Growing Bananas: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • , by Agriplex India
  • 10 min reading time

Banana is the fruit of a plant of the genus Musa (family Musaceae), which is cultivated primarily for food and secondarily for the production of fiber used in the textile industry are also cultivated for ornamental purposes. Almost all the modern edible parthenocarpic bananas come from the two wild species – Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. The scientific names of bananas are Musa  acuminata, Musa balbisiana or hybrids of Musa acuminata and balbisiana, depending on their genomic constitution.Bananas are vigorously growing, monocotyledonous herbaceous plants.The banana is not a tree but a high herb that can attain up to 15 meters of height. The cultivars vary greatly in plant an d fruit size, plant morphology, fruit quality and disease and insect resistance. Most bananas have a sweet flavor when ripe; exceptions to this are cooking bananas and plantains.
 Banana Cultivation

Crop Selection  

Robusta, Dwarf Cavendish, Grand Naine, Rasthali, Vayal vazhai, Poovan, Nendran, Red Banana, Karpooravalli, Co.1, Matti, Sannachenkadali, Udayam and Neypoovan are popular varieties in banana. Cavendish groups are generally prefered in export market. 
Monthan, Vayal vazhai, Ash Monthan and Chakkia are cultivated for culinary purpose. Nendran is a dual-purpose variety used for dessert and culinary. 
Hill areas 
The popular varieties of bananas suitable for hilly areas are Virupakshi, Sirumalai and Namarai. Red Banana, Manoranjitham (Santhana vazhai) and Ladan are also cultivated in hills. 

Soil and Climate 

Well drained loamy soils are suitable for banana cultivation. Alkaline and saline  soils should be avoided. 

Field preparation 
The land is prepared by ploughing twice and harrowing thrice. Levelling is done  by tractor after harrowing. Ridges and furrows are made, and the pits (30 cm (about 11.81 in) x 30 cm x 30 cm) are dug and filled up with well decomposed FYM/ Annapurna Compost. The pits are irrigated to allow the soil to settle. 


The time of planting of banana depends solely on climatic conditions and  availability of water. In areas of heavy and continuous rains, planting of banana should be done after rains i.e., September - October and in those areas where rain is not so heavy planting can be done in June-July. In Irrigated areas the planting is done in February - March and in hilly areas in April.

The planting material is treated with a solution of 250 g of ghee, 0.500 g of honey and 15 kg of cow dung. 

The spacing adopted by organic banana cultivators is 1.5 m x 1.5m and 1.5 m x 1.8 m. However, for tissue cultured banana, a spacing of 1.5 m x 1.8m accommodating a plant population of 4400 plants/ha is considered for working out the cost of this model scheme. 

Trichoderma and Pseudomonas are beneficial microbes that can be used to prevent fungal and bacterial diseases originating in soil. Apart of this carbendazim can be also used to control and prevent from fungal diseases.

To use Trichoderma and Pseudomonas for planting banana, you can:

  1. Mix the microbes with water and spray the mixture on the leaves and soil around the banana plants.
  2. Apply the microbes to the soil around the banana plants before planting.
  3. Inoculate the banana plants with the microbes by dipping the roots in a solution of the microbes.

The best time to apply Trichoderma and Pseudomonas is during the growing season, when the banana plants are most susceptible to pests and diseases. You can apply the microbes once a month or as needed.

Banana Crop Plantation

The plants need to be irrigated immediately after planting. About 30-40 weekly  irrigations are required. When summer temperature crosses 37.5 0C, irrigation on every 3rd day is essential. Inadequate irrigation to banana leads to delayed  flowering, irregular bunch size, delayed maturity, reduced fingers and poor keeping quality of the fruits. The drip system of irrigation is being followed in most of the organic banana cultivation in Maharashtra. In this model scheme, the cost of installation of drip is not considered. 

Interculture Operations 
Propping or supporting the bearing plants can be done by suitable propping  material like bamboo or wooden poles. 
Mulching is desirable immediately after planting. Mulching controls weed growth, conserves moisture, hastens growth and improves yield. 
All varieties of banana throw suckers from 2-3 months after planting. All these suckers should not be allowed to grow as they will compete with the mother plants for water and nutrients thereby reducing the yield of main crop. Desuckering with sickle at 15-20 days interval right from the beginning till flowering is essential. Wrapping the bunches is essential to have blemish / bruise free fruits with uniform size and quality. For this, black coloured polythene may be used for covering the fruits 

 Application of fertilizers: 
Recommended Dose: 200:35:300 g NPK per plant 

Here are some Best Fertilizers for Banana Plantation

Pest management 

Corm Weevil 
Apply carbaryl 10 – 20 g/plant in the soil around the Banana stem to control the Corm Weevil pest.
Stem Weevil 
Remove dried leaves periodically and keep the plantation clean. Prune the sucker every month. 
Banana Aphids 
The pest is the vector for Bunchy top virus disease. Spray any one of the following systemic insecticides to control it. Phosphamidon 2 ml/lit or Methyl demeton 2 ml/lit or Dimethoate 30 EC 2 ml/lit. The spray may be directed towards crown and pseudostem base upto ground level at 21 days interval atleast thrice. ml/plant (1 ml diluted in 4 ml of water) at 45 days interval from the 3rd month till flowering is very effective.
 Thrips and Lace wing Bugs 
Spray Lambdacyhalothrin @ 2 ml/lit or Ortho Silicic Acid 2% @ 2ml/lit. 
Banana plant common pest 

Diseases Management 

Sigatoka leaf spot 
Remove affected leaves and burn. Spray any one of the following fungicides commencing from November at monthly interval. Carbendazim 1g/lit., Benomyl 1 g/lit., Mancozeb 2 g/lit., Copper oxychloride 2.5 g/lit., Ziram 2 ml/lit, Chlorothalonil 2 g/lit. Alternation of fungicides for every spray prevents fungicidal resistance. Always add 5 ml of wetting agent like Anshul Stickmax, Triton AE, Teepol etc.per 10 lit of spray fluid. 

● Spray Copper oxychloride 0.25% or Bordeaux mixture 1% or chlorothaloail 0.2% or Carbendazim 0.1%. 
● Post harvest dipping of fruits in Carbendazim 400 ppm, or Benomyl 1000 ppm. 
 Panama Disease 
Uproot and destroy severely affected plants. Apply lime at 1 – 2 kg in the pits after removal of the affected plants. In the field, Panama wilt disease can be prevented by corm injection methods. A small portion of soil is removed to expose the upper portion of the corm. An oblique hole at 45° angle is made to a depth of 10 cm. Immediately, a gelatin capsule containing 60 mg of Carbendazim or 3 ml of 2 % Carbendazim solution or capsule application for 50 mg of Pseudomonas is injected into the hole with the help of ‘corm injector’ on 2nd, 4th and 6th month after planting. 
 Fusarium wilt 
● Varieties Poovan, Robusta, Moongil show resistance. 
● Rasthali, Monthan, Karpooravalli susceptible to the disease. 
● Flood fallowing the infected fields. Raise paddy for one season to suppress the pathogen. 
● Nematodes predispose the pathogen, paring and paralinage with carbofuran 40g / rhizome and 10 g of Pseudomonas . 
● Removal of infected trees and application of lime @1-2 Kg/pit. 
● Capsule application of Carbendazim or Pseudomonas @ 60mg/capsule/tree  on 2nd, 4th and 6th month after planting. The capsule is applied in the corm by making a hole of 10 cm depth at 45°. 
● Corm injection with 3 ml of 2% Carbendazim. 
● Spot drench with carbendazim 0.1%. 

Common Banana Diseases


Bananas are ready to harvest when the fingers are yellow and the peel is slightly soft.The best time to harvest is in the morning, when the fruit is cool.


Bananas can be stored at room temperature for a few days. To extend their shelf life, they can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.


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