Banana trees will grow fast if they are planted in compost rich, well-draining soil if they get regular fertilizer and are in a full sun position. Surround the tree with straw mulch and remove old leaves to give the healthy leaves more sunlight.
Regular water is important for banana plants over summer. They can absorb gallons of water each day so if you are living in a dry area you will need to give them extra.
This article will explore the top ways to get your banana tree to grow faster so you get more fruit sooner.
How to grow banana trees faster
Here are the top ways to get your banana tree to grow faster. These tips will give you more leaves, larger stems and you will get fruit sooner.
1. Give banana trees more water in the summer
Banana trees need regular water over the summer months to help them to grow fast. They can grow up to 1 foot per month if they get the water they need.
Over summer they can be watered everyday to get them to grow as fast as possible. Make sure the soil drains well to avoid root rot.
Avoid letting the plant dry out too much as it can slow their growth and cause the flower and fruit development to stop. If you live in a tropical climate you will usually get more summer rain which can help to keep the plant moist.
If you have low rainfall over summer water the plant deeply 2-3 times per week with your hose or This will encourage their roots to head deeper and prevent the leaves from drooping.
I like to water my banana plant at the end of the day to allow it to absorb water over night.
Over dry winters, banana trees will need small amounts of water to keep them healthy. Only water once the soil has dried out 2-3 inches down. Banana growth will naturally slow over winter and speed up again when the weather warms in spring.
2. Focus on 2-3 stems
For the fastest banana tree growth that will give you fruit sooner cut back your plant to 2-3 main stems. This will allow the rhizome or root system to focus its energy on growing these stems taller and larger.
Once the stems are mature they will be able to send out a flower spike and set fruit.
If you allow too many stems to grow they will often stay smaller and take longer to produce fruit.
3. Mulch your banana tree
Surround your banana tree with a 2-3 inch layer of mulch. Cover the root zone with sugar cane, hay or bark mulch to insulate the soil, feed the worms and soil bacteria and keep the soil moist for longer.
Mulch is essential for banana trees over summer to stop their surface roots from drying out. You can even use the fallen banana leaves to layer around the tree.
Light mulches like straw or sugar cane mulch will break down quickly to improve the soil. Top them up every month or so to keep the thickness to 2-3 inches.
You can also use a heavier mulch such as bark or tree mulch if you live in an area that gets high winds. This mulch will stay in place and is less likely to blow away.
4. Remove old leaves
Prune old banana leaves when they start to turn brown. Banana plants will naturally replace old leaves with new as they grow.
The old leaves can shade the stem and new leaves so it is best to remove them. Cut them back at the base with secateurs or cutters on extension poles if the leaves are high.
5. Give the tree a tropical climate
Warm, tropical climates will give you a fast growing banana tree.
If you are planning to plant a new banana tree wait until spring. This will be when the weather and soil is starting to warm up and will help the roots to establish fast before the cool winter.
You can place banana trees in pots in greenhouses over winter to protect them from the cold. When spring arrives place them in a full sun position and you will soon get flowers and fruit.
If you live in an area that gets cold winters they will need protection from cold nights and frosts. Small trees can be covered with hessian to keep the frost of their leaves or plant a cold hardy banana variety such as Musa ‘Basjoo’.
6. Top dress banana trees with compost in spring
To grow banana trees as fast as possible plant them in soil that has been improved with lots of natural organic matter. If your banana tree is already in the ground top dress it with a 50:50 mix of compost and aged cow manure.
Spread this mixture around the root base in a layer that is around 3 inches thick. You can sprinkle on a few handfuls of pelleted chicken manure and then cover the whole lot with mulch.
When it rains or when you water the plant the nutrients and organic matter will be washed into the soil and down to the roots. Soil bacteria and worms will break down the organic matter helping it to incorporate into the soil.
If you are planting your banana tree in a pot, choose a premium potting soil and mix through some pelleted chicken manure.
7. Plant banana plants in full sun
Banana trees love bright sunlight so growing them in full sun will help them to grow as fast as possible. They grow best with at least 6 hours of sunlight helping them to photosynthesize and create the energy need to extend their stems and produce new leaves and flowers.
If the tree gets too much shade will grow slower and take longer to produce fruit.
If your banana tree is already in the ground, give it more light by removing old leaves and excess banana stems. Move potted banana trees to a bright, sunny spot in spring and you will see beautiful white flower appear.
8. Feed banana plants with organic fertilizer
Banana trees need a good balance of nutrients to grow fast. An all-purpose organic slow release fertilizer like pelleted chicken manure is perfect.
This will release slowly over 2-3 months feeding the roots. Give the tree chicken manure at the start of spring and summer when it will be growing fast.
Nitrogen is a key nutrient needed for leaf growth so it is important hat this is available int eh soil so the plant can grow faster. Pelleted chicken manure is a great choice.
A liquid fertilizer high in nitrogen will also help to give the plant a boost and rapidly increase its leaf coverage. Do this at the start of spring or use it when establishing young plants.
How to Grow Banana Trees Faster | Summary
Banana trees grow rapidly in tropical climates when they are given lots of sun and water. Plant them in soil that drains well and top dress with compost in spring. Focus on 3 main stems and you are more likely to get flowers and fruit sooner.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.