The Sikkim Hardy Banana is an ornamental banana species that comes from the mountains of southern Asia. It grows in forests at higher elevations of the Himalayas in Bhutan and India. It produces a magnificent display of jungle foliage and are a wonderful addition to the exotic garden. Musa sikkimensis is one of the hardiest bananas and can survive in temperatures down to minus 21°F. Originating from 6,000 ft in the Himalayas, which has light snow, it is tolerant of frost at the roots. The plants have good resilience to wind and continue to grow in cool weather. It grows up to 12 feet and height and produces small, ornamental fruit. Zones 8-11.
Growing Instructions for the Sikkim Hardy Banana
The seeds need to be planted when received or stored in a refrigerator until they are planted. The seeds have a hard seed coat that has to be treated, or scarified, in order for water to enter the seeds so that they can sprout. 1. Scarify the seeds by nicking or sanding the seed coat. The seeds can be sanded with sandpaper, a nail file or an emery board. 2. Soak the seed in water for 24-48 hours. 3. The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Use a sterile seed starter mix, if available. It prevents soil fungi from damaging the seeds and the seedlings. If not available, then make a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. 4. Put the seeds on the soil. 5. Cover the seeds with a layer of soil. 6. Water the soil so that it is moist but not wet. 7. Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade. The seeds can take 1 month or more to germinate. 8. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.