If you have a baby Banana Tree, you might be wondering how quickly it will turn into a big tree. It’s hard to guess what the growth rate of some tropical plants will be, and Bananas Trees are quite unusual in a few ways – firstly because they aren’t actually trees!
So, how fast do Banana Trees grow?
Banana Trees grow very quickly. Because they aren’t trees, they don’t have to produce woody structures, so they can shoot up faster. Their trunks are made of tough, fibrous leaf sheaths and the tree can mature in as little as twelve months if it is grown in a sunny spot. In colder, darker conditions, it will grow more slowly and could take a couple of years to mature.
How Many Feet Does A Banana Tree Grow Per Year?
First, it’s important to note that there are many different kinds of banana trees, and some varieties will grow much more quickly than others. A dwarf Banana Tree may not grow as fast as a full-size one. It’s a good idea to research the specific variety you are thinking of growing to get detailed growth estimates.
In general Banana Trees grow exceptionally quickly. They can gain significant height in just a few months, so if you have a baby Banana Tree, don’t expect it to stay that way for long.
They can grow up to thirty feet tall in two years, averaging fifteen feet per year. That may sound incredible, but remember that Banana Trees are actually a kind of grass. Grasses grow very quickly when they are given sunlight.
The plant needs at least ten months with no frost in order to reach its full height and in some cases fifteen months. Frosts will kill all parts of the plant that are above ground, so if you want your plant to survive, make sure you are planting it in a warm spot and you live in an environment with mild winters.
What Sort Of Environment Helps A Banana Tree To Grow Quickly?
The optimum conditions for a Banana Tree are warm, sunny, and humid.
Banana Trees like to be kept at around 80 to 95 degrees F during the day, although they don’t mind temperatures dropping a little at night. Even the cold-tolerant varieties of Banana Trees prefer warmth and will grow better in high temperatures.
Remember, Banana Trees evolved in tropical environments, and they do not like the cold in general. Their growth will stop at around 55 degrees F, so make sure temperatures stay above this if you want them to grow quickly.
At 32 degrees F and below, their leaves will start to suffer damage, so try and protect them from chills.
Although Banana Trees will grow in partial shade, they prefer plenty of sunlight. Ideally, they like around six to eight hours of direct sunlight every day, especially in the summer. This helps them to grow quickly.
If you cannot grow your Banana Tree in full sunlight, you should not expect it to grow as fast. It will probably take a few more months to reach its full height than it would in full sun.
Because they come from tropical environments, Banana Trees like to be kept in a fairly humid environment. If you live in a dry climate, you may need to provide some extra humidity, especially during the summer. Typically, an outdoor Banana Tree will get enough humidity unless you live somewhere very dry.
An indoor Banana Tree will benefit from being misted every few days. You can do this using a plant sprayer, and lightly misting the leaves or the soil. The water will evaporate throughout the day, keeping the foliage fresh and soft.
If it’s a large plant, growing outdoors, you may want to use a hose to create a mist in very dry summers. You can spray the ground around the trunk, and as the water evaporates, it will humidify the tree.
Outdoor trees probably won’t need additional humidity, but on particularly hot summers, consider adding some.
Do Banana Trees Grow More Slowly In The Winter?
A Banana Tree does tend to slow down in the winter, simply because there is less light for it to grow with. The Banana Tree needs to be able to photosynthesize to produce energy, and with less light, it will photosynthesize far less efficiently.
This means it has less energy and therefore does not grow as fast. It will usually keep growing, however, as long as temperatures remain above 55 degrees F.
Some die back entirely in the winter, especially if they are kept in cold climates. If your Banana Tree is outdoors in cold weather, consider either bringing it in (for dwarf varieties) or protecting the roots with mulch, cardboard, or layers of wool. This will ensure that the rhizomes don’t freeze, and the Banana Tree comes back next year.
Even in the winter, some Banana Trees will grow a surprising amount, especially if they have sufficient light. You might see one gain a few feet even across the cold months.
Do I Have To Fertilize A Banana Tree To Help It Grow?
Fertilizing this Tree may be a good idea. It ensures that it has a good balance of all the necessary nutrients, which increases the chances of it growing successfully. Fertilization is often done to help the plant produce delicious fruit, but it can help to boost growth as well.
Like all plants, Banana Trees need phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. These macronutrients can be got from commercial fertilizers. Any deficiencies could slow the plant’s growth and cause leaf yellowing.
In general, Banana Trees are more likely to suffer from deficiencies in potassium and nitrogen than phosphorus, but this does depend upon your local area. Make sure you are providing your plant with plenty of fertilizer on a regular basis, especially if it is a fruiting plant.
Fertilizer is important even if you are not growing your Banana Tree for fruit. In the fall and winter, you can reduce fertilizing to once every couple of months, and fertilize it more lightly. You may wish to stop fertilizing altogether but bear in mind that having food available will help it get a quick start when it begins to grow again in spring.
Can Banana Trees Regrow From Their Stumps?
Yes, Banana Trees are often cut back to near the ground for the winter, and they will regrow. The rhizomes underground will survive and will simply sprout again when conditions are good.
Many people deliberately cut their Banana Trees down before winter. This is a good idea if you live somewhere cold because the trunk and foliage will die back anyway. Leave a low stump, and allow the Banana Tree to sprout again the following spring.
They often die back after fruiting, too. They will not fruit more than once, so as soon as the fruit has been produced, the Banana Tree needs to die back. However, your whole plant is not dead.
Instead, suckers will start to sprout from the rhizomes and fill the space that the previous tree occupied. These come from the same rootstock, so they are really just new growth, rather than new plants.
Do not be concerned if your Banana Tree dies after only a year or so. It should soon be replaced by a new, young tree. Indeed, commercial growers will cut back the trees that have finished fruiting to encourage the stump to send up new suckers.
It will take very little time for these to replace the main tree as Banana Trees grow so quickly. You should have a new plant in as little as nine months or so, perhaps a bit more if the conditions are not perfect.
Banana Trees are very quick-growing and belong to the grass family. They can reach their full size in less than two years, so they are ideal if you wish to fill a space in your garden.
However, bear in mind that you will need to cut them down and allow new Banana Tree suckers to grow into the spot, especially if the climate is cool/cold, or you want more fruits.