We live on Maui and are lucky enough to have banana trees in our yard. The way they grow is so interesting I'd like to share some stuff with you all. First of all, a surprise fact for you: a banana "tree" is not a tree at all; actually, it is the world's largest HERB. How bout that?
First of all, the plant produces a beautiful, unusual-looking kind of sexy purple flower, and the baby bananas form inside.
When the flower bud dries up and the bananas start to grow, the bud is cut off completely, to allow more energy to go into the fruit.
The bananas stay on the tree until ONE banana turns yellow, then it's time to cut off the bunch and hang it while the rest of the bananas ripen. They all will turn bright yellow within a few days.
Then it's time to EAT the little fellows, and of course use them in wonderful recipes.
Final comment: when you cut the banana plant to the ground, the new baby plants (called "keiki" in Hawaii - pronounced KAY-KEY - which means "children") will grow out of the stump, which contains lots of moisture from the original big plant. Amazing and wonderful.
PS: i love the banana leaves. i love to draw pictures of them, and i love the shape of them, and i love the shade they provide. This spring we hung a hammock behind some of the smaller "trees."
They are all growing now. The larger the leaves, the greater the shade!