hazel, birch. The land taken under an oak, chestnut or poplar is not suitable.
We dig out the top layer of earth with a thickness of 7-10 cm . To it we add 10% humus, 5% wood ash, 20% river sand. Mix everything and pour boiling water or calcine for disinfection. We lay drainage on the bottom of the pot (it is very important that there is no stagnation of water), then a layer of wet sand, on which we lay the earth mixture. You can use a ready-made floral substrate purchased in a garden store.
Do not put the pot directly into the tray. For a good outflow of excess moisture and air circulation, several pebbles should be placed in the pallet, on which to place the pot.
How to plant a banana?
The purchased grown-up copy is left for acclimatization in an apartment or house for a few days. Then transplant into a pot prepared for this purpose. As your pet grows, it will need to be transplanted into a larger container.
At each transshipment, it must be buried below the previous time. We select pots taking into account such a need. Bananas bear fruit in a container of about 50 liters.
The optimal temperature for the development of your pet is from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius. When it decreases to 15 degrees, growth stops.
The lighting should be bright, in the apartment the pot should be placed directly at the window. If you take it out to the street or balcony in the summer from the scorching rays, you should make a light shading of gauze or tulle. You can install the pot in the "lace" shade of the trees.
Watering. Large leaves evaporate a lot of moisture. Therefore, it should be watered abundantly, but not often. To avoid rotting of the roots, water when the top layer of the substrate 2-3 cm thick has completely dried out and crumbles in your hand.
Top dressing. Fertilizing is necessary for fruiting. In the warm season, it is advisable to apply top dressing weekly, and with the transition to winter, their frequency is increased to 1 time per month. The following solutions give a good effect:
- vermicompost or humus (but not chicken or pork);
- from green plants (quinoa, lupine or other weeds);
- for specimens above 1 m, it is useful to add fishmeal to the solution. Its presence enhances fruiting.
You can grow bananas in a greenhouse. At the same time, the conditions for their development and fruiting need to be created similarly to those described above. If you preferred the decorative option and were able to get seeds – go ahead. To begin with, you will need to damage the seed shell so that it sprouts sooner. You can do this with sandpaper or a nail file.
Plastic cups can be used for seedlings. We place drainage on the bottom, then pour the substrate, leaving about 3 cm to the top of the cup. In the middle of the substrate we place a seed. We put the cups in a warm, well-lit place, cover with glass, periodically water and ventilate. Sprouts appear after 3 months. Further care is similar to the cultivation described above.