Red Banana - Eneste maurelii

 

Sometimes commonly called red Abyssinian banana, is a cultivar that is primarily distinguished from the species by its foliage that emerges with maroon-red tints and reddish leaf axils. In addition, it has a smaller growth habit, typically rising to 18-20’ tall in tropical areas but to only 8-10’ tall in temperate regions. It features paddle-shaped leaves (to 10’ long), sheathing leafstalks (form a trunk-like structure) and white flowers (generally non-showy) in inflorescences that appear somewhat hidden in summer on mature plants. Younger plants often will not flower and fruit for the first 3-5 years. Container plants cut close to the ground in fall each year may never flower. Banana-like fruits (to 3” long) have seeds, and are dry and inedible. In colder climates primarily grown for their ornamental foliage that lends an exotic and tropical aura to the landscape.

Water Needs: 
Moderate
Foliage Color: 
Green
Landscape Uses: 
Border
Container
Garden Styles: 
Modern
Light Needs: 
Full Sun
Plant Types: 
Height: 
5-10'
Spread: 
5-10'
Flower Colors: 
White
Flower Seasons: 
Summer
Special Features: 
Attractive Foliage
Growth Habits: 
Upright
Cold Hardiness: 
Zone 10
Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

Annual in colder climates or can be overwintered. Options for overwintering include: (1) Bring container plant indoors in fall before first frost and place container in a large sunny room for overwintering as a houseplant, with reduced water and fertilization; (2) If container plant is too large to bring inside as a houseplant, cut foliage back to 6-8 in fall after first frost, and store container in a cool, dark, frost-free corner of the basement until spring, with periodic addition of a touch of moisture as needed in winter to prevent the soils from totally drying out; (3) If container plant is too heavy or too large to bring inside, remove plant from container in fall before first frost, wrap roots in plastic and store in a cool, dark, frost-free corner of the basement until spring (foliage may be trimmed back or left on the plant and allowed to brown up in the normal course); (4) If growing plants directly in the ground, dig, wrap roots, trim back the leaves and store as in option #3 above.

 

Plants are best grown in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Plants tolerate and often appreciate some part shade or light filtered sun in the heat of the day. Plants need consistently moist soils that do not dry out. Fertilize plants regularly during growing season. Site plants in areas protected from strong winds which can severely damage the large leaves. 

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