Can You Really Grow A Tree From A Whole Banana?

A bountiful harvest of fruit trees in your backyard is every homeowner's dream. Few things are better than being able to simply step outside and grab a healthy, tasty snack in a matter of only minutes — not to mention that fruit trees will surely improve your home's property value, too. If you were not lucky enough to snag a home that already boasted fruit trees, then fret not. Lately, there's a viral rumor that with the help of one easy, simple hack, you may be able to grow a fruit tree of your own in just a few months, avoiding the decades-long incubation period that most other trees have. Interested in bananas, anyone?

By now, you may have heard the longstanding chatter about banana trees and their growth patterns. At least, as far as TikTok is concerned, it is believed that planting a whole banana will soon render a fully grown banana tree, sprouting bunches of those yummy yellow treats that everyone enjoys. Now, is this true? Well, let's explore.

Debunked: Sadly, no, the banana rumor is false

Let's cut to the case. No, planting a whole banana cannot facilitate the growth of a banana tree. 

Bananas are unique from many other fruits in the sense that they can procreate in one of two ways: seeding, which is the typical means of fruit reproduction, or vegetative propagation, which is an asexual reproduction method that only select crops are capable of.  Store-bought bananas, otherwise known as those of the Cavendish variety, are not known to reproduce by seeding. While cavendish bananas do have small, tiny black seeds in their centers, these seeds are infertile and not feasible for reproduction.

Alternatively, vegetative reproduction is a process in which a plant reproduces from its stem, roots, and/or leaves. This is the means of reproduction that bears cavendish bananas. Within their underground stem, these bananas possess what is called a "rhizome." When the rhizome is planted and nourished underground, it will bear several buds. These buds then evolve into sprouts, which then birth and produce offspring called "suckers." Suckers then grow into the bananas that later end up in supermarkets, kitchens, and banana splits all over the world. 

So, no planting a whole banana will not lead to the growth of a banana tree. However, planting the stem of a banana plant will. And while the TikTok rumors of a full tree in a few months are a bit far-fetched, they do grow fast, reaching their full height — if grown in the right conditions and climate, of course — in about nine months.