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Container Grown Banana Plants This forum is for discussions about growing banana plants in containers.


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Old 04-01-2013, 04:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Looking for cultivar below 6 foot that needs less light and warmth.

Hey everyone! As you can see from my name, I just love banana's. Just today I figured out that they can actually be grown indoors and in containers. I live in chilly Europe (Netherlands) so the stuff that grows really good here are berries. Which is pretty awesome, but I'm growing those outside in containers so I would prefer something tropical to spice up the indoors.

List of limitations:
8 foot high ceiling. Assuming 2 foot high container, even a 6 foot plant is pushing it.

Light. 1660 mean sunshine hours climate, not even a southern window. Today (spring) I recieved a grand total of 3 hours direct sunlight.

Warmth. I don't really like to crank the heat at night. It can easily go around 10 C (50 F) at winter nights. I could wrap it in plastic for those nights, I'm not sure if that would hold enough heat for those 8-10 hours. Because of the western window, summer nights are frigging hot. Winter days are a solid 20 C (68 F) all day.

List of what I'm looking for:
Fruit! I really don't want a hard to fruit variety, I could always test that after some initial success with an easier cultivar. Would of course, prefer one with big freaking yields. I know I can't expect 100+ lbs like those Gran Nain's, but I'll take what I can get. Ornamental value would be nice but otherwise unimportant to me.

Can I even grow ANY banana plants at all with these limitations? I have a few 27-30 gallon pots lying around but just picking up a banana dwarf from a store somewhere might end in disaster while I could put "would be considered an ineradicable weed in a banana plantation" berry plants in them for 10 lbs of fruit. I've done some searching in the wiki, but I just can't see the wood for the banana trees.

Red Dwarf is too high (How cool would that be...deep purple bananas!). The Veluntina sounds pretty good from what I've seen in topics here. And it's pink! That's actually better then deep purple. Too bad the flesh is a boring pale white .
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for cultivar below 6 foot that needs less light and warmth.

Well getting a fruiting banana that's a dwarf would be the 1st task, the 2nd would be growing it to a point where your limited in vertical height. If you plan it right you can take it out for spring so it won't be an issue. Fruiting it is another story.. full sun, proper care, and luck. :^)
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Looking for cultivar below 6 foot that needs less light and warmth.

What do you mean by taking it out in spring? The first problem is that right now it's still freaking cold. It tends to differ each year (sometimes it's very hot, sometimes we still have snow, always a fun april fool's day here since you never know what you're gonna get) but out for spring is definately not a guarantee. It's below 50 F during the day, probably just above freezing point during the night. Even cold climate berry plants sometimes get their flowers destroyed because of a surprise spring frost.

And if it grows too high...then I won't be able to move it back in. AFAIK the banana is a perennial. Or does the top growth have to be pruned away every year after fruiting anyway?
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Looking for cultivar below 6 foot that needs less light and warmth.

All bananas are monocarpic, meaning that they flower and fruit once and then die.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Looking for cultivar below 6 foot that needs less light and warmth.

where are you located? If I didn't know any better I would think you were talking about my place in michigan!
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Looking for cultivar below 6 foot that needs less light and warmth.

On the other end of the globe, actually. Amsterdam, Netherlands. In Europe.

I've done some extensive searching and the best I can come up with is a Dwarf Orinoco. Zone7, I'm in Zone8. I think the idea that it can survive outside here in winter is a big fat lie, but I'm keeping it inside during winter so it isn't a problem.

A bigger problem seems to be the appetite of the plant. I prefer using compost from organic plants over fertilizer, but there's just no way I'll even come close to feeding even 1 banana plant.

And the whole sun thing. If it really only fruits in full sun, then I think I'm out of luck with my crappy non-southern window location. Grrr, my neighbours have the perfect location and settle for grass that reaches to my waist.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for cultivar below 6 foot that needs less light and warmth.

Personally I think a Raja Puri would be better in a low wide pot if your limited in vertical space. :^)
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Looking for cultivar below 6 foot that needs less light and warmth.

If they grow to their full height potential, things like Rajapuri and Dwarf Cavendish will have leaves that reach higher than 8'. The only ones that I can think of that would make edible, non-seeded fruit and be that short to the top of the leaves would be Super Dwarf Cavendish and Logee's Dwarf Ladyfinger. Both are Cavendish varieties and neither will make a lot of fruit, by average banana standards.
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for cultivar below 6 foot that needs less light and warmth.

What about dwarf portorican platain? Hard to get but worth to try.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Looking for cultivar below 6 foot that needs less light and warmth.

I live in nj and have many verietysthat come in house for winter . Lady finger and dwarf candanavish grow pretty fast in door .but take 2 years to come to fruit stage . All my ceilings are 8 ft and no problems yet with hieght . Some verietys like cold at night but got to crank it doring the day .problem with fruiting is the season u need 9 mouths of fairly desent simulated weather . Humidity and light er get 4 mouths of good outdoor life for nanners,in. Nj so I simulate the rest and was able 2 flower a 3 year dwarf red witch didn't get good fruit so all trial and era . This year I was very carefully with humidity and heat .had some bug problems and as it seams and what's bad is when they flower .you may end up moving them in at that stage witch shocks the plant . Witch doesn't kill it but kill the flower . I am a nanner head so I enjoy it to death but it is a lot of work good luck
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Looking for cultivar below 6 foot that needs less light and warmth.

Thanks for all the replies.

So Dwarf Orinoco is out of the question because of the height with an 8 foot ceiling? Although the wiki says 5-8 foot, someone commented that it usually stays 5 foot, and virtually all other sources say that 5-6 foot is maximum height in container.

Do you guys know of any annual fruit that is kind of similar to the banana in it's light requirements for fruiting? I'm currently trying some melons, I'll have to see if they fruit or if it's just going to cost me a bunch of fertilizer. Annuals are just a whole bunch cheaper to try before getting a banana because there's a ton of markets here that sell those seeds very cheap during this time of the year. I can get a "mainstream" fruit tree very cheap as well, but with limited choice in cultivar. Banana's are about as exotic as it gets, though.

If spraying water and keeping it in a semi greenhouse is enough for humidity then that is no problem. The warmth probably not either. During winter it might get down to 50 F but if I close the window at night it won't go lower. Summer is hit/miss. Sometimes we have a very hot 5-6 month summer, and sometimes it's just clouds and rain with the occasional sunny day. It's just really cloudy here all the time, and even on a south window there's not going to be a massive amount of sunlight. West is my best choice, and that's just...bad. Light is one of the few things that I really don't want to simulate here because the electric bill would go through the roof.

Musa Dwarf Puerto Rican - Bananas Wiki
Is this the plant you meant? Dwarf Puerto Rican Plantain? It says 6-8 foot, if it grows above 5-6 in container that would make it too tall...
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Looking for cultivar below 6 foot that needs less light and warmth.

The heights you mention are heights measured at the top of the pseudostem ("trunk"). The leaves will extent quite a bit higher. A 5' tall banana plant will have leaves that extend at least 8' high. Then add the height of the container and you are at 9-10'.
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for cultivar below 6 foot that needs less light and warmth.

Maybe you could try double mahoi. Iv'e heard that they only grow 5-7 feet.
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