All About Bananas

Not only are bananas a healthy source of nourishment, they can also be grown in many warm climates around the world. 

All About Bananas at Just Fruits and Exotics

 

Bananas 101

Thought to have been first domesticated in Southeast Asia, bananas were known to be eaten in early Greek, Latin and Arab regions as well. Bananas were introduced to United States markets in the 19th century. 

 

The banana plant is actually a giant herb that grows from an underground stem. Which then forms a false trunk 10-20 feet high. A large spike produces large purpley-red bracts that grow from the top of this false trunk. Those bracts then bend downward and become the clusters (or hands) of fruits (or fingers).

 

Banana Nutrition

Bananas are made up of mostly carbohydrates. And unripe, or greener, bananas are known to contain resistant starch, which acts like fiber. This helps your gut promote healthy blood sugar levels. 

 

And you’ve likely heard of eating bananas if you experience muscle cramps. That’s because they’re rich in potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Bananas also contain dopamine, which acts like an antioxidant, and catechin, a flavonoid known to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Growing Bananas in the United States

 

Growing Bananas in the United States

Hawaii is the largest producer of bananas in the United States, followed by Florida. To produce fruit, banana plants prefer 75-85º weather, with humidity levels of at least 50%. As well as consistent watering. 

 

On average it takes five to six months of growing before actual bananas appear, and another three months for them to mature. With full sun and plenty of warmth throughout that timeframe. For best results, try growing your banana plant on a northern side, open to the south (sun-facing). This will help them warm sooner and longer. Mulch heavily during winter months to keep them warm and sprout sooner.

 

Cold-hardy varieties include the “Blue Java” Ice Cream variety, as well as the Basjoo Banana Plant

 

Not only can banana plants provide fruit here in the United States, they also provide beautiful fruitscaping to any yard.

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