Dwarf cavendish banana

This is an experiment to see how big I can get it in one season. This along with the other bananas were planted at the very end of May. I regret not planting them sooner in say end of March early April. It currently stands at 5’ of p-stem with one pup. Things have slowed down a bit but it’s still putting out a new leaf…Thanks for looking

beginning of June




Way to go Matt :banana: :banana: :banana:

Thanks Richard! No frost in site for the 14 day forecast :slight_smile:

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Sorry to revive an ancient thread, but I was reading @Richard’s document about growing bananas outside the tropics, which he posted in the namwa thread, and thought I’d post this in a more appropriate place. Specifically, the document says this:

Dwarf bananas. Many fruiting banana cultivars grow to pstem heights well over 10’. Some of these have
dwarfed cultivars (e.g., Dwarf Namwa). They usually have fruiting heights from 6’ to 9’ but be sure to check - a
few 24’ standard varieties have named dwarfs that fruit at 16’. There are also fruiting banana cultivars that are
inherently short and do not have “Dwarf” in their given name.

I have had trouble finding a reliable source for the average fruiting height of Dwarf Cavendish (not Super Dwarf), and curious if anyone has a good answer. Some sources say 8-10’ p-stem, some even say less, and a few say 10-14’. Which one is correct?

I bought a Dwarf Cavendish pup in spring 2021 for my (then) new greenhouse, which has a pitched roof that is about 13’ at the highest point, but I did strategically plant it under a roof hatch just in case. The p-stem is currently about 7’ with the leaves reaching a couple feet below the roof before they flop, but I expect it’ll go dormant soon, overnight lows have been in low 50s lately. So next year will be when I find out whether it’ll need to grow out through the hatch.

Edit: Since this thread is in the “pictures” section, here’s a picture showing how far it has left before the hatch:

And when it was freshly planted early last summer:


Nice greenhouse!

Check the information on pot size.
In a 15gal I’d expect 8’ to 10’ pstem at maturity for D. Cavendish.

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This one is in the ground, would that mean bigger? I hope not too much!

I’d be surprised if the pstem grew to over 10’. If you do not have supplemental light in the greenhouse then it might stretch in height a bit.

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Luckily it’s mostly cold enough to not grow at all during the less sunny times of year, and it seems to be pretty tight spacing between leaves that grow in summer, so far at least:

One interesting thing was that the first two leaves that grew this spring, which presumably had formed in the p-stem over the winter, were the saddest little skinny things:

But after that they just kept getting bigger and bigger. Here’s the most recently unfurled leaf, likely the last one to fit under the rafters:


The close packing is characteristic of the D. Cavendish and most other dwarfs. “Stretching” was a poor choice of words on my part - “more height” would be better.

The Cavendishes and other “AAA” genetic cultivars all have relatively wide leaves.

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Great job @swincher! Glad this thread came alive again. I kinda put banana plants away last couple years. This year got another DC and still have a few manzano pups growing nice. From what I have seen, in person, on here nad bananas.org over the years. expect 7-8 feet. you will see a flag leaf.


Some sad news, my Dwarf Cavendish suddenly died over the last few weeks. I noticed today that it seemed shorter than before, and upon closer inspection it was clear the entire plant was already dead from the corm up.

Here was mid-January:

Two weeks ago:

And today:

The center is brown and rotten:

Even the pups all suddenly died:

As I cut down further, it smelled sickly, like it was fermenting almost:

Oh well!

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Thank you for sharing that again! I have a copy and was trying to follow the guidance closely.

I’m guessing the colder winter this year made it more susceptible to some kind of pathogen in the soil.

It’s also possible there’s a perched water table at a deep enough depth that it isn’t bothering the avocado and citrus trees, but close enough to cause a problem for the banana. Based on geological maps, I know there’s an impermeable glacial clay layer at some depth below the subsoil, but I’ve never dug deep enough to encounter it.

The area of improved soil around the planting was watered regularly, but tested as being low-medium moisture between waterings, and the plant seemed healthy and happy until about a month ago when it began a rapid decline.


If my blue Java puts out a pup this spring I would be glad gift it to you. Mine is on the start of year 3. It has produced “gift” pups both of the springs I have had it.

I leave it outside on the deck until just about first frost. Then cut it down to about 12”. Last winter and this winter; it seems like it. Don’t know if that fits any protocol but seems to keep it going. It goes dormant for about 8 weeks and then regrows like a champ. I throw it on top of a warm aquarium in the winter where it gets to share the lights.


Winn, does this look like an avocado? My son noticed it in the compost pile about 3-4 weeks ago thru all the snow. We dug it up and moved it to the garage because it looks like an avocado to me. What do you think? Possible avocado compost sprout?


You bet.

@swincher , That sucks! they are not as hardy as others. I just got back from Thailand, I checked on my in ground apple banana all the leaves are gone like before i left almost a month ago…but it hasn’t died back too much I will chop the top like you did.

Chances are if the roots haven’t rotted it may send up pups when it warms up which should be soon for you!

It looks pretty rotten, so I doubt it will sprout, but I’m waiting until I decide what else to put in that spot before I dig up the corm. I’m thinking maybe melons, but not sure if they may be susceptible to the same pathogens.


I grew ‘icebox’ watermelons undercover for the first time last year and was delighted with six
2-lb watermelon minies. Great for shading ground to maintain moisture and went to town in full sun, rich soil, and warm temperatures. Your kids would love to watch their progress.
I bought mine as nursery transplants last year but this year I’m starting from seed. Would be happy to send you a few seeds of each if you’d like.

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I already have a few watermelon starts going (the “Jadu’i” Palestinian melon), so I’ll probably just use those, but I’ll reach out for seeds if they don’t survive transplanting!

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