Our Banana Notes & Tips – please note this is just intended to be a bit of advice from us to you. Please do your own research and determine the best methods of planting and maintenance for your specific needs. If you have purchased from us, please feel free to contact us with any further questions and pictures and we will do our best to advise.
Planting: Bananas keiki can be planted directly into the ground in full sun. It is best when banana keiki are planted into holes 1.5 feet deep and 3 feet wide. They have a minimum of 15 feet spacing, unless you are planting a windbreak (then you can plant closer). Water them heavily and mulch them to establish the plants. Keep them moist and weed-free. You can try planting support plants like sweet potato, comfrey, sisso spinach etc. around them to discourage weeds. But especially here in wet Hawaii, weed them monthly to prevent grass taking over. Mulching the ground around the keiki 3 inches deeps is great but MAKE SURE TO NOT LET THE WET MULCH TOUCH KEIKI, in other words, leave a little space between keiki trunk and mulched ground.
If bananas can’t be cared for regularly place banana suckers in 3-5 gallon pots in sterile media or compost/cinder with good drainage and water with a sprinkler until well rooted.
Preventing pests: Banana Borer beetles are everywhere, and they can make growing many different cultivars to their greatest potential challenging, especially Polynesian types. To prevent borer beetle damage to plants sprinkle Neem seed powder (available at Farm Co-op in Hilo) at a rate of 1/2 a cup per banana mat every 3-4 months in circle around clump. Increase to 1 cup once they are a full size patch.
Maintenance: Bananas can become unproductive if too many plants are left to grow in a clump. Maintain clumps of bananas at 1 fruiting, 1 soon to fruit and one keiki, (grandma – mom – baby concept). Dig up and remove bananas that exceed this number for optimum productivity and ease of future maintenance. Fertilize regularly for best results!