In My Garden: Red Banana
♪♬ I like bananas, because they have no bones ♬♪
During the warmer months, there were advertisements for THE INCREDIBLE INDOOR BANANA TREE!, a banana plant (plus one free, just pay additional shipping and handling) that you could purchase for your very own home. The commercials were ridiculous, but owning a banana plant actually sounded like a decent idea. I looked up people’s stories about banana plants online and read reports of success from gardeners of various skill levels. My skill level varies! It seemed like a good match.
In the process, I learned about various types of banana plants. The made-for-TV banana wasn’t necessarily the best banana for my needs – after all, I’m not a TV. I found Wellspring Gardens, a retailer that sells a lot of exotic plants. Their banana department has a variety for every need! My need was for a banana with good flavor that wouldn’t grow taller than my ceiling. A few types fit those criteria. I went with a dwarf red because, hey, red banana! Before I go on about the banana, I gotta shill for Wellspring. Buying from them was a pleasure. I ordered a coffee plant from them, too. The order arrived quickly with all the plants in great shape. I recommend the company sincerely.
Back to the red banana. It came in a two-inch-wide planter that I quickly switched out for a basic, what was it, eight inch pot? It outgrew that really quickly. I probably should have thought about an appropriate container before buying it. I was lucky, though. I had a big friggin’ plastic tub I could use for a pot. Once the banana went in there, it had some room to spread. Right now it has 20″ of stem height. It has considerable growing to do before it’ll consider putting out a flower, but I’m still really happy with the growth rate. Take a look at the picture I took of the pot it came in! The stem is now as wide as that pot is. I didn’t measure the width of the canopy precisely. The topmost leaves are longer than my forearms, including my hand. Healthwise, I’ve mentioned that the plant looks more robust than equivalent-sized banana plants I saw at a nearby garden center. It does! It really does. I feel good about that. It’s performing well even though I’ve been harboring fungus gnats for ages. The window it’s near is pretty sunny. I wasn’t sure if it was sunny enough, but I guess it has to be if the banana is doing well.
The plant is really cool-looking. Even at a foot and change, it’s big enough that it makes the room feel more like the outdoors than in. I like that illusion. The real spectacle will be the flower, when the time is right. I’ll update this article with fresh pix when the banana plant blooms. That’s gonna be so freakin’ neat!