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Main Banana Discussion This is where we discuss our banana collections; tips on growing bananas, tips on harvesting bananas, sharing our banana photos and stories.


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Old 06-28-2015, 03:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Brand new bananaman, can I grow Musa velutina indoors?

Hello all, my first post here, so be gentle with me!

I came across this site by accident, as I was looking at the web site of a (moderately) local nursery that sells carnivorous plants, and noticed that they sell banana plants as well. Being a huge banana fan, I was intrigued, and saw a beautiful looking Musa velutina plant. His description there says it can be grown indoors, which interested me.

As I live in sunny (cough cough) Manchester, north-west UK, growing outdoors isn't necessarily the best option, as we don't get so much sunshine, and our winters are pretty cold. Also, we'd get a lot more chance to see it if it were indoors.

What are my chances of growing it indoors? I'm no plant expert, and don't have the time to become one, so I'm only going to take the plunge if it's reasonably easy.

If this not variety, are any others suitable for indoors?

Finally, can you eat the fruit from these plants? That web page describes the fruit as "ornamental" which makes me think we wouldn't be able to eat them. Are there any varieties we could grow (indoors or outdoors) that would bear edible fruit? The children would love the idea of growing their own bananas!

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks banana fans!
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Brand new bananaman, can I grow Musa velutina indoors?

First of all welcome to the org. MrYossu.

You can grow any plant on the planet indoors if you can make the growing conditions right. If you have a good sunny window you can place it in front of it should be fine. If not you will need supplemental lighting. I have grown a Truley Tiny indoors for 3 years and it grew fine. It grows much slower that way, but was still a healthy plant. As far as the fruit, yes it's edible. But it has a lot of seeds that you have to work around. It is not grown for its fruit. Grow it, enjoy it,and make wine out of the fruit. Or you can pick out the seeds and eat the fruit. It might not be any good, but you can try it. As far as other plants that would be better fruit producers. How tall are your ceilings? If you have enough space and light you could grow many different bananas indoors. It still wouldn't be the same as growing in there natural growing environment. I hope this helps. Ask more questions. There are lots great people on the org that will help you out.
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Brand new bananaman, can I grow Musa velutina indoors?

Musa Velutina is a seeded banana and not considered edible. If you want to grow an edible banana indoors under a roof for fruit you are going to need a 25-45 gallon pot, at least a 6 ft by 6 ft area with 12 ft of overhead height and two 4 ft by 8 bulb VHO 6400 Kelvin lighting fixtures on 10 hours per day.
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Brand new bananaman, can I grow Musa velutina indoors?

I have one blooming right now in about a 5 gallon pot outside, and 3 in the ground, but they do get taller than a lot of sites selling them say. In the dimmer light indoors they grow taller but not unhealthy looking, and mine usually get close to touching the ceilings with the tips of their leaves. They also grow taller for me in the ground in shade with longer leaves, shorter and stockier in sunlight, but I believe they prefer light shade. I would not grow it indoors unless its in front of a south facing window, or if you have very good artificial lighting. The fruit is edible, but its pretty much solid seeds, with a very tiny amount of fruit on it, its like having a mouth full of shot gun pellets. Its not worth the trouble unless your just curious, dont eat it unless its ripe or you will get a bitter taste in your mouth, and its hard to tell because they are pink from the beginning. Very heavy pupper, you will have a bunch of plants in a year or two, and blooms easily. Below is a pic of one of the fruit I collected seeds from last year. There are others that do well indoors, like Super Dwarf Cavendish, but its very difficult to get them to flower indoors, and mine have never flowered, but look nice.
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Old 06-29-2015, 07:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Brand new bananaman, can I grow Musa velutina indoors?

Why couldn't you grow bananas indoors? Limits are something you impose yourself. Where there is a will, there is a way!
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Old 06-29-2015, 07:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Brand new bananaman, can I grow Musa velutina indoors?

They are successfully growing bananas in Iceland, in greenhouses heated by vulcanism. It takes two seasons to fruit, due to less sun, so you can amend your lack of sunlight with a grow light.
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Brand new bananaman, can I grow Musa velutina indoors?

Wow, thanks to everyone for all the great replies!

A bit of info about our house: The most likely growing spot for a large plant like a banana would be in our living room, which has west-facing windows. However, as there are patio doors, and a pretty large window, it actually gets more light than the south-facing windows (which are too small for bananas anyway). The ceilings are just tall enough me to reach, so I guess they are around 7'6"-8'.

In principle there's no reason why we can't grow a plant outdoors and bring it in for the winter, other than the thought of trying to move a plant of that size! How do you all manage that? Doesn't it get too heavy?

As for the musa velutina, I think we'll give that one a miss, and maybe look at the Super Dwarf Cavendish that siege2050 suggested. Am I right in thinking that this is one of those?

Thanks again to everyone!
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Brand new bananaman, can I grow Musa velutina indoors?

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Why couldn't you grow bananas indoors? Limits are something you impose yourself. Where there is a will, there is a way!
When did I say I couldn't grow it indoors? The point of my question was that I want to grow one indoors.

My only self-imposed limitation is that I don't have the time to become an expert, so whatever we choose has to be relatively easy.
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Old 06-29-2015, 10:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Brand new bananaman, can I grow Musa velutina indoors?

Sorry to say that with your climate, you will have to put more effort into it... especially if you want fruits. My climate is worst than yours and it's been plenty of trial and errors so far. Reading on this forum helped a lot. Good luck.
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