Banana Growing Guide

Musa × paradisiaca, other Musa hybrids


Crop Rotation Group



Fertile, well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH.


Full sun.

Frost tolerant

No. Bananas are tropical plants with little tolerance for cold. They are hardy only to about 25°F (-4°C).


Feed monthly with a balanced organic fertilizer.


Single Plants: 5' 10" (1.80m) each way (minimum)
Rows: 5' 10" (1.80m) with 5' 10" (1.80m) row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

In tropical climates, bananas can be planted year-round. Dig and replant small pups from an existing clump, or start with purchased plants. In areas where bananas are grown commercially, biosecurity measures to control pests and diseases may affect your choice of plants. Maintain steady soil moisture after planting bananas. Bananas need plenty of moisture and nutrients to support strong growth. When planting multiple bananas, allow 6 feet (1.8 m) between plants. Each plant will send up basal shoots to form a clump. Most bananas grow to about 15 feet (4.5 m) tall. In temperate climates, dwarf varieties like ‘Cavendish’ can be grown in roomy containers provided you have a heated greenhouse or other warm, well-lit place for them to spend the winter. Allow one plant per container.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Bananas and plantains are closely related plants that are grown the same way but produce very different fruits. Bananas, sometimes called sweet bananas or dessert bananas, are much sweeter than starchy plantains, which are always cooked. Bananas can be grown as potted foliage plants in cooler climates, but they will not produce bananas. The fruiting process requires eight months or more of warm temperatures ranging from 70°F (21°C) at night to above 80°F (27°C) during the day.


Bananas are harvested by the bunch while they are still green and allowed to ripen in a place safe from animals. A bunch is ready to cut when the dried flowers at the ends of the fruits rub off easily with your fingers.


Banana leaves often split in response to strong winds, which can sometimes pull plants over. If you live where bananas are grown commercially, take the time to learn about locally abundant pests of bananas and plantains.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Banana