Written by Deepali Kharat
Native to tropical Indomalaya, but grown worldwide, this humble fruit needs no introduction. It has a special place in most cuisines and is used to make appetizers, desserts and also is a staple starch source in many tropical countries. The plant is versatile and the entire plant can be used in some form of fashion. Trunk and flowers are used in cooking, banana fiber is harvested from pseuostems and leaves are used as eco-friendly food platter and also as a wrapping for grilling/steaming foods.
Here in Arizona, they can handle full sun, but look better with summer afternoon shade. They survive cold winters if mulched properly. A pseudostem matures within 16-24 months and fruits if fed properly. If you are growing them for fruit production (yes, some people grown them just for its tropical look) you should leave one pup and remove the rest to enable the plant to put energy into fruit production instead of pseudostem reproduction.
Banana are fast-growing plants (therefore not ideal for container growing) and require a lot of food during warm months.