Plant • HARDY BANANA Musa Basjoo

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Musa basjoo, known variously as Japanese banana, Japanese fibre banana or hardy banana, grows to around 2–2.5 m (6.6–8.2 ft), with a crown of leaves growing up to 2 m (6.6 ft) long and 70 cm (28 in) wide when mature. The banana fruit formed are yellow-green, around 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) long and 2–3 cm (0.79–1.18 in) broad; they are inedible, with sparse white pulp and many black seeds.

Musa basjoo has been cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens outside its natural range, first in Japan, and from the late 19th century, then in the warmer parts of western Europe (north of the United Kingdom), the United States, and southern Canada. In gardens, it is used as a hardy 'tropical foliage' plant.

Some sources list this plant hardy to zone 4, as mentioned on the retail display plant tag. We have customer reports of the plant surviving in zone 5, coming up from the base in spring. The underground rhizome is considered frost hardy. Some sources list the plant hardy in 6a down to −12 °C (10 °F). If the pseudostem is killed, the banana will resprout from the ground where it rapidly grows to full size in a season under optimal conditions. It can also be overwintered under cover in a pot and kept growing, which is the only way it can be made to fruit in northern regions as it requires 12–24 months of warmth to bloom.

Type: Tropical, patio or houseplant

Location: Full sun to part shade

Plant size: This is a 10-20" plant on a large rootstock in a large 1 gallon pot. It will grow quickly as the roots are from a previously growing large plant.

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