Banana - Musa spp.
Banana Viente

Banana Growing in the Florida Landscape from the University of Florida pdf

Propagation from the University of Florida

How to Grow Bananas Indoors from the Weekend Gardener Online Magazine

Banana Uses and Recipes from the University of Florida pdf

Selected banana cultivars that may be available in south Florida from the University of Florida

Banana Cultivars for Florida from the University of Florida pdf 18 pages

Potential Cultivars for Dessert and Cooking from the University of Florida pdf

Season: Varies. Takes 3 months from flower to fruit

Damage temp. 28F - Leaves 30F

PH preference 5.5-6.5

Full sun

Fig. 1


More Information


Banana Varieties sorted by genome

Pseudostem and Leaves Images by Ian Maguire UF/IFAS/TREC

Banana Inflorescense Series by Ian Maguire UF/IFAS/TREC


Origin: Edible bananas originated in the Indo-Malaysian region reaching to northern Australia. They were known only by hearsay in the Mediterranean region in the 3rd Century B.C., and are believed to have been first carried to Europe in the 10th Century A.D. Early in the 16th Century, Portuguese mariners transported the plant from the West African coast to South America. The types found in cultivation in the Pacific have been traced to eastern Indonesia from where they spread to the Marquesas and by stages to Hawaii. 4

Description: Bananas are vigorously growing, monocotyledonous herbaceous plants. There are two species of banana, Musa acuminata and M. balbisiana, and most banana cultivars are hybrids of these species. Banana cultivars vary greatly in plant and fruit size, plant

morphology, fruit quality, and disease and insect resistance. Most bananas have a sweet flavor when ripe; exceptions to this are

cooking bananas and plantains. 3

Plantains are hybrid bananas in which the male flowering axis is either degenerated, lacking, or possesses only relicts of male flowers. Plantains are always cooked before consumption and are higher in starch than bananas. The two groups of plantains, French and Horn, produce fewer fruit per plant than sweet bananas. The groups differ in whether the male parts of the inflorescence are persistent or absent. 3

The banana is a fast-growing plant consisting of one or more pseudostems (upright, trunk-like structures) formed by tightly packed concentric layers of leaf sheaths, an underground rhizome, and a fibrous root system. The entire plant is called a mat. The pseudostem constitutes the functional trunk which supports the leaves and the flower and fruit bearing stalk. 3


Leaf forming Tightly curled leaf sheath

Fig. 2

Leaf emerging

Fig. 3

Tightly curled leaf sheath


Propagation: It is possible to produce 8-10 suckers per plant the first year under ideal growing conditions. The number of suckers diminishes in the following years. Some varieties sucker more than others. A high degree of suckering is wanted in cases where it is necessary to increase the planting material of a desirable clone for distribution to farmers and certain techniques are used to increase suckering. If the banana plant is left alone, it will soon be surrounded by many suckers. Sucker production must be controlled else they will compete with the mother plant for water and plant food and so the fruit formed by the mother plant will be very small and yields will lessen. All the useless suckers should be cut out before they get too big. To make sure that we have only one or two strong suckers for the next generation, allow only one new sucker to grow every three months.

There are four different types of planting materials:

1. Maiden suckers, 2. Sword leaf suckers, 3. Peeper, and 4. Water suckers. 2

Sword suckers is the best choice. It is very important in management of bananas to select correct sucker for next crop and quality bunches. Sword suckers are tapered with a large base with small narrow leaves. Water suckers have broad leaves at an early age

and also lack the distinctive taper of sword suckers. Water suckers usually develop from the corm of previously harvested plants and unsuitable as they lack a strong attachment with the corm of the plant and thus suffer an early nutritional deficiency causing production

of small uneconomical bunches. They take longer till bunching and are also more prone to falling over.
After bunches are beginning to mature cut off the male inflorescence (male bud) six to eight inches below the bottom of the last

flower (Fig. 4).  The male bud is removed after the last hand appears. This is done to re-channel the food produced by the plants to

the developing fruits. 2


Beginning of inflorescense
Fig. 4
Inflorescense Fruit forming

Fig. 5


Fig. 6

Fruit Forming

Bananas Banana bunch

Fig. 87

Removal of the flower

Fig. 8

Immature Bananas

Maturing bunch

Fig. 9

Maturing bunch (rounded shape of the fruit)


Further Reading

Bananas - Americas Favorite Fruit from Hendry County Cooperative Extension Service pdf

Banana from Julia Morton's Book 'Fruits of Warm Climates

South Florida Tropicals: Banana from the University of Florida pdf

Banana Planting and General Care from Fruitscapes/University of Florida  Videos ext. link

Banana Musa Rosa from the University of Florida pdf

Bananas and Plantains - an Overview - Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry pdf 27 pages

Musa species (banana and plantain) - Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry pdf 33 pages

Banana and Plantain Specialty Crop for Pacific Island Agroforestry pdf 20 pages 

Banana Guide for the CNMI from the University of Hawaii at Manoa pdf 36 pages

Sorting Musa Names ext. link

Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida Video ext. link

Banana Recipe from Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Virtual Herbarium

Banana Botanical Art

Recommended Reading: The Complete Book of Bananas by W.O. Lessard


Check our 

 List of Growers & Vendors



Diseases and Pests

Scales, weevils and nematodes are the most common pests. Pest Page

Sigatoka leaf-spot, black leaf steak and Panama disease may infect this plant. Diseases Page

Symptoms of Red Palm Mite on Banana Leaves  

Fig. 10

Damage to banana caused by the red palm mite, Raoiella indica Hirst.

Red Palm Mites Females

Fig. 11

Adult females of the red palm mite, Raoiella indica Hirst.

Adult male red palm mite, Raoiella indica Hirst.

Fig. 12

Adult male red palm mite, Raoiella indica Hirst.

Until recently, the Red Palm Mite pdf was found in India, Egypt, Israel, Mauritius, Reunion, Sudan, Iran, Oman, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates. However, in 2004, this pest was detected in Martinique, Dominica, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, Saint Lucia, Trinidad, and Tobago in the Caribbean. In November 2006, this pest was found in Puerto Rico.

In 2007, the red palm mite was discovered in Florida. As of April 2009, this pest was in five counties: Broward, Miami-Dade, Martin, Monroe, and Palm Beach (FDACS 2009).

It is spreading rapidly and is expected to establish in other subtropical regions of the Western Hemisphere.

This mite is easily distributed by wind currents and movement of infested plants through nursery stock and cut branches of plants. It is likely to establish throughout tropical and subtropical areas throughout the Western Hemisphere. 1


Other Causes of Damage to Bananas





1 Hoy, Marjorie A.,Peña,Jorge and Nguyen, Ru. "Red Palm Mite, Raoiella indica Hirst (Arachnida: Acari: Tenuipalpidae)." This document is EENY-397 (IN711), one of a series of Featured Creatures from the Entomology and Nematology Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Published Nov. 2006. Reviewed Dec. 2012.  Web. 21 March 2014.

2 Nandwani,Dilip, Tudela, Anthony and Cabrera, Isidoro T. "Banana guide for the CNMI." 2010. Northern Marianas, Northern Marianas College. Web. 31 Aug. 2014.

3 Crane, Johathan H., Balerdi, Carlos F. and Maquire, Ian. "Bananas Growing in the Home Landscape." This document is HS-10, one of a series of the Department of Horticultural Sciences, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. First printed 1972 as FC-10. Reviewed July 2013. Web. 21 Aug. 2014.

4 Morton, J. 1987. Banana. Fruits of warm climates, p. 29–46.  Web. 24 March 2014.


Fig. 1 Maguire, Ian. 'Viente cohol' banana. 2011. From the Tropical Fruit Photography Picture Archive. Web. 24 March. 2014.

Fig. 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 Jackson, Karen. "Banana Series". 2013. JPEG file.

Fig. 10 Pea, Jorge .Red Palm Mite, Raoiella indica Hirst (Arachnida: Acari: Tenuipalpidae). N.d. University of Florida. Web. 15 Aug. 2014.

Fig. 11,12 Duncan, Rita. Red Palm Mite, Raoiella indica Hirst (Arachnida: Acari: Tenuipalpidae). N.d. University of Florida. Web. 15 Aug. 2014.

Published 21 March LR. Updated 21 July 2015 LR

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