Banana (Musa)

Banana (Musa) are one of our most popular fruits. They are handy to take with us anywhere, come with their own built in zip lock bag, and they're nutritious and delicious. We eat them for breakfast, lunch, a mid afternoon snack and even in a pinch they can be our dessert, either ala carte or in a nice pudding. I eat one nearly every day cut up on my morning cereal. When they get a little overly ripe, I put them in the freezer until a day when I feel like peeling them while frozen and adding them mashed into a nice cake like bread, along with walnuts, raisins, dates or whatever else I might have on hand.

There are many wonderful varieties of this valuable tropical plant, including giants, dwarfs, variegated and some with red leaves.

Once the fruit appears on a particular stalk, pups or babies will appear at the base to replace the mother plant who will die after the fruit is harvested. For best results, sun and a lot of water are required.

I used to grow this plant in Atlanta (zone 7), but each fall I had to dig up the large, heavy, water filled trunks and place them in the basement for the winter. I lopped off the leaves on top. In the spring, I replanted the still heavy trunks in the garden, where they proceeded to start growing again, inches each day, as if no time had been lost. They had simply suspended growth over winter, much like a bear going into hibernation.

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