Shredded banana


Hi there,

I have a 7 foot tall banana plant that up until recently has been very happy.

It over wintered indoors, more or less in a green house, and then when the days got longer it Started to send up new leaf shoots.

Then all of a sudden it stopped and the baby shoots all frayed. Which was odd because it was still in doors.

I then moved it outdoors, when the nights were above 10c, hoping that the extra room and sun would make it happy but all that did was seem to sun scar the plant.

Any ideas on what to do?

Much thanks and appreciation.


I have been growing indoor bananas for several years and I can only say WOW – 7 feet!  You obviously are doing an excellent job caring for your plant for it to reach such heights.  As with all indoor plants we must be incredibly careful when moving them from a perfectly climate-controlled environment, into the wild outdoors.  Not sure when you moved your plant outdoors, but a major problem with bananas is that they cannot tolerate very windy conditions, and I know that we had several extremely windy days here in Toronto.  Similarly we had a couple of days with very bright sun, so I believe that you banana got either wind or sun (or both) burn.  This is quite common when exposing our sheltered house plants to these conditions.  As a rule, I never place my bananas in full sun, instead I keep them in semi shade, this way they will not experience major extremes in conditions.  What is puzzling is that your plant started to shred before you took it outside.  There may be several reasons why this happened:  Did you check for infestation?  Some pests can attack young leaves before they unfurl causing them to look shredded.  One worry is that bananas are prone to viruses that are carried by aphids.  Have you seen any discolouration or misshapen leaves before this?  I will attach a link to an Australian site which shows photos of different symptoms of Banana virus.  If you do suspect that your plant has a virus, there is no coming back, the plant should be destroyed and discarded with the soil (aphids hide in the soil) in the garbage, not composted.  Before you take this step , I would recommend the following:  Cut off the damaged leaves, keep the moisture going while avoiding having your plant in standing water.  Use a diluted fertilizer to encourage new growth and try to keep your plant in a sheltered spot until it becomes acclimatized.  You did not mention how old this plant is; I have found that after a few years my plant just gets old and starts looking straggly and I know its time to renew.  I cut my plant right down to within a few inches of the top of container, keeping the “stump” watered, and fed.  After a while it will produce new plants, called pups!  You can carefully divide once they reach about 4 or 5 inches tall.  Do not remove the stump of the old plant, just keep one new plant that is still attached to the mother plant and share the other pups with your friends.

Here is another link with helpful growing information;