8 Tips on How to Care for Your Banana Plant Indoors

Banana Plant (Musa spp) or Plantain Plants are beautiful houseplants with large, attractive leaves. Banana plants will instantly give a tropical vibe to any indoor space. There are many Banana plant varieties. The Super Dwarf Cavendish is most suitable for indoor houseplants since it grows to a reasonable size of 2-4 feet. Other Dwarf Cavendish Banana plants can grow to 6 to 8 feet tall. Your Banana plant is a tropical plant that will grow rapidly if you provide it with sufficient sunlight, water, heat, and nutrients. Here are tips on how to care for your Banana plant.

Banana Plant houseplant
Banana Plant houseplant

8 Tips on How to Take Care of Your Banana Plant

1. Your Banana Plant Requires a Lot of Light

Banana Plant requires a lot of light. Your Banana plant is happiest in a south-facing window. Give it enough sunlight and it will reward you with fruit! It also does well in an east-facing and west-facing window but the half day of sunlight will not be sufficient for it to produce fruit.

2. Your Banana Plant Needs a Lot of Water

Your Banana plant is a tropical plant, it has high water requirements. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Water your Banana plant when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it is time to water your Banana plant is to feel the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 0.5 inches deep. If it feels dry, it’s time to water your Banana plant. 

3. Get the Soil Right for Your Banana Plant

Your Banana Plant needs a well-draining, organic all-purpose potting mix. 

4. Fertilize Your Banana Plant

Fertilize your Banana Plant once a month with a balanced fertilizer. It is essential for your Banana plant to receive enough nutrients if you want it to flower and produce fruits.

5. Don’t forget to Repot Your Banana Plant

Repot your Banana plant once a year. Repot your Banana plant in a container with a diameter 4 inches larger than the current pot. 

6. Drainage is Essential for Your Banana Plant

Good drainage is important, you don’t want your Banana plant to sit in soggy soil. Make sure there are drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. After watering your Banana plant and you see water draining out of the pot’s drainage holes, make sure you empty out the accumulated water in the saucer. Don’t let your Banana plant’s pot sit in this puddle of water. It will cause root rot!

7. Get the Temperature Right for Your Banana Plant

Your Banana plant is used to warm tropical weather. It needs to have a daytime temperature of 75F to 85 Fahrenheit (24-30C). The nighttime temperature should be at 65-75 Fahrenheit (18-24 C). 

8. Humidity is Vital for Your Banana Plant 

Your Banana Plant is a plant accustomed to tropical environments. It is a humid-loving houseplant. As much as you can, try your best to increase indoor humidity. Mist your Banana plant several times a week. Add humidity to indoor air with an air humidifier. 

Another way to increase humidity is to keep your Banana plant in a saucer filled with water. But make sure the pot is elevated with pot feet or pebbles so your Banana plant is not sitting directly on the water. 

3 Common Banana Plant Problems

The common problems for Banana Plant are yellowing leaves, scale, and root rot.

Why Does Your Banana plant Look Wilted Even if the Soil is Wet?

Problem: Your Banana plant looks wilted even if the soil is wet. Check for root rot by pulling the plant out and examining the roots. If the roots of your Banana plant look mushy (healthy roots are firm) and the roots are gray to black in color, these are telltale signs of root rot. 

Root Rot
Root Rot

Cause: Root rot is caused by fungus and is a serious problem for your Banana plant. Root rot is a result of wet soil due to overwatering or poor drainage. 

Solution: When your Banana plant is afflicted with root rot the chance of survival is slim. Your best course of action is to throw your Banana plant out and start over with a new plant. This time don’t overwater your Banana plant and make sure there is good drainage in the pot.

Why are there many Small Brown Bumps on the Leaves of Your Banana plant?

Problem: If you see little brown bumps all over the leaves and stems of your Banana plant, that can be a sign of scale. Try picking the bumps off, if it’s easily removed then that’s a telltale sign of scale. The little bumps can also be gray, yellow, or black. 

Scale Insects
Scale Insects on Leaf

Cause: Scale is common on houseplants and is caused by scale insects. 

Solution: You can get rid of scale by picking them off one by one. Or the easier way to get rid of scale is to spray your Banana plant with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.

Check out our article on how to make your own homemade pesticides using baby shampoo: How to Make Horticultural Oil and How to Make Insecticidal Soap

Why are the Leaves of Your Banana Plant Turning Yellow?

Problem: If you see yellowing leaves on your Banana plant or your Banana plant leaves are falling off, that is a sign that something is wrong. 

Cause: If you see yellowing leaves it can be a result of overwatering or underwatering. Yellow leaves can also be a result of cold temperatures. 

Solution: Check to see if your Banana plant is being overwatered or underwatered. Also, check the temperature. Is the room too cold for your Banana plant? If so, move your Banana plant to a warmer spot and adjust your watering. 

Banana Plant Houseplant Facts

NameBanana Plant
Scientific NameMusa spp
LightHigh Light
Daytime Temperature75 to 85 F (24-30C)
Night Time Temperature65 to 75F (18-24C)
WaterHigh Water
HumidityHigh Humidity
PottingWell-draining, organic, all-purpose potting mix
FertilizerFertilize once a month
Banana Plant Houseplant Facts

Banana Plant: Frequently Asked Questions

What are Other Common Names of Banana Plant?

Banana Plant (Musa spp) is also called Ensete, Plantain, Fiber Banana, and Japanese Banana.

Banana Plant houseplant
Banana Plant houseplant

What are the Best Banana Plant Houseplant Varieties? 

Most Banana Plants are tall trees that are not suitable as houseplants. Popular Banana Plant houseplant varieties are Musa acuminata ‘Dwarf Cavendish’ and Musa acuminata ‘Super Dwarf Cavendish’

Musa acuminata is the most common variety of Banana plants that produces fruit. It produces, Cavendish, the yellow banana we are familiar with. The two cultivars that are appropriate as houseplants are Dwarf Cavendish and Super Dwarf Cavendish Cultivars since they don’t get that tall in height.

Musa acuminata ‘Dwarf Cavendish’ can grow to 6 to 8 feet tall. Musa acuminata ‘Super Dwarf Cavendish’ can grow to 2 to 4 feet tall with leaves that are 2 feet long and 8 inches wide.

How Can You Tell When It’s Time to Water Your Banana Plant?

Banana plants are thirsty houseplants, they are accustomed to wet tropical weather. Water your Banana plant when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it’s time to water is by sticking your finger into the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 0.5 inches deep. Keep the soil of your Banana plant moist but not soggy.

Can You Use Cold Water When Watering Your Banana Plant?

Banana Plant can be watered with tap water but be mindful of the water temperature that you are using to water your Banana plant. Don’t use straight cold water from the tap to water your Banana plant. The banana plant prefers cool water that is not hot and not cold.

When you turn on the cold water from the faucet add a little bit of warm water. You can also get to this ideal temperature by filling a watering can or pitcher with water and leaving it out overnight until the water is at room temperature. 

What Fertilizer Should You Use for Your Banana Plant?

Use a balanced organic fertilizer on your Banana plant.

How Big Does Your Banana Plant Get?

Banana Plants are tall trees and can grow to 25 feet tall! Thankfully Banana houseplant varieties such as Musa acuminata ‘Dwarf Cavendish’ and Musa acuminata ‘Super Dwarf Cavendish’, don’t get that tall. The Dwarf Cavendish Banana plants can grow to 6-8 feet tall while the Super Dwarf Banana plants can grow to 2-4 feet tall. 

How Do You Propagate Your Banana Plant?

The Banana plant is easy to propagate. Banana plants produce new pups at the base of the mother plant. You can propagate Banana plant by planting these Banana plant pups in a new pot. Below are steps on how to propagate Banana plant by planting the pups:

1. Separate a Pup from the Mother Plant

Use a sharp knife and separate a Banana plant pup from the mother plant. A good time to do this is when you are repotting your Banana plant. Make sure you get a pup with enough roots.

2. Plant the Pup in New Pot

Plant the Banana plant pup in its own pot. Water the new Banana plant immediately after planting.

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