Southern California has many microclimates, but on the whole, the area is very good for growing bananas at home.
Most edible banana varieties are the result of mixed parentages of Musa . The most successful Musa hybrids available in our area are: "Ice Cream," 15 to 20 feet with light green leaves, a vigorous grower producing medium bunches of 4-inch bananas; "Manzano," 15 to 20 feet, vigorous, a rapid grower and producer of large bunches of fruit 3 to 6 inches long; "Orinoco," 12 to 16 feet, the hardiest, producing medium bunches of short, fat, angular plantain-like bananas. "Dwarf Cavendish," 6 to 9 feet, with dark-green leaves and sweet bananas, is not such a reliable producer, but can be planted in containers.
Now is the best time to plant bananas, when the soil temperature is between 65 and 75 degrees. Your nursery can order any of the above varieties from San Marcos Growers in Santa Barbara. Or take a trip to Richardson's Seaside Banana Garden, near Ventura. Telephone first: (805) 643-4061.
In general, the plants should be situated on the lee side of a hedge, tall trees or buildings. They need rich, moist, but well-drained soil.