© RHS / Graham Titchmarsh

Introducing...

Bananas

Botanical name: Musa, Ensete

Banana plants bring bold, tropical drama to borders and containers all summer long. Vigorous and fast growing, with huge ribbed leaves, they can reach several metres tall in a warm, sheltered spot. Just be sure to protect them from winter wet and cold.

Looks

Banana plants are grown for their large paddle-shaped leaves, which can grow to 2m (6⅔ft) long or more. The whole plant can reach 3m (10ft) or taller in favourable conditions, depending on the cultivar.

Likes

These vigorous plants need rich soil or compost, plenty of water during the growing season, and regular feeding. They thrive in a warm, sheltered, sunny spot. Keep them frost-free in winter.

Dislikes

Most bananas won’t survive frost, so must be brought indoors over winter in the UK. A few are hardy enough to stay outdoors in sheltered gardens, such as Musa basjoo,  but even theese should be wrapped to protect them from harsh frosts. They dislike shade, and dry or overly wet soil.

Did you know?

Although banana plants rarely flower or fruit outdoors in the UK, they still make eye-catching foliage plants with their dramatically large, tropical leaves.

Growing guide

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Useful advice

Exotic and subtropical gardening

Exotic and subtropical gardening

Exotic and subtropical plants

Exotic and subtropical plants

Overwintering tender plants: wrapping

Overwintering tender plants: wrapping

Perennials: dividing

Perennials: dividing

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