Musa acuminata, called Cavendish banana or wild banana, is a large, fast-growing, suckering, evergreen plant that typically grows to 12-20’ tall in the tropics. Many of the bananas sold in grocery stores are from cultivars of this species or from hybrids in which this species is a parent. Gardeners in temperate regions primarily grow these plants not for their fruit but for their ornamental foliage that lends an exotic and tropical aura to the home and/or landscape. Plants produce huge paddle-shaped leaves that grow to 6-10’ long. Leaf sheathes overlap to form a trunk-like pseudostem (false stem). Cream to yellow flowers may appear in summer on mature plants to be followed by edible yellow bananas. Garden Uses. Whether grown outdoors in the landscape or indoors as a houseplant, bananas need lots of space. They are classic tropical foliage plants, which, if they fruit, produce attractive bunches of yellow bananas. Effective when grown as a garden centerpiece or for tropical flair near water bodies. Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11. Best grown in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun.
- Scarify the seeds by nicking or sanding the seed coat.
- Soak the seed in water for 24-48 hours.
- The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
- Put the seeds on the soil.
- Cover the seeds with a layer of soil.
- Water the seeds.
- 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.
- When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.