Dividing Banana Plants

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Blood banana plant ready to divide

I have two banana plants in my collection that I’ve had for several years.

Both of them have sprouted pups (also known as babies or suckers) over the past few years.

This summer, I noticed they both had a few pups that were ready to be removed from the mother plants.

Here is a picture of my blood banana plant before I started dividing it.

If we take a closer look, you can see there are several mature pups ready to be removed.

Mother banana plant (middle) with several mature pups

There’s no requirement that says the pups must be removed from the mother plant, my bananas were growing just fine.

Pot-bound banana plant

But my plant is extremely pot-bound and I didn’t want to repot it into a larger pot, it’s big enough already.

Plus I have a few friends that would love to have a banana plant of their own.

So that’s why I decided to remove a few pups from each plant.

If you want to try to propagate your banana plant in this way, the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure the pup you’re planning to remove is mature enough.

That means, the pup should have it’s own roots. To check the pup’s root development, gently remove the plant from it’s pot. Then brush back the soil around the base of the pup to see if it has developed it’s own roots. 

If the pup doesn’t have any roots, or only has small roots, it’s not ready to be removed from the mother plant and won’t survive on it’s own.

Obvious root growth on banana plant pup

Once you’ve established that the pup is ready to be removed from the mother plant, gently tease apart the roots of the pup and mother plant, trying to free as many of the pups roots as possible. Try not to break any of the pups roots (have patience, this may be a difficult task).

Next, you’ll want to take a sharp, sterile knife and cut the pup from the mother plant. Again, try not to cut off any of the pup’s roots, just sever the connection to the mother plant if possible.

Remove banana pup from the mother plant

Once you’ve severed the connection to the mother plant, continue to tease the roots of the pup away from the roots of the mother plant until the pup is free.

Banana plant pup severed from mother plant
Banana pup

Now that you have successfully removed the pup from the mother plant, you can pot it up into it’s own container.

Be certain to use a clean container; and if it will be outside, make sure the container has drainage holes.

Also take care to use fresh potting soil. Never use garden soil for potted plants.

Place pup at same level in new pot

Plant the pup in it’s new pot at the same depth it was in the old pot, taking care to cover all the roots.

Once you’ve filled the pot with soil, water it well.

The new pup plant might droop for a few days until it gets used to living on it’s own.

It’s a good idea to keep it out of full sun and keep it well watered until it has perked back up.

That’s it, now you have a new banana plant to share with a friend (aren’t they lucky!?).

Banana pup transferred to it’s own pot

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Comments

  1. says

    I've read a few descriptions but it's nice to see pictures included as well. We just got two Bananas and plan to get more so it's good to be prepared.

    I like the look of the Blood Banana. Is it ornamental?

  2. says

    @gardentiki – Thanks, I'm glad you find this helpful!! I believe the Blood Banana is ornamental, but I live in MN and grow these inside most of the year… so I suppose all bananas would just be ornamental here! :-) I would be shocked if they ever set fruit, but very excited!

    Amy

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