Banana Splitting Open on Their Own

Banana splitting open seems pretty much unnatural. Don’t worry, the phenomenon is perfectly non-supernatural even if it does not always happen.

banana splitting open

You may wonder how come not all bananas would split itself lengthwise but only a few? This is because there are aspects involved to really trigger the splitting.

In this article, we’ll delve into the process of banana splitting open and the science behind it. 

Banana Splitting Open: The Science Behind

Typically speaking, banana skins will self-split when the fruit is left in a condition of both high level of humidity and warm temperatures of over 70°F. (21°C). 

Research suggests that the sugars in the fruit draw moisture from the peel, leading to the splitting phenomenon under conditions of high relative humidity.

Ripe When Harvested

If you left your banana bunch ripe on the tree, you are giving it just the perfect environment to split the skin up.

Usually, it is advisable that bananas are harvested while still green.

banana splitting open

When To Harvest Banana

Simply examine the “fingers” (individual bananas): as the fruits mature, the fingers become plumper but retain their green color. 

Once the fingers stop growing, which typically occurs about four weeks later, they should be ready for harvest. 

The bananas should be firm and plump, and the small flowers at the end should be completely dry or easily rubbed off.

Once at least 75% of the bunch reaches this stage, cut off the entire bunch and allow the bananas to ripen off the tree.

What If Some Yellow Spots Already Appear?

banana splitting open

It is perfectly fine if a few bananas have already begun to turn yellow.

As long as the majority of the bunch remains green, the likelihood of those bananas splitting before you are ready to eat them is minimal.

If you allow your bananas to continue ripening on the tree, they become more susceptible to splitting open and can develop a dry, cottony texture.

The color of the skin shows how the starch in the fruit changes to sugar as it ripens. 

Brown bananas may look rotten, but they are actually the sweetest ones—though most people would rather use them for compost, baking, or smoothies.

Temperature

banana splitting open

Another factor that can cause banana skin to crack is temperature. 

While banana trees thrive in consistently warm and humid conditions, they can suffer when exposed to extreme temperatures. 

High temperatures, combined with high relative humidity, can lead to the splitting of the peel.

This physiological disorder primarily affects specific banana varieties and may occur if there is a sudden heat wave in your garden or heavy rainfall within a short period.

Other Factors

banana splitting open

This issue can also affect store-bought bananas. 

If you store your bananas in a sealed plastic bag in a warm room, inadvertently creating a greenhouse effect. 

Although they are typically stored at a slightly cooler room temperature to facilitate ripening, the peel may crack if the bananas were exposed to higher temperatures during transportation or processing.

Are Split Bananas Safe to Eat?

Don’t leave your bananas on the tree for too long or they will split.

You should harvest them right away if you see any cracks since the scent will start to attract birds, squirrels, and insects over for a feast.

banana splitting open
  • Before consuming split bananas, carefully inspect them for any signs of mold, rot, or oozing liquid.
  • Check for pests along the split skin as well.
  • Give them a quick sniff—the fruit should have a neutral to sweet aroma.
  • If your bananas pass all these tests, they are safe to eat, cracked skin and all.

You can peel the banana and cut off the part with the cracked skin if you want to.

Remember, knowing when to harvest your bananas and understanding the impact of temperature on their skin can help you enjoy perfectly ripe, unsplit fruits.

So, go ahead and savor those delicious bananas without worrying about any cracks that may appear—they’re still perfectly good to eat!

Final Thoughts

banana splitting open

Banana trees are a delightful addition to any edible landscape, lending an exotic touch that I sorely miss from my former Southern California garden.

With their broad leaves providing valuable shade and their stalks yielding year-round fruit, also known as banana “fingers,” these plants are truly remarkable.

It’s worth noting that the word “banana” actually comes from the Arabic word “banan,” which means finger. (In fact, the earliest bananas were no larger than a man’s finger!)

While we commonly refer to banana plants as trees, they are technically classified as plants—or more precisely, herbaceous perennials.

That’s right, a banana plant is an herb!