This root hardy Musa has typical banana, large, paddle like leaves that eventually develop a maroon midrib and on more mature plants maroon tiger stripe patterns on the foliage. Young plants do not start to develop the red patterning until they are around 30 to 45cm tall, sometimes later. Best colouration seem to develop on plants kept in part shade out of full midday summer sun. The leaves are massive on mature plants, often reaching up to 6ft + in length and around 2ft in width. Almost as hardy as Musa basjoo it’s roots should be heavily mulched in the winter and if temperatures are going to drop below -3 the trunk should be wrapped in straw. If the trunk freezes then it will die back to the ground with new growth coming from the rootstock in late spring early summer. Plants that are not wrapped and are allowed to die down to the ground for winter usually only reach around 4 to 5 ft in height each season. Wrapped plants will achieve much larger sizes. Plants grown in pots will need to be kept in a frost free greenhouse, conservatory or brightly lit open room. Alternatively trim off the leaves, allow the compost to dry to the point of being only just moist and keep dormant in a cool, dark, but frost free room.
Greedy and thirsty when in growth copious amounts of food and water should be given during the growing season. Stop feeding in October resuming from April onwards. Best leaves are produced in a sheltered spot, windy positions will give tatty shredded leaves. Suckers are produced from the base as the parent plant matures and can be left to grow as a clump or be removed with a sharp spade to maintain more architectural single stemmed plants. Plants that are grown in a conservatory or greenhouse can grow very quickly putting on several inches a day during the summer and can soon outgrow their surroundings. Don’t panic, just use a sharp saw or even the kitchen bread knife, cut straight through the trunk, as low as you like, even cutting them down to almost ground level and watch it start all over again. Bananas grow from the rootstock with new growth coming up through the centre of the plant.
Sent in a 9cm pot. Young plants are green. Leaves and possibly stem may be cut back by half for shipping, Re-growth is very quick. Sent as dormant trunks in winter until late spring. Re-growth in winter can be triggered by keeping at an overnight temperature above 10c.