How fast banana trees grow

Bananas: From the Bunch to Your Breakfast

Rainforest Stories

Where do bananas come from?

Bananas originated in the Malay Archipelago in Southeast Asia. Today they are grown in tropical regions across the globe, from South and Central America to India, China and Africa.

Bananas grow in hot, tropical climates. Banana plants look like trees but are actually giant herbs related to lilies and orchids. The plant grows from a root clump (rhizome), similar to a tulip bulb. There are over 500 types of bananas! People cultivate mostly cooking bananas and plantains (the starchy cousins of the sweet banana). Over 500 million people depend on the banana trade to support themselves and their families.

The dessert banana, also called the Cavendish, is the most popular type of banana in North America and Europe. When Americans were introduced to bananas in the 1880s, they were considered an exotic luxury and eaten with a knife and fork. Today, the average person in the U.S. eats more than 75 bananas a year. Tarantulas like to hide in banana leaves.

Banana plants grow quickly and can reach their full height of 20-40 feet in only 9 months. After growing for about 6-8 months, the plant develops a nice crown of leaves. Then a flowering stem emerges from the top, and a large bud begins to develop.

As the bud unfolds, it reveals double rows of tiny flowers. Each of these flowers will become an individual banana, or a “finger.” Each row of bananas is call a “hand” and is made up of 14 to 20 fingers. Each stem grows 9 to 12 hands, which means that a single banana plant can produce up to 240 bananas.

Bagging the Fruit

About 14 days after the stem has emerged, the weight of the growing bananas causes the stem to hang upside down. At this stage, many farmers cover the fruit with a bag to help protect it from insects and sun damage. Farmers also support the plant by tying it to neighboring plants with twine. This helps prevent the plant from toppling over from the weight of the bananas.


About 12 weeks after bagging, the green-colored fruit is ready to harvest. In order to harvest the bananas, one worker cuts the stem from the plant while another stands underneath to catch the falling stem on his shoulder. After one growth cycle, the banana plant will be cut down and a new plant will grow from the root clump (rhizome) left behind.

Once cut from the plant, the bananas are carried to the processing plant by horse or by workers.

After harvest, the plastic bags are recycled on Rainforest Alliance certified banana farms.


At the processing plant, workers remove bananas from their stems by hand and break them into smaller clusters. The workers must be very careful to cut neatly and accurately in order to prevent breaking the skin, which can cause rotting.

The workers submerge the bananas in large tanks of cold water. The cool water lowers the temperature of the bananas and washes off sap and latex from the cut stems.

Next, the bananas get stickers. Workers carefully pack the bananas in boxes so they do not bump against each other. This helps to minimize bruising before they arrive at their destination.

Finally, the boxes are carefully loaded into refrigerated ships, called reefers. The ship’s storage area is kept cold enough to prevent the bananas from ripening, a technique called “putting the bananas to sleep.”

Upon arrival, the bananas are placed into ripening rooms for 3 to 8 days before being brought to the markets. The bananas are loaded into a truck and shipped off to be offered to banana lovers on grocery shelves.

Rainforest Alliance Certification

Banana farmers that wish to be certified through the Rainforest Alliance must are required to:

  • Protect ecosystems
  • Conserve water, soil and forests
  • Provide decent working conditions for all workers, safety training and protective equipment
  • Maintain positive relationships with local communities
  • Establish an integrated system of waste management


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How Fast Do Banana Trees Grow?

Considering that the banana tree can be successfully grown indoors or outdoors, you may have a few questions about how long it takes them to grow. After all, banana trees can reach an average of 16 feet or higher, unless you are growing a manicured dwarf variety. We decided to do some digging to figure out exactly how fast banana trees grow, so you will know what to expect. 

If you were curious about how long it takes a banana tree to grow, you could expect to see a mature plant after 10 to 15 months. If a banana plant has optimal growing conditions, 12 hours of sunlight, plenty of water, and space to grow, most varieties of banana trees mature reasonably quickly. The variety of banana you grow, whether it is an ornamental or fruit-bearing type, and if it is grown indoors or outdoors, may impact the growth period.

A banana tree that is well cared for, adequately fertilized, and is in a hot and humid environment will quickly mature, bear flowers, and may develop fruit. Banana trees must be protected from strong winds, frigid temperatures, disease, and should be grown in well-draining soil that is rich, fertilized, and has enough room for healthy root systems to establish themselves. Read on to learn some more fine points about the life cycle of the majestic and magical banana plant.

The tropical banana tree is a popular source of nutrition for both humans and animals and is best grown in zones 9 and 11. The banana tree is not a tree at all but is, in fact, a clumping, perennial herbaceous plant. There are around 70 different varieties of the banana plant, or the Musa genus, which is a native of Southeastern Asia. There are many wonderful ornamental and fruit-bearing banana plants that gardeners can grow indoors and outdoors. Depending on the variety of banana plants selected will influence how long it takes to reach maturity.

On average, most banana trees need a minimum of 10 to 15 months to reach maturity, but some plants may need 3 to 4 years before they begin to develop fruit. Banana trees require constant warmth, humidity, frequent watering, nutrient-rich, well-draining soil, and plenty of sunshine. A mother banana plant may reach maturity, produce fruit, and then perish after as little as 13 months. However, any pups that spring up can transform into viable pseudostems or stalks which may produce flowers and fruit.

Check out different varieties of the banana plant before you commit to growing this tropical beauty, as the time it takes for each type to mature and bear fruit may vary. 

  • Super Dwarf Cavendish- After 9 to 15 months, this fruit-bearing plant will produce flowers and then eventually, fruit.
  • Ice Cream or Blue Havana- Blooms will appear after 15 to 24 months, and fruit arrives after 115 to 150 days
  • Cuban Red- Be patient and expect to wait up to 20 months for this banana plant to reach maturity.

Once a pseudostem of a banana plant has produced a clump of flowers that later become the banana fruit, it will die. The healthy rhizome of the banana plant can continue to nurture multiple pseudostems capable of producing fruit for years to come. Protect a banana plant from the winter cold, keep it under optimal growing conditions, and maintain it with pruning, fertilizing, watering, and adequate light to prolong a banana plant's lifespan. 

How Can I Make My Banana Tree Grow Faster?

Banana trees need lots of TLC to grow healthy, tall, and stays lush and beautiful. Be prepared to remove any dead, diseased, or damaged leaves as needed. If you desire, knock off unwanted suckers so that the strongest sections of the banana survive and will produce bigger fruit if a fruit-bearing variety. Otherwise, ensure that your banana plant is thoroughly and deeply watered as needed, receives plenty of sunlight, at least 6 hours, but ideally up to 12 hours. The soil is nutrient-rich but drains well.


A banana plant is sensitive to cold temperatures, so it is essential to protect it from frost and keep it at 68 degrees Fahrenheit or higher at all times.   Watering a banana plant frequently and giving it fertilizer can help it grow faster. Also, banana trees that are grown outdoors are more likely to grow faster with enough space versus an indoor variety. Plant banana trees in groups of three or more use an acidic soil that is between 5.5. and 6.5 pH, and protect them from the shade, strong wind, disease, and pests.


Check out this water-soluble fertilizer on Amazon.


Check out this fertilizer for your banana plant on Amazon.

How Tall Do Banana Trees Get?

The banana tree is a native of tropical environments, so this beautiful leafy herbaceous plant can easily reach heights of 16 feet or more. Dwarf varieties of banana trees grown indoors will reach a shorter height than their outdoor counterparts. Here are some guidelines for different types of banana trees and their average height.

  • Dwarf Cavendish Banana - Grows an average of 5 to 9 feet. 
  • Ice Cream or Blue Havana Banana - Reaches between 12 and 15 feet tall.
  • Red Cuban Banana and 'Lady Fingers' - Both varieties can reach a lofty 25 feet in height.
  • Manzana - Grows to 12 feet in height.

If a banana is exposed to cold temperatures, lacks adequate water, or the pH balance is less than desirable, it can limit the plant's optimal growth. Make sure to take steps to protect banana plants during the winter and get to know the needs of your specific banana plant variety.


Check out this variety of banana plant on Amazon.



Check out this Dwarf Cavendish variety of banana on Amazon.

When Do Banana Trees Produce Fruit?

The average banana plant will produce fruit after 10 to 15  months. First, the plant must be mature and should avoid exposure to frost or prolonged cold temperatures, which can slow fruit production or cause irreparable harm. Keep a banana warm, watered, well lit, and healthy to enjoy a rich yield of delicious fruit.

Do Banana Trees Die After They Produce Fruit?

A banana tree doesn't exactly die after it produces fruit, but the pseudostem that bears its clump of berries, or the bananas, will die. However, a healthy banana plant with a robust rhizome will support new pseudostems that can bear fruit in the future. Typically, after two years of producing bananas, many banana trees slow down on flowering and bearing bananas. Unless a banana is diseased, damaged from frost or cold, or is scorched from lack of moisture, drought, and overheating, banana trees will produce fruit for a few years.


How does a banana tree grow?. Everything about everything. Volume 5

How does a banana tree grow?. Everything about everything. Volume 5


Everything about everything. Volume 5
Likum Arkady


How does a banana tree grow?

The banana tree is not really a tree at all. There is no wood at all in the stem that rises above the ground. The stem consists of leaves growing close together, one inside the other. The leaves straighten out at the top of the plant, making it look like a palm tree. To plant a banana, the roots (they are torn off from the foot of an already growing plant) are planted in holes 30 cm deep and from 3.3 to 5.5 m apart. Each root should have one or more buds, or "eyes", like the "eyes" of a potato. After 3-4 weeks, green shoots should appear above the ground. Only the strongest shoot is destined to become a plant. It forms its own root system, from which more plants will later grow.

The banana tree requires a lot of care and attention. It needs to be heavily watered if there is not enough rainfall. The ground around the plant should be thoroughly weeded. 9-10 months after planting, a flower appears on a banana plant. The flower grows on a long stem and rises up if it is stretched out at the foot of the trunk, or goes down if it began to grow at the top. Small bananas form on the flower stem if it grows down.

Bananas grow upside down. While bananas are just born on the flower stalk, they face down, but when they grow, they turn up. Bananas should be harvested while they are still green. Even if they are to be eaten on the spot, they cannot be allowed to ripen on the tree. A banana that turns yellow on the tree loses its flavor.

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How, where and on what bananas grow, useful properties of the fruits of the plant and contraindications

There is no single story about who and when first used the word "banana". The plant at first glance is very similar to a tree. Many people call it a banana palm, but in fact it is a grass that has powerful roots and an equally powerful, but short stem. No more than 20 leaves of the plant are visible above the ground. Banana is the second largest herb in the world (after bamboo). Ripe fruits are called berries.

  • Banana structure
  • How do bananas grow?
    • How to harvest
    • What bananas grow on
    • Where bananas grow
  • Useful properties of bananas
    • Applications of banana fruits and other parts of the plant
  • Contraindications for eating fruits

Structure of a banana

The roots of this herb are so powerful and large that they can grow over 6 meters from the base of the root. Deep can reach 1.7 meters. The trunk of the plant, which is called false, can reach a height of up to 13 meters, and a diameter of 40 cm.

Banana leaves are very dense and long. Their dimensions are amazing, since the length can be more than 2.5 meters, and the width is 1 meter. Mostly green leaves, but burgundy or crimson blotches are possible. Growing up, the grass throws off the old weak leaves, and new, young ones form inside. If the banana grows in favorable climatic conditions, then the replacement of leaves occurs every 7 days.

How do bananas grow?

They actively grow from 7 to 10 months. After that, the growth practically stops and the grass begins to bloom. During flowering, a long peduncle actively sprouts from the stem, similar to a complex inflorescence, from which future berries are formed. At first, it has a green or purple hue. On the inflorescence itself are banana flowers. The largest are female, the smallest are male.

The type of ripe fruit depends on the variety and variety of the plant. It can have the shape of both a triangle and a cylinder, and a length of 4 to 42 cm. Most of the inhabitants of the planet are accustomed to yellow bananas. But there are berries and red, green or silver hue. On one small inflorescence, up to 75 kg of fruits (more than 250 bananas) can ripen at a time. Seeds can only be taken from wild plants. After the berries are ripe and cut off, the false stem dies off, and a new one begins to grow in its place.

How to harvest

Large ripe bunches are placed in special plastic bags so that no birds or animals can damage them. Final maturation occurs over the next 11 weeks . At this time, the berries will increase significantly in volume, but have not yet acquired the desired yellow color that the consumer sees. A minimum of two workers take part in the collection of fruits. One tilts the trunk and cuts it, and the second must catch it in time to avoid damaging the crop. Bananas, collected and packed in cellophane, are hung indoors on hooks, where they will undergo the procedure of washing, disinfection and packaging.

What bananas grow on

As already mentioned, a banana is a grass. Due to its powerful trunk and the fact that it is a tall plant, it is often called a banana palm, and even the ancient Greeks considered it a delicious fruit tree. In fact, there is a plant that resembles a banana with a palm tree. It is believed that it refers to plants of the genus pawpaw. These palm trees grow at the same latitudes as bananas. Their fruits are also similar. But a real banana is a grass, not a palm tree, with fruits - berries.

Where bananas grow

Ideal conditions for the growth and ripening of bananas in countries that are in tropical and subtropical climates: South Asia, Malaysia, Latin America, Japan, Eastern Australia.

In Bhutan and Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India and China, Bangladesh and Maldives, Brazil and Thailand there are many plantations of these berries, which are grown for industrial purposes. Bananas are also grown in some countries of the Scandinavian Peninsula. This is possible due to special greenhouse conditions: a certain amount of daylight hours, temperature and humidity are observed. Iceland even grows them for export.

Useful properties of bananas

Bananas are a low-fat product, but very nutritious and quickly give the body additional energy. Banana pulp contains fiber, pectins, starch, proteins, various types of essential oils , which help the fruits to acquire a peculiar taste and aroma. For several decades they have been used as a source of vitamins and minerals. It contains: magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, copper, sodium, iron, zinc . There are a large number of vitamins of groups B, C, E and PP .

Depending on size and ripeness, its calorie content can be from 80 to 250 kcal . Most banana lovers refute the theory of rapid saturation of the body. This happens only for a short time, after which the hunger may even increase.

Due to the high content of vitamins and minerals in these berries, they are used as a treatment and prevention of many diseases:

  1. When removing inflammation of the oral cavity or gastrointestinal tract . Used as a prophylactic against pressure and stroke, serves as a good laxative.
  2. Bronchitis and diabetes can be cured with an infusion of banana flowers. A decoction of the stems can serve as a sedative or anticonvulsant.
  3. Banana peel is also useful and is most often used as a compress for boils and burns .
  4. Banana peel infusions can fertilize any plant or control aphids . To do this, you should not only make a tincture, but also bury banana skins in the ground as a fertilizer.
  5. Antioxidants, which are produced by overripe fruits, not only help maintain ideal skin condition , but also serve as a cancer prevention .

Areas of application for banana fruits and other plant parts

  • cooking. Eat raw or prepare desserts, ice cream from them. There are many ways to harvest these fruits: dried, pickled, canned. They can be boiled, fried and stewed, adding various spices, oil, salt, garlic. They make delicious wine, chips, marmalade and syrup. Some connoisseurs of this fruit also buy banana flour.
  • a special substance is extracted from the leaves and stems, which is used in the leather industry. They are also used in the textile industry. Plant fibers are taken as the basis for making ropes and ropes. Wide strong banana leaves are used in the construction of rafts and seats in them. On the territory of Sri Lanka and India, the leaves are given a special shape and used as dishes for serving national dishes.

Bananas do not have many contraindications, but some factors should still be taken into account when using them.

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