Plants 101

How to Care for a Banana Plant

Roll up your sleeves and get ready to learn all about how to care for a Banana plant.

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It’s not just apple, pear, or cherry trees you can plant to enjoy their fruits. It is possible to grow a fruiting banana plant, but not without a bit of work. Intermediate gardeners and beginners looking for a challenge will enjoy the rewarding experience of learning how to care for a banana plant.

There are about 70 various species of banana trees. Most of these species grow best outdoors; some can grow 12 to 20 feet tall. Research the different varieties to choose the best type of banana tree for your USDA Hardiness Zone and available space, and pick whether you would like a fruiting or ornamental variety of banana leaf plant.

With research you can enjoy these striking tropical plants indoors and out.


The banana plant effectively transports you to a tropical paradise, with its solid trunk topped with flat, delicate leaves. This trunk can shed bark, giving it the recognizable appearance of a palm tree or other warm-weather species.

A banana plants leaves can reach more than one foot in length and easily tear. The flapping foliage features vibrant green leaves without any variegation or other leaf design. Some of the leaves stick straight up, while others reach to the sides.

This plant can produce edible fruits, but many will not taste like the bananas you grab at the grocery store. Many of these banana leaf plants produce a plantain, a starchy fruit that resembles a banana. Unlike bananas, plantains taste better when they are fully cooked. Plantains are indigenous to Southeast Asia and are used in world cuisines.

Caring for a Banana Plant


This tropical plant drinks up the sun and prefers to be blasted by rays for at least six hours each day. Plants requiring at least six hours of direct sunlight daily are considered full-sun plants. Place them near a South or West-facing window which provides the most light, or outdoors in a sunny spot. While morning sunlight works, the hotter afternoon rays are even better for a banana plant. Not sure if your space will provide enough light? Consider measuring light to ensure your Banana plant will receive enough!

How long does a banana plant take to grow? A banana plant will reach its full maturity in as little as nine months to one year.


This rainforest plant requires a lot of water to thrive. While overwatering can be a problem that leads to root rot, it is essential to keep this plant moist. Pay close attention to your banana plant, especially during periods of warm weather and allow half the soil to dry out between waterings. You can utilize a moisture meter to help you properly gauage soil moisture and avoid overwatering.


The Banana plant is a tropical plant, which means it thrives in humid conditions typically ranging between 30-40% or higher indoors. Not sure if humidity is high enough? You can measure the level of humidity with a hygrometer or LTH meter.

If your home is particularly dry, you may need to increase the humidity around your plant. Placing a humidifier nearby will be the best way to localize adequate humidity levels consistently.


Temperature extremes are the enemy of your banana plant. Those who like to keep their thermostats a little warmer will make a happy home for a banana plant. Ideally, this houseplant grows most quickly in an environment with a temperature consistently between 75 to 95 degrees.

Place your banana plant in a consistently warm room to help it grow even faster.


Banana trees need a lot of nutrients to fuel and sustain their rapid growth. Using an organic potting mix that is well-draining and rich in nutrients is best.

Indoor banana plants require less fertilizer than outdoor ones but still need regular feedings during the Spring/Summer months.

Common Problems

SYMPTOM: Wilting, dry potting mix

CAUSE: Thirsty plant, underwatered

SYMPTOM: Yellowing and mushy leaves, wet potting mix

CAUSE: Overwatered

SYMPTOM: Leaf spotting

CAUSE: Fungal infection


Banana plants bring the unmistakable feeling of the tropics to your outdoor landscapes and indoor spaces as well. Be sure to allow plenty of room for this plant to thrive indoors and outdoors, with lots of direct sun and plentiful water.

Words By The Sill

Empowering all people to be plant people—a collection of articles from The Sill’s team of plant experts across a variety of plant care topics to inspire confidence in the next generation of plant parents. Welcome to Plant Parenthood™.

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