Horticulture Guruji


Fruit Science

Adam’s Fig, Tree of Whisdom, Tree of Paradise, Kalpataru, Apple of Paradise, A plant of Virtues

  • B.N.Musa paradisiaca
  • Family – Musaceae     
  • Chromosome No– 22,33,44
  • Origin – South East Asia (Burma- Indo China region)
  • Inflorescence type – Spadix.
  • Fruit type – Berry.
  • Pollination – Birds (Ornithophilous)
  • The edible part of Banana – Starchy Parenchyma (Mesocarp & Endocarp).


  • The aroma in Banana-
    •           Green —– Hexanol
    •          Ripe —–    Eugenol
    •          Overripe —-Isopentanol
  • Flower bud differentiation – September – April.
  • Protogyny found in bananas.

Watch Lecture Video Part Ist

Watch Lecture Video Part IInd

  • Banana is climacteric fruit.
  • Vegetative parthenocarpy found in Banana
  • Most banana cultivars are triploid in nature.
  • The genetic classification is given by Simmond and Shephard.
  • Hybridization work- Central Banana Research Station, Adhuthurai (TN).
  • Banana improvement work started in 1949 at TN.

Banana Republic Banana republic describes politically unstable countries with an economy depends upon the exportation of banana.

  • Banana is a calcifuge crop calorific value 67-137/100gm.
  • Ripe banana contains 27% sugar
  • In Monthan variety of banana only glucose sugar is found
  • Musa acuminata is the source of today’s edible banana.
  • Banana is a rich source of dietary potassium (K) used in nervous impulses and a good source of energy.
  • India’s share in world production of Banana 31.6%.
  • Maximum area- Tamil Nadu, maximum production – Maharashtra.
  • India is the largest producer of bananas (World 23% produce).
  • In Tamil Nadu, banana is specially grown for leaf production.
  • Banana is the staple food of South Africa.
  • Cultivars having large areas in India – Poovan, Mothan Karpuravalli.
  • Gross Michel variety of banana is susceptible to Panama wilt while Basarai is immune and Poovan is resistant to this disease
  • Fingertip disease is serious in high-density planting.
  • The bunchy top is also called as cabbage top
  • Bunchy top of banana was first observed in 1891 in Fiji
  • Male flower of banana is resistant to Panama wilt disease but susceptible to bunchy top disease
  • All AAA clones are susceptible to Sigatoka leaf spot.
  • For virus screening in banana cultivar, ALISA test is followed.
  • Tetrazolium test for Bunchy top virus detection.
  • In 1913 Sigatoka leaf spot disease firstly observed.
  • Cut pieces of rhizomes called ‘Bits’ or ‘Peepers’ also used for propagation.
  • The weight of sword suckers is 750gm.
  • In Gujarat and MH: Furrow method and in Tamil Nadu trench method of planning is followed.
  • Suitable clones for irrigated areas -AAB, AAA.
  • Suitable clone for rainfed areas – ABB (Monthan, Kanthali, Kunnan).
  • The trench method is especially followed in the wetland system of cultivation.
  • For getting maximum yield a minimum of 10-12 leaves are required on the plant.
  • Banana is a moisture-loving plant.
  • Strong wind is harmful to successful banana production.
  • Banana seedlessness is controlled by 2,4 -D 25ppm.
  • Saltwater treatment reduces the duration of banana fruits.
  • Artificial ripening is done with chemical calcium carbide
  • For increasing bunch weight, spray with KH2PO4 at the fruit developing stage.
  • For long-distance transportation, harvesting is done at 75-80% maturity.
  • For delayed ripening in bananas, skin coating with waxol (12% wax emulsion) is helpful.


Varieties: –

  1. Dwarf Cavendish (AAA): –

  • Basrai – leading commercial cultivar contributing 58% of total production.
  • Gandevi Selection (Hanuman or Pardase) from Basrai
  1. Robusta (AAA):

  • Bombay Green
  • Harichal – Semi-tall sport of dwarf cavendish. Highly susceptible to Sigatoka leaf spot, resistant to Panama wilt.
  1. Grand Naine (AAA):

A Tall mutant of dwarf cavendish. It requires propping.

  1. Poovan (AAB):

Rasthali, Amritpani, Mortman – susceptible to fruit cracking, suitable for table banana. Tolerant to biotic and abiotic stresses.

  1. Poovan Mysore (AAB):

Young fruit has pink pigmentation on the ventral side of the midrib.

  1. Nandran (AAB):

French plantain, Rajeli- popular cooking variety in Kerala. Good for chips making.

  1. Hill Banana (AAB): –

Virupakshi, Sirumalai, Laden- suitable for jam making, growing in hilly areas and fruit having unique aroma and flavour.

  1. Lal Velchi (AAA): –

Fruits have red skin.

  1. Monthan (ABB):

Suitable for culinary purposes.

  1. Nay Poovan (AB):

Safed Velchi- diploid variety, Horizontal bunch orientation, it fetches double price than other cultivars.

  1. Pey Kunnan (ABB): –

Karpuravalli, Kanthali– suitable for infant (baby) food, Juice, wine, popular in marginal soils.

  1. Lady finger (AB):

Diploid variety

  1. Amritsagar

  2. Dudhsagar

  3. Chakia

  4. Monohar


  1. FHIA-1 Gold Finger (AAAB) – belongs to the pome group. Resistant to wilt and Sigatoka leaf spot.
  2. Bodles Altafort (AAAA) – Synthetic hybrid, Gross Michel (AAA) X Pisanglin (AA).
  3. Klue Teparod (AABB) – Natural tetraploid.
  4. CO-1 : – Kellar Laden X M. balbasiana X Kadali.
  • Poovan & Ney Poovan are preferred in multistory systems.


  • The tropical, warm, and humid climate
  • It can grow 10 to 400C temperature and an average of 280
  • It is damaged by frost (Except -Walha, Monthan Khasdia).


  • Deep, well-drained, friable loamy soil with adequate organic matter.
  • The crop can be taken in slightly, alkaline soil, such as reduce wilt disease.


Commonly propagated by vegetative means – Suckers, Rhizomes, and peepers.

Suckers They are also two type

  • Sword Suckers: – Having narrow, slender leaf blades up to a certain height then after the successive laminae become increasingly broader in outline. The sword suckers are vigorous, produce a bigger and heavier bunch in 11 months.
  • Water suckers: – Water suckers produce broader leaves at the very early stage and take 15 months in bunch production.


Selection of planting material

  • The suckers should be vigorously growing,80-120cm. height and 1-2 kg or so in weight.
  • The suckers should have narrow leaves, sword-like.
  • The base of the suckers should be thick and tapering toward the top.
  • Suckers should be free from any diseases and pests.

Method and time of planting

  • Pits are dug 60cm3.
  • The pits are filled with a mixture of topsoil and farmyard manure or compost (50:50).
  • In the areas of heavy and continuous rains, planting of banana should be done after monsoon i.e in Sep-Oct.
  • In the areas where rains are not so heavy, planting should be done June- July (beginning of southwest monsoon).
  • In hills, planting is done in April.

Distance of planting

Dwarf varieties –

        • 1.2 X 1.2 m (R X P)
        •  1.8 X 1.8 m
        •  2.0 X 2.0 m

Tall & Semi Tall

        •  2.4 X 1.8m
        • 2.4 X 2.4 m
        •   2.7 X 3.0m
        •  2.5 X 2.5m

Manure and Fertilizers: –

  • Fertilizers are applied by six months after planting to induce quick growth and produce more leaves with a large area.
  • NPK 180 : 90 : 180 gm / plant and FYM 10 -15 kg / plant.


  • Banana is a moisture-loving plant, in other words, the water requirement of the banana crop is very high.
  • Irrigation is done just after planting if there is no rain.
  • Banana requires irrigation throughout the year except during heavy rains.
  • Drip irrigation can reduce the quantity of water and increases yield and decrease the number of days to harvest and increase leaf production.


  • Shallow cultivation at an early stage for weeds control.
  • Application of Diuron at 4 Kg/ha and Simazine at 6 kg/ha controls grasses and broad leaves weeds when applied after planting and repeated 30 days after planting.


  • The removal of suckers from the banana plant is known as desuckering.
  • Usually, two suckers are left preplant while additional is removed just below the ground level.
  • Desuckering can also be achieved without removing of suckers in the Kerosene oil is poured inside the suckers and they died.


It is a method by which support is given to banana-bearing plants with the help of bamboo crutches (the upper end is made like a fork) protecting them from bending or falling down due to heavy bunch load and from any damage by wind.


 It is covering in bunches with polythene or gunny cloth that protects the fruits from intense heat (Causes sunburn), hot wind, etc. and improves the colour of the fruits.


Removal of male bud after completion of female phase is referred to as, denavelling. This checks the movement of photosynthates into the unwanted sink and promotes fruit development.


After harvesting, the pseudostem should be cut leaving a stump of about 0.6m in height. This practice is called mattacking.

Earthing up

  • During the rainy season, this will prevent plants from waterlogging, and also it will provide support to the base of the plants.


  • Mulching reduces the cost of cultivation by reducing the number of irrigations. Mulching with banana or sugarcane trash.

Flowering and Fruiting

  • Inflorescence in banana plants emerges 9-12 months after planting and fruits are ready to harvest after 3-4 months.
  • Usually, at the end of the inflorescence of male flowers is found.
  • In the formation of inflorescence two types of stimuli act one for the initiation of flower parts and the other for elongation of a flower stalk. Gibberellin-like substance act upon the growth and elongation of main stem and anthesin, act as flowering hormones to produces a flower, this is known as ‘dual-factor hypothesis’ of flowering in banana.


  • Fruits are harvesting when they are green and fully mature.
  • The fruits are harvested when top leaves start drying.
  • The colour of the fruit changes from deep green to a lighter green.
  • Shedding of floral ends of the fruits with the slightest touch of the hand.
  • The angles or ridge of the fruits become less prominent or they become round.


  • Dwarf varieties – 300-400 q /ha
  • Tall varieties – 150-200 q / ha

Ripening of Banana fruits

Bunches of bananas are heaped in the dry and clean air-tight rooms and covered with leaves. The fruits are ready within 4 days. Further, this can be reduced to half by enhancing ripening of room is provided with smokes. The smoke can be produced with straw, leaves, and cow dung in a corner of the room. After that bunch is placed in a well-ventilated room from the development of colour.

2,4-D @ 1000ppm for 10 seconds dip also use for banana ripening.

Insect Pest

  1. Stem Borer (Odioiporus logicollis)

  • Grubs of pest borer into the pseudostem, leaves turn yellow, wither a d ultimately dies.


  • Follow clean cultivation practices.
  • Spray 0.04% Endosulphan or 0.1% Carbaryl.
  1. Rootstock Weevil (Cosmopolites sordidus)
  • Grub bore into the rhizomes.


  • Remove and destroy infested rhizomes.
  • Spray 0.03% phosphamidon or 0.05% Fenitrothion around the base of the affected as well as healthy plants carefully.
  1. Banana Aphid (Pentalonia nigronervosa)

The nymphs and adults suck the sap from young and tender leaves. The aphids transmit virus causing the bunchy top disease which is very harmful.


Spray 0.03% rogar 30EC (Dimethoate) or phosphamidom or monocrotophos.



  1. Panama Wilt (Fusarium oxysporum F. cubense)
  • The disease was first recorded in Panama in the early 1900 century.
  • Soil-borne fungus, most serious in poorly drained soil with the planting of the banana year after year
  • Affected plants show yellowing of leaves and later they hang around the pseudostems.


  • Uproot and destroy all affected plants.
  • Use only disease-free suckers and rhizomes for planting.
  • Apply Bavistin (Carbendazime) at1 gm. Per litter.
  • Use disease-resistant varieties like Basrai Dwarf, Poovan Champa, Raja Vazhai.
  1. Bunchy top (Bunchy top virus, Banana Virus-I, Musa Virus -I)
  • First reported in Fiji in 1891.
  • The plant remains unproductive. Infected suckers carry disease to the healthy plot.
  • The dwarf varieties of bananas are very susceptible to this disease.
  • Vector – Banana Aphid
  • The infected plant shows short and narrow leaves together at the top of the pseudostem to form a bunch, hence disease is known as the bunchy top.
  • The margins of leaves become wavy in an advanced stage of infection and roll upward.
  • There is an extreme reduction in the size of the leaves and leaf petiole results in stunted growth of the whole plant.
  • Leaves against light show dark green streaks sometimes in dots, along the midrib, or secondary veins.


  • Remove all affected plants with complete rhizomes.
  • Control banana aphid with the spray of 0.3% Rogor.
  • The plant always virus-free suckers obtained from reliable sources.
  1. Sigatoka leaf spot (Mycosphaerella musicola)
  • This disease caused the epidemic in the Sigatoka Valley in Fiji in 1913.
  • It is a fungal disease. The size of the bunch and fruit is reduced due to the reduction of leaf area available for photosynthesis.
  • Fruit may ripe prematurely.
  • High humidity, close planting, Heavy weed or grass cover, and failure to remove suckers favour spreading disease.


  • Have provision of drainage.
  • Remove suckers regularly.
  • Remove infected leaves and destroy them.
  • Spray Bordeaux mixture + 2% linseed oil.
  • Spray Dithane-M45 at 0.2%.



  1. Choke Throate of Banana
  • Due to low-temperature yellowing of leaves occurs and under severe conditions the leaves become necrotic.
  • Under normal conditions, the bunch emerges from pseudostem but when the temperature is low it does not emerge properly from pseudostem.
  • The maturity time of the bunch is extended up to 5-6 months then 3.5-4 months.
  • This order is called choke throate to low temperature.


  • Use of varieties that tolerate the low temperature.
  • Use eucalyptus as a shelterbelt to check the effect of cold wind.
  1. Kottai Vazhai
  • Disorder serious in Poovan varieties of banana results in a 10-25% reduction in yield.
  • The presence of sharp, tapered, and ill-filled fruits that have a seedy structure in their central core. That makes fruits inedible.


  • Spray 20 ppm (1gm in 50 lit of water) 2,4-D
  1. Peel splitting
  • Longitudinal split of the peel, usually beginning from the proximal end near the pedicel.
  • The split usually divides the peel into unequal halves and ultimately expose the pulp as the split widens


  • Harvest physiologically matured green bunches
  • Dehand bunches and cut into clusters
  • Ripen fruits by exposure to ethylene (1ml/liter) for 24-48 hours at a temperature of 14-18°c and relative humidity of 90-95%
  • Ventilate and allow the fruits at a temperature of 18°c.
  1. Chilling Injury
  • It is a physiological disorder that occurs in most fruits of tropical origin when subjected to temperatures below the critical temperature
  • Surface lesions, such as pitting, large sunken areas, and discolouration of the surface
  • Dark water-soaked areas of the peel
  • Internal discolouration (browning) of pulp
  • Failure of fruits to ripen normally
  • When chilling is severe, fruits develop extensive sub-epidermal browning and eventually turn black
  • There is a loss of the development of the characteristic flavor, aroma, and taste, and often the development of off-flavour


  • Chilling injury can easily be avoided by simply limiting storage or handling to a temperature above the threshold.
  • Avoid refrigeration at below 13°c (55°F)
  1. Neer vazhai
  • This disorder has recently been noticed in the `Nendran’ banana grown in the Tiruchirapalli district of Tamil Nadu.
  • A very low percentage of plants is affected and suckers from affected clumps carry the disorder.
  • It is characterized by fruitless bunches and cannot be detected until bunch emergence no other symptoms appear.
  • The bunches have 4-5 hands and have only neutral flowers, the remaining nodal clusters consist of only persistent male flowers.
  • The malady may be due to an imbalance of hormones or hormones influencing female flower development.


No remedial measure



References cited

  1. Commercial Fruits. By S. P. Singh
  2. A text book on Pomology, Vol,1. by T. K. Chattapadhya
  3. Tropical Horticulture, Vol.1, by T. K. Bose, S. K. Mitra, A. A. Farooqui and M. K. Sadhu

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