Banana Tree Problems: What Causes Bananas With Cracked Skin

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By Amy Grant

Banana trees are often used in landscapes due to their large, attractive foliage but more often, they are cultivated for their delicious fruit. If you have bananas in your garden, you’re likely growing them for both their ornamental and edible purposes. It takes some work to grow bananas and, even so, they are susceptible to their share of diseases and other banana tree problems. One such issue is bananas with cracked skin. Why do bananas split on the bunch? Read on to find out about banana fruit cracking.

Help, My Bananas are Cracking Open!

No need to panic about banana fruit cracking. Amongst all the possible banana tree problems, this one is minimal. Why do bananas split on the bunch? The reason the fruit is cracking is likely due to high relative humidity of over 90% combined with temperatures over 70 F. (21 C.). This is especially true if bananas are left on the plant until ripe.

Bananas need to be cut off the plant when still green to promote ripening. If they are left on the plant, you’ll end up with bananas with cracked skin. Not only that, but the fruit changes consistency, dries and becomes cottony. Harvest bananas when they are very firm and very dark green.

As the bananas ripen, the skin becomes a lighter green to yellow. During this time, the starch in the fruit is converted to sugar. They are ready to eat when they are partially green, although most people wait until they are yellow or even mottled with brown spots. Actually, bananas that are quite brown on the outside are at the peak of sweetness, but most people either toss them or use them to cook with at this point.

So if your bananas are on the tree and cracking open, they have likely been left on too long and are overripe. If you have gotten your bananas at the supermarket, the reason for splitting is probably due to how they were processed as they were being held and ripened. Bananas are usually kept at about 68 F. (20 C.) when ripening, but if they were exposed to higher temperatures, the fruit would ripen faster, weakening the skin and causing splitting of the peel.

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