How To Grow Lady Finger Bananas

Would you like to grow small bananas in your backyard garden?

You can grow a lady finger banana plant in a small garden or even in a large container if you live in an area with warm, humid weather.

In this article I’ll show you how to grow lady finger banana plants and share my tips for producing an abundant crop of bananas.

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lady finger bananas in a bowl

Lady finger bananas (Musa acuminata), also known as sugar bananas, are one of the most popular banana varieties for home gardens.

Banana plants are perennial herbs (not trees) and they grow from a large underground rhizome.

The plants form pseudostems, which are tightly packed overlapping leaf sheaths.

The pseudostem is often called the trunk, but it’s not a woody stem like a tree trunk.

Lady Finger Bananas have bright yellow flowers that are great for attracting hummingbirds and beneficial insects to your garden.

Growing conditions

Lady Finger bananas are most suited to tropical and subtropical climates.

They grow best in a spot that receives full sun but is protected from winds.

Bananas don’t like a lot extremely hot or cold weather so ideal temperature range is between 65 F (18 C) and 80 F (26 C) for most of the year.

bunch of lady finger bananas

Soil

Bananas need rich, fertile soil to produce fruit, so you’ll need to dig some aged compost into the soil before planting.

The soil should also be easily draining to avoid the soil becoming waterlogged, which can lead to root rot.

Lady finger bananas can also be grown in large containers with good drainage holes.

Planting

You can buy small banana plants from nurseries and garden centers, or you may have a friend that can give you a couple of suckers to plant in your garden.

Lady finger bananas can’t withstand very cold temperatures or frost, so if you live in an area where temperatures fall below 50 degress F (10 degrees C), plant them in a container and move the container indoors when temperatures start to drop.

How tall do lady finger banana plants grow?

Lady finger banana plants can grow 5 to 25 feet (1.5 to 7.6 metres) tall but they don’t usually reach their maximum height in a backyard setting.

You can also find dwarf lady finger plants that grow up to 15 feet (4.5 metres) tall.

Caring for lady finger banana plants

Banana plants need lots of water and they should be watered every day during periods of extreme heat or drought.

Banana plants are also heavy feeders, so it’s important to feed the plants with a balanced fertilizer every few months during the spring and summer months.

Pruning

Lady finger banana plants will die off when they’ve finished producing fruit, but there should be other suckers coming up to take its place.

Leave a couple of the suckers in place and replant any excess suckers somewhere else in the garden or give them away to friends or family.

This will encourage new, healthy growth and make your plants bushier and more productive.

lady finger banana plant

Growing lady finger bananas indoors

Growing bananas indoors is a good idea if you live in an area where the temperature drops below 50 degrees F (10 degrees C).

You can successfully grow a banana plant indoors as long as the temperature stays between 65 F and 80 F (18 to 26 degrees C). [1]

Place the pot near a big sunny window and use a humidifier to increase the humidity level indoors.

Pests & Diseases

Lady finger bananas are prone to attacks from thrips, nematodes, weevils, aphids and fungal diseases like Panama disease, which is a soil-borne fungus.

Check the plants regularly and if you spot any infestations you’ll need to take action quickly to save the plant.

Harvesting

Lady finger banana plants take about nine months to produce fruit and you can place a large, open ended bag over each bunch of bananas to protect them from birds, possums, flying foxes and other pests.

Cut the bunches off while they’re still green and allow them to ripen indoors or leave them on the tree until they’re fully ripe.

How long do lady finger bananas last?

Ripe lady finger bananas are best eaten within a few days of harvesting them.

Bananas that have been stored at room temperature will last about a week while fully ripe bananas can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Nutritional information

Lady finger bananas are high in fiber and potassium and low in fat.

They’re also high in vitamins B6 and vitamin C as well as magnesium, manganese and copper.

harvesting lady finger bananas

What’s the difference between cavendish and lady finger bananas?

Cavendish bananas are the most popular type of banana found in grocery stores and produce markets but they’re not as sweet as lady fingers.

Lady finger bananas are smaller than cavendish bananas and they don’t turn brown as quickly when they’re cut so they’re ideal for adding to fruit salads or desserts.

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Growing Lady Finger Bananas is fairly straight forward as long as you give the plants lots of sunlight, water and fertilizer.

Lady finger bananas are very sweet when they’re fully ripe so they’re perfect for a snack or to add to your smoothie.

Have you tried growing lady finger bananas in your backyard garden? Let me know in the comments below.

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Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin. I'm passionate about gardening and horticulture and I love growing just about everything including herbs, vegetables, flowers, succulents and indoor plants. I've been gardening most of my life and I created this blog to inspire beginner gardeners to create their own urban garden. Read more

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