Most of the fruits that we grow have some kind of seed in them. These seeds are used to produce more of these fruits by planting them. Some fruits like mangoes have a giant seed, while others like watermelons have smaller seeds.
But you might have noticed; bananas don’t have seeds. So, why don’t bananas have seeds? How do you grow them? If you’re asking yourself these two questions, keep on reading the article ahead to know more about bananas! Let’s jump right in!
Why Don’t Bananas Have Seeds? – 4 Reasons
1. How Bananas Are Grown
Fruits reproduce through seeds. Most of the fruits that we know about contain seeds of some sort. For example, sometimes, an apple falls off a tree, its seeds fall from it, and they get buried. Through these seeds, a new seed starts to grow.
However, banana trees work a little differently. Banana trees always die after you harvest the fruit. This happens every season. There are small bulbs that are called suckers in the plant. These are growing out from underground corn in the banana tree.
You then replant these corns to get another tree to grow. If you see it this way, bananas have no seeds because they simply do not need them.
2. Genetic Modification
Over time, bananas have been genetically modified slowly to have three genes rather than two. But, unfortunately, these produce no seeds in the fruit.
So if you want to grow bananas from seeds, you should keep in mind that these bananas will be very different from the ones you’re used to eating.
These will contain seeds, and they might even be so large that it’ll become challenging even to reach the fruit. Bananas that are grown from these seeds are typically for ornamental purposes. However, some bananas are edible and also have seeds.
These sometimes even have a better taste than the ones you find in the grocery stores. However, a lot of care is needed to grow these, which are harder to look after. Bananas are one of the most challenging seeds to germinate. These require a lot of time and effort.
This is especially true if you compare it to vegetable seeds or flower seeds which most gardeners are used to. However, if you take extra care, germination rate can be decent.
3. How A Banana Seed Works
The first difference about banana seeds is that they take a long time to germinate. Therefore, these seeds do not germinate quickly and require a lot of time. Because of this, most commercial gardeners give up on growing these as they offer a low return of investment of time and effort.
Nature has placed natural inhibitors which prevent banana seeds from germinating in the wild too soon. The standard time required for germination is around 1 to 6 months. Some varieties even germinate in a few weeks, but they take several months to grow in the next cycle.
You can not predict how long a banana seed takes to germinate. You usually have to follow a few steps to thrive on the banana seeds.
- It would be best if you soak the banana seeds before sowing them. A standard time to soak them would be 24-48 hours.
- The soil mix you use should be well-draining. If you use a combination that holds the water in it, the seeds will start rotting. Because of this, make sure that you use a soil mix that is good at draining out the water.
- The soil temperature of the soil that has the banana seeds must be warm. The recommended temperature for the ground is at least 68 degrees. The temperature should always be more than this.
- Another thing to keep in mind is that the seeds need alternating temperatures. Putting a heat mat under the soil and maintaining a constant temperature is less effective than alternating temperatures throughout the day.
- Additionally, you have to keep the soil damp. However, damp does not mean wet. If the soil is wet, the seeds will rot very quickly. It would be best to have the ground damp to ensure that the seeds are growing at the highest rate possible.
- You have to be patient. These seeds can take several months easily to grow and yield some fruit.
If you’re still asking yourself the question, “Why don’t bananas have seeds?” This is probably the reason you’re looking for.
You breed all bananas vegetatively. This means that all bananas are sterile clones of each other. Therefore, all of the bananas that you might find in a grocery store are just from a single breed which is known as Cavendish.
The quality of these bananas is very inconsistent because these bananas are prone to parasites and diseases. Even though they’re genetically identical, there are varying qualities because of this reason. You cannot breed the resistance against these parasites and illnesses into the fruits.
The disease is so common in bananas that a banana breed that was commonly available 50 years ago is now extinct because of a fungus.
However, the Cavendish breed is naturally resistant to this fungus. Still, those who have tried the older breed say that the Cavendish bananas don’t taste nearly as good as them.
Some breeds of bananas even have seeds, but they’re so small and sterile that they’re edible. Some species of bananas even have hard seeds, but they’re only found in the wild and you cannot sell them commercially.
If you had the question, “Why don’t bananas have seeds?” I hope we answered it once you read this article.
Bananas do have seeds; it’s just that the breed we usually eat doesn’t have any sort of seeds in them. You can grow bananas with seeds, but that process requires a lot of attention and effort. Even then, the yield is low.
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