Dwarf Banana Farming -Plantation In India

Introduction to Dwarf Banana Farming

Banana is one of the healthiest fruits and it is popular worldwide. In India, Banana is the second important fruit crop after mango. It is available all-round the year, is affordable, nutritious, and tasty, and has medicinal value, which makes it one of the most demanding fruit. It also has good export potential. Banana cultivation does not need much effort but achieving high crop yields requires skills, dedication, and proper planting methods like irrigation, fertilizers, and proper pests, disease control. In this article we also discuss the below topics about Dwarf Banana;

  • How much time it takes for a Dwarf Banana tree to produce fruit
  • How do you propagate Dwarf Bananas
  • How long do Dwarf Banana trees live
  • How much sun does a Dwarf Banana tree need
  • How often do you water Dwarf Banana plants
  • Dwarf Banana plant varieties
  • Dwarf Banana tree care

A Step by Step Guide to Dwarf Banana Farming

The Dwarf Banana tree is easy to care for but does require ample humidity. It is the oldest and commonest fruit known to mankind. It is one of the important fruit trees and constitutes the second-largest fruit industry in India. It is available throughout the year. It is rich in carbohydrates, minerals like calcium, potassium, Mg, Na, and phosphorous. Dwarf Banana can be consumed as processed in various forms like chips, powder, and flakes, etc. The botanical names of the banana tree are Musa cavendish and Musa paradisiaca, which belongs to the Musaceae family.

In India, Banana ranks first in production and 3rd in the area among fruit crops. Within India, Maharashtra has the highest productivity of Banana. The other major banana producing states in India are Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Assam. Commercially cultivated Dwarf Banana plants will usually produce healthy shoots from the rhizome for about 6 years.

Guide to Dwarf Banana Farming
Guide to Dwarf Banana Farming (Pic Credit: Pixabay)

Information about Dwarf Banana Farming

  • Height – Dwarf species are 4 to 12 feet in height.
  • Light – Full sun to partial shade
  • Water – It likes moist but not wet soil. About 1 inch per plant per week, estimated.
  • Temperature – 23-32°C
  • Humidity – Loves humidity, 50% or higher preferred
  • Soil – Well-draining soil, about 20% perlite
  • Fertilizer – High potassium fertilizer preferred.
  • Growth Rate – Moderate
  • Pruning – Do not prune a tree or cut back.
  • It is a healthy live small plant.
  • It is a low maintenance plant.
  • It gives many fruits when grown.
  • It is easy to take care of and water once a day.
  • It is a fast-growing tree when given the proper care and right growing conditions.
  • Suitable for Indoor Planting.
  • Can be planted in garden and pot
  • Suitable for Indian climate.

Types of Dwarf Bananas

Dwarf Banana selections are the best bets for most people. They mature at about 715 feet high and ripen fruit 70 to 100 days after blooming. Recommended selections include the following;

Dwarf Brazilian

  • To 8 feet tall
  • Excellent fruit
  • Wind-resistant foliage

Dwarf Cavendish

  • The most popular Dwarf Banana
  • Growing only 5 feet tall
  • Sweet fruit
  • Excellent in containers

Dwarf Cavendish (AAA) – It is a popular commercial Banana cultivar. Dwarf Cavendish is cultivated in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar, and West Bengal. Also, it is popular in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.

The Dwarf Orinoco

  • Grows just 56 feet
  • It produces fruit clusters weighing up to about 40 pounds
  • Good cold tolerance and wind resistance

Gold finger Bananas

  • Grows 1214 feet tall
  • disease resistant
  • Reliable producer of very tasty fruit

5. Grand Nain

  • To 68 feet tall
  • The Chiquita banana from Central America
  • It bears up to 50 pounds of fruit per year
  • Wind-resistant foliage

Ice Cream (Blue Java)

  • Fruit tastes like vanilla custard
  • Grows 12 feet tall


  • Sturdy plant, 1416 feet tall
  • Produces large bunches of sweet, thin-skinned fruit
  • Rajapuri
  • Rajapuri is a cold-hardy selection from India that fruits reliably in Lower South
  • Sweet fruit
  • Grows up to 8 feet tall, with a stout trunk and extra-large leaves

Soil Requirement for Dwarf Banana Farming

The banana tree is a heavy feeder crop. Therefore, the fertility of the soil is important. For Banana cultivation, rich and well-drained soils with plenty of organic matter are best suited. The optimum range of pH level of soil should be 6 to 8 is recommended.

Usually, Banana trees need rich, moisture, and well-drained soil with 40% clay, 75% silt, 85% loam soil. Banana trees prefer more acidic soil. Low pH level soil makes bananas more susceptible to Panama disease. Avoid soil that is sandy, salty, nutritionally deficient and ill-drained soil for Banana farming. If soil is not in the most favorable condition, and then improve it. Light sandy soil can be improved by placing mulch around the Banana trees. Then, this will improve water retention and prevent nutrients from percolating quickly into the soil. Before you plant Banana trees, nutritionally deficient soil can be improved by incorporating organic matter into the soil. Then, this process must be repeated as often as possible. Banana trees do not tolerate waterlogging because their roots will rot and then, this can be resolved by planting the Bananas in raised beds.

Dwarf Banana trees prefer well-draining soil. They can develop root rot in overly-moist soil. You don’t want to plant them in the soil which has previously shown signs of any fusarium fungal disease infection. Then, use a high-quality, sterile potting soil for containers, and well-amended clean soil in planters or other outdoor planting sites.

Light Requirements for Dwarf Banana Farming

Dwarf Banana trees are a full-sun plant. A minimum of 8 hours of sunlight is required to give them the best plant growth, and up to 12 hours if you’re trying to promote fruiting.

If you are trying to keep them in a dwarf ornamental status, keep the plants in partial shade. Then, the shadier conditions will promote deeper and richer green foliage. Full sun requirements will lighten the leaf coloration to a yellow-green tone but will aid in flowering. It is essential to be sure the plant will have enough warmth, as well. These tropical species prefer locations that rarely get below 13°C, and prefer it to be well above 15°C. Optimal temperatures are between 23-32°C. If you get frost in the winter season, you may need to bring your Dwarf Banana tree indoors. Provide a grow light so it has the light it needs, and keep it in a place where it’s comfortable. The Dwarf Banana tree prefers full sun 4 to 6 hours per day, if possible. Then, place it in a south-facing window where it will get the most light. Your Banana tree would love a sunny place with well-drained, fertile soil. But it will be quite satisfied with 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.

Temperature and Humidity Requirement for Dwarf Banana Farming

Conditions ranging from 19-26°C are fine for your Banana tree farming. This tree enjoys extra humidity, so feel free to mist daily. Another option is to place the container on a pebble tray and place pebbles an inch or so deep in a plate or tray filled with water. The pebbles keep the plant up out of the water and as the water evaporates, it creates humidity for the tree.

Dwarf Banana Tree Propagation

Commercial edible banana trees do not produce viable seeds. Thus, the banana is commonly propagated by suckers and sword suckers with narrow leaves. Rhizomes whole or in bits from fruited and non-fruited plants with at least one sound bud can be effectively used as propagating material.

For Banana cultivation, sword sucker is the most commercial planting material. But nowadays tissue cultured bananas are gaining popularity due to their early bearing, disease-free and uniform flowering. Several varieties of the Dwarf Banana tree are hybridized, and it’s best to buy live plants from suppliers. Most hybrid Banana plants don’t produce seed, and if they do, it’s not viable. The most reliable way to propagate banana cultivars is by tissue culture. That’s how the majority of banana trees are produced for commercial sale. Tissue culture enables growers to produce perfect clones of the original parent Banana plant.

The Dwarf Cavendish Banana has a suckering tendency, so young “pups” will be formed as the parent ages. They can be cut away from the main plant, trying to keep some of the roots attached, and then potted up immediately.

How to Grow a Dwarf Banana Tree

How to Grow a Dwarf Banana Tree
How to Grow a Dwarf Banana Tree (Pic Credit: Pixabay)

Step 1) For growing a Dwarf Banana tree, such as a “Dwarf Cavendish” or a “Dwarf Brazilian” tree variety because these trees don’t get as big as their larger counterparts and are easier to manage.

Step 2) Select a planting site that receives full sun and use a garden spade to break up the soil to a foot depth. Add a couple of inches of organic matter like compost or rotted manure to best plant growth. Dwarf Banana trees thrive best in well-drained conditions and nutrient levels.

Step 3) After that, add 1/2 pound of 6-2-12 garden fertilizer to the planting location, and incorporating it thoroughly into the top 12 to 18 inches of soil.

Step 4) Trim off the leaves of the Dwarf Banana tree sucker that you are planting, using scissors or pruning shears.

Step 5) Plant the banana sucker, burying plant roots and its base up to the dirt line on the sucker where it was originally buried. Usually, space the Dwarf Banana tree about 20 feet from any other vegetation, and 8 feet away from any other Dwarf Banana trees. The planting distance changes from 2x 2m in the case of dwarf varieties to 3×3 m in the case of tall varieties.

Step 6) Water the planting site, and repeat watering every 7 to 10 days to maintain soil moisture to a depth of an approximate foot. Dwarf Banana trees are thirsty plants, and depending on localized weather conditions need more than an inch of water every week.

Step 7) Spread a 6-inch-deep layer of mulch like wood chips or bark fragments, around your Dwarf Banana tree. Then, this reduces weed problems, keeps the soil cool, and helps conserve moisture. Also, the mulch will slowly decompose and enhance the underlying soil.

Step 8) Repeat your fertilization 4 months after the planting date and every 4 months after that, using 2 pounds of 10-5-20 at every application. Always apply fertilizer immediately before irrigation and the water helps carry the fertilizer’s nutrients down to the roots. It normally takes 15 months before the Dwarf Banana tree starts flowering. Dwarf Banana trees only produce fruit once per tree.

Fertilizer and Water Requirement for Dwarf Banana Farming

Feed Banana tree once a month with diluted liquid fertilizer. They are known to grow quickly, so this monthly food with help sustain their growth. Lots of access to water is necessary, but with banana trees, there is a risk of too much. Banana trees are susceptible to root rot conditions with over-watering. Under-watering will cause wilting or slow crop growth.

If growing in a container, it’s important to water slightly more than if they are in the ground, as containers will dry out faster. Water only when the soil has dried out in the top half-inch to an inch, and try to keep a moist but not soggy soil state. If planted Banana trees in the ground, ensure that the soil maintains a nice level of moisture but isn’t wet, and water when the soil is dry in the top half-inch to an inch.

Most outdoor Dwarf Banana trees require about an inch of water per week per plant. This will change depending on your weather conditions. Cooler climates require less water. Mulching prevents water loss in the soil. These trees are humidity-loving plants and 50% or higher humidity is best for plant growth.

Allow your tree to dry out a bit between watering. Water thoroughly, allowing the water to flow from the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot. Be sure to empty the saucer of all water never let the roots sit in water it will lead to root rot.

Dwarf Banana trees are big eaters. You’ll need to fertilize the Dwarf Banana tree on a monthly schedule for best growth. Using a high-phosphorous fertilizer like an 8-10-8 is ideal for best growth. If you can’t find that, a balanced 10-10-10 will work. For young plants, use 65 to 75% strength fertilizer, as they don’t need quite as much. Older plants have full strength. If you are trying to promote fruiting, you are going to want a high potassium fertilizer. The Banana fruit requires extra potassium to grow. Opt for something like a 10-10-15 or 10-10-20. If you are growing the plant indoors, you don’t need to fertilize as heavily. Indoor banana trees grow much more slowly. Approximately use 50% of the fertilizer you would use on an outdoor Dwarf Banana tree. Overwintering trees require no fertilizer at all.

Overwintering Dwarf Banana Trees Outdoors

If you are growing your Banana tree for its fruit, don’t cut it back to 3 inches above the ground. It can take longer than a year for some Banana tree varieties to produce a flower stalk, and you don’t want to slow that process. If your average weather is going to be at or above 15°C, you don’t have to take any steps to overwinter your trees.

In an area where you don’t get frost, but you do get temperatures below 15°C, take the chicken wire and make a tubular ring around your Dwarf Banana tree. Then, add shredded leaves inside the chicken wire to make a shield from the cold. Carefully remove the plant from the ground and place it into a pot that’s at least 3 inches larger on all sides than the root mass and corm. Keep it in a warm, well-lit portion of your house until the weather is again consistently above 15°C.

Growing Dwarf Banana Tree Problems

As a plant, the Dwarf Banana tree is at risk of several diseases and pests.

Banana leaves have yellow or brown color edges/tips -It’s normal for plant leaves to become blemished and ripped from general knocking or even low humidity levels. Keep the humidity high and then water well.

The plant has purple blotches on the leaves – This is the main sign you have a true Dwarf Cavendish. Young trees will have these blotches although as they mature they will disappear.

Dwarf Banana Tree Pests

Pest nematodes can be a problem for most trees, but root-knot nematodes are particularly problematic for bananas. These pest nematodes can spread deadly fusarium-type diseases like Panama disease.

Beneficial nematodes will hunt out and kill the other types of nematodes. They help control most soil-burrowing or soil-pupating larvae of other insects. These micro-insects are a wonderful aid to the soil.

Corky scab thrips – There is a type of thrip called the Banana Rust Thrip which feasts upon the banana plant leaves. Another thrip is the Corky Scab Thrip, which can destroy bananas rapidly. While you can be able to remove thrips by hand, or killing them with a spinosad spray.

Black weevils, sometimes known as banana stalk borers, are another problem for Dwarf Banana trees. Then, you can coat the leaves and stalks of plants with diatomaceous earth to repel them and beneficial nematodes will help wipe out the larval stages. Using a pyrethrin spray can kill off what persists in plaguing your plants.

Mealybugs can pay a visit to the Dwarf Banana tree, as can spider mites or aphids. All of these sap-sucking insects can be repelled with the application of some neem oil on plant surfaces.

Finally, the coquito is also known as the banana fruit scarring beetle, will attack banana fruit in its adult form. The eggs it lays turn into larvae which burrow into the soil at the base of the plant to eat the plant roots and pupate. Sticky traps work to capture the adult beetle, but for the larvae, beneficial nematodes are one of the best defences. Inviting ladybugs and lacewings to help eat the eggs on plants will also destroy this pest.

Dwarf Banana Tree Diseases

There are many varieties of leaf spot which can impact Dwarf Banana trees. Black leaf streak is fungal leaf spots which can be hard to treat.

However, black leaf streak can be resistant to fungicides, so it can take repeated applications to affect. Horticultural spray oil helps to prevent leaf spot diseases.

Fusarium oxysporum is a fungus that causes the dreaded Panama disease is also referred to as banana wilt. This type of fusarium wilt is lethal to banana trees.

In banana trees, signs of Panama disease include yellowing plant leaves and eventually plant death. Then, it can be transmitted by the wind, water, movement of infected soil, or via farm equipment. You can use clean tools on banana trees to prevent the spread of these fusarium fungi. Once your plant has contracted the disease, it must be destroyed to prevent further spread. Not plant more banana trees in the same soil or exact location.

Banana bunchy top disease is transmitted by aphids. Then, this disease causes upward curling or cupping of the leaves and narrowing of leaves. The leaves will eventually become stiff and brittle, and the disease retards the growth.

To avoid bunchy top, wipe out aphids before the Banana trees can cause the disease’s spread. Aphids cause banana mosaic disease. Mottled or striped foliage will result, and the mottling can spread to the Banana fruit as well. Unfortunately, there is no real cure for the banana mosaic disease in Banana trees. Destroy infected trees to prevent further spread.

When and How to Harvest Dwarf Banana

Dwarf Banana varieties commence flowering in about 9 months after planting and the fruits take about 3 months more to mature whereas, tall varieties take about 12 months for flowering after planting. Then, the bunch is harvested just before it attains the ripening stage. The Dwarf Bananas become ready for harvest within 11 to 14 months after the planting process.

In case if you miss this: Organic Papaya Farming In India.


  1. Is banana farming profitable in Western Uttar Pradesh as temperature during summers goes till 40*C and in winters it sometime touches 3* to 4* C. Please suggest.


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