How to Grow Banana Plants   

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LA
Nice-looking six-inch banana plant.  Not what you usually find.

LA
Chiquita says "No mas."  Wrong banana plant.

LA
Here we go.  Called banana plants because of their banana-shaped tubers.

Starting Out.  Banana plant tubers usually arrive in your retailer’s store with shredded leaves or no leaves.  We sort thru ours and remove all broken or injured leaves.  We recommend you do this also.  Bad leaves cannot repair themselves.  Deleted leaves grow back faster when you prune out the injured leaves and stems.  Use your thumbnail.  You may never have a green thumb, but you will have a green thumbnail.

LA
All these leaves growing out of the tubers -- no real roots here.

LA
Banana plant stems stay short in low light situations.

Actually Dwarf Lilies.  In low light, banana plants throw up short stems with small pads on the ends.  In high light, they grow stems up to your tank’s surface.  In outdoor mini-ponds, they will also throw up white blooms.  They grow very well in full sun.

LA
Lots of floating banana plants throwing down long white roots.

Dont Bury Your Bananas.  The banana plant’s tubers define this plant.  If you bury their “bananas,” they lose all personality.  And you need not plant them.  Some 80% sink to the bottom and root themselves.  If you get some “floatees,” wrap a small bit of plant weight around one of the tubers (in the back) so it doesn’t show.

LA
Floating banana plants looking like the dwarf lilies they are.


Floating Banana Plants.  If you let your banana-shaped tubers bob to the surface, they will turn into obvious lilies fast.  The nearer and stronger their light source, the quicker your banana plant grows.

LA
Could these leaves look any more like lily pads?

Biggest Advantage.  Banana plants grow most attractively under medium to low light conditions -- a condition automatically achieved in your average 29-gallon tank and many 20Hs.  Most 10s have water shallow enough that you’ll probably need to cut back on the lumens.

Discourage Fast Growth.  You can slow your banana plant’s growth by reducing the light.  Rather than changing your lighting system, just
   ·      Wrap tape or tinfoil around part of your bulb; or
   ·      Plant your banana at the end of your bulb; or
   ·      Reduce the hours you leave your light on; or
   ·      Put duckweed or watersprite on your water’s surface; or
   ·      All of the above.

LA
Banana plants grow into an interesting looking display plant.

Reproduction.  I’ve never tried to reproduce banana plants.  They probably reproduce from seeds and crown division (like most lilies).  I’ve always been tempted to tear apart several bananas and scatter them in an aquarium with four inches of water, but just never got around to it.

LA
Banana plants are a good choice for most people to start with.

Last Words.  Banana plants make an excellent choice for those hobbyists who “Can’t grow plants.”  Go for it.  Expect slow growth.  LA

Info from Mango 4 Jade, June 13, 2005
After reading the page on growing Banana Plants, I noticed you havent tried reproducing them. I found a method of reproducing them. When the lily pads grow to the surface, simply cut the stalk off about 4-inchs long left of the leaf, leave it to hang in the water and after a few weeks at the end of the stalk young white roots will start to form. Once roots form, you can just plant then in your tank.
Another way is if your water is rich in iron and fertilizer, the side leaves will start to grow white roots straight under the leaves and you can simply cut the leaf off along with the roots and replant it. I have found that the baby plants you replant will stay low, and will not shoot lily pads to the surface.
Go Banana Plants to see these photos.
Photo B: Replanted Baby plants (been growing for three months now, no
shoots to the surface of the water, stays low)
Photos A and C: Roots growing from floating cut of stalks with lily pad
Feel free to use these images if you provide reference from Mango :)
Cheers

Mango

Mango

Mango

LA
Underside of leaf with expired florets, September 6, 2013.

LA
They do very well in African cicklid tanks.

© 2004, © 2005, © 2013  LA Productions

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