Fertilizer For Banana Tree : Fertilization Recommendation

The banana plant is a heavy feeder. Use a fertilizer high in potassium to feed the tree. Nitrogen and potassium deficiencies are the two most common nutritional problems for bananas.

Feed your banana tree regularly to get bigger bananas. The banana tree will needs large quantities of Potassium and Nitrogen. You need to fertilize your banana tree frequently as the roots of the tree are shallow so as to avoid nutrients of getting washed away. Apply banana fertilizer when the plant is  rapidly growing.

Continue reading for a detailed banana fertilization information along with the symptoms of deficiency of nutrients.

Banana Fertilizer Schedule: How To Fertilize A Banana Plant

  1. Potassium (K), nitrogen (N)  and phosphorus (P) fertilizers should be given to the roots after planting. The leaf and soil analysis can be used to  determine the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. A fertilizer with N:P:K ratio 10:2:22  is recommended for banan plants.
  2.  I feed my banana plant (How to grow a banana tree), starting with about 100 g every second month and increasing gradually to 500 g as it grows.
  3. Ensure that no fertilizer is touching directly against the trunk. Actually, you should not fertilize around 12 inch circle of the trunk.
  4. Bedfore the flower about to appear, I apply a handful of Potash around the tree. I also feed my banana plant with potassium rich comfrey tea every fortnight.
Nitrogen
A Young Banana Tree
A Young Banana Tree

Bananas Growing on a Tree
Bananas Growing on a Tree
Nitrogen is needed for the vegetative growth of leaves with healthy green colour. The importance of the nitrogen for a banana plant is understood from the fact that the size, weight and the number of hands in the banana bunch total means number of bananas) depends on the number and size of the healthy leaves grown during the first 6 months.


Signs of Nitrogen Deficiency
  1. A deficiency of nitrogen (N) in soil will result in a poor growth rate of the plant and reduction in the number of bananas produced.
  2. If the leaves are yellowing or reddish pink and the main stem is thin, it means the plant needs more nitrogen.
Potassium

  1. Potassium (K) is the most important plant nutrient in banana production due to the very high potassium content in the banana fruit, banana peels and banana leaves. Potassium is needed to produce larger size and tasty bananas.
  2. Apply potassium throughout the growth period, smaller amount at the early stage, then  in month before and after flowering.


Signs of Potassium Deficiency
The symptoms of potassium deficiency include small or broken leaves, crumpled leaves, leaf splitting and falling downward, yellow/orange leaves followed by leaf death, and small banana bunches.

It should be noted that the amount of potassium taken up from the soil by the plant is very high, so the soil becomes deficient in this important nutrient. You must add potassium rich fertilizer in the soil after you remove the plant.

Calcium
The deficiency of calcium results in reduced leaf length, leaves may turn reddish brown. Application of lime and calcium nitrate can correct the calcium deficiency.

Other Nutrients For Banana Plant

The other nutrients needed for the banana production are phosphorus, magnesium, boron and sulfur.

In a phosphorus deficient plant, the leaves will turn yellow at their margins, purple spots on the leaves and curling of the leaves.

A magnesium deficiency causes leaves to remain green at the margins and middle and turning yellow everywhere.

Deficiency of nutrients (banana tree fertilizer) may cause a banana tree not flowering. Also read how to keep banana fresh longer

References

Banana Ripening: Principals and Practice, University of Hawaii, http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/nelsons/banana/ripeningbunchmanagement.pdf

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