The Grand Nain Is one of the most popular commercial varieties of banana. It is a close relative of the Dwarf and Giant Cavendish as a member of Musa acuminata species. Grand Nain reproduces entirely by vegetative reproduction. As the root system builds up energy, it will send out one or multiple offsets. At about a foot in height, these offsets can be separated from the main stock, potted and kept in a shady area until they have taken hold. Banana trees are actually more related to grass, which often reproduces in a similar manner. We refer to them as trees because of their size, but botanically, banana come from large plants. Bananas like full sun, but they do well early on with some shade. Banana plants like plenty of water, but do not like to be in standing water. On the other hand, banana trees also can tolerate some drought. Bananas are also heavy feeders, requiring as much organic matter as you can provide. They benefit from mulching and a little wood ash. The large leaves are also useful in cooking, and have even been traditionally used as plates or take-out containers in some countries. Their large size does make banana leaves catch wind easily, so a protected location will help your banana leaves from being shredded by the wind. This will rarely kill the plant, but the leaves can die, which is less aesthetically pleasing, and reduces the capability for photosynthesis. Grand Nain banana usually fruit in 6 to 12 months depending on conditions and the size of the root base. A more established root system can gather energy faster. Grand Nain plants reach about 8 feet in height before sending out a huge flower stalk, which eventually is replaced by a cluster of many bananas. A single plant can produce more bananas than an average family will eat in the time they are ripe. You can harvest the bananas when they are green and of full size, but many growers prefer to let them ripen on the plant where animals are not a threat. Once your Grand Nain tree has fruited, it should be cut back at the base. If there are no nearby shoots already popping up, a new one should soon form and take over the cycle. Those will take over the next year’s fruit production. The inner stalk also is a source of drinkable water. Grand Nain banana trees are hardy between zones 8 to 11. They are hardy down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. It is possible that the foliage can die back during frost, so some growers will cut off the leaves and wrap the plants during frosty times. Then you will still maintain the vertical growth, which should bring you closer to flowering and fruiting the following season. You can grow bananas in large pots too. This allows you to move the plants inside during cold weather, which means you can still grow bananas in cooler zones. These are not small tissue culture plants like most sites offer. We offer Grand Nain Plants in 1-gallon pots, averaging 20-30” in height.
Growing Information: These plants enjoy some shade when young, but will enjoy full sun as they mature. Plant in a well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter. Feed heavily and mulch the base of the plant. Keep well-watered as long as it is not in standing water.