- Banana, The Tree, It’s usage & value to the society & Human
- Go Bananas!
- How to grow bananas in Sonoma County
- Dwarf Red Banana Tree
- Experience the Flavors and the Aura of the Tropics
- Planting & Care
- Growing Ornamental Bananas – How To Grow A Red Banana Plant
- What is a Red Banana Tree?
- How to Grow a Red Banana
Banana, The Tree, It’s usage & value
to the society & Human
by TRS Iyengar
Banana Tree – the plant is most Eco balancing one, which should be grown more everywhere !
No, I am not telling you to go to any Republics. Just telling you about the nature’s Gift named “Banana”. Here I am giving you the facts and benefits one gets by using the Banana. Apart from using Banana fruits as food item, the plant’s other parts such as trunk, leaves, flower and Raw banana are also giving innumerable values to the society. To start with, the leaves are more broader and it grows up to 9 feet in length and two feet wide. Because of this there is large area coverage in each leaf, it intakes more carbon from the surrounding and exhales purified oxygen in the surroundings. Thus the entire surrounding where the plantain is grown becomes very a healthy area to reside in.
People in India, (specially from South India and Tamilnadu – almost all Brahmins, and MUST FOR Srivaishnava’s all functions and mainly for Srardham known as Pithru Pooja) used to serve food on plantain leaves. The main and interesting causes for this are really worthy. Yes, because of single use and throw away, there is no chance for contamination of diseases, as is in the case of dish plates which are used again and again by different persons at any given function. Apart from the above, the mother earth too gets her value back as manure, as it is an easily bio-degradable one. Wherein the polythene and plastic materials which takes any where up to 300 years for bio degradation. This in itself is a most acceptable reason that the Srivaishnavites and Brahmins in India, who use Banana leaves for serving food at any gatherings and functions.
To increase the fiber essence in our body, I strongly recommend to take the trunk portion of the banana tree. This white portion contains more fiber essence and also increases hemoglobin level in our blood. For any age of person, if suffering from stomach ache, then take one full glass of banana trunk juice with a pint of salt. Just within half an hour, you get the relief & remedy. (This suggestion specifically for women, to stop stomach ache during their inconvenient menses course periods). It is Non poisonous, no side effects and it is a common food item without any man made chemical combinations!
Each and every tree on the earth, when grown old, makes its trunk portion very stronger and the more it is old, the more its trunks get stronger & darker; the trunk portion color too becomes dark brown. But the Banana Tree trunk portion gets whiter, the more it grows; Also, the inner portion gets more softer and smoother than the outer side of the tree. Also its inner portion is pure white, wherein other trees are of brown or black. This signifies to the human, that the more you grow, one should get cleaner and soft in his/her life, like a Banana Tree.
The Banana Flower too is used as a food item in most part of India and especially for Srivaishnavites, it is a must to use on all the Dwadasi days, to include in the food! As cooking this Banana Flower takes a laborious job to peel off the skins and then to remove some hard portion from each particle, now a days many persons in the urban areas don’t use much for want of time. According to Padartha Guna Chinthamani, (a book on all Vegetable and its medicinal values), banana flower is considered as a blood purifying item and also increases hemoglobin cell levels in the blood. Thus, one gets nutritious plus medicinal value out of every part of the Banana Tree.
Now let’s see how Banana help maintain our health system:
Healthy filling and conveniently wrapped bananas are one of nature’s ideal snacks. The banana is perhaps the cheapest and the most extensively eaten fruit. There is no doubt that the banana is one of the fruit food plants cultivated by pre historic man. Ancient Chinese and Vedic writing ascribe marvelous healing properties to the vegetable as well as the fruit. Its energy content makes it very advantageous and filling staple through poorer in proteins as compared to cereals and pulses.
There are many varieties of bananas, each with a distinctive flavor, color and sizes. Color ranges from different shades of green, light to deep yellow, reds. The green banana is put to mature; unripe fruit are made into curries and vegetable dishes. Sliced raw banana (plantain) fried in oil makes very tasty wafers. Ripe bananas contain carbohydrates in the form of sucrose, fructose and glucose, which are readily digested.
The fruit, Banana requires a special mention. An average banana weighs about 150gms. It supplies more calories than any other fresh fruit.
The Nutrition Value available in 100 grms of Banana fruit:
· 1.2 gms of protein
· 78 mcgs of carotene
· 88mgs of potassium
· 27.2gms of carbohydrate
· 116 k calories
· 0.4gms fiber
The following chart showing the exact details for the nutritive value:
Protein per 100 Grams
Fat (in Grams)
Potassium (in milligrams)
Calcium in milligrams
Minerals in milligrams
Energy in K.calories
# Cholesterol and fat content is minimal in banana. Cooked or ripe bananas are very well digested and the nutrients are absorbed well. The fruit is a fair source of B vitamins and calcium. It contains appreciable amounts of many trace minerals as well as fibre. Apart from this, the fruit has many important acids, enzymes and physiologically important chemical compounds.
# Banana is a good source of potassium, which is a vital mineral for muscle and nerve function. Potassium also helps to regulate blood pressure. They also contain a high level of natural sugar in both their fresh and dried form, which they release quickly into the blood stream. This explains why many athletes especially tennis players often eat banana before and in between competition.
# Ripe bananas are so easy to digest and rarely cause allergic reactions. Babies can digest them as early as the third month. Because of all this they are a popular solid food for babies. Mashed banana with milk and sugar can be an excellent supplementary or weaning food for children. Gruel made of banana flour is a commonly used infant food.
# They are also good for treating child hood stomach upsets. BRAT diet comprising of banana, rice, apple, and toast are used for children with diarrhea. Bananas contain no gluten hence their value in celiac disease of children and adults. They are also a useful food for convalescence after any severe illness.
# Ripe bananas have a mild laxative property and hence are very useful in children’s dietaries particularly as a remedy for constipation. At the same time the fruit is helpful to combat diarrhea and dysentery heals intestinal lesions etc. They are also used in the diets of children being treated for severe malnutrition. Experiments have shown that intake of banana helps children to retain many minerals.
# Bananas are common ingredient in many salad dishes, ice creams and milkshakes. Ripe bananas are used to make several confectioneries malted milk drinks and even alcoholic beverages. But the best way to eat it is straight after peeling. When ripe, the fruit cannot be preserved for many days as it spoils easily. Sudden cooling also spoils the fruit and gives off flavour.
# Diet is of utmost importance in the treatment of ulcer. The diet should be so arranged to provide adequate nutrition to afford rest to disturbed organs to maintain continuous neutralization of the gastric acid, to inhibit the production of acid and to reduce mechanical and chemical irritation. The plantain or banana has an alkaline ash, therefore it has the ability to correct acidosis caused by acid forming diets. There fore they may be used in the treatment of peptic ulcer. Sufferings from stomach ulcer get relief from Banana as soothing food because of its blandness. The medicinal impact of banana and plantain on stomach ulcers claims that bananas stimulate cell and mucus production in the stomach lining by thicken the stomach.
# The fruits of some varieties of bananas, besides having medicinal properties possess power to increase resistance to diseases. Bananas are rich in phosphorous, hence its combination with milk helps to calm down the nerves. For young children bananas mixed with tulsi or basil leaves activates the brain. Banana may be prescribed for gout, a type of arthritis, constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion, eczema, hypertension, and even insomnia.
Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.
Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes.
But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.
Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
PMS: Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.
Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.
Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke
Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.
Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.
Hangovers: The best & quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.
Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.
Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.
Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.
Srivaishnavites used to take the banana trunk portion as food items once in a fortnight, on the 12th day from new & full moon days (Dwaadasi – read Ekadasi Fasting).
And now, let us see Tree facts. Anyone taken note of the Carbon Emission cuts? This is the natural way we can surely reduce the Global warming and compensate the Carbon Emissions by planting more trees around us.
Here are some more facts to prove why Banana Trees should be grown more. By planting more banana trees, not only the surrounding becomes greenery and gain more oxygen, but also more cheaper and healthier food item is produced! This is in addition to the eco-balancing act and rain flow.
#Trees are the largest and longest living organisms on earth. Comparing to any other long living Tree family, Banana Tree has more less life; however, it makes from its roots to grow more fresh trees before it fades. Thus, a chain of growth in automatic way that grows in its surroundings.
#To make up for the loss of trees in the past decade, we would need to plant 130 million hectares (or 1.3 million km2), an area as large as Peru.
#Rainforests cover only 7 per cent of the land on earth but they contain nearly half of all the trees on earth. They generate about 40 per cent of the world’s oxygen requirements.
#In one year, an average tree inhales 10 to12 kilograms of CO2 and exhales enough oxygen for a family of four for a whole year.
#One hectare of trees can absorb 5 – 6 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
# Green trees & forests cover 30 per cent of the planet earth’s total land area. The total forested area in 2005 was just under 4 billion hectares, at least one third less than before the dawn of agriculture, some 10,000 years ago. (100 hectares = 1 square kilometer).
# The ten most green & forest-rich countries, given in size-wise, which account for two-thirds of the total forested area, are the Russian Federation, Brazil, Canada, the United States, China, Australia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Peru and India.
NOTE: Neither I am a Doctor nor a physician. The suggestive methods that are practiced in India and for generations, these methods are carried to the younger ones by our grandmas’. Some of these tips are availed from other sources and many of these I got by hearsay. A few, practically I used to gain experience! – Webmaster TRS Iyengar.
How to grow bananas in Sonoma County
Lori C. of Santa Rosa asks: I was given an ornamental banana plant in a 5-gallon pot. I would like to buy a couple more, but first, I could use some help as to where to plant them and how to care for them.
Bananas do not grow, nor do they come, from trees. They grow on plants that look like trees. The trunk of the banana tree is called a “pseudostem” which grows from an underground rhizome. Ornamental banana plants are grown in the garden for their big, beautiful leaves and colorful flowers. Unfortunately, they do not produce these beautiful flowers until the plant has grown at least 9 to 12 leaves from this pseudostem. The banana plant is somewhat of a slow grower, making a long growing season necessary for the ornamental bananas to flower.
Depending on your area, you might need to protect them from the winter chill and frost, just as you would citrus, since they are pretty sensitive to the colder weather.
If you have them growing in pots, you could move them under cover, in the garage or shed, or someplace out of the cold and rain.
Wrapping them up with a few layers of frost cloth will also help protect them, especially if they cannot be moved.
Before buying one, check with your favorite nursery for the best banana plant for your area. If you get winter temperatures below freezing, definitely plant yours in containers that you can move to a sheltered area during the winter months.
There are a few cold-to lerant varieties, like hardy Japanese fiber banana (Musa basjoo), that can live outdoors year-round, unprotected. If you’re wanting to plant them in the ground, choose an area that is protected by other trees or buildings.
Banana varieties are available in different sizes and produce colorful, large, broad leaves that are often used to create a tropical garden ambiance. Pick a spot where the plant will be positioned for high visibility, or as the focal point in the garden.
Also, choose a location that shelters the plant from high winds, either against a garden wall or the wall of a house.
Remember, ornamental bananas love warmth, but they can get sunburned and scorched if there’s too much reflective sun and not enough air circulation.
Ornamental banana plants need fertile, well-draining soil, or potting soil if you are growing them in a container.
Adding a little compost to the planting hole will give them some extra nutrients as they grow.
Water the banana plants regularly during the growing season.
They’re big plants and will need a lot of water. Check the plants every other day or daily, and keep the soil moist. Put an inch or so of compost on top of the soil, around the plants, to help keep moisture in the soil for a longer period of time.
Banana plants in containers need more water than those planted in the ground, so keep an extra careful watch on those.
Some varieties are deciduous, and some are semi-deciduous.
Do not prune until early spring, when you can easily see the leaves that have died back.
Cut as close to the pseudostem (trunk) as possible. When the weather starts to warm up, new leaves will emerge and the plant will be beautiful again!
Dana Lozano and Gwen Kilchherr are garden consultants. Send your gardening questions to The Garden Doctors at [email protected] The Garden Doctors can answer questions only through their column, which appears twice a month in the newspaper and online at pressdemocrat.com.
Dwarf Red Banana Tree
Experience the Flavors and the Aura of the Tropics
Dwarf Red Banana Offers Mouthwatering Fruit
Esteemed for its excellent fruit, the Dwarf Red banana tree is a bakers’ and cooks’ delight, with very sweet fruit that’s soft, with a custard-like consistency. For growers in zones 8-11 the Dwarf Red banana produces some of the best bananas available.
Create a Tropical Atmosphere
Popular in southern Florida, the tree lends a charming, tropical feel to your garden or landscape. If you have limited space, they make great patio plants – and do well in 2-3 gallon pots. The Dwarf Red Banana Tree has wide leaves that offer great shade. You can create your own private jungle!
A Dependable Producer
You’ll notice the Dwarf Red Banana Tree blooming in mid-summer. It’s always a treat watch its yellow-green bananas grow in and turn redder as it reaches maturity. You’ll get fruit the first year and each summer thereafter.
Delicious Fruit That’s Excellent for Cooking
When Dwarf Red bananas turn dark burgundy, they’ve gained a sweet, full-bodied flavor. You’ll be salivating over unforgettable breakfasts of smoothies, oatmeal, waffles and pancakes. These top-quality bananas are supreme to store-bought bananas and your desserts will taste sweeter than ever.
A Resilient Tree that Grows Very Fast
You’ll be amazed at how quickly the Dwarf Red banana tree can grow in uniformly warm, wet conditions with proper drainage. Feel free to keep it out in the open; it enjoys full sun and its durable leaves and trunk make it resistant to high wind.
If you can offer the Dwarf Red Banana its desired climate, consider yourself lucky! Order now, while they’re still in stock.
Planting & Care
Seasonal Information – Bananas prefer bright light conditions for 12 hours per day if possible. Constant warmth is also very important, with high humidity (above 50%). Night time temperatures of 67oF and daytime temps in the 80’s; with good air circulation is ideal. Maintain humidity in dry environments by misting and placing it on a layer of pebbles or decorative stone in a tray filled with water. The Dwarf Red Banana can be grown in Hardiness Zones 8 and up. Otherwise, grow indoors primarily with visits outdoors when the above temperature regimes can be met.
Location and Exposure – Sun exposure will determine fruit growth and/or foliage color. Provide a full sun position for your banana plants to give them their best fruit production. Grow in a partially shaded area if aiming for decorative foliage that stays a deep, rich green color. Shelter from the wind is recommended.
Soil Preferences – Provide a sandy soil that is rich in organic matter so that drainage is good, but water holding and a consistent supply of nutrients can be achieved. If creating your own mix of soil, use sand, perlite, and compost or manure. Soil pH should be slightly acidic, within the 5.5-7.0 range. Adjust pH with Sulfur well before planting.
Planting Instructions –
In Pots: Bananas have rhizomatous roots that grow from corms. They also can be fast growers, so size your pot accordingly. A minimum of 3X the size of the root ball at planting will eliminate the need for constant re-potting. Firm the soil around the root ball and do not bury the crown of the plant. Plant in a soil mix as prescribed above, and water well for the first few weeks. Do not overwater to the point where the soil becomes waterlogged. They will take up a lot of water and are heavy feeders. Fertilize at planting, preferably with an organic fertilizer.
In the Garden: Recommended spacing in a garden is about 4’ so as to create a stand, or patch of bananas. Plant in sandy, slightly acidic soil as above, with plenty of organic matter. Before winter, mulch heavily and prune the leaves back.
Watering – Provide consistent water and maintain high humidity, but avoid saturation or water logged soil. Water daily, sometimes twice per day in hot, dry climates. Do not let them fully dry out in between waterings.
Fertilization – Organic based fertilizers are best as they will release over time and not leach out because of the constant watering. Young plants want more nitrogen to help them grow fast. Once established, use a fertilizer with high Nitrogen and Potassium, 15:5:30 is a good formula, and fertilize monthly in the spring and summer. Water deeply after applying the fertilizer.
Diseases and Pests – Bananas are not subject to significant disease pests outside the tropics. Root rot will occur in cold, wet soil, and is by far the greatest disease threat to them. Symptoms of overwatering are leaves dying at the edges and turning brown. If the leaves turn yellow, they need more nutrients. Some insects that might attack your banana plant include the banana aphid, banana weevil, and coconut scale; and are all easily repelled with a mild organic insecticide or Neem oil.
Fast Growing Trees banana trees Fruit Spikes fruit trees add-to-cart //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0059/8835/2052/products/Dwarf_Red_Banana_Plant_450-01.png?v=1549676162 //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0059/8835/2052/products/Dwarf_Red_Banana_Plant_450_D1.png?v=1549676162 13940910620724 1 Gallon 29.95 29.95 //cdn.shopify.com/s/assets/no-image-2048-5e88c1b20e087fb7bbe9a3771824e743c244f437e4f8ba93bbf7b11b53f7824c.gif https://www.fast-growing-trees.com/products/dwarf-red-banana-tree?variant=13940910620724 OutOfStock 1 Gallon
Banana is one of the most important crops which takes part of staple diet for millions of people around the world. Moreover, it is a strong source of income for producing countries, as well as for local and international markets. In this regard, there is a great diversity of bananas with different sizes (small, medium and large), colours and flavours, depending mostly on their genetic origin, but also on cultivation methods, soil types and climate. Most varieties originated in the far past by chance as seedless natural hybrids, from seeded wild ancestors. These seedless banana trees were kept in cultivation by people during centuries. Then spontaneous mutations occurred during cultivation and brought more and more diversity, with useful dwarf forms or more fruitful types. Recently, the first genetically modified banana trees have been also produced.
Exceptional case with yellow stripes
In this case, we are going to talk about a sort of fruit: the Red Banana (Musa cv. Figue Rose Naine), an Asian traditional variety, selected thousands of years ago due to its quality and its resistance to diseases caused by virus, bacteria, insects or fungi. This fruit is dark violet during the first part of the ripening process, but once it is fully ripe, it becomes two-toned (red and yellow). A colour that dominates in leaves and stems. Many people think that the Dwarf Red Banana (Musa CV. Figue Rose Naine) is much more aromatic and tastier than the classic yellow banana which we can often buy in the market: Cavendish. Fruits are also thicker and the flesh of this variety of banana is rose, rich in vitamins and tasty. Furthermore, it is very rich in provitamin A, almost 20 times more than a typical yellow banana. On the other hand, we must take into account that it is excellent if eaten warm, due to its flavour features from the pinkish flesh.
Red stem of a “dwarf red”
Coming from the botanical family Musaceae, this dwarf banana tree, as the name implies, Naine, is shorter than a normal banana tree, but stouter. A showy red colour is present in most parts of the plant, such as the leaf midrib or the whole stem, more accurately called a “pseudo-stem”. Red banana trees are regular producers but their fruit bunches are much shorter than bunches of commercial bananas. A lower yield means a higher price, so red bananas are indeed sold as delicacies in the world markets. In spite of its Asian origin, the name Figue Rose Naine was given in the French Caribbean island of Martinica. A name that coincides with the height of the plant (3 – 4 m) which is, short, strong and robust. These dwarf types of bananas can be grown in large containers and will do better than tall types. They can even be grown as indoor plants but they will not set fruit if direct sunlight is not provided. It is necessary to protect this banana tree from low temperatures (> 8º C), specially the youngest plants. Nowadays, this kind of banana is reproduced in vitro and grown on a commercial small-scale in the Canary Islands, where our online store Canarius: Anaga Market, is located, in the island of Tenerife. —- Right after, we present an infography about the main kinds of bananas:
The ornamental red banana has interesting flowers and foliage, and the colourful bananas produce lots of seeds, unlike most edible bananas which are sterile.
Common name: Red banana, self-peeling banana
Botanic name: Musa velutina
A dwarf species of ornamental banana growing to about 2m (6′) tall. The large leaves are waxy with a pinkish midrib. The plant produces yellow flowers with red modified leaves or bracts, followed by velvety red bananas. When the fruit is ripe the skins come away from the bananas, hence the common name of self-peeling banana.
Although ornamental bananas are well suited to a tropical or subtropical climate, there are restrictions in some states due to concerns over the spread of banana diseases. See ‘Important Information’ below.
Tropical-style gardens Pots or tubs Indoor plant
Attractive flowers, fruit and foliage Easy to grow in warm, frost-free climates Easy to propagate
May be difficult to find Not suitable for cooler areas. For a banana look-alike away from the coast, try giant strelitzia (Strelitzia nicolai).
Bananas like rich, well-drained soil with added organic material (compost and manures). They need a position in full sun with protection from frost and strong winds. Encourage plenty of leafy growth with good watering and mulching. Feed with a complete fertiliser during the growth periods (spring to autumn). Remove dead leaves to keep the plant tidy. Also, cut down stems that are dying back after fruiting. Propagate from ripe seed or by dividing the clump.
Other ornamental bananas include Musa ornata which has attractive purple bracts, and M. zebrina with its handsome striped and folded leaves. M. acuminata is a dwarf banana known for its fragrant, edible fruit. Eneste ventricosum, the Abyssinian banana, has arching 6m long leaves with a red midrib.
Ornamental bananas can be ordered through your local nursery, or purchased from growers offering ornamental varieties, such as:
Fruit Spirit Botanical Garden
Lot 69, Dunoon Road
Dorroughby, NSW, 2480
Phone: (02) 6689 5192
or visit the website at www.fruitspirit.com.au
Restrictions exist on the growing and transport of banana plants and propagation material in Queensland, parts of northern NSW and the Northern Territory to protect commercial banana plantations from disease. These restrictions relate to both Musa species and Ensete species. In Western Australia normal restrictions apply to the importation of plant material from other parts of Australia.
Although ornamental bananas are well suited to a tropical or subtropical climate, these ornamental plants can not be grown in Queensland due to concerns over the spread of banana diseases. There are also concerns that the plants can become weedy. They are viewed as pest plants and can not be grown. Any existing plants should also be removed. Individuals or companies growing ornamental bananas can face hefty fines.
For more information contact the Queensland Department of Primary Industries on 13 25 23.
Quarantine legislation affects the movement of banana propagation material (except tissue culture) in designated local government areas on the North Coast of NSW. These restrictions relate to the control of bunchy top and banana aphid. Affected areas are those where bananas are grown commercially and include the local government areas of Ballina, Bellingen, Byron, Casino, Coffs Harbour, Copmanhurst, Grafton, Greater Taree, Hastings, Kempsey, Kyogle, Maclean, Nambucca, Nymboida, Richmond River, Tweed, Ulmarra.
For more information contact NSW Agriculture on (02) 6391 3100 or your local office.
No banana plants can be brought into the NT except as tissue culture stock or seed. At present there is no restriction on growing ornamental bananas from stock already in NT.
For more information contact Primary Industry and Fisheries on (08) 8999 2311.
No specific legislation applies to the growing of ornamental bananas in Western Australia but there are restrictions on the entry of many plants into WA from other states without quarantine certification.
For more information contact Agriculture WA on (08) 9368 3333 or the home garden advisory service on 1902 292 555.
Growing Ornamental Bananas – How To Grow A Red Banana Plant
There are many types of banana available to the home gardener, many of which produce copious amounts of fruit. But did you know there are also various types of the ornamental red banana plant too, specifically grown for their attractive red foliage color? Read on to learn more about these interesting plants.
What is a Red Banana Tree?
Ornamental red banana trees can belong to either the Ensete or Musa genera.
Ensete, also known as enset, is an important food crop in Ethiopia and an ornamental plant enjoyed in landscapes around the world. Though the bananas they produce are not edible, Ensete plants do produce food in the form of a starchy corm (underground storage organ) and a starchy stem base. Enset farmers in Ethiopia dig up the corms and lower stems of mature trees and process them into bread or porridge.
Like the more familiar banana plants in the Musa genus, this red- and green-leaved banana species is the size of a tree but is actually a giant herbaceous plant. Its trunk is a non-woody “pseudostem” made of leaf stalks (petioles) that grow tightly bundled together. In Ethiopia, fibers harvested from the pseudostem are traditionally used for making mats and ropes.
Ensete ventricosum is one of several ornamental banana plants available to gardeners in zones 9 to 11. A favored variety with strong red coloration is “Maurelii,” which grows 12 to 15 feet (3.5 to 4.5 meters) tall and 8 to 10 feet (2.5 to 3 meters) wide. This ornamental red banana plant makes a lovely centerpiece for a tropical garden or courtyard. You may also find this ornamental plant labeled as Red Abyssinian banana (Ensete maurelii), which has the same striking foliage flushed with burgundy-red.
Other red-leaved ornamental bananas include Musa acuminata “Zebrina,” “Rojo” and “Siam Ruby.” These may be better choices for very humid locations such as many parts of Florida.
Growing ornamental bananas in large pots is also possible. In cooler climates, pots can be brought outdoors in summer and indoors in winter, but be sure you have enough space for the plant before beginning this endeavor.
How to Grow a Red Banana
Ensete grows best in a relatively dry climate similar to its native habitat in the East African highlands. It cannot tolerate frost and dislikes high humidity. However, some gardeners have successfully grown it even in humid areas.
Enset trees also grow more slowly than Musa banana trees and have lifespans ranging from 3 to 10 or more years. With patience, you may be able to see your tree flower. Each plant flowers only once, at full maturity, and then dies.
Red banana plant care involves proper site selection, watering, and fertilization. These trees require rich soil with plenty of organic matter and partial or full sun. Be sure the soil at the planting site is well drained.
Water the plant weekly, more often during the hottest part of summer. This is especially important in the first season after planting. Well-established plants can survive drought, but they won’t look their best without adequate water. Fertilize in the early spring with compost or a balanced fertilizer.