Pups and Corms

Welcome to my detailed instructions on how to plant a new pup or corm! Congratulations on your new pup or corm! If you purchased the pup from me “Thank You” if not I am still happy to help you! And as always feel free to email me with any questions.

I will give you step my step instructions below! But first some big No-Nos and the major reason banana plants die! 

  1. Bananas need lots of water! True!! When fully established! About the only way to mess up is Overwatering! A corm can rot very fast!! Bananas like the soil drained and moist! Not wet! Overwatering is the #1 reason banana plants die! Especially potted!
  2. Keep the rooting pup in the shade! Even when leaves appear! Scorching all the leaves will set you back a month or more and could even kill the plant. 
  3. Do not fertilize until the plant is larger! I personally don’t until they are in the ground! They have plenty in the potting soil to last them 6months!

Now here is a simple step by step set of instructions that will guarantee you a good healthy plant! I am a known Musa expert! If you have any trouble or any questions just message me or email me! My email is [email protected]

Here is a few things I do to all corms! Including ones I keep!

-I have cut your corm back to fit into a box. But don’t worry it will regrow leaves fast! Always remember they grow from the inside! So outside leaves don’t matter! The middle “roller” leaf is the new important growth!

-I also prune back roots! The old roots I cut off were suppling the mother plant and will die and rot under the corm! Cutting roots also speed new root growth I have found. And also they cling small amounts of dirt which I do not ship!

-I also cut off 1-2 of the oldest leaf sheaths. You will notice where the outmost leaf attaches to the corm is where new roots grow! This allows new root growth and prevents rot of the old leaf sheath. 

-And most importantly I have surface sterilized the corm with bleach water in a 1:4 ratio. I have no Musa problems but I do have fire ants and other pests. 

Here is the way I grow mine and how I recommend!

  1. Take great care unboxing the plant! Cut tape as you run into it. Be gentile! Cut beside the tape on each side and the plant should lift out! The corm is Sealed in a plastic bag and wrapped with moist paper. 
  2. The plant needs to be warm! Keep it somewhere between the range of 60f-90f 85f is the perfect temp! Do not expose this young plant to temps under 55F! It will greatly slow growth and could cause major problems!
  3. First make the mix: I recommend a premium mix like burpee seed starter or a cactus blend. Also any mix with rice hulls is excellent! It needs to be very very well draining! Simply mix that with 30-50% perlite! Perlite is amazing and is all natural. Bananas love it! It leaves the mix light, fluffy, and well draining! Banana plants love perlite! You can find a large bag of it at Home Depot. 
  4. I always recommend potting the pup! Planting directly into the ground can work but in a pot you have 100% control! When planting into the pot you want the top of the corm to be 1”-2” from the surface of the soil. It doesn’t always line up with the original soil level. 
  5. Water! The most important part! Water it in good after potting! It will settle the corm and remove air pockets. After watering this first time DO NOT water again for 7-12 days! Since the plant will not be in the sun it will not dry up too fast! Usually once per week is enough! In mid summer, maybe once per 5-7 days! DO NOT OVERWATER!! a little dry is better than a little wet! You will be surprised how long the center of the pot stays moist! It will regrow roots before leaves. Any new leaf movement you see is pressure releasing! It will take 3-4 weeks to see new leaf growth. 
  6. Next set the newly potted plant to an out of the weather location! Bananas love sun but not when young! No rain or sun! Full shade until it has 3+ full leaves at least! When you do move them to more sun do it gradually! Slow! Small! Steps! Wait a full week to let the plant acclimate to the new level. 50% then 75% then full sun!
  7. If the top of the stem is damaged or starts to get mushy you can cut it back more. Dry brown is normal. Wet mushy is what you cut. I recommending sending a picture to me before cutting.
  8. Finally the fun part! Planting into the ground. Once the plant is big, strong, and been in its pot awhile! You want it slightly rootbound! Dig a hole 2x as wide and as deep as the pot! There are many ways to plant! If you are in clay, fill the bottom half of the hole with coarse sand. If your native soil is sand fill the bottom half with topsoil. Carefully remove the plant from the pot. Take great care not to break up the root ball! It also helps if the dirt is on the dry side. Even cut the pot if it’s needed to keep the root ball in tact. If you break the root ball it will set the plant back several weeks!! After the plant is in the hole backfill with composted leaves/leaf fungus/old rotten leaves or composted manure and topsoil 50/50 mixed. Make sure the plant ends up within a inch or so of its planting depth in the pot. Water the plant in and wait 7 days before watering again. 3-4 weeks later apply mulch. And remember 90% of banana plant roots are in the top 1’ of soil! So they love mulch!!

As long as the root ball wasn’t broken you should see no transplant shock. After a few weeks you can begin fertilizing and watering normally.