Scientific name – Musa sp
Family – Musaceae


Grand Naine:

  • Released in 2008 and is suited best for growing in Asia.
  • It bears average 25-30 kg bunch.

Other state varieties:
Red Banana, Safed Velachi, Basarai, Rasthali, Dwarf Cavendish, Robusta, Poovan, Nendran, Ardhapuri, Nyali.

Soil and Climate

Soil :

  • It is grown in variety of soils ranging from poorest to the richest type of soils such as deep silty, clay, loam and rich loamy soil is suited best for banana farming.
  • The soil having pH 5.5-7.5 is preferred for banana cultivation.
  • For banana growing, select soil having good drainage, adequate fertility, and moisture capacity.
  • Soils which are rich in nitrogen content and have adequate phosphorus content and high level of potash are good for banana cultivation.
  • Avoid waterlogged, poor aerated and nutritionally deficient soils.
  • Also avoid sandy, saline, calcareous and extremely clayey soils.


  • Banana is basically a tropical crop, grows well in temperature range of 13ºC – 40 ºC with RH regime of 75-85%.
  • In India this crop is being cultivated in climate ranging from humid tropical to dry mild subtropics through selection of appropriate varieties like Grandnaine.

Season of planting

Wet lands:

Feb – April: Poovan, Rasthali, Monthan, Karpooravalli and Ney poovan

April – May: Nendran and Robusta

Garden lands
January – February and November – December.
Padugai lands
January – February and August – September.
Hill Banana
April – May (lower Palani hills); June – August (Sirumalai)

Selection and Pre treatment of suckers

  • Seed Treatment  
    For planting, use healthy and uninfected sucker or rhizomes.
  • Before planting, wash suckers and then dip in a solution of Chlorpyrifos 20EC@ 2.5ml/Litre of water.
  • To protect the crop from rhizome weevil, before planting, dip suckers in Carbofuran 3%CG@33gm/sucker after then dry them in shade for 72 hours.
  • To prevent suckers from nematode attacked, treat suckers with Carbofuran 3%CG@50gm/sucker.
  • For fusarium wilt control, dip suckers in Carbendazim @2gm/litre of water solution for about 15–20 minutes.

Field preparation

  • The farmer needs to prepare the soil accordingly.
  • The field must be plowed twice in both directions. 
  • Add organic matter such as compost or manure one or two months before planting.
  • Bananas grow best when planted at a depth of 30 centimeters 
  • The land is ploughed deeply and leveled. The pits of size 45 cm 3 is dug. 
  • The pits are  refilled with top soil, mixed with 10 kg of FYM, 250 g of neem cake and 50 g of lindane 1.3%

Spacing (Conventional method)

                                                                                                                                                             No. of plants / ha     Variety                                Spacing   
Garden land        Robusta, Nendran, Dwarf Cavendish                 1.8 x 1.8 m                                       3086 /  4444                                                                1.5 x 1.5 m  

Wet land      Poovan,Monthan, Rasthali,Neyvannan, Ney poovan    2.1 x 2.1 m                                     2267

Hill                Virupakshi (Sirumalai), Namarai and Ladan                  3.6 x 3.6 m                                     750

High density planting – 3 suckers / pit at a spacing of 1.8 x 3.6 m  (4600 plants / ha).

Seed Rate

If the spacing of 1.8×1.5m is adopted, near about 1452plants fits per acre.

For spacing of 2mx2.5m, 800plants are accommodated in one acre.


Banana is a shallow rooted crop requires large quantity of water for increasing productivity.

  • Overall it requires 70-75 irrigations for good yield.
  • Provide irrigation at an interval of 7-8 days
  • In winter where as in summer provide irrigation at an interval of 4-5 days.
  • In the rainy season, provide irrigation if required.
  • Remove excess water from the field as it will affect plant establishment and growth.
  • Advance irrigation technology like drip irrigation can be used.
  • Research shows that use of drip irrigation in banana saves about 58% of water and increasing yield by 23-32%.
  • In drip irrigation, apply water@5-10 litres/plant/day from planting to 4th month, 10-15 litres/plant/day from 5th to shooting and 15 litres /plant/day from shooting to till 15 days prior to harvest.

Application of Fertilizers

Fertilizer Requirement (gm/tree)

MONTH                           UREA                    DAP                   MOP
February-March                  –                        190                           –
March                               60                        –                         60
June                                   60                        –                          60
July                                     80                        –                          70
August                                80                       –                           80
September                         80                         –                        80

Application of urea@450gm (Nitrogen@200gm) and MOP@350g (K2O@210gm) is done in 5 equal splits.


For maximizing productivity follow fertigation technique – Apply 25 litres of water / day + 200:30:300 g N: P2O5: K2O / plant using water soluble fertilizers.
For economizing the cost of fertilizers, fertigate using normal fertilizers (Urea and Muriate of potash) with 50% of the recommended dose along with recommended dose of phosphorus as basal at 2nd month after planting.

Fertigate at weekly intervals as per the following schedule:

Fertigation schedule

Weeks after  


N (%) g/plant 

P2O5 (%) g/plant

K2O (%)g/plant

9-18 (10 weeks) 




19-30 (12 weeks) 




31-42 (12 weeks) 




43-45 (3 weeks) 








Organic nutrient schedule for banana cv. Grand Naine

Application of FYM @ 10 kg + Neem cake @ 1.25 kg + Vermicompost @ 5 kg and Wood ash @ 1.75 kg / plant + Triple green manuring with sunnhemp (one time) and Cowpea (two times) + biofertilizers viz., AM @ 25g, Azospirillum @ 50 g, PSB @ 50 g andTrichoderma harzianum @ 50 g/ plant is recommended for organic cultivation of banana cv. Grand Naine.

The schedule for application of different components is as detailed below:
1. Basal: FYM and Neem cake.
2. After 3 months of planting: vermicompost
3. After 5 months of planting: Potassium as wood ash
4.Triple green manuring: Each manuring is done at 10 days interval, first with sunhemp for 45 days from planting and then twice with cowpea for 30 days

After Cultivation


  • Give garden land spade digging at bi-monthly intervals and earth up.
  • Prune the suckers at monthly intervals.
  • The dry and diseased leaves are removed and burnt to control the spread of leaf spot diseases.
  • Male flowers may be removed a week after opening of last hand.
  • The plants at flowering may be propped.
  • Cover the peduncle with flag leaf to prevent stalk end rot.
  • Cover the bunches with banana leaves to avoid sun scald.
  • Bunch emergence – propping.
  • The trees are supported with bamboos or casurina poles to  avoid damage by wind.

Wet land

  • Form trenches in between alternate rows and cross trenches at every 5th row.
  • The trenches are periodically deepened and the soil is spread over the bed.
  • Surface diggings may be given at bi-monthly intervals and desuckering at monthly intervals.
  • Remove the male flower a week after opening of last hand.
  • Prop plants at or prior to flowering.
  • Cover the peduncle with flag leaf and the bunch with leaves to avoid sun scald.
  • For ratoon crops, in respect of Poovan, Monthan and Rasthali, allow the follower at flowering of the mother plant and remove the other suckers at harvest.

Perennial Banana

  • Give surface digging with spade once in two months.
  • Give one deep digging with spade during January – February. Other operations as in garden land.

Hill Banana

  • Give four forkings in January, April, July and October.
  • Remove outer sheaths to keep the corm inside the soil and ward-off borer.
  • Maintain two bearing plants and two followers per clump along the contour.

Growth Regulators

  • To improve the grade of bunches, 2,4-D at 25 ppm (25 mg / l.) may be sprayed in Poovan and CO 1 banana after the last hand has opened. This will also help to remove seediness in Poovan variety.
  • Spray CCC 1000 ppm at 4th and 6th month after planting.
  • Spray Plantozyme @ 2ml / l at 6th and 8th month after planting to get higher yield.


  • Spray micronutrients viz., ZnSO4 (0.5%), FeSO4 (1.0%), CuSO4 (0.2%) and
    H3BO3 (0.2%) at 3rd, 5th and 7th MAP to increase yield and quality of banana.
  • Apply 25 kg ZnSO4 basally


  • Leguminous vegetables, beetroot, elephant foot yam and sunhemp.
  • Avoid growing  cucurbitaceous vegetables resulting cause CMV Virus.

Special Practices

  • Initial light-green narrow specks on upper leaf surface.
  • Specks enlarge to form narrow streaks running parallel to leaf veins.
  •  Streaks expand and broaden to form rusty red then dark brown spots with a well-defined darker margin.
  •  Leaf tissue surrounding spots becomes yellow. Leaves become yellow, dry and die. Symptoms more severe on older leaves.

Plant Protection

1) Rhizome weevil-


  • Grubs bore into the rhizome and cause death of the plant
  • Infestation of the weevil normally starts in 5 month old plants
  • Management
  • Apply or sprinkle carbofuran 3G 33 gm /sucker at the time of planting.
  • Banana weevils are negatively phototrophic and most active between 2100 and 0400 h Temperature thresholds for activity are 15–18°C.
  • Trimming the rhizome
  • Avoid growing Robusta, Karpooruvally, Malbhog, Champa and Adukkar
  • Grow less susceptible varieties like Poovan, Kadali, Kunnan, Poomkalli
  • Use cosmolure trap at 5/ha

2) Pseudostem borer


  • Grub bore into pseudostem making tunnels
  • Cutting holes on outer surface


  • Remove dried leaves periodically and keep the plantation clean.
  • Remove the side suckers up to eighth month and destroy.
    Do not dump infested materials in the manure pit.
  • Infested trees should be uprooted, chopped into pieces and burnt.
  • Trap and kill adult weevils by chopping pseudostem chopped into small pieces.
  • 3) Banana aphid  :

  • Symptoms-
  • Leaves are bunched into a rosette appearance, stunted growth and leaf margins are wavy with upward rolling
  • Do not produce bunchesVector of bunchy top disease
  • Management-
  • Encourage activity of predators like Scymnus, Chilomenes sexmaculatus, Chrysoperla carnea and other coccinellids
  • Use Beauveria bassiana
  • Apply any one of the following insecticides
  • Carbofuran 3G @166g /plant or Dimethoate 30EC 1.0 ml/l or .Methyl demeton 25 EC 2.0ml/l.

5) Thrips :

Symptoms of damage

  • Rusty reddish discolouration on the fingers
  • Yellowing of leaves and rusty growth over fruit


  • Spray dimethoate 30 EC 1.0ml/l.
  • Bunch covers (which cover the full length of the bunch) protection applied very early.
  • Bunches, pseudostem and the suckers should be sprayed chlorpyrifos
  • Soil application fipronil and bifenthrin
  • Field release of coccinelid predators like lacewings, ladybird beetles

6) Lace wing bugs :

Symptoms of damage

  • Grubs bore into the rhizome and cause death of the plant
  • Presence of dark coloured tunnels in the rhizomes.
  • From egg to adult, it would take 22 to 45 days within a temperature range of 20.6 to 31.7°C
  • Management
  • Spray any of the following insecticides:
  • Dimethoate 30 EC 1.0ml/l. or  Methyl demeton 25 EC 1.0ml/l. or Quinalphos 25EC 4.0ml/l.
    7) Nematode
  • Burrowing nematode disease
    Pre-treat the suckers with 40 g of carbofuran 3G.
  • If pre-treatment is not done, apply 40g of carbofuran around each plant one month after planting (refer selection and pretreatment for alternative technology).
  • Then grow sunhemp after 45th day and incorporate one month later.
  • Press mud application @ 15 t per ha one month after planting and neem cake 1.5 t per ha one month after planting.
  • Intercrop with marigold @ 4:1 ratio. Apply Pseudomonas fluorescens (Pf1) liquid formulation @ 4 lit/ha @ 2nd , 4th and 6th month after planting through drip system to manage panama wilt and nematode complex. 
  • Their life cycle takes less than 20 days when temperatures range from 25 degree C – 30 degree C
  • To prevent the disease, Use virus-free suckers
  • Paring and Pralinage: Pare the corm and sprinkle 40 g of carbofuran 3 G over the corm (Before sprinkling, corm should be dipped in mud slurry).
  •  Destroy virus affected plants.

8) Castor hairy caterpillar: Pericallia ricini 

Symptoms of damage-

  • Caterpillar scraping the chlorophyll content and windowing in unfurled leaves.


  • Collect and destroy egg masses and caterpillars
  • Use burning torch to kill the congregating larvae
  • Use light trap to attract and kill the adults
  • Spray chlorpyriphos 20 EC or quinalphos 25 EC 2ml/lit

9) Cut worm: Spodoptera litura 

Symptoms of damage-

  • Young larvae feed by scrapping the leaves from ventral surface
  • Later on feed voraciously at night on the foliage.
  • The lower and upper limits of habitable temperatures are 10 and 37 °C (50 and 99 °F)


  • Spray azinphosethyl or chlorphyriphos
  • In severe infestation apply Bacillus thuringenesis
  • Foliar spray with avanthe 1 ml in 100 ml of water

10) Corm weevil & Stem weevil (Odoiporus longicollis)

  • Infestation can establish at temperatures as low as 15oC, but development is prolonged. Optimum development takes place between 26oC to 30oC at a relative humidity of 70%.
  • Alternatively, pseudostem at monthly intervals from 5th to 8th month.


  • Remove dried leaves periodically and keep the plantation clean. Prune the suckers every month.
  • Apply carbaryl 10 – 20 g/plant in the soil around the stem.

Non-Insect Pest-

1.Giant African Snails (Achatina fulica Bowtich)

Fact sheet - Giant African snail (050)


  • External feeding on foliage and fruits.
  • Affected plant stages – .Seedling stage, vegetative stage and fruiting stage.
  • Affected plant parts – Leaves and fruits.


  • Use of calcium arsenate and Metaldehyde under expert supervision in areas of high infestation.
  • Use of salt to kill the pest as it alters the soil pH
  • Release predators  like predatory snail (Euglandina rosea), flatworms (Platydemus manokwari) and  pathogens in the field


  1. Sigatoka leaf spot

  • The optimal temperature for germination of the conidia is between 25-29 °C and for the ascospores, 25-26 °C.


  • Remove affected leaves and burn
  • Spray carbendazim @ 1 g/l or benomyl @ 1 g/l or mancozeb @ 2 g/l or copper oxychloride @ 2.5 g/l or ziram @ 2 ml/l or chlorothalonil @ 2 g/l at monthly interval from November onwards
  • Alternatively spray propiconazole @ 1 ml/l or 0.5 ml/l along with petroleum based mineral oil @ 10 ml/l or Pseudomonas fluorescens @ 0.5% three times at 15 days interval to control sigatoka leaf spot incidence
  • Always add 5 ml of wetting agent like Sandovit, Triton AE, Teepol etc. per 10 l of spray fluid.

2)  Panama Disease (Fusarium wilt)

  •  F. oxysporum, which grow best at 25–30 °C
  • Management-
  • Uproot and destroy severely affected plants
  • Apply lime at 1 – 2 kg in the pits after removal of the affected plants
  • Corm injection: Remove a small portion of soil to expose the upper portion of the corm. Make an oblique hole at 45° angle to a depth of 10 cm. Immediately insert a gelatin capsule containing 60 mg of carbendazim or of 50 mg of Pseudomonas fluorescens or inject 3 ml of 2 % carbendazim solution into the hole with the help of ‘corm injector‘ on 2nd, 4th and 6th months after planting
  • Apply press mud at 5 kg per plant to reduce the wilt incidence or apply Pseudomonas fluorescens (Pf1) liquid formulation @ 4 l/ha at 2nd, 4th and 6th months after planting through drip system to manage panama wilt and nematode complex.

3.Banana Bract Virus


  • The disease is characterized by the presence of spindle shaped pinkish to reddish streaks on pseudostem, midrib and peduncle
  • Banana bract mosaic virus infects the vegetative, flowering and fruiting stages of banana plants.


  • Early detection by regular inspection of planting and eradication of diseased plants from the field as soon as they are noticed
  • Control of insect vector by spraying Phosphomidon at 1 ml per litre or Methyl Demeton at 2 ml per litre .

4.Anthracnose: Gloeosporium musarum


  • At the initial stage, small, circular, black spots develop on the affected fruits. Then these spots enlarge in size, turn to brown colour  


  • Avoid damage to fruits at harvest and transit
  • Burn the infected materials
  • Spray copper oxychloride 0.25% or Bordeaux mixture 1% or chlorothaloail 0.2% or Carbendazim 0.1%.
  • Post harvest dipping of fruits in Carbendazim 400 ppm, or Benomyl 1000 ppm.

5.Erwinia rot: Erwinia carotovora sub sp.  Carovora


  • This disease is more pronounced on young suckers leading to rotting and emitting of foul odour
  • Roting of crown region is a characteristic symptom followed by epinasty of leaves, which dry out suddenly
  • Hot and damp weather (31.2°C for E. carotovora with plenty  of rainfall  triggers the disease to occur. Water is required for the bacteria to invade into the plant   


  • Remove plant residues after harvest.
  • Dip suckers in copper oxychloride (40g/10l)+ streptocycline (3g/10lit) for 30 min before planting.

5.Infection chlorosis mosaic disease:


  • The disease is characterized by the presence of typical mosaic-like or discontinuous linear streaking in bands extending from margin to midrib.
  • Rolling of leaf margins, twisting and bunching of leaves at the crown and a rigid erectness in newly emerged leaves


  • Weeds in the nearby areas should be removed as the virus survives in them in off-season.
  • Growing pumpkin, cucumber and other cucurbits between the rows of banana crop should be avoided.

Nutritional Deficiency & Disorders

1.Nitrogen Deficiency

Symptoms :   

  • During the first 4-6 months of planting if there are more healthy and large sized leaves, the bunch size will also be larger.
  • Hence, N influences bunch grade and sucker production.

Corrective Measure :

Foliar spray of urea 2% at weekly intervals till disappearance of the deficiency symptom.

2.Phosphorus Deficiency

Symptoms :

  • Phosphorous is required in the plant crop cycle between 3 to 9 months after planting.
  • P deficiency causes a blue or dark green coloration of leaves.

Corrective Measure :

  • 40-60 g SSP / plant. 
  • Entire quantity of phosphorus fertilizer should be applied at the time of last ploughing or applied at the time of filling the pits.

3.Potassium Deficiency

Symptoms :


  • Potassium stimulates early shooting and significantly shortens the time required for fruit maturity.
  • Deficiency of potassium causes marked reduction in growth, interval profusely smaller, premature yellowing of plant.

Corrective Measure

Foliar spray of KCl 2% at weekly interval till the symptom disappear.

4.Calcium Deficiency


  • Characterized narrow land of marginal chlorosis of leaves turning into necrotic fallow.  
  • Leaves become small, growth shunted.

Corrective Measure

  • Application of gypsum @ 250 Kg /ha.

5.Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium (Mg) deficiency symptoms ~ Tissue Culture Banana

Symptoms-Deficiencies usually occur while bananas have been grown for 10-12 years without magnesium fertilizer or where high amounts of potassium fertilizer have been given for a number of years.

Corrective Measure

  • Spraying MgSO4 5% or application of dolomite lime stone 3t/ha effectively corrects the deficiency.

6.Sulphur Deficiency



  • The most rapid uptake of sulphur occurs between the sucker and shooting stages.
  • Deficiency causes chlorosis and delaying of green colour in newly emerging leaves, thinkening and leaf puckering, reduced plant growth and growth and reduced leaf size.  

Corrective Measure –Application of ammonium sulphate @ 100g/plant.

7.Boron Deficiency



  • Deficiency of boron may results in reduction in weight and size of the bunch and it will effects the proper filling of the bunch.
  • Newly emerging leaves are malformed.    
  • Plants show shunted growth.  

Corrective Measure

  • Soil application of 20 g Borax per tree.  Borax acid 0.2% foliar sprays on 4th and 5th month after planting.

8.Copper Deficiency

Symptoms :

  • Plants show overall droopy appearance with shortened intervals between petiole. 
  •  Size of leaves reduced.

Corrective Measure

  • Application of 20 Kg CuSO4/ha a foliar spray of 2% CuSO4

9. Iron Deficiency

Symptoms :.

  • Iron deficiency has been recorded in alkaline soils and is identified by interveinal chlorosis of young leaves.

Corrective Measure

  • Soil application of FeSO4 5/g/ha or foliar spray of 0.5% FeSO4 at weekly intervals.

10.Manganese Deficiency

Symptoms :

  • Marginal chlorosis of young leaves, which later turn brown. 
  • Fruits with raised spots which are dark brown on black in colour. 
  • Leaves give striated appearance from the edges.

Corrective Measure

  • Weekly foliar spray of 2% MnSO4.

11.Zinc Deficiency

Symptoms :

  • Zinc deficiency is found in banana when it grows in zinc deficient soils.
  • Narrow pointed and chlorite young leaves, Bunch top crowns are the symptoms of zinc deficiency .

Corrective Measure

  • Application of 50 g/plant ZnSO4 at time of planting is recommended or foliar application of ZnSO4 at 3 g/litre + urea (5g per litre) + 10 ml non ionic sticker in 20 litres of water. 
  •  The above prepared solution is sprayed at 45 and 60 DAP.

Crop Duration

The bunches will be ready for harvest after 12 to 15 months of planting



  • The crop is ready for harvesting 11-12months after planting.
  • Carry out harvesting when banana is slightly or fully mature also according to market requirement.
  • For local market, harvest fruits at maturity stage and for long distance transport, harvest fruit at 75-80 % maturity.
  • Whereas for export purpose, carry out harvesting, the day before or the same day of shipment.
  • Harvest fruit early in the day in the summer.
  • In winter, avoid harvesting too early in the morning.

Yield (t / ha / year)

Poovan & Rasthali : 40 – 50 t / ha
Monthan : 30 – 40 t / ha
Ney Poovan : 30 – 35 t / ha
Robusta : 50 – 60 t / ha
Grand Naine : 70 – 80 t / ha
Grand Naine uner HDP : 115-130 t / ha

Market Information

Growing States: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.

Growing Districts: Coimbatore, Erode, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, Trichy, Vellore, Kanyakumari and Karur districts
Major Markets in Tamil Nadu:Trichy, Coimbatore, Theni
Preferred Varieties and Hybrids: Grand Naine, Dwarf Cavendish, Robusta, Rasthali, Poovan, Nendran, Red Banana, Ney Poovan, Pachanadan, Monthan, Karpuravalli, Neyrannan.                              
Grade Specification The hands are graded based on the number and size of fingers in each hand. Over ripe and injured fruits are discarded.
Banana is sent to the local market as bunches.