Banana Palm Tree

Banana tree, musa basjoo, hardy banana tree growing in the wild landscape.

The Banana Tree, scientific name Musa, is one of the most popular trees around the world because of its fruit called “banana”.   It is not only used to grow bananas, but also to give a landscapes or indoor space a tropical feeling. It is also technically not considered a palm tree.

Banana Palm Tree Info

Scientific name: Musa 

Common names: The Banana Palm is commonly known as Banana Tree, Plantain Tree, and Plantain Palm.

Family: Musaceae

Origin: The Banana Palm Tree is native to Southeast Asia.

Appearance: This fast-growing palm has large green leaves that measure 4-6ft long and 2ft wide. Leaves are attached to the trunk by short stems. The Banana Palm has a clustered, cylindrical collection of leaf stalk bases instead of the trunk.

Each palm has around 7-15 oblong leaves with leaf veins running from the mid-rib straight to the outer edge of the leaf.  In the windy conditions leaves tear along the veins creating a feather like look.

Flowers/Fruits: The inflorescence consists of a long-oval purple bud that grows above the last leaves in an upright position. As the bud opens, clustered white flowers emerge in whorled double rows along the the floral stalk.

Unisexual flowers are followed by deep green fruits that turn yellow or red, depending on the variety, when they ripe. Fruits range from 3 – 12 inches in length and 1/5 -2 inches in width. Bananas start forming in the summer and ripe till march of the following year. It takes fruits around 100-120 days to reach harvest maturity after the opening of the flower. Bananas are editable and have  a sweet taste when ripe.

Growth Rate: Moderate to Fast. Musa can get up to 10 – 20 ft tall and 1-5ft wide.

Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both. It is a great houseplant if provided with enough water and light

Cold Tolerance: Banana Palm is cold hardy and can tolerate cold down to 15F. It is great for growing for USDA Zones 8b (15 to 20 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

Light Req: Full sun to Partial shade.

Water Req: Moderate. It needs moderate amount of watering, but likes well drained soil. It prefers acidic soil.

Maintenance: Easy. Apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.

Insects and Diseases: The biggest problem for Banana Tree is Panama wilt. Otherwise it doesn’t require a great deal of maintenance and with proper fertilizing should stay healthy.

Propagation: Banana Tree is propagated by pups.