Alphabetical Plant Listing

Musa coccinea (Scarlet Banana)

Scarlet Banana, Red Torch Banana


Musa coccinea (Scarlet Banana) is a small, evergreen, palm-like perennial boasting glossy, paddle-shaped, dark green leaves, 3 ft. long (90 cm), paler underneath. Erect spirals of tubular, yellow flowers enclosed in bright scarlet bracts appear in summer and last about 2 months. They are followed by inedible, small orange-yellow fruits, 2 in. long (5 cm). 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. This small banana plant has immediately drawn the interest for its showy and lasting inflorescences and its compact dimensions which easy its cultivation also in small gardens, besides rendering it suitable for the cultivation in pot. Excellent cut flowers.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Grows up to 3 ft. tall (90 cm) and 5 ft. wide (150 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun or part shade 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 containers or Mediterranean gardens where it will proudly stand out.
  • Disease free. Keep an eye out for glasshouse whitefly and mealybug.
  • Propagate by seed or by potting up suckers after flowering.
  • Native to Indochina.

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Requirements

Hardiness 11 – 12
Heat Zones 5 – 12
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Musa - Bananas
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 4' – 5' (120cm – 150cm)
Spacing 48" – 60" (120cm – 150cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Loam
Soil pH Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Garden Uses Patio and Containers, Small Gardens, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Mediterranean Garden

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By Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz, 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 11 – 12
Heat Zones 5 – 12
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Musa - Bananas
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 4' – 5' (120cm – 150cm)
Spacing 48" – 60" (120cm – 150cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Loam
Soil pH Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Garden Uses Patio and Containers, Small Gardens, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Mediterranean Garden

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