Alphabetical Plant Listing

Musa basjoo (Japanese Banana)

Japanese Banana, Japanese Fiber Banana


Incredibly architectural, award-winning Musa basjoo (Japanese Banana) is a fast-growing, suckering evergreen perennial boasting huge, arching, paddle-shaped leaves, up to 10 ft. long (3 m). Large cream to yellow flowers may appear in summer on mature plants. They are followed by inedible green fruit. The leaf sheathes overlap to form a trunk-like pseudostem. Each pseudostem has a limited lifespan. It only lives as long as it takes it to flower and produce fruit. After flowering and fruiting, the pseudostem dies, but the roots push out new shoots (banana pups) which form new pseudostems. Grown for its lush and dramatic foliage, this fascinating hardy banana species adds an exotic splash to gardens and containers.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Grows up to 10-15 ft. tall (300-450 cm) and 6-8 ft. wide (180-240 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun in humus-rich, well-drained soils. Best growth occurs with consistently moist soils that do not dry out. Banana trees do not do well in drought conditions since they need to be watered often for proper growth. Shelter from the wind to prevent the leaves from being damaged. Fertilize plants regularly during the growing season.
  • Great choice for wall-side borders, containers or Mediterranean gardens where it will proudly stand out.
  • Disease free. Keep an eye out for glasshouse red spider mite, mealybugs and aphids.
  • In USDA Zones 5-8, cut stems back to 2 ft. (60 cm) after the frost kills the leaves, wrap them with burlap, bubble wrap or plastic and apply a thick mulch to the ground to protect the roots. If grown in a container, bring your container indoors in fall before first frost and place it in a sunny room with reduced water and fertilization. Alternatively, trim the foliage and store your container in the basement in a cool frost free spot, providing just an occasional touch of moisture in winter to prevent the soils from totally drying out.
  • Propagate by seed as soon as ripe at 21-24°C (70-75°F); presoak spring sown seed for 24 hours. Separate suckers in early spring, removing older leaves or divide established clumps every five years.
  • Native to China and not Japan as previously cited.

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Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 11
Heat Zones 8 – 11
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Fruit, Perennials
Plant Family Musa - Bananas
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 10' – 15' (3m – 4.5m)
Spread 6' – 8' (180cm – 240cm)
Spacing 72" – 96" (180cm – 240cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

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By Doug Hall, Schankz, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 11
Heat Zones 8 – 11
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Fruit, Perennials
Plant Family Musa - Bananas
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 10' – 15' (3m – 4.5m)
Spread 6' – 8' (180cm – 240cm)
Spacing 72" – 96" (180cm – 240cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Musa - Bananas

Guides with Musa - Bananas

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