If you are wondering how to grow bananas at home or at a community plot, in-ground or in pots, here a guide to help you get started.
In this blog post, I will discuss the basics of banana cultivation and provide tips for beginners who want to start growing their own bananas.
First, some fun trivia about bananas!
Did you know there are more than 1000 banana varieties in the world? This includes edible and ornamental plants which come in different shapes and sizes and in colours other than yellow.
For instance, there is Musa ornata ‘Royal Purple‘, an ornamental variety, or the edible Blue Java banana, also known as ice cream banana or Musa acuminata × balbisiana.
One popular variety that is an absolute showstopper is the variegated banana Musa × paradisiaca ‘Ae Ae’ (below). It’s young fruit features green and white stripes, and matures into yellow and white stripes when ready for consumption.
Another beautiful banana to grow is the Musa ‘Thousand Fingers’ which, as you may have guessed, has up to a thousand fruits.
All banana plants have only one peduncle of bananas with the exception of Musa ‘Double Mahoi’, a dwarf Cavendish type which has two heads of fruit.
There have been sightings of banana plants with more than two banana flowers, but it is considered a rare event.
Although it resembles the form of a tree, did you know banana plants are not true trees? Nor is it a palm. Instead, it is classified as a herbaceous plant as it does not have woody tissue.
Bananas in Southeast Asia
In Southeast Asia, where bananas are said to have been domesticated around 7000 years ago, we are spoilt for choice.
While the Cavendish is an internationally renown variety originally cultivated in England to much commercial success, many Southeast Asians favour local varieties like Pisang Raja Udang (which is red), Pisang Raja, Pisang Emas, Pisang Lemak Manis and many others. These can be prepared in different ways, such as deep fried, simmered in coconut milk or even curry.
Read on to find out how to grow bananas!