Musa acuminata is a perennial herb but the leaf sheaths produce several trunklike structures called pseudostems. Bananas are of Old World origin and are among the most important tropical fruits.
Blooming Time: Bananas may flower anytime of the year. The inflorescence is nearly horizontal or turned downward (becoming pendulous when fruit matures). About 100 days are required for a fruit bunch to mature after the young inflorescence bud first appears from the leaf sheaths.
Culture:Musa acuminata do best in well drained soils high in organic matter with a pH of 5.5 to 7.0. Banana plants need fertile conditions and an abundance of soil moisture for best growth and yields. The development of the plant in the first 3-4 months determines the weight of the bunch and the number of hands (fruits at the same node of an inflorescence). Young plants should be started with a fertilizer solution of 6-2-12 or similar formulation with 2-3% magnesium applied every 2 months until fruiting, 10 to 18 months later.
Propagation: Musa acuminata is most commonly propagated by the removal of suckers or pieces of rhizome from the original plant.
Musa acuminata was featured as Plant of the Week March 19-25, 1999.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.