Aquatic Banana Plants
Origin of the Aquatic Banana Plant:
Aquatic Banana Plants have been farm raised and produced in the South Eastern parts of the United States of America. It is most commonly found in the calm lakes and rivers of Florida. This plant goes by many names including:
- The Banana Plant
- The Banana Lilly
- The Big Floating Heart
- The Freshwater Banana Plant
- The Aquatic Banana Plant
- The Fairy Water Lilly
- The Nymphoides Aquatica
How to identify the Aquatic Banana Plant:
Aquatic Banana Plants are quite easy to spot because of their unique tubers which are “banana-like” in appearance. These banana-like tubers are what give the plant their most interesting quality, their name as well as the location of stored nutrients. It is not uncommon for the Aquatic Banana Plant to eventually grow a long, green stem from the top of its body. This stem is unique to the Aquatic Banana Plant because it grows upwards towards the water’s surface. This upwards stem can even grow tiny white flowers if the stem penetrates the water’s surface.
If you are considering an Aquatic Banana Plant for your aquarium then you should look for:
- Healthy green leaves, tubers, stem and roots
- Solid green leaves is a sign of good health (leaves do not have cracks, holes or other types of damage)
- Light green leaves are an indication that they are newer, whereas dark green leaves are an indication that they are older.
- Thick tubers are healthy tubers
- The Aquatic Banana Plant’s nutrients are stored in these tubers, the greater the thickness the more nutrients the plant has stored.
- Avoid Aquatic Banana Plants that are growing mold or algae on them
Where does the Aquatic Banana Plant grow?
They are commonly found growing in calm rivers and lakes in Florida. They are also popular in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and Virginia.
How does the Aquatic Banana Plant grow and thrive?
The Aquatic Banana Plant is a very unusual plant species because it is very low maintenance. They can thrive in almost any conditions from dimly lit environments with deep water to direct sunlit environments with shallow water. In fact, if an aquarium is kept in good condition then this plant will not only grow but will thrive and flower without a problem. Clipping off dead leaves will also help your banana plants stay healthy and prosper.
The best water temperature for an Aquatic Banana Plant is anywhere between 68ºF and 81ºF. A goldfish aquarium should be kept around the upper 60’s to lower 70’s, which is the perfect temperature for an Aquatic Banana Plant. Their requirements in a habitat are so similar that they would actually make an ideal pair. The Aquatic Banana Plant would fit nicely in a small aquarium because they do not grow very large nor do they spread. You can add a Banana Plant to your aquarium by simply burying its roots under the substrate. However, this plant can also be used as a floating plant. While this option is usually recommended for outdoor ponds or water gardens, there are some aquarium enthusiasts with large tanks that have the Aquatic Banana Plant floating. However, do not be surprised if your floating Banana Plant decides to sink to the bottom and plant itself. These plants are one of the only species of aquatic plants to do this.
This plant will not do as well in a habitat with a fast moving current or powerful filtration system.
How to properly plant your Aquatic Banana Plants:
These plants will do much better in habitats with calm currents; this includes aquariums and outdoor ponds or water gardens. If the tank water is slow moving or completely calm then you can easily allow the Banana Plant to float in the water rather than bury its roots. Aquatic Banana Plants that are allowed to float in the water will develop longer roots that eventually attach themselves to the habitat floor (substrate). Therefore, the plant will anchor itself and “tighten” until the plant and roots are secure in the environment. If your aquarium, water garden or outdoor pond already has a power filtration system installed and you are interested in these plants then there is one thing that you should do. You will have no other choice but to bury the Aquatic Banana Plant’s roots. This ensures that your plant is secure and won’t be damaged by the current or the filtration system. However, you should take caution during the root burying process. When burying the roots and tubers be careful not to bury more than ¼ of an inch of the tubers. It is critical that ¾ of the tubers remain unburied.
Banana Plants are a great choice for hobbyists because they are unique, interesting and easy to take care of. Your fish and other aquatic creatures are not likely to consume these plants which will make them a great choice for tank decorations. However, do not be surprised if your goldfish decide to nibble on the leaves when they feel like munching between meals.