Musa : Greenhouse Plants
FF – frost free only / C – cool, minimum of 7°C (45°F) / W – warm, minimum of 13°C (55°F) / T – tropical, minimum of 18°C (65°F)
Fortunately the popularity of Banana plants has meant that they are not difficult to find and an impressive range of seed can be chosen from. For a frost free house Musa basjoo from Japan is suitable. M. ensete, the Abyssinian Banana, will do well in a cool house and for a small warm house M. coccinea from China will only grow to 1.2 m (4 ft) when it will produce very ornamental yellow flowers with bright red bracts tipped with yellow. Also growing to 1.2 m (4 ft) is M. velutina, which bears ornamental bright pink fruits after its orange-yellow flowers. For a fruiting banana choose M. Cavendishii sometimes called M. X paradisiaca ‘Dwarf Cavendish’ as this is the smallest of the fruiters. However, it will need rich, humidity and a temperature of 18°C (65°F) to fruit well. After fruiting the main part of the plant dies and leaves one or more suckers to grow in its place. Banana seeds are large and hard. They will benefit from being soaked for two days before sowing and should have a temperature of 18-21°C (65-70°F) to germinate which will take as little as one month in late spring or summer. I prefer to grow bananas in tubs or large pots so that they can be moved to give each other more space. I prefer a loam-based for plants growing cool and peat-based for those in tropical heat and humidity.