Banana plants range from towering trees to smaller shrubs and grow in both sun and shade. The fruits of the different banana plants can be tiny or large with flavors from sweet to sour. Plant one type of banana plant or enrich your garden with several varieties. Some of the more exotic plants make any landscape seem like a tropical paradise.
African Rhino Horn
African rhino horn plants grow well in USDA Zones 9 and 10. They are large trees that will easily reach a height of 20 feet. The bananas grown on the African rhino horn reach a weight of up to 2 pounds and a length of 2 feet. Eat the ripe fruit raw from the tree or cook in the same manner as a plantain. Grow the plants in an area that receives full sun with 30 percent shade.
The praying hands banana plant is an unusual type that produces fruit that is joined together in a way that resembles two hands joined in prayer. It grows well in USDA Zones 10b to 11 and should be planted in full sun or only partial shade. Keep the soil moist, as drying out can cause damage to the plant. The average height of the praying hands plant is 12 to 14 feet. The plant may cause skin irritation when handled. The bananas from this plant have a slight vanilla flavoring.
The super dwarf banana plant is one of the smallest banana plants. It grows to an average of 3 feet tall and produces medium sized bananas. This plant is suitable for growing outdoors or indoors in containers. Plant the super dwarf in a shady area and keep the soil moist. Do not allow the soil to dry out as this will damage the quality of the fruit. Check regularly for signs of spider mites and treat the plant by washing the leaves with a solution of warm water and mild soap.
The thousand fingers banana plant produces fruit that is sweet and small, although it will continue to grow all the way to the ground if left on the plant. The plant will reach a height of 10 to 12 feet when fully grown. It grows well in USDA Zones 9a to 10 b. Plant the thousand fingers plant in an area that receives full sun or very little shade. Keep the soil of the plant well watered so that it is always damp. Do not overwater to the point of sogginess.
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