Garden Tips

Watering and fertilizing ornamental banana - How to properly care for your banana tree


Ornamental bananas are by no means as easy to maintain as some people think. There are many questions that we would like to answer here, especially on the topics of watering and fertilizing.

Regular drops on the leaves indicate too much water. How much water does an ornamental banana (Ensete ventricosum) need? How often do you have to water and which fertilizer should you use? What do the strange drops on the leaves of the plant mean?

Questions after questions. Here are the answers! Ornamental bananas are generally plants with an increased water requirement. They have large leaves from which a lot of moisture evaporates. Of course, this has to be balanced. But beware. You should also not add too much water to the plant. So that your ornamental banana develops splendidly and is not hindered in its growth by various maintenance errors, here is an overview of what you should know specifically about watering and fertilizing ornamental bananas.

Watering banana - that's what matters

The ornamental banana appreciates a permanently moist soil without waterlogging. If the substrate dries out superficially, the plant will not mind as long as there is still residual moisture in the root ball. You will quickly recognize acute water shortage by slack leaves. Water your banana more often and therefore a little more economically.

During the warm season, daily watering in the morning is ideal. The warmer and sunnier the location, the greater the amount of water should be.

Detect excess water

You can recognize excess water by standing water in the saucer. Any liquid that does not evaporate or soak up during the day should be thrown away. If you regularly notice large drops of water on the leaves of the ornamental banana, this is also a sign that you are rather watering too much. This exudation of liquid, known as guttation, is not a threat to the plant. At most, your floorboards or carpeting will suffer from the constant dripping. Just pour a little less and the problem is fixed.

Choose the right water

If possible, use rainwater to water your banana. Tap water with its often high lime content does not benefit the roots in the long term. If you do not have rainwater available, a decalcifying device for tap water (such as this one) will do a good job. In addition, the water when pouring should be lukewarm rather than freezing cold.

Wet leaves

In dry to very dry locations, you will rarely experience the phenomenon of guttation because the ambient air quickly absorbs all the moisture released by the plant. Pronounced dryness does not do the gorgeous leaves of the ornamental banana good and can also lead to unsightly dustiness. By regularly wetting the leaves with water from a spray bottle, this can be easily remedied.

Fertilize ornamental banana - that's how it's done

Water-permeable potting soil is the best substrate for your ornamental banana. However, nutrients are washed out of this soil relatively quickly. You can compensate for this with a moderate addition of liquid fertilizer (My recommendation: Compo green plant fertilizer) in the irrigation water. Choose a cycle of one week from spring to autumn and a cycle of one month during the winter months.