Scientific name - Musa sp
Family - Musaceae

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

Other state varieties:

Red Banana, Safed Velachi, Basarai, Rasthali, Dwarf Cavendish, Robusta, Poovan, Nendran, Ardhapuri, Nyali.

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 6-7.5 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.

Climate – Banana is basically a tropical crop, grows well in temperature range of 13ºC – 38ºC 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.

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)

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.

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 

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

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
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 7-8days in winter where as in summer provide irrigation at an interval of 4-5days. 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.
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 planting                                             N (%)                                             P2O5 (%)                                           K2O (%)
9-18 (10 weeks)                                                            30                                                      100                                                          20
19-30 (12 weeks)                                                          50                                                        —                                                           40
31-42 (12 weeks)                                                           20                                                        —                                                           32
43-45 (3 weeks)                                                            —                                                         —                                                             8
Total                                                                              100                                                      100                                                        100

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 and Trichoderma 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 3months 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 30days
Garden Land Give 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 10 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.
Form trenches in between alternate rows and cross trenches at every 5 th 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.
Give surface digging with spade once in two months. Give one deep digging with spade during January – February. Other operations as in garden land.
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.
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 4 th and 6 th month after planting. Spray Plantozyme @ 2ml / l at 6 th and 8 th month after planting to get higher yield.
Spray micronutrients viz., ZnSO4 (0.5%), FeSO4 (1.0%), CuSO4 (0.2%) and H3BO3 (0.2%) at 3 rd, 5th and 7 th MAP to increase yield and quality of banana. Apply 25 kg ZnSO4 basally
Leguminous vegetables, beetroot, elephant foot yam and sunnhemp. Avoid growing cucurbitaceous vegetables.


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.

1) Rhizome weevil

 Apply or sprinkle carbofuran 3G 33g/sucker at the time of planting.
2) Pseudostem borer 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: 

Apply any one of the following insecticides
 Carbofuran 3G @166g /plant
 Dimethoate 30EC 1.0 ml/l.
 Methyl demeton 25 EC 2.0ml/l.
4) Bunchy-top

 The Banana Aphid, Pentalonia nigronervosa is the vector of Bunchy-top virus disease.
 The spray may be directed towards the crown and pseudostem base upto ground level at 21 days interval at least thrice.

5) Thrips:

   Spray dimethoate 30 EC 1.0ml/l.
6) Lace wing bugs:
Spray any of the following insecticides:
 Dimethoate 30 EC 1.0ml/l.
 Methyl demeton 25 EC 1.0ml/l.
 Quinalphos 25EC 4.0ml/l.
7) Nematode
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 sunnhemp 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. 

To prevent the disease,
i) Use virus-free suckers
ii) 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).
iii) Destroy virus affected plants.

Selection and pre-treatment of suckers
 Select sword suckers of 1.5 to 2.0 kg weight, free from diseases and nematodes. Trim the roots and decayed portion of the corm, cut the pseudostem leaving 20 cm from the corm and grade the suckers to size. To avoid wilt disease, infected portions of the corm may be pared, dipped for 5 minutes in carbendazim 0.1% solution (1 g in 1 l of water) solution for Rasthali, Monthan, Neyvannan, Virupakshi and other wilt
susceptible varieties.
 Pralinage with 40 g of carbofuran 3 CG granules per sucker (dip the corm in slurry solution of 4 parts clay plus 5 parts water and sprinkle carbofuran to control nematodes).
 Sow sunnhemp on 45th day; incorporate it after about a month. This operation reduces nematode build up.

1) Sigatoka leaf spot
 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)
 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) Cigar end rot
 CIB recommendation: Spray mancozeb 75% WP @1.5-2.0 kg/ha.

4) Bunchy-top
 Use virus-free suckers for planting
 The banana aphid, Pentalonia nigronervosa is the vector of bunchy-top virus disease
 Destroy virus affected plants by inserting a gelatin capsule containing 200 mg 2,4 – D into the corm 7 cm deep using capsule applicator or inject 5 ml 2,4 – D solution (125 gm/lit of water) into the pseudostem by using the injection gun. The plant collapses and topples in 3 – 5 days
 Apply carbofuran 3G @ 166 g /plant or spray dimethoate 30EC @ 1 ml/l or methyl demeton 25 EC @ 2 ml/l to control vector
 The spray may be directed towards crown and pseudostem base upto ground level at 21 days interval at least thrice.


Kottaivazhai in Poovan:

Spray 2,4 – D @ 25 ppm within 20 days after opening of last hand (1g/ 40 lit / 200 bunches) or 1.2 g of sodium salt of 2,4 – D dissolved in 40 lit of water for 200 bunches.

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.

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

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.