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The Dwarf Banana Tree

If you think good things come in small packages, then you’ll love the Dwarf Banana Tree. It’s easy to grow and produces super-sweet bananas that look similar to the ones you find in the grocery store.

A bunch of Dwarf Cavendish bananas growing on a tree.

The famous tree can make the perfect addition to your garden and diet. Read on to learn more about the wonderful Dwarf Banana tree.

Characteristics of the Dwarf Banana Tree

The Dwarf Banana tree also goes by the name, Dwarf Cavendish Banana. You might recognize the Cavendish variety from the bananas you typically buy in the grocery store. The two banana species share quite a few similarities, but you’ll notice one big difference when it comes down to size.

How Big Does it Get?

You can attribute the Dwarf Banana tree name to the fact that this plant only grows up to 8-10 feet, (compared to 15-18 feet with regular Cavendish trees). The smaller size makes the Dwarf Banana tree perfect for smaller backyards and indoors.

A dwarf banana tree growing in a garden.

Despite the shorter height, the Dwarf Banana tree still produces similar-sized bananas to its Cavendish counterpart. Each fruit typically measures 6-9 inches in length with the standard yellow peel and white flesh.

Eating Dwarf Bananas

You might be wondering how Dwarf Cavendish bananas taste; If you’ve ever eaten a regular Cavendish banana, you’ll recognize the same ultra-sweet flavor and smooth, velvety texture. Next time you feel like reaching for a candy bar, give the Dwarf Cavendish banana a try. It will satisfy your sweet tooth in the best way.

How To Use Dwarf Bananas In Baking?

If you love baking, then the Dwarf Banana will become your new secret ingredient. It’s the perfect addition to any muffins, cookies, cakes, and bread. You’ll love how the Dwarf Banana adds a subtle, hearty sweetness to any recipe.

A banana cake.

Like all bananas, Dwarf Bananas act as a sweetening and binding agent, so you can swap out sugar and eggs and then add a serving of the yellow fruit. Try adding a Dwarf Banana to pancakes to create a hearty, filling texture. You can also use the banana to create moist, fluffy cakes and pastries.

The tasty banana works wonders when combined with chocolate or peanut butter. You’ll love how perfectly the banana variety works in this Peanut Butter Ice Box Pie. Or try mixing with blueberries to create this sweet and delicious Blueberry Banana Bread.

Here’s a surprising way to serve bananas that will delight your guests — grilled! This simple recipe for Pisang Epe is a great idea for a dessert that finishes off those delicious barbecued meals during the summer grilling season.

Pisane epe, an Indonesian dessert of grilled bananas and palm sugar or brown sugar syrup.
Pisang Epe — grilled bananas with brown sugar syrup.

Health Benefits

Looking for a lightweight food to give you a dose of energy? At just 86 calories per serving, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better snack for an afternoon pick-me-up.

Each Dwarf Banana contains 2g of fiber, 1g of protein, and a great amount of potassium to power you through your day. You’ll find a decent amount of calcium and Vitamin A in each serving as well. Read more in our blog post about the amazing Health Benefits of Bananas.

Closeup of sliced bananas.

Where to Buy Dwarf Bananas?

Tempted to give the Dwarf Banana a try? You can find the variety in most grocery stores and markets for a low price tag.

Growing Your Own Dwarf Banana Tree

Want to try your hand at growing your own Dwarf Banana tree? If you live in the right climate, you can harvest your own Dwarf Bananas without spending too much time maintaining your tree.

Where to Get Pups or Plants?

Dwarf Banana Trees are common to find in most tropical nurseries and plant stores. You can also find them at Nature Hills Nursery and even Amazon!

Overhead view of a young banana tree.

The Right Temperature

You can plant your own Dwarf Banana tree in the ground if you live in a 9-11 hardiness zone. In other words, as long as your temperatures don’t dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you should be golden.

Banana trees thrive at 50% or more humidity levels, so if you live in a climate where the air is dryer, consider constructing a greenhouse to ensure consistent humidity.

Can I Grow a Dwarf Banana Tree Indoors?

If you don’t live in the recommended hardiness zone but want to try growing a Dwarf Banana tree, not to fear! The best part about this tree variety is that the shorter height makes it more manageable to grow indoors. You can easily transport it outside when the sun is shining, then take it inside if the temperature dips below freezing.

An indoor dwarf Cavendish banana tree grown as a houseplant.
An indoor dwarf Cavendish banana tree.

If you decide to grow a Dwarf Banana tree indoors, make sure you water more frequently since pots drain quicker than soil in the ground. Your tree is also more susceptible to root rot, so make sure you install proper drainage holes in your vessel.

Wanna learn more tips and tricks? We wrote a whole guide about growing a banana tree indoors here.

Where To Plant?

Dwarf Banana trees love direct sunlight, so keep this in mind when choosing a planting location. Make sure your budding tree is able to receive at least 5 hours of direct sunlight per day. You can plant a Dwarf Banana tree in partial sunlight or indoors, but it will slow the growth and reduce the chances of producing fruit.

For more info, read our guide that helps you plant a banana tree in 5 easy steps.

A dwarf banana tree flower.
The flower of a dwarf banana tree.

The Best Soil for Dwarf Banana Trees

Your budding tree will love well-drained loamy soil that’s slightly acidic. Make sure the ground has a pH level between 5.5 and 6.5 and contains a mixture of sand, silt, and clay.

You can also enhance your soil by adding a potassium-rich fertilizer and organic matter. This will help increase your chances of fruit production.

Since banana trees are heavy eaters, you should aim to fertilize your Dwarf Banana tree every couple of weeks from spring through summer. It’s not recommended to continue fertilizing through the winter months.

How Often Do I Water My Dwarf Banana Tree?

Try to keep your Dwarf Banana tree watered enough so that the soil surrounding it is always damp, but never muddy. During the warm summer months, aim to water your trees every 2 to 3 days. If you’re not sure when to water, check the top inch of soil closest to the surface. If it’s dry, then it means your tree is due for a long drink of water.

When Do Dwarf Bananas Produce Fruit?

If you’ve planted your Dwarf Banana tree, you’re probably wondering when you’ll be able to start reaping the rewards of your hard work.

Dwarf Cavendish bananas on a tree.

After planting, you’ll find it typically takes 9 to 15 months before your Dwarf Banana tree begins to flower. Once your tree is in bloom, expect to wait for another 2 to 6 months before harvesting your fruit.

The total growing time from planting your tree in the ground and picking a bunch of bananas ranges from 10-21 months. Make sure you’re willing to play the long game before planting a Dwarf Banana tree in your backyard garden.

The Perfect Backyard Banana Tree

Now that you’re a Dwarf Banana variety expert, why not try to grow your own banana tree? With the right information in your toolkit, you’ll be surprised by how manageable and rewarding it is to grow your own Dwarf Bananas.

Bananas on a tree.

Whether you’re wondering how long it takes to grow a banana tree or how to winterize your bananas, we have a whole section dedicated to helping you grow your own yellow fruit.