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What are the best banana varieties to plant in Florida?

Vince Coletti

Author

We have grown and studied twelve different varieties of bananas: Dwarf Orinoco, Tall Orinoco, Praying Hands, Gold Fingers, Cuban Reds, Dwarf Nam Wah, Tall Nam Wah, Ice Cream, Double Mahoi, Saba, Musa Kandarian, and Lakatan

Our two favorite banana varieties to plant in Florida are the Dwarf Nam Wah and Dwarf Orinoco varieties. We have seen these two varieties do very well in the Southeast and Southwest regions of Florida. Dwarf Nam Wah bananas are a sweet variety and Dwarf Orinoco are a plantain variety and are harvested and cooked green. You can let the Dwarf Orinocos also turn yellow and eat them sweet. 

Dwarf banana varieties are better suited to Florida because they have shorter, sturdier stems that are better able to withstand the force of the wind. We’ve seen the Dwarf Nam Wah and Dwarf Orinoco stay standing through two hurricane seasons (the strongest winds were around 90 mph gusts), and not lose their rack in the process.

 

Tall banana varieties have much longer stems that are more prone to bending, breaking, or toppling over in high winds. This is because tall bananas have a higher center of gravity and more weight at the top, which makes them more vulnerable to wind damage. We lost a Tall Nam Wah, a Saba, and a Musa Kandarian all  with racks developing during those same storms I mentioned above.

Dwarf banana varieties have a lower center of gravity and are more compact, which makes them more resistant to wind damage. Additionally, some dwarf banana varieties have broader leaves that are more aerodynamic, which helps to reduce wind resistance and further protect them from wind damage. They also have a shorter growing cycle, which makes them more manageable, easier to harvest, and push out fruit more frequently.

Overall, if you live in a windy tropical climate, it’s a good idea to choose a dwarf banana variety that is better adapted to these conditions and less likely to suffer wind damage. If you can find Dwarf Nam Wah and Dwarf Orinoco varieties to plant, we highly recommend those.

Send us a message on social media if you are looking for those varieties to plant on your property (links). We may have a few extra in our inventory to give you or we can connect you with one of our friends in your area. Since 2020 we have been connecting with all the amazing natural growers in Florida to acquire the knowledge to have successful gardens on our Grow Inn Homes properties for the residence and community to enjoy. 

Stop saying that you don’t have a green thumb. We all have the ability to Grow, we just have to acquire the knowledge. 

Thanks for reading,

Grow Inn Homes

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