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Banana Plant

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plant Profiles' started by Aquarist, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Common Name - Banana Plant so named due to the fact the roots appear to be shaped like bananas. The banana shaped roots contain and store nutrients that the plant needs.

    Proper Name - Nymphoides Aquatica

    Care Level - Easy/Medium

    Lighting - Medium/Moderate
    currently using T5 HO 28W 6700K (lighting may vary depending on the size and depth of your aquarium)

    Plant Size - I've seen 6" mentioned but mine is already to 8" and still growing. The leaves are double the size of a .50 piece. Too, some information states the leaves will reach the top of the aquarium and float like a lily pad on top of the water.

    Water Temperature - Suggested 70 to 80 degrees. I keep all of my tanks at 80 degrees and this plant is thriving.

    Fertilizer - Currently using Flora Pride every 10 days, SeaChem Root Tabs every 6 to 8 weeks. Too, I filter all of my water through Fluval Peat Pellets.

    Growth Rate - Slow for the first few weeks, then the plant gets a growth spurt once it's established. A new stalk will appear for the bloom after about 2 months or so. So far, the stalk that I have is about 14 to 16 inches and I'm still waiting for the bloom. It should bloom any day now.

    The Bloom -
    Is said to be like a snowflake, white with 4 to 5 petals and should bloom for several days.

    Placement - I think these plants look great anywhere in the tank. Grouped together, the roots entwine along with the leaves. Some of the roots may work their way above the substrate which is fine. No need to bury any exposed, longer, roots.

    Propagation - From information that I've seen, you can simply remove a leaf with the stalk and place it in the substrate. Too, some banana plants may form additional bunches of bananas at certain times of the year. It should eventually produce more banana type roots but it may take a good while.

    With the correct lighting and some additional fertilizers, this plant has been very easy to grow and would be easy for beginners.

    Pruning - Simply remove any dead leaves at the base of the plant, clip it close to the banana bunch.

    pH -
    My plants are thriving with a tank water pH of 7.8. I would think this plant would do well anywhere from 7.0 to 8.0. DrsFosterSmith has listed 6.8 to 7.2. I've never tried plants in acidic water.

    Talk to your plants "Grow baby grow"!

    Link to my Banana Plant Progress Thread:

    Banana Plants Love 'em! Updated 3/27/12

    The photos below:
    1. New Plant
    2. Almost 3 months after planting
    (notice the extra long stalk which will produce the bloom)


    What I thought was going to be a bloom is actually a new leaf! Surprise! Photo #3.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 3, 2014
  2. lorabellWell Known MemberMember

    I hope its ok that i put this here...wanted you to see......I now have a huge sprout(lol...whatever u call it) on my 3 or so week old banana plant.....its in my planted 10 gallon tetra/dwarf corie tank.....I call it planted....lol...I just plopped live plants in there and I have no idea about taking proper care of them. Thankfully they are very non demanding!!!!!

    Attached Files:

  3. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Second Lily Pad stalk is growing. I have been wondering if these plants would produce more than 1 lily pad and now I have my answer. Yes! :)


    Attached Files:

  4. Zachary Dean JohnsonValued MemberMember

    How long does it take for a lily pad ?

    Edit: May 2, the second Lily pad is about to break the surface. I really enjoy this plant.

    Last edited: May 3, 2014
  5. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    It may take a few weeks to a month or so. Give it time and be patient, it will happen. :) Then it grows and grows and grows. Very good plant.

  6. utkgregWell Known MemberMember


    I bought a couple of these plants in the last couple of weeks from my lfs. One of my plants has developed a massive lily pad...already 3" in diameter. An employee told me that I should not allow any lily pads to stay, as they are a major resource drain on the plants, and other leaves can start dying. Normally I trust the lfs, but this was a brand new employee (although he said he had bananas at home.)

    Do you have any advice regarding the lily pads, or any other warnings we should be aware of?
  7. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    I let the Lily Pads grow and let the plant do what it naturally does. The LFS employee may have a point though as the plant will concentrate on growing the lily pad and may produce fewer leaves. If you want to cut the lily pad off then it should not harm the plant. I don't know if the plant will bloom or not if the lily pad is gone. I did not experience any leaf loss by letting the lily pad grow.

    If you have more than 1 Banana Plant, experiment with them, cut one lily pad off and let another grow on another plant and see what happens. Post here with your findings if you wish! :)

  8. Adam55Well Known MemberMember

    What is the proper duration for lighting for a plant like the banana plant? Too little and the plants die. Too much and here comes the algea. And does that time get adjusted at all if I use a root tab? Trying to keep my general question topical to this thread. Thanks.
  9. fishnewbie33Well Known MemberMember

    I've had a banana plant since December 2013. As soon as I put it in the tank, it started floating and has never stayed on the bottom of the tank. It floats around in the filter current (very low). It appears to be healthy (green), and I think it grew more leaves and bananas.

    It is in a 5 gallon tank with LED lighting (currently no fish/cycling).

    Should I try and make it sink or just leave it alone?
  10. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    You can limit the amount of leaves if you like but I'v never had one die from allowing the lily pads to grow. They can cover the top of your water and shade plants on the tank bottom.

    It will not bloom with out lily pads Those are my bloom pics at the bottom of Kens first post :)

  11. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Only a tiny portion of the bananas on the plant should be under the substrate. It can be difficult to make them stay in 1 position but not impossible. Fish can bump them and uproot them very easily.

    If it doesn't bother you by it floating around the aquarium, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Maybe you can wedge the banana section in between wood or rocks or something. :)

  12. fishnewbie33Well Known MemberMember

    Thanks for the info. It seems happy where it is, so I'll just let it be and either get it a friend or try to propagate with the leaf in the gravel. :)
  13. MJDutiWell Known MemberMember

    has anyone else ever had the banana section fo the plant "shed"? I used to have one, and it shot out a new leaf a couple times a week, it was nuts. Eventually though the bananas had a soft brownish layer that would hang over a healthy bottom. You could just remove it most of the time. Just wondering what may have caused it. It was growing in my current 10G jungle in the profile if you want to see the setup.

  14. ggoldielocksNew MemberMember

    I am trying to propagate my banana plants. They have the short stems and round leaves, and roots. one just detached itself from the banana clusters. I think I should plant it in the substrate, but not sure. Would it just grow there or would it produce another bunch of bananas? Anyone have an answer for that question?

    If the banana part of the plant doesn't get light or is under the gravel, it decays and rots away. it can't be hidden from the light. Mine float close to the surface of the tank and I direct them under the light. When I had them in a 60 gallon tank and the fish moved them in an area that did get enough light, they rotted and got mold.
  15. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Propagation - From information that I've seen, you can simply remove a leaf with the stalk and place it in the substrate. Too, some banana plants may form additional bunches of bananas at certain times of the year. It should eventually produce more banana type roots but it may take a good while.

  16. sliderdkpValued MemberMember

    I had 2 very nice banana plants. Beautiful pads and flowers. After a while, the "bananas" at the bottom of the plant became almost see through and appeared to be dying. I removed them as each one seemed to become that way. Soon the whole plant died. What did I do wrong? or is this their common way of going? Thank you for any replies.

    That's what happened to my banana plant also. I removed the darkish bananas, as they started to look bad. The whole plant eventually died. Want to get 1 or 2 more of these, but need better info on them. Any suggestons would be appreciated.
  17. jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    From what I understand, the 'bananas' are for nutrient storage. I've had some that would drop the bananas, and some that keep them, but normally if the plant itself has decent roots it should live just fine without them.
  18. Healsfire524Valued MemberMember

    Any idea if these things will survive in a higher PH like 8.0-8.5?
  19. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    I keep my tank pH at 8.0 and they did well for me.

  20. Healsfire524Valued MemberMember

    Awesome thank you!