Are you looking to shake up your garden with a unique banana tree variety? The Lady Finger banana tree is straightforward to grow, and it produces super-sweet bananas that make your mouth water. There’s a reason why this tasty variety also goes by the name sugar banana, too!
Read on to learn all about the Lady Finger Banana Tree!
Characteristics of the Lady Finger Banana Tree
If you’re wondering how the Lady Finger banana tree differs from your typical Cavendish banana, you’ll be surprised to know that there are a couple of attributes that set the two species apart.
How Big Does it Get?
Most Lady Finger banana trees will reach around eight to 10 feet in height. If you plant your tree in the right soil and fertilize properly, you could see a tree reach heights up to 25 feet, but this usually doesn’t happen in a backyard garden setting.
Good Things Come in Small Packages
Lady Finger banana might look similar to Cavendish, complete with bright yellow skins and brown spots, but there are a couple of key differences.
Lady Finger bananas are thinner with a shape resembling a cigar. Each banana is straighter than its curved Cavendish counterpart and measures shorter in length, too.
There’s a reason why the Lady Finger banana tree variety also goes by the name Baby Banana; you can expect your Lady Finger banana to grow only up to three to five inches long.
Eating Lady Finger Bananas
Curious about how the Lady Finger banana holds up in the flavor department? After trying the tiny banana for the first time, you’ll fall in love with its unique texture and taste.
A Smaller, Sweeter Banana
You can expect the Lady Finger to taste sweeter than Cavendish, with a creamy consistency that melts in your mouth. You’ll notice a distinct sugary flavor that tastes almost like honey. After trying one bite, you’ll have a hard time going back to the common banana.
How to Use Them in Cooking?
There’s a reason why Lady Finger bananas are far more popular in desserts than Cavendish. The sugary sweetness you taste in every bite makes it perfect for a sweet treat.
You’ll find the Lady Finger banana pairs perfectly with anything chocolate and peanut butter related. Pop one of these bananas into your smoothie for heightened sweetness, or top off your toast with some slices. Anytime your recipe needs a little hit of sugar, the Lady Finger banana has you covered.
Tempted to take a chance on the unique fruit? Try replacing these two recipes with Lady Finger bananas!
While small in size, the Lady Finger banana packs a big nutrition punch in each serving. Like all bananas, you’ll find the Lady Finger variety to be rich in potassium and dietary fiber. You’ll also find a decent value of Vitamin C, B5, A, E, and K, along with high mineral content.
The great thing about the Lady Finger variety is that it’s super sweet, while still remaining low on the glycemic scale. These bananas are ideal for anyone trying to cut back on sugar, or on a diabetic diet.
Learn more about the plentiful health benefits of bananas.
Where to Buy Lady Finger Bananas?
You can find Lady Finger bananas in some big-box grocery depots or exotic food stores. You might notice that the Lady Finger variety comes with a higher price tag compared to Cavendish. The increased price reflects the longer growing time of the sweet fruit.
Growing Your Own Lady Finger Banana Tree
Want to add some sweetness to your garden? With the right climate, you can grow these baby bananas in your very own backyard.
Where to Get Seeds or Plants?
Though Lady Finger trees and seeds aren’t the easiest to find, if you live in a tropical climate, check your local nursery for some Lady Finger banana tree suckers. You can also track down the trees online.
The Perfect Temperature for Lady Finger banana trees
Banana trees in general love warm climates with an ideal temperature range of 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above or below this will stunt growth and prevent you from harvesting beautiful baby bananas.
Try to ensure that your tree is receiving at least eight to 12 hours of sunlight per day while making sure the fruit is shielded from any intense rays. Lady Finger bananas are susceptible to wind damage as well, so try to make sure you’re shielding your beloved harvest from harsh gusts.
You’ll want to make sure that your soil’s acidity level is between 5.5 and 6.5 in pH level. Any soil with volcanic rock or sand is perfect, or you can pick up some cactus plant soil for optimal banana growth.
Lady Finger banana trees are susceptible to root rot, so make sure your soil is well-drained. You can also grow the banana trees in large containers or pots, so long as you include sufficient drainage holes.
Keep an eye out for any thrips, nematodes, weevils, or aphids which can target the Lady Finger variety in particular. Like all banana trees, you’ll also want to be on the lookout for signs of Panama disease, a soil-born fungus that targets the yellow fruit. Check your plants regularly and pull off any leaves that look damaged or diseased.
Your Lady Finger banana tree will have a better harvest if you pull off the smaller suckers on your plant. This way, your tree will be more productive with a better chance to produce plentiful fruit.
You’ll love growing Lady Finger bananas because the bright yellow leaves attract beautiful hummingbirds to your garden. Talk about a sweet perk!
Can I Grow Indoors?
With proper care, Lady Finger banana trees can make a great indoor plant option, especially if you live in a climate that dips below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make sure you plant your tree in a large pot and place it next to a sunny window. If you start to see fruit develop, rotate the side with fruit away from the sun every few hours to prevent overheating. You can also place a cloth over the fruit to filter the sunlight.
When to Harvest Lady Finger Bananas
You should be able to harvest your Lady Finger bananas after about nine to 11 months. Just like Cavendish bananas, you’ll know when Lady Fingers are ready when they turn a greenish-yellowish color.
Cut your bunch of bananas from the stalk then hang in a cool, dark place to ripen. Your Lady Finger bananas should last from one to two weeks, depending on how ripe they are.
Final Thoughts on Lady Finger Banana Trees
Now that you’re an expert on the Lady Finger variety, why not try your hand at growing your own banana tree or cooking up the tasty fruit. While overshadowed by the Cavendish banana in most grocery stores, the Lady Finger banana has a lot going for it, and might just become your new favorite fruit.
Excited for more banana content? Then check out my banana tree page for info guides, growing tips, recipes, and more!