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Friday, August 31, 2007

Buying Banana plants: seeds vs. started plants

A quick search on the net will show you lots of different ways to buy banana plants. You'll see a lot of offers for banana seeds and small banana plants (called pups) with varying prices.

You can start bananas from seed if it's late in the year or you start other plants from seed during the winter. Bananas have a fairly good germination rate, though it can take them a few weeks. Once the weather is warm (May in VA) you can transplant the little plant outside. If you want to try several different varieties seeds are an economical way to do it.

I have purchased all my bananas as pups, and all through the Internet. Nice plants can be found for $10 or less as bare roots (which they handle well) or in standard nursery pots, plus a few dollars for shipping. Due to their extremely fast growth rate, a banana plant started in late spring/early summer will be well established come the first frost, and may be producing pups of its own!

If it's getting cold outside, don't forget that bananas make great office and house plants, just keep them watered and near a window and they'll do fine! When the weather warms up, you can plop them in the ground and dig them out in the fall to bring the tropics indoors as their shallow root system makes them relatively easy to move.

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