Table of Contents
- 1 What is a String Of Bananas Plant?
- 2 Caring for String of Bananas Plants
- 3 Growing String of Bananas Plants
- 4 Propagating String of Bananas Plants by Cuttings
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 References
Buying a plant or seeds is just the first step in the process.
Without the proper knowledge on how to propagate a particular plant, the plant won’t grow properly.
One of the best ideas is to invest in plants that are easy to grow.
However, not all plants are easy to care for and propagate.
One of the most challenging plants is the string of bananas plant.
The plants are incredibly popular, thanks to their unique aesthetic and versatility.
Here’s everything you need to know about propagating the String of Bananas plant.
Related post: Different Types of Senecio Succulents (String of Plants)
What is a String Of Bananas Plant?
Also known as the Senecio radicans, the String of Bananas plant displays vines that feature banana-shaped leaves and tiny lavender year-round.
They also can get yellow or white blooms during the winter months.
These flowers are native to Africa and are plants that grow rapidly. They’ll eventually reach a maximum length of 36 inches.
An exciting feature is that the leaves are somewhat transparent, allowing light to shine through.
When you get close, you’ll notice that the tiny flowers give off a delightful scent that’s similar to cinnamon.
The plant thrives outdoors in warm climates and will grow easily. For those in cool climates, they can grow the plant indoors.
These look especially good in hanging pots and containers as they are a great trailing succulent!
Keep reading to find out more about String of Bananas care!
Caring for String of Bananas Plants
There are five significant factors that you need to know about to take care of your string of banana plants.
These are soil, watering, petting, feeding, and light. Here’s everything you need to know so you can take the best possible care of these plants.
The plant will grow easily in any succulent or cactus soil mix. Ideally, you need something that’s nice and chunky but is also light.
Due to the roots’ delicate nature, it makes it much easier for the plants to grow.
A good strategy is to use additional perlite and coir to make the soil lighter and airy.
All plants require a different watering level to ensure that they grow correctly.
When it comes to the string of bananas, or any string of plants, for that matter, you need to wait until the soil is dry to water.
As a general rule of thumb, make sure you always pour enough water to fill up the container to the tip.
Related post: How Often to Water Succulents Plants
Some plants require a specific sort of pot to grow correctly.
However, the string of banana plants will suit multiple different containers.
The only thing you need to ensure is that the pot has plenty of drainages. Terracotta pots are also ideal for growing a string of banana plants.
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Many people fail to realize that plants need food to grow properly. It’s tough for them to grow if they don’t get the proper nutrition.
A string of bananas plants are super sensitive, so the ideal fertilizer is worm castings.
Even though these are less likely to cause burning damage, it’s essential to use them in moderation.
Want more information? Read our post on how to fertilize succulents.
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When it comes to lighting, succulent plants can thrive in indoor and outdoor conditions depending on the zone.
It’s essential that the plant receives plenty of light but be careful as exposure to direct sunlight can burn.
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to lighting is that it receives light from the top and not from the sides.
When it doesn’t receive enough light from the top, it becomes stringy, and the leaves lose the banana shape.
Read on for more information on how much light succulents need.
Growing String of Bananas Plants
A string of bananas might seem like an intimidating plant, but they’re easy to grow.
A string of bananas is simple to grow as long as you maintain the environmental conditions that let them thrive in their natural habitat.
They’re a lovely plant for beginners.
The first thing you need to ensure is that you keep the plant at a temperature where it grows well.
Light-wise, a string of banana plants thrives when they get exposure to plenty of bright and indirect sunlight.
Suppose the conditions allow it, and you plant these succulents outdoors.
In that case, it’s crucial to find a location with enough sun and afternoon shade.
On the inside, it’s a good idea to keep the succulent in the brightest place in your household that isn’t a threat from direct sunlight.
Some of the ideal spots are near the east, south, or north windows, where indirect sunlight shows up.
Propagating String of Bananas Plants by Cuttings
A string of banana plants is super easy to propagate. A bonus of propagating is that it stimulates growth in parent plants.
They also help make a fuller plant. One of the most critical factors in helping a plant grow is being appropriately cut.
When it comes to cutting the plant, it’ll split into two different strands wherever you cut.
As a result, the plant becomes fuller.
To work around this, a good idea is to cut the plant closer to the pot’s rim.
That means when the plant does split, it looks like separate full strands.
If roots are growing out of the plant, they can also help with propagation. You’ll need to cut off some of the banana leaves so roots can grow.
That’s why you need to ensure that the strand has enough length to pull off some of the lower leaves.
Determine the Ideal Size and Length of the Cuttings
After determining the ideal cutting length and angle, it requires a clean pair of scissors, which help cut the strands off.
A crucial tip to remember is always to note which end you’re cutting from; you can then put it into soil or water when it’s time to propagate.
As soon as you make the cuttings, remove any leaves from the region closest to the soil and roots.
If you have enough patience, let the cutting sit for two days before putting it in soil or water.
Letting it be for the initial two days allows the cutting to callus over, which helps the plant grow better.
A good idea when propagating any plant is to use the rooting hormone.
It’s not something you have to do, but it’s super easy to use and speeds up the whole rooting process.
If you have some rooting hormone on you, all you need to do is dump a small amount onto another surface.
Get your cuttings ready by dipping them into the water, ensure that you don’t wet any part that doesn’t have leaves.
After that, you take the wet cuttings and proceed to dip them into some rooting hormone!
- Clonex is a high performance, water-based, rooting compound
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- Supplies hormones to promote root cell development
Planting the Cuttings in Soil
The final step in the procedure is to put the cutting into the soil mixture.
It makes it easier to put the cuttings into the soil.
You’ll need to make a small hole in the soil; a chopstick will be sufficient if you don’t have any professional tools.
Once you make the hole, you can put it in the cutting and then keep it in an area with a lot of bright light.
However, be careful in ensuring that the area doesn’t receive direct sunlight.
Direct sunlight is too harsh and will cause the plant to burn.
Watering the Cuttings
It’s a good idea to water the cuttings more frequently than the mother plant.
You don’t need to use as much water because there’s less soil, but keep it moist.
Propagate all your cuttings in separate pots until their roots are fully established. Once their roots are in place, you can combine all the different cuttings.
One issue that you might encounter is keeping the cuttings inside the soil.
The strings are heavy, which means that until the roots grow, the cutting will tend to fall out.
You can use a bobby pin or a specially designed plant pin to help keep the cutting in place until the roots grow.
Alternative: Laying the Cuttings in the soil
Lay these cuttings flat on the soil and let the stems touch the soil. Plants shoot out roots from wherever they touch the soil.
One option is to start with a fuller top and make the plants trail.
Make use of a drainage pot mix, use a cactus soil that features perlite. You can also add coarse sand to drainage.
If the stem has roots growing, try to place the stem upon the roots that dig into the soil. All you need to do is hold the stem in place.
One of the options is to use a paper clip that’s been cut in half. They’re effective at holding the stem down and will help the root stay down as well.
When the soil starts feeling dry, use a misting bottle on the soil often.
Once the roots are in place and feel established, you can stop misting and start properly watering the plant.
After the plant grows, it’s a good idea to decrease the watering frequency to once a week or less.
If you live in an incredibly humid area, you run the risk of the cuttings taking on too much moisture.
New roots will emerge in two weeks. Using stem cuttings with already growing roots will make it easier for the plant to make its home in the new potting mix.
Also, remember to keep the setup away from direct sunlight. That exposure can cause the plant to suffer from sunburn.
Alternative: Propagating String of Bananas Plants in Water
If you’re not a fan of propagating in soil, you can also choose to do the whole water process.
The preparation is the same! You’ll need to remove the banana leaves from the ends of the strands.
Ideally, the ends of the strands are closest to where you make the cutting.
Grab a clear glass container that’s full of water and place the cuttings inside the container.
Be careful and make sure that no leaves are in the water; just the stem should be underwater.
Make sure that you use filtered water and change the water every 2-6 days until the roots form.
Once the roots form, you can out the cuttings along with the original plant.
You can also choose to put them into a new pot and make an entire collection!
So now you have a basic understanding of what a string of banana plants is and how to take care of them.
You can also grow more by propagating them into several other plants.
Do you want to know more about other types of succulents?
Take a look at our list of 60+ different kinds of succulents you can grow indoors or outdoors.
- Evans, E. & Blazich, F. (1999). Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings. NC State University Extension, Gardener Plant Toolbox.
- McMillan, G. (2021). Senecio Radicans. Floodwall Magazine: Vol. 2 : Iss. 3, Article 36.
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she studied at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. She continued her gardening education by working on organic farms in both rural and urban settings. She started UrbanOrganicYield.com to share gardening tips and tactics. She’s happy to talk about succulents and houseplants or vegetables and herbs – or just about anything in a backyard garden or hydroponics garden.