The growth rate of Blue Java Ice Cream will vary greatly depending on soil type, sunlight, temperature and other factors. A few leaves are often trimmed prior to shipping to reduce transpiration and travel stress.
At any time you can get a fresh start. Bananas are clump forming plants often producing 3-5 off-sets per year. If your stand has suffered wind damage or you simply want to clean it up, this can easily be done with a large sharp kitchen knife and without the need for garden tools. If your stand is getting too large or you simply want to get a fresh start, simply cut all stalks off at ground level, the plant will then regenerate with new offsets.
When you receive your new banana plant, there is no need to worry about planting right away. Your new plant can be stored for a while by simply placing it in a bucket with about a half inch of water in the bottom and moving it to a shady location, simply keep moist. This will give you plenty of time to select the ideal location for your new banana plant.
All banana varieties grow very well in containers, indoors or on the patio. Smaller varieties grow best indoors in 12″ to 18″ diameter pots while larger varieties need enough room for growth, generally a 18″ to 36″ diameter, 14″ deep container will suffice. Remember the looser the roots, the taller and healthier your banana will be. When the plant becomes root bound its growth will slow, at that point it is time for a larger pot.
Blue Java Ice Cream Banana plants enjoy a well drained, general potting mix easily found at your local box store. Remember try to stay away from arid or wet, mucky soils.
Bananas are heavy feeders, to help establish your new Blue Java Ice Cream Banana Plant, fertilize ten inches away from the base, four times annually with a slow time released product. Unfertilized they will tend to grow at a slower pace. Note: The heavy salts in cheaper fertilizers will damage the roots and possibly kill the banana. Its best to use a brand you know and trust.
Best outdoors if grown in zone 8a-11, find your zone here. This banana plant requires 80-100% sunlight. Depending on your location full sun is often best. In the northern end of their grow zone, containerized Blue Java Ice Cream Banana Plants should be brought indoors or protected during the winter months. In-ground plants require heavy mulching and often die-back, allowing the plant to regenerate and send up fresh, new plants in the spring. The patio zone is 4b-11 which means the potted plant will flourish over the summer months in colder zones but must be brought inside before winter.
At the nursery these bananas are grown under 20-40% shade cloth. If you plant this banana in a brightly lit area you may experience leaf burn. It is best to acclimate this plant to its environment by keeping it outside and slowly moving it into a sunny area over a week or two to avoid stress before planting.
Before leaving, bananas are inspected, watered, and pruned. Larger plants, generally those that ship in 8″ pots, will be topped to 36″ or 48″ overall, depending on the variety, if necessary, to facilitate shipping. Your new plants’ pot is then bagged to ensure that the soil stays in the pot and not loose in the box. Plants are tissue or kraft paper wrapped and generally secured in place with natural biodegradable peanuts.