Musa Basjoo – The fundamental plant for your exotic garden!
Musa basjoo – Hardy Japanese Banana Plants
Musa basjoo – Japanese fibre banana, Japanese root-hardy banana. It is the hardiest of all bananas in the UK and the most easily obtainable. An absolutely essential plant for the exotic garden and has been in out garden for many years. Hailing from the volcanic islands in the Ryukyu archipelago, formerly Chinese and now Japanese, stretching between southern Japan and northern Taiwan in the western Pacific Ocean. Although the common name Japanese fibre banana is applied to Musa basjoo and it was introduced to the British Isles from Japan, M. basjoo is not Japanese and it’s not grown for fibre; it was introduced to Japan from China and has only ever been grown in Japan as an ornamental.
It has midgreen leaves with a pale green midrib growing about 2.5 cm a day in summer, reaching up to 1.8 m long or more and 0.5 m wide, in other words -huge! The pseudostem (stem/trunk) can reach 2.7 m tall, making large plants up to 5.4 m high and 3.65m across, with long arching leaves.
With time it will become a clump-forming/spreading, multi-stemmed plant. With age each stem produces drooping pale yellow flowers with brownish bracts, followed by small green inedible fruit. Flowering stems die after fruiting and are replaced by many new pups around the base. The stem can take several degrees of frost (with protection, –10°C and lower), though leaves tend to burn at –2°C. The stems if killed will re-shoot from the ground in spring, hence the common name Japanese root-hardy banana. Click here to find out how to care for banana plants, or how to over winter banana plants.
Common Name: Japanese fibre banana, Japanese root-hardy banana
Latin Name: Musa Basjoo
Tenderness Rating: Very root hardy, upper growth hardy with protection
Ease of growing: Easy
Position: Full sun to dappled shade
Soil Condition: Well drained fertile soil.
Where to buy Musa Basjoo or find for sale in the UK: