Why Is Your Banana Tree Not Fruiting? Do This To Ensure A Bountiful Yield

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One of the very common problems people face with growing banana trees is the plant fails to bear any flower or fruit.

There can be various reasons for this, and in this post, we will discuss the main causes that stop a banana plant from bearing fruits. We will also give you the steps you can take to resolve the problem.

So… Let’s get started.

Why is My Banana Tree Not Fruiting?

The banana plant flowering process is initiated by the production of a flower bud at the end of a stem. The bud begins to grow and develop into a flower, which eventually opens and releases pollen.

When the flowers bloom, they attract bees, which help to pollinate the plants. After the flowers are pollinated, the bananas begin to grow.

A banana tree needs almost 18 months to bear flowers. During this period, it needs soil with a good amount of nutrients, 6-8 hours of daily sunlight, lots of water, and your care. If any of these is not available the tree will grow but not thrive.

So if your banana tree is not blossoming or not bearing any fruit there can be a few reasons.

1. The Soil is Not Nutritious Enough:

If the soil quality for growing banana trees is not up to the mark it can cause the blossoming process really slow. The ideal soil for growing banana trees should be rich in organic matter, it should be devoid of any salinity. The ideal pH range should be between 6-7.

2. The Surrounding Environment is Not Warm Enough:

Banana plants need continuous warmth for fruiting. If the surrounding temperature falls below 10 deg C the plant might survive but it won’t bear any fruit.

How Long Does It Take For A Banana Tree to Bear Fruit?

Although, the exact time your plant will take to fruit will depend on various environmental conditions. Usually, a banana plant takes about 15 to 18 months to produce fruit.

How Do You Get A Banana Plant to Bear Fruits?

Here are a few things you can do to make banana plants bear flowers and fruit:

Protect Your Banana Tree From Frost:

Banana plants need 15-18 months of frost-free climate to mature and grow fruit. Any frost in between can cause the plant to stop flowering and fruiting altogether. So you need to make sure that doesn’t happen to your plant.

In warmer climates, this is not a problem but if the banana tree is planted in areas where frosting is inevitable, wrap old blankets from top to bottom so the plant remains warm.

Once it starts warming up in spring unwrap the plant. Usually, when you finally unwrap your banana tree you’ll find some new growth., a sure sign it has come through the winter unscathed.

Improve The Soil Quality:

Test your soil. The ideal pH range for growing banana trees should be between 6-7. If your current soil pH is more than this you need to bring that down.

To achieve this start adding decaying plant leaves, bone meals, and other fertilizers that will not only reduce the pH but also increase the nutrient content of the soil.

It is also very important to reduce the salinity of your soil. Banana trees don’t grow flowers or fruits in saline soil.

Keep Adding Fertilizers From Time To Time:

Banana plants are voracious feeders. Especially during flowering and fruiting, they need a lot of nutrients, potassium in particular. So you regularly have to fertilize the soil.

Use a fertilizer that is rich in potassium. Also, give your plant well-rotted manures so the supply of nutrients never stops.

Give Enough Water to Your Banana Tree:

Bananas need a lot of water to thrive and grow fruits. A damp soil throughout the year won’t harm your banana plant.

Always water deeply. You can also sprinkle a bit of water on the leaves to keep them looking fresh and humid.

Avoid wastage of water by applying a layer of mulch over the soil.

Please bear in mind that not all banana tree varieties will produce edible fruits. Some of them are actually grown for their beautiful flowers and are used extensively for ornamental purposes.

Do You Need a Male and Female Banana Tree?

Banana flowers form deep within the stem of the plant, long before we can see them. The flowers appear in groups, called hands, and the hands are then arranged into larger clusters of flowers.

The banana inflorescence is dark purple-red in color. The flower bud forms at the end of the stalk or peduncle.

The banana plant is monoecious, which means it has both female and male flowers inside the heart-shaped blossom.

banana tree flower

Banana Tree Flowers:

Each banana tree flower has four parts:

  1. Sepals (The outermost flower parts. It protects the bloom when it is in the bud.)
  2. Petals (The flower parts right inside the sepals.)
  3. Stamens (The male part of the plant. Stamens contain sacs with many pollen grains inside.)
  4. The Ovary (It is the female part of the plant. It forms the fruit.)

Bananas are self-pollinating plants and they produce both male and female flowers. So unlike a papaya plant, you don’t need male or female banana trees separately for fertilization to occur.

Male flowers have normal stamens that form pollen but the male banana flowers never form banana fruits.

Female flowers have an ovary that develops into a banana fruit but the stamens of female flowers do not make pollen.

Do Banana Trees Produce More Than Once?

A banana stalk only produces fruit once, and after harvesting, it won’t bear fruit in its lifetime.

Banana trees propagate through suckers. After harvesting the fruit bunch the trunk won’t bear another bunch of bananas. So generally the trunk is removed after the harvest. A Mattock like this, which has both the features of axe and hoe, is very useful for removing banana stocks.

But do not worry, being a herbaceous perennial plant a banana tree produces lots of suckers. And the sucker growing beside the chopped one will produce the next bunch. And by the time that bunch is ready to harvest, the next sucker would have grown bigger and be ready to bear the fruits.

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prasenjit saha author Gardening ABC

Hi there! My name is Prasenjit and I’m an avid gardener and someone who has grown a passion for growing plants. From my hands-on experience, I have learned what works and what doesn’t. Here I share everything I have learned.