by Jennifer Poindexter
Are you someone who loves to grow succulents? Have you considered growing the string banana houseplant? It’s also known as a string of bananas.
The plant is similar to the string of pearls succulent. Yet, many people feel it’s easier to grow and care for.
If you’re interested in learning how to properly care for the string banana houseplant, you’re in the right place.
I’m going to walk you through all you must know to help this plant thrive while in your care. Here’s what you should know to care for the string banana houseplant.
1. Proper Lighting is a Must for the String of Bananas Houseplant
The string banana plant needs sunlight. However, you must be careful how you supply it with this necessity.
It should be left in a setting with low lighting. If you leave the plant in hot, direct sunlight, it can become easily scorched.
Also, be mindful that the plant isn’t left where the foliage can touch any glass. This has the ability to scorch it as well.
The proper location for this plant will provide plenty of morning light but not as much afternoon light. Be sure to rotate the plant once per quarter.
This ensures that all sides of it receive equal sunlight. You’ll know if the string banana plant isn’t receiving enough sunlight because it won’t grow.
Take all these tips into consideration when selecting an appropriate place to grow this plant within your home.
2. Watering Correctly is Vital to a String Banana Houseplant
The string banana plant is similar to many other succulents when it comes to watering. It doesn’t need a ton of water on a regular basis.
Instead, water the plant once or twice each month. Be sure to use the deep watering method when supplying this need to the plant.
You perform deep watering by thoroughly drenching the plant each time you water it. When water drains from the bottom of the planter, you’ll know it’s adequately saturated.
Allow the plant to dry completely between watering sessions. You’ll know it’s totally dry by performing the knuckle test.
Insert your knuckle into the soil surrounding the plant. When it’s dry to the second knuckle, you’ll know it’s time to have another deep watering session.
Be mindful that the plant isn’t overwatered. A string of bananas is susceptible to root rot. Therefore, if it’s overwatered or left in consistently damp conditions, it’s possible this disease will occur within your plant.
When you know when to water, how to water, and how to tell when the plant is in need of more water, you’ve tackled one of the biggest hurdles in caring for the string banana plant.
3. The Right Temperature Matters to This Houseplant
Finding a suitable temperature for the string banana plant isn’t overly complicated. In fact, if you’d be comfortable in the temperature, this plant would be as well.
In most cases, you should strive to keep the houseplant at temperatures between 68-degrees Fahrenheit and 75-degrees Fahrenheit.
However, you must be mindful of where you place the plant within your home. The spot should not only provide the accurate type of lighting, but it shouldn’t provide drafts.
Therefore, don’t place the plant near an air conditioner, vent, or any other source of heat. By eliminating drafts, air conditioning, or heating, you’re stabilizing the temperature of the string banana plant’s growing space.
Minimizing disruptions to your plant will give it the greatest opportunity to thrive in its growing area. This should lead to a positive growing experience for you when caring for the string banana plant.
4. Feeding the String Banana Plant Accurately Is Key
There’s a mix of emotions when it comes to feeding the string banana plant. Some gardeners feel the plant shouldn’t need any additional fertilizer.
However, there are a couple of situations when it might be a good idea to feed this plant. One situation, where you might choose to fertilize, is if the string of banana plant is failing to grow.
Ensure the plant is being provided adequate lighting. If it is, you should try giving it a douse of fertilizer. Whenever you fertilize, use a water-soluble option or fish emulsion to provide what the plant needs.
Another time you might choose to fertilize this houseplant is in the early spring when it’s coming out of dormancy. This might provide a nice boost of nutrients to wake the plant up. It’s vital that you always dilute the fertilizer to 50% potency before applying it to your plant.
As important as it is to understand when you can fertilize, it’s equally important to understand when you shouldn’t fertilize. Don’t feed this plant during winter. It’s dormant and doesn’t need the nutrients.
Fertilizing is up to each gardener. However, if you want to know how to fertilize, these tips should help you apply the nutrients in the right way and at the times of greatest need.
5. Pick the Right Soil for a String of Bananas
The string banana houseplant is a succulent. Therefore, it grows best in a succulent or cactus soil mixture.
These soils are best because they’re aerated and drain well. Having fluffy, well-draining soil is vital in ensuring the roots don’t rot.
This type of soil is typically looser as well. If the soil is too tight around the plant it can lead to root rot as well.
When you have the plant in the right soil, it’s important to understand when the plant might require repotting. During the spring or summer, every other year, it’s wise to give the plant a larger pot with freshened soil.
As you repot the houseplant be sure the crown is no further than an inch below the top of the new container.
If you plant much deeper than this, the stem of the plant could rot. As you can tell, the proper soil and staying aware of root and stem rot are vital in caring for this succulent.
6. Be Alert to Pests Which Love the String Banana Houseplant
As you learn to care for a string of bananas, you must learn which pests threaten it. By learning the pests to watch for and how to treat them, if they find your houseplant, provides the string banana plant a greater chance of remaining healthy.
The two major pests which impact this succulent are aphids and mealybugs. Aphids will suck the sap from the plant.
You can treat them by spraying the houseplant, forcefully, with soapy water. This should dislodge them. Another method to treat this pest is applying an insecticide.
If you spot mealybugs on your plant, they could be attacking the main portion of the plant or the root system. They, too, suck the sap from the string banana plant.
This pest can be treated by handpicking, applying rubbing alcohol to the plant, or by applying neem oil. Take these steps to protect your houseplant to keep it as healthy as possible.
7. Understand Proper Summer Care
The string of banana houseplant can only live outdoors year-round in planting zones ten through twelve. In other areas, it must be grown as strictly a houseplant or only be allowed outdoors during the summer months.
If you choose to move the plant outdoors during the warmer portions of the year, be mindful of the growing conditions.
This plant shouldn’t be left in direct sunlight as this will scorch it. Try to place the plant where it receives morning sunlight but is protected during the hottest portions of the day.
You should also place the plant under cover during rainy periods. If the string of bananas receives too much rain, it could lead to rot issues.
When moving the plant back inside, be sure to lightly spray it with a spray bottle or water hose. This should dislodge any hitchhiking pests to ensure you don’t bring problems inside your home.
Once indoors, continue growing the plant in a container or hanging basket under the proper growing conditions mentioned earlier in this article.
Be sure to follow these steps, to avoid harming your houseplant, when moving it outdoors during warmer parts of the year.
8. Understand Proper Winter Care
As you should understand how to care for the string banana plant during warmer portions of the year, outdoors, you should understand how to care for this houseplant over the winter while it’s indoors.
During the winter you’ll care for the plant utilizing all the tips mentioned within this article. The major difference is you will water it less.
You should still water the plant as you don’t want it to fully dry out over these months. However, instead of watering the plant twice a month, you should try to back down to only watering it one time per month.
If you live in a more humid area, where you only need to water once per month, during the warmer parts of the year, try watering once every six weeks.
The idea is to avoid over watering the plant without letting it dry up like a bone. If you can avoid letting the plant become powdery dry over the winter months, it should thrive during its dormant period.
9. Learn How to Propagate the String Banana Houseplant
The final task, to caring for a string banana houseplant, is to learn how to propagate the plant. Only cut portions of a healthy plant.
If it’s struggling, don’t try to propagate as this will only put more stress on the houseplant. For a healthy plant, remove a cutting that’s a few inches long.
Allow the cutting to dry for one week. This allows the actual cut to scab over during this drying period. Once fully dry, place in well-draining soil meant for growing succulents.
Keep the soil damp until you see new growth. Again, there’s a balance to the soil’s moisture. Don’t oversaturate or you’ll cause the plant to rot. Practice deep watering and allow time to dry between watering sessions, and the cutting should grow nicely.
You’ve been provided a few tips to care for a string banana plant. Hopefully, these tips will help your houseplant to prosper under your care.
By avoiding too much water and supplying adequate lighting, in the correct way, the string of banana plant should add beauty and charm to your home.