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The Plant Guide

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Red banana

Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii'

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This banana-like perennial has large paddle-shaped leaves, which range in color from deep claret brown to red-purple to pale green, produced from the center of the plant, with thick midribs bright red beneath. White flowers are borne in inflorescences 3 to 4 feet long. Fruits are banana-like but dry and unpalatable.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsLarge reddish leaves. Reaches 20 feet or more.

CareNative to the tropical and subtropical forests of Africa, bananas are large herbaceous plants that die back in winter in frosty areas. Grow outdoors in rich soil in a sheltered area. Lift plants before first frost, cut back long roots, and reduce top-growth to the newest 2 or 3 leaves.

PropagationSow seed in spring after soaking in tepid water for 24 hours. Germination is erratic.

ProblemsSpider mites and aphids may be problems, especially under glass.

  • Genus : Ensete
  • Zones : 10, 11, 9
  • Plant Width : 10 to 15 feet
  • Plant Height : 30 feet or more
  • Bloom Time : Early Summer, Late Summer, Summer
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Foliage Color : Purple/Burgundy
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
  • Flower Color : White

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