Grow banana trees for backyards that you can do easily, especially in tropical places like Kerala. In addition to Asia and Africa, many Latin American countries widely cultivate these fruit trees.
Plant varieties of Kerala – to grow banana trees for backyards
However in Kerala, we have certain indigenous banana varieties, with fruits that are delicious and nutritious too. Njali Poovan, Palayan kodan, Nendran, etc. are a few of the popular varieties. Furthermore, Kadali is a special type of plantain fruits that are having medicinal properties. Commonly Kadali fruits are used for making ayurvedic medicines and for pooja purposes in temples.
Not only the fruits, but we can use almost all parts of banana plants for culinary purposes. Undoubtedly these are sources of a lot of nutrients, that are available on a cheaper budget.
For example, we can use the flowers and the middle stem of the plant, for making delicious dishes.
Health benefits of cooking in leaves
Likewise cooking food in banana leaves, is having a lot of health benefits. Polyphenol, the waxy coating on the surface of the leaves, is one of our most needed antioxidants.
Packing food in banana leaves is very common in Kerala.
Memories of lunch that we had during our school days, is really a nostalgia for most of us.The unique flavour and aroma of boiled rice and side dishes wrapped in banana leaves, is really tempting.
Sadya is the feast that we serve on cut banana leaves on special occasions, like functions and festivals. Onam and Vishu are the two most celebrated festivals of Kerala.
Additionally, banana plant with fruits and flowers is an unavoidable decorative item for festivals. Truly it is equally fantastic as any other ornamental trees in our gardens.
To detoxify – Grow banana trees for backyards
According to NASA’s clean air studies, the banana plant is one of the best detoxifying plants. Definitely, we can grow these trees, which can absorb formaldehyde, toluene, etc. from the air.
Also different species of dwarf ornamental banana trees are ideal for indoors. Of course, you can grow these plants in balconies or patios where they get bright sunlight. Especially for about four to six hours a day.
Further, it will be really awesome to have these beautiful plants with flowers and fruits in different colours.
A short description about Banana trees – Grow for backyards
Musaeceae is the broad family in which different species of banana plants belong. Significantly most of them are having edible fruits, that are delicious as well as nutritious. Certainly we can use it either in the raw form, or for making dishes.
Generally, these are perennials having succulent stems. Broad leaves, composite flowers and fruits in bunches make the plant unique. Woody stems are absent for the plant, because the trunk is composed of compactly packed fleshy sheaths. As and when the fruits attain maturity the mother plant dies. Meanwhile, lots of baby plants develop from the base of the plant, that we can use for propagation.
Normally, flower buds appear from the upper tip of the central stem, which is the outgrowth of the underground corms.
Nendran-one of the most popular Kerala banana varieties for backyards.
Vazha is the common name in Malayalam language for all species of banana plants. Nendran, also known as Etha vazha, is Kerala’s own banana plant variety, having many specialties.
Above all, many farmers find it profitable, cultivating this variety of banana plants on a large scale.
Given below are some important uses of the plant
Fruits : Delicious dishes we prepare with ripe as well as mature raw fruits, are very popular.
Consuming one ripe fruit along with fresh lime juice can really make us feel good even for a whole day. Occasionally when we are forced to skip lunch, due to the hectic schedule at workplaces.
Pazham pori, is one of the most important tea time snacks in almost all tea shops in Kerala. Likewise, easy to digest steam cooked ripe banana is equally good for kids and elder people.
By frying thinly sliced raw bananas in pure coconut oil, we can make crispy chips. Besides, finely powdered dried raw banana, is a nutritious diet for infants. Instead of tinned baby food, it is widely used in Kerala.
Plantain flower is equally good for making dishes, especially a combination with coconut. Cutlets made with banana flowers are really one of the best choices for people who opt for veg dishes.
Inner stem: According to the elderly people of Kerala, we should consume cooked banana stem at least once a year. Because it can remove a lot of toxins from our body.
Owing to its medicinal properties, people use the fresh juice of banana stems. Chiefly as an effective remedy for hyperacidity and other stomach disorders.
With the following simple tips, we can grow banana plants very easily in our backyards.
Underground rhizomes known as corms, are popularly used for growing baby banana plants. Soon after the completion of harvesting, we can collect these from the base of the mother plants.
Evidently almost all nurseries is in Kerala sell good quality saplings of different species of banana plants. Moreover, plants that are developed through the tissue culture process always give higher yields.
How to plant
First, select sunny locations for your banana plant for better growth, because they always need bright sunlight.
Then make wide pits, preferably with dimensions 1.5×1.5×1.5 ft.
After that, fill the pit with a growing mixture for the plant. River sand, leaf compost and dried cow dung combined together in equal quantities, is ideal.
Adding any organic pesticides can prevent the roots, from decaying due to the attack of certain harmful insects and worms.
Caring your banana trees
Never forget to water the plant on a regular basis. Similarly fertilising your banana plants with any organic manure at intervals of thirty days, is very essential
However your banana plants will start blooming after six months, if you care it properly. Surprisingly, the 28th foliage that appears from a healthy plant, will be the flower stalk.
Normally it takes about ninety days, for the fruits to mature.
For the next cultivation, we can surely use the saplings that sprout from the base of the mother plant.
Bunchy top is the most dreadful one among the common problems of banana plants in tropical places. Removing the infected plants away from the healthy ones, is the most effective remedy for this.
Keeping the above points in mind, try to grow banana trees for your backyards. Experience and enjoy the freshness of fruits, flowers and even leaves of your own plant.