Image by Iris Kristina
By Nikki Phipps
(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)
Banana plant houseplant? That’s right. If you are not fortunate enough to live in a warm region where you can grow this tropical plant outdoors, then why not grow an indoor banana plant (Musa oriana) instead. With enough light and water, an indoor banana tree makes an excellent houseplant.
A banana plant houseplant offers interesting foliage and white flowers emerging from purple buds. Keep in mind is that while some banana tree varieties produce edible fruit, others do not—like that of Musa basjoo. Therefore, be sure to look into the type of indoor banana tree you have or want to ensure that it will accommodate your needs and vice versa. Below you will find some tips for taking care of a banana tree inside.
How to Grow Banana Inside
Since an indoor banana tree can get rather large, you may want to opt for growing a dwarf variety. Even still, you’ll need a large container that is deep enough to accommodate all of its roots. It should also provide adequate drainage.
Like outdoor banana plants, an indoor banana plant needs rich, humus-like and well-draining soil as well as plenty of sunlight. In fact, indoor banana trees require bright light for about 12 hours or so for most varieties. However, you need to protect the banana plant from getting too hot to prevent scorching. Banana plants also do best in soils with pH levels between 5.5 and 7.0. Plant the banana rhizome upright and be sure the roots are well covered with soil.
Taking Care of a Banana Tree Inside
Banana plant houseplants require frequent feeding, especially during their active growth in warm weather. Therefore, you’ll want to give them a balanced soluble fertilizer each month. Apply this evenly throughout the container.
These plants also like hot and humid conditions. Indoor bananas need warm temperatures; night temperatures around 67 degrees F. are ideal and day temperatures in the 80s.
While an indoor banana tree needs more water than those grown outside, it should never be allowed to sit in water, which inevitably leads to root rot. Allow the plant to dry out some between waterings. Misting their foliage can help keep them hydrated and happy. In addition, an indoor banana plant should have its leaves wiped down occasionally with a damp rag or sponge to collect any accumulated dust.
Indoor banana plants can spend summers outdoors in warmer regions. However, they need to be protected from wind and cold. Make sure to acclimate plants both before bringing them back inside once it cools and just after setting them out in warm weather. To make moving plants easier, use rolling platforms.
Taking care of a banana tree inside is just that easy. When you grow a banana inside, it is like you are bringing a little of the tropics into your home.