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Conservatory GreenhouseHerbaceous Perennial

Musa basjoo
  • RHS AGM

Japanese banana

M. basjoo is a suckering evergreen perennial to 5m tall, with arching lance-shaped leaves to 3m long, and drooping terminal spikes of cream flowers in summer, sometimes followed by inedible green fruits to 6cm long

Other common names
Japanese fiber banana
Synonyms
Musa acuminata 'Basjoo'
Musa japonica

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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
1.5–2.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Cream Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H2
Botanical details
Family
Musaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Suckering
Genus

Musa are suckering evergreen perennials with very large, paddle-shaped leaves whose stalk-bases form a false stem, and clusters of tubular flowers with colourful bracts, followed by cylindrical fruits

Name status

Correct

Plant range
China

How to grow

Cultivation

For banana cultivation under glass grow in loam-based potting compost (JI No.3) in full light with shade from hot sun; repot every other year, in spring. In warmer parts of the country for outdoors grow in a sheltered position in humus-rich well-drained soil in full sun

Propagation

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

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Patio and container plants
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

See banana cultivation notes (above) for wrapping and overwintering

Pests

Glasshouse red spider mite, mealybugs and aphids can be troublesome under glass

Diseases

Generally trouble free

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