Many ripe yellow Gros Michel bananas in round harvesting basket - one large banana is partially peeled and the end is gone

Banana 'Gros Michel' (Musa acuminata)

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Pot Size

Gros Michel, or Big Mike, is a rare, coveted banana with an interesting history. It was originally from Southeast Asia and was brought to Martinique and then to Panama in the early 1800s. From there it was grown for export as a monoculture throughout Central America and was the main banana variety that was shipped to Europe and North America. Unfortunately, the Panama disease, a species of Fusarium wilt, spread through huge expanses of banana plantations in Central America, killing the trees and infecting the soil so that they could not be replanted. By the 1960s, there weren’t enough Gros Michel bananas left to export, so the disease-resistant Cavendish variety replaced them from then on.

But Gros Michel survived, grown by backyard gardeners and small farmers on uninfected soil. The bananas won’t be found in stores, but a few select nurseries sell these excellent trees. The fruit is straighter than Cavendish, with thick skin and a sweet taste and creamy texture.

Like all bananas, Gros Michel does well in full sun or partial shade with high humidity in rich, well-draining soils. It is hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11.

Photo: MiamiFruit

Plant Type: 
Fruit Tree / Evergreen Perennial Herb

Did you know? The banana plant is actually an evergreen perennial fruiting herb, not a tree! The large ‘trunk’ is actually a pseudostem, which is made of bulky, leafy layers that emerge and wither over time. Banana plants are fast-growing, and prone to reproducing new plants through mini clones known as suckers.

Harvest Season: 
Year-round, but most predominantly in the warm summer months. With good care, bananas are capable of producing fruit within the first 15-18 months of planting. It will take 9-15 months before the tree starts flowering and an additional 2-6 months before the bananas are ready to be picked. 

(Expect approximately 3-6 months less time from planting to fruit for Banana plants in our XL Pot Size)

Mature Size: 
Really varies depending on variety. Some dwarf banana varieties grow only to 2-3 ft where other banana types reach up to 40 ft tall. Most banana plants can be grown easily in containers and overwintered indoors if needed. We recommend a minimum 7 gal. planter size.

Banana plants are fast-growing, and prone to reproducing new plants through mini clones known as suckers.

Soil & Moisture: 
Thrives in ample humidity!  Bananas like to be planted high on a mound in rich, moist well-drained soil, nitrogen-rich soil, and humid conditions similar to their native areas tropical and subtropical regions. In well-drained soil, bananas can almost never get too much water, sunlight, and nutrients. Water regularly to maintain leaves and promote fruit production. 

Light Requirements: 
Full Sun, Part Shade

Self-Fertile: 
Yes

Growth Rate: 
Fast, Very Fast

Zone Hardiness:
Outdoors 9-11 with frost protection; Patio/Greenhouse 4+

Propagation: 
Our bananas are grown from tissue cultures and are capable of fruiting within 1 year. 

5.0
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
Based on 2 reviews
Total 5 star reviews: 2 Total 4 star reviews: 0 Total 3 star reviews: 0 Total 2 star reviews: 0 Total 1 star reviews: 0
100%would recommend this product
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2 reviews
  • LG
    Lisa G.
    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product
    Years Gardening 10+
    Grown This Variety Before? No
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    1 week ago
    Great Plant!

    It arrived in great condition and is now in our banana bog. Doing well so far.

  • RM
    Ralph M.
    Verified Reviewer
    I recommend this product
    Years Gardening 10+
    Grown This Variety Before? No
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    4 months ago
    Super Excited!

    The tree arrived in excellent shape. I have bought numerous plants of different kinds from them and I have always received plants in beautiful shape. I can see a clear passion for their craft in the quality they deliver.

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