Banana (Musa sp); Musaceae

VarietiesVirupakshi, Sirumalai, Namarai, Red Banana, Manoranjitham (Santhana vazhai) and Ladan.

Soil and Climate – Well drained loamy soil is suitable.  Soils with more humus content would be preferable. Hill bananas can be grown at an altitude of 1200 – 1500 m above MSL. A well distributed annual rainfall of 1250 mm to 1500 mm is required and it tolerates a temperature of 10-35oC.

Season of Planting – April – May; June – August

Selection and pre-treatment of suckers 

Select sword suckers of 1.5 to 2.0 kg weight, free from diseases and nematodes.  Trim the roots and decayed portion of the corm, cut the pseudostem leaving 20 cm from the corm and grade the suckers to size. Pralinage with 20 g of Pseudomonas fluorescens per sucker (dip the corm in slurry solution of 4 parts clay plus 5 parts water and sprinkle P. fluorescens to control nematodes). To reduce nematode buildup, sow sunnhemp or lupin at the time of planting banana and incorporate on 45th day after planting and it after a month. This operation reduces nematode buildup. Virus free and well hardened tissue cultured plants with 5-6 leaves can also be used for planting. At the time of planting, apply 25 g Pseudomonas fluorescens per plant.

Field Preparation – Prepare the land for planting and wherever possible, contour bunding can be made to avoid soil erosion.

Digging pits – Dig pits of 60 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm in size. The pits are refilled with topsoil, mixed with 10 kg of FYM and 250 g of  neem cake.


Variety Spacing No. of plants / ha
Virupakshi, Sirumalai, Namarai and Ladan 3.6 m x 3.6 m 750
(When mixed with coffee)
  2.1 m x 2.1 m
Red Banana, Manoranjitham 2.1 m x 2.1 m 2200 (pure crop)


Irrigate immediately after planting; give life irrigation after 4 days; subsequent irrigations are to be given once in 10 – 15 days.  Irrigate the fields copiously after every manuring. Use drip irrigation @ 15 litres / plant / day from planting to 4th month, 20 litres / plant /day from 5th month to shooting and 25 litres  / plant / day from shooting till 15 days prior to harvest depending upon the rainfall.

Application of Manures

Manures Time of application Dose (kg /plant/year)
FYM Basal 10.0
Biofertilizer (Azophos) 0.025
Vermi Compost 3rd MAP 0.200
Oil cake 5th MAP 0.750
Wood ash 0.600

            Green manuring in situ with lupin or sunnhemp @ 40 kg/ha and incorporation at 45 days after planting.

Foliar Nutrition – Spray 3% Panchagavya twice at 30 and 60 days after planting.

After Cultivation  –  Give four forking in January, April, July and October.  Remove outer sheaths to keep the corm inside the soil and ward off borer. Maintain two bearing plants and two followers per clump along the contour.

Bunch cover – Use transparent polyethylene sleeves with 2% (during cool season) and 4% (during summer season) ventilation or non woven polypropylene sleeves (17 gsm) to cover the bunch immediately after opening of the last hand. 

Plant Protection


Rhizome  weevil Apply neem cake @ 250 g / pit
Pseudostem borer    Remove dried leaves periodically and keep the plantation clean.Remove the side suckers upto eighth month and destroy.Do not dump infested materials in the manure pit. Infested trees should be uprooted, chopped into pieces and burnt.Trap and kill adult weevils with pseudostem chopped into small pieces.Pseudostem injection with Azadirachtin 5 % @ 3:1 (water + azadirachtin) at one month interval in 2 sites at  2nd  and 5th  feet from ground level starting from 5th month onwards
Banana aphid   The Banana Aphid, Pentalonia nigronervosa is the vector of Bunchy-top virus disease. Spray NSKE @ 5ml in 1 l of water


  • Pre-treat the suckers with 20 g of Pseudomonas fluorescens.
  • If pre-treatment is not done, apply 2.5 kg of Pseudomonas fluorescens mixed with 250 kg of FYM around each plant 15 days after planting.
  • Then grow lupin or sunnhemp and incorporate 45 day later.
  • Press mud application @ 15 t per ha (or) neem cake 1.5 t per ha one month after planting.
  • Apply Pseudomonas fluorescens (Pf1) liquid formulation @ 4 lit/ha @ 2nd, 4th and 6th month after planting through drip system to manage Fusarium wilt and nematode complex.


Sigatoka leaf spot

  • Remove affected leaves and burn
  •  Spray Pseudomonas fluorescens @ 0.5% three times at 15 days interval to control sigatoka leaf spot incidence. Always add 5 ml of wetting agent like Sandovit, Triton AE, Teepol etc. per 10 l of spray fluid.

Fusarium wilt

  • Uproot and destroy severely affected plants.
  • Apply lime @ 1 – 2 kg in the pits after removal of the affected plants.
  • Corm injection: Remove a small portion of soil to expose the upper portion of the corm. Make an oblique hole at 45° angle to a depth of 10 cm. Immediately insert a gelatin capsule containing 50 mg of Pseudomonas fluorescens during 2nd, 4th and 6th month after planting.
  • Apply press mud at 5 kg per plant to reduce the wilt incidence or apply                               Pseudomonas fluorescens (Pf1) liquid formulation @ 4 l/ha at 2nd, 4th and 6th month after planting through drip system to manage panama wilt and nematode complex.


  • Use virus-free suckers for planting.
  • Remove and destroy virus affected plants.

Crop DurationThe bunches will be ready for harvest after 14 to 18 months of planting depending on the variety.

HarvestBunches attain maturity from 100 to 150 days after flowering depending on variety, soil, weather condition and altitude.


            Sirumalai: 8-10 kg/plant

            Virupakshi: 10-12 kg/ plant

            Red Banana: 20-25 kg/ plant

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