Abyssinian Banana, False Banana, Red Leaved Banana
Red Banana is a wonderfully ornamental plant with characteristically tropical foliage and a distinctive habit of growth. Its attractive large glossy narrow leaves remain green in color with showy burgundy variegation throughout the year. It is grown primarily for its ornamental qualities rather than any edible fruit. The scarlet stems can be quite attractive.
Red Banana is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its wonderfully bold, coarse texture can be very effective in a balanced garden composition.
This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Red Banana is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Red Banana will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.
Bananas are curious plants in a botanical sense. Strictly speaking they are perennials, with individual shoots rising up from underground rhizomes and maturing in one to two years, then ultimately dying after producing fruit, to be replaced by new shoots from the base. However, given their ultimate size and coarseness they almost behave as small trees in the landscape. This plant performs well in both full sun and full shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.
Red Banana is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, this plant may be too tender to survive the winter if left outdoors in a container. Contact our store for more information on how to protect it over the winter months.
This plant is NOT RELIABLY WINTER HARDY and considered "TROPICAL" in our region. It must be over-wintered inside with supplemental heat or used as a 1-season annual plant. The plant's desirable characteristics make it a good choice for growing in patio containers or flower gardens. Contact the store for care and over-wintering information.