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Conservatory Greenhouse

Ensete ventricosum
  • RHS AGM

Ethiopian banana

E. ventricosum is a tender perennial with erect, narrowly oblong leaves to 3m in length, the midrib red beneath, and white flowers hidden amongst deep red bracts, but rarely produced in cultivation

Other common names
Abyssinian banana
Synonyms
Musa ensete
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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
2.5–4 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Red White Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

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

Ensete are robust evergreen perennials forming a short stem, with large paddle-shaped leaves and pendent terminal clusters of cup-shaped flowers, followed by dry banana-like fruits

Name status

Correct

Plant range
E Tropical Africa

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow outdoors in frost-free area in humus-rich soil in full sun or partial shade. Grow under glass in temperate greenhouse in loam-based compost with shade from hot sun. Keep well ventilated

Propagation

Propagate by seed. Germination is erratic

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Patio and container plants
  • Architectural
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

Remove dead leaves, cutting no lower than the base of each leaf blade

Pests

Prone to glasshouse red spider mite and aphids under glass

Diseases

Generally disease free

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