Knowing how big these plants grow, you may be wondering, how close can you plant banana trees together?
Or maybe you don’t know just how big banana plants are and would be interested to find out.
What happens if you plant banana trees too close together?
Do they die or refuse to produce any fruit?
Can you uproot them if they are too crowded together?
Bring your measuring tape along, and let’s find out the optimum distance between banana trees.
There are a number of factors that dictate how close banana trees should be planted together, not least of which is the variety of the plant. However, even the smallest dwarf banana plants need at least eight feet between them. Full-sized varieties of banana trees will require a minimum of 12 feet of space around them. Banana trees have huge root mats, and these need room to expand, as this is where additional shoots will grow from. These extra shoots are necessary for the continued growth of the tree, as the main stem will die after bearing fruit.
1. Why Do Banana Trees Need So Much Space?
It is not so much the size of the banana tree itself but the root mat that takes up so much space.
A large, healthy root mat is essential for the banana plant to thrive and continue to produce fruit.
If the banana trees are crowded together, they will compete for nutrition, and smaller plants may die.
Closely planted banana trees may also increase the chance of disease transmission.
However, there are also some benefits to planting banana trees closer together.
The stem of a banana plant is not very strong, and it can easily blow over in windy conditions.
Planting the trees together creates a natural windbreak.
The same result can be achieved by planting your banana trees near a wall or a fence.
Also, if the banana plants are grouped closely together, there will be less opportunity for weeds to break through and potentially damage the trees by stealing their nutrients.
At the end of the day, the optimum spacing will protect the plants yet allow enough space for the root mats to grow.
Dwarf banana trees need a minimum of eight feet between them, and the full-sized varieties require approximately 12 feet of space.
Digging up and transplanting any banana trees that are too close together will not damage them but is best done during peak growing season to allow them to recover.
Of course, a commercial plantation will also need to leave enough room between the plants for easy use of any harvesting equipment.
2. What Other Growing Conditions are Necessary for Healthy Banana Trees?
Having worked out the correct spacing for your banana trees, what other growing conditions do you need to consider?
As mentioned earlier, ensure that your banana plants are protected from high winds, as they could blow over.
Planting next to a wall is ideal, but not next to a building.
The banana tree’s root mat grows at a phenomenal rate and could undermine the structure of a property or damage any utility pipes.
A full-grown banana tree could reach 30 feet tall, with leaves of up to 10 inches, so also be wary of any nearby power lines.
Sunlight is also a key requisite for banana plants, and typically they need at least six hours of full sun per day.
However, a banana plant’s leaves are also prone to scorching, and some varieties do better with partial shade.
Temperature is also a significant factor in banana plant growth, and they do not tolerate colder conditions.
You might be better off considering a smaller variety, such as Musa Ornata, and growing it in a container if you live in a colder climate.
That way, you can easily take it indoors if the weather turns particularly bad.
Unfortunately, dwarf banana trees are more for ornamental purposes and rarely grow edible fruit.
As you might have guessed, banana trees are at their best in tropical, humid conditions.
You can try and replicate this atmosphere by misting the banana leaves regularly to encourage moisture to linger in the air.
How to Plant a Banana Tree
Banana trees cannot be planted closely together.
Between eight and 12 feet of space should be left between banana plants to allow room for the root mat to grow.
The banana trees also need shelter from high winds and do their best in sunny conditions.
Nobody said it was easy growing your own bananas!
In fact, there is another problem that is surprisingly common, and that is what to do with a broken banana plant stalk.