We independently select everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.

Strelitzia nicolai

Banana Plant

Indoor banana plants add beautiful foliage to any home. Although this tropical plant won't produce banana fruits when grown indoors, its vivid leaves add color to any space.

Banana Plant
  • Banana Plant
  • Banana Plant in direct sunlight
  • Banana Plant in direct sunlight
  • Banana plant being watered

Other names for this plant...

Banana tree

About Banana Plants

Banana plants produce oblong, bright green leaves that resemble palm leaves, adding a tropical aesthetic to any home. They are large plants and can reach around 40 feet tall. The dwarf cavendish banana plant is the most common type of banana plant for indoor use because of its perfect size.

Banana plants grow like palm trees. The new leaves twist up through the center of the pseudostem, or stem, and sprout from the plant's crown. While banana plants require abundant water and sunlight and won't grow bananas indoors, they are hardy, fast-growing, vibrant plants that are simple to grow.

Banana Plant
Photo: IndoorPlants.comBanana plants produce oblong, bright green leaves that resemble palm leaves.

Botanical Name

Banana plants are in the family Musaceae, in the genera Musa. They are placed in the order Zingiberales. Although they are fruit-bearing plants, indoor banana plants are unlikely to produce fruit since they are taken out of their natural conditions.

Plant Type

Banana plants are large herbaceous plants, which means they have upright stalks instead of wooden stems. Banana plants grow from a rhizome structure, which means their root system grows horizontally underground and produces offshoots. They have flexible stems and die back every year.


It is believed that banana plants were first domesticated in Southeast Asia. Many varieties of banana plants still thrive in Indonesia and the Philippines.


Banana plants are fast growers and will produce banana leaves that are wide, elongated, and slightly rounded. They can range from lime green, olive green, and dark green. Banana stems appear white to pale green-yellow. Banana plants are tall, so be careful when choosing which type of banana plant to put in your home.

Banana Plant in direct sunlight
Photo: IndoorPlants.comBanana Plants have large, lush leaves.

Types Of Banana Plants

There are over 1,000 varieties of banana plants. They are subdivided into 50 groups. Dwarf varieties of banana plants are the most manageable for houseplant use because they won't grow as tall as a typical banana plant. Below are common dwarf banana plants:

  • Dwarf Cavendish

  • Dwarf Red

  • Truly Tiny

  • Rajapuri

  • Dwarf Puerto Rican

  • Dwarf Orinoco

  • Veranda

Banana Plant Styling 

It is best to grow banana trees in large pots with drainage holes. If you want your plant to grow large, repot it yearly. To keep its size contained, leave it in a smaller pot.

Banana plants like plenty of light, so they’re perfect in front of a large window. Larger plants make a great statement piece in corners and entryways. These tropical, sun-loving plants will also enjoy spending warmer months on your porch or in a sunroom.

Photo: IndoorPlants.comLarge Banana plants are great statement pieces for living spaces.


Most banana plants grow best in full sun, meaning they need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. 


Banana plants need a lot of water. They must be watered regularly, and the soil should remain moist between waterings — but not soggy. Banana plants are susceptible to root rot, so be sure not to over-water.


Banana plants thrive in warm, humid conditions. Most species do best in an area with a consistent temperature between 75 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Since these temperatures are higher than the average house temperature, indoor banana plants often don't produce edible fruit.

Cold climates can kill banana plants. Always bring outdoor plants inside to safely overwinter them.


Banana plants require ample humidity. Without it, their leaves will become crispy and brown. Indoor air can become dry, especially in winter months. Your banana plant will benefit from having a humidifier nearby or from being spritzed with water throughout the week.


The best type of soil for banana plants is rich, deep soil. They usually do not do well in soil that contains salt. Soils containing lava sand or lava rock are ideal for banana plants. Potting soil that is used for cacti and palm trees is a good option.


Trim brown, wilted, dead leaves with garden shears. If any suckers have sprouted away from the main stalk, known as the mother plant, cut them down so they don't spread. Regular pruning will keep your banana plant looking lush.


Banana trees need balanced fertilizer regularly applied throughout their growing season. Feed your plant every two weeks from spring until fall with a liquid fertilizer diluted by half.

Height & Growth

Dwarf banana trees are the best for indoor plant use since they range from 2 to 6 feet tall. The size of the plant also depends on the size of the pot. The pot should be about twice the size of the plant's root ball.

For comparison, banana trees that grow in the wild or commercially that produce edible fruit from the Musa acuminata or Musa balbisiana species can grow up to 20 feet tall and produce 10-foot-long leaves!


Banana plants are non-toxic to people and are safe in homes with pets.


Banana plants are not toxic to pets. 

Banana Plant in direct sunlight
Photo: IndoorPlants.comBanana plants need plenty of bright sunlight.

Common Problems 

  • Lack of nutrients - Yellow leaves indicates a deficiency of nutrients in the soil. A banana tree that lacks potassium will have yellow tips on its leaves.

  • Pests - Aphids, weevils, and nematodes are common pests that plague a banana plant. Spider mites are another pest that leeches chlorophyll from banana leaves.

  • Root rot - Root rot is the most common problem with indoor banana plants. This problem is irreversible, so avoid it by not letting your plant sit in water.

Banana plant being watered
Photo: IndoorPlants.comBanana plants must be watered regularly, and the soil should remain moist between waterings — but not soggy.

How To Propagate Banana Plant

Before propagating, ensure the sucker has its roots so it can grow on its own. To propagate a banana plant, gently cut the sucker from the parent plant. Carefully pull the sucker out of the soil, teasing the roots not to tear them. Quickly transfer the sucker into a pot filled with well-draining soil. It may droop for a few days out of shock, so keep it out of full sun and ensure it’s watered.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the lifespan of a banana plant?

An indoor banana plant should live for at least six years. Propagate your banana plant to start fresh with a new plant.

How to care for a banana plant in the winter?

Keep your banana plant in an area that will not drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Water and fertilize them less in winter to let them go dormant. You may have to run a humidifier or mist the leaves to maintain the humidity in the winter.

What does an overwatered banana plant look like?

Visible overwatering symptoms of a banana plant are yellowing leaves, powder on the mother plant, and a softened stem.

Articles about this plant