Do Bananas Have Seeds?
The Spruce / Letícia Almeida
If you’re the type to wonder about such things, you may have noticed that the bananas you buy at the store seem to contain no seeds. If that’s the case, how does the banana tree reproduce? Well, it turns out the bananas do have seeds (of a sort) but they aren’t used for reproduction.
If you went out into the wild and opened a banana fruit, you would probably find seeds. Some, in fact, are large and take up much of the fruit, making the flesh hard to eat. Our commercial bananas (which are, for the most part, the Cavendish variety) have been specially bred over the years so that they are seedless triploids that do not form mature seeds. If you’ve noticed little black dots in the middle of the banana, you’ve discovered immature seeds that won’t develop, which happens with triploids.
The banana is actually a type of plantain. Those of the sweet variety that we usually peel and eat raw are often called “dessert” bananas, owing to their sweetness and general snackability. What we call “plantains” simply have that popular name to distinguish them as the large varieties that are typically cooked before eating. Yummy, yellow dessert bananas are bred from mutant strains of banana plants that happened to produce fruit without useful seeds. Banana plants are cultivated by removing rhizomes from host plants and replanting the samples to grow on their own. With this method, one plant can become the “mother” of an entire plantation made up of genetically identical plants.
Talking About Bananas
The next time you need to impress someone, peel off these terms to show your banana brain.
Have you ever stopped to think and wonder whether bananas have seeds? Learn all about banana seeds and many other facts of this a-peel-ing fruit.
What does a banana seed look like
If you want to grow banana plants from seed, be aware that the resulting fruit will not be like those you buy at the grocers. They will contain seeds and, depending upon the variety, might be so large that the fruit is difficult to get to.
Bananas grown from seed are normally for ornamental purposes, we do however offer a few varieties that will produce edible bananas ( with seeds of course ), and they have a wonderful flavor superior to store bananas.
Bananas are one of the more difficult seeds to germinate in terms of time and effort required, especially compared to vegetable and flower seeds most gardeners are familiar with, but they can be germinated at a decent rate if one is diligent.
The first thing to understand is that banana seed take a long time to germinate! Nature has built in natural germination inhibitors to insure they do not germinate in the wild too soon.
We have been germinating banana seeds in our germination trials for over 25 years. The normal germination range in our greenhouse trials varies from 1 to 6 months. We have had some varieties germinate in just a few weeks, only to have the same variety take several months during the next germination trial, you cannot predict how long they will take to germinate.
The basic things to remember if you are germinating banana seeds are:
1. Always soak seeds before sowing. We recommend 24-48 hours.
2. Use a well draining soil mix. A mix that holds water will rot the seeds in place.
3.Soil temperature must be at least 68 degrees or warmer for part of the day. But, seeds need alternating temperatures for germinating. We found that just putting a heating mat under the seeds and leaving temperature constant was not nearly as effective as heating the soil for a few hours a day, then allowing it to cool.
4. Keep soil damp, but not wet! Wet soil will rot seeds quickly. Placing the seed tray inside a plastic bag is a good way to keep moisture constant.
5. Be very, very patient. Seeds can easily take several months and in most cases will.
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