Musa Balbisiana is a fruit bearing variety and one of the progenitors of the present-day commercial bananas. The fruits look like regular bananas and are edible but have seed within the fruit.
Commonly known as 'The Japanese Fibre Banana', the clumps of lush, dark foliage make it ideal for creating a jungle landscape. The foliage tends to be more upright than most cultivated banana. It reaches its full height of in about one year. It develops large colourful inflorescence of bright red and maroon.
Bananas don't grow on trees. The "banana tree" is in fact a herbaceous plant and the largest plant on earth without a woody stem, the trunk of the plant (the pseudostem) is made of sheaths of overlapping leaves. They are of the same family as lilies, orchids and palms.
Broad, long, graceful leaves and rapid growth make the banana a favorite plant for providing a tropical look to pool or patio areas. The development of bananas following a frost-free winter is a source of both pride and amazement to those unfamiliar with banana culture.
Sowing: Sow indoors at any time of year.
Sow seeds as soon as you are able. If you are not going to sow them, store them in their packaging in a cool, dark, dry place. (Do not refrigerate)
Soak seed for 3-4 days in warm water, which has been previously boiled. Change the water each day. (This process is important, as gets rid of germination inhibitors)
Fill either large cells or trays with perlite, vermiculite or sterilized compost. Stand the trays in water until the medium is completely moist
Sow the seeds 2.5cm (1”) deep. Spray the seeds with a little copper based fungicide
Bottom heat is helpful, place in a propagator if you have one or in a warm location out of direct sunlight. Do not exclude light as this helps germination. Keep at a constant temperature of 20-25°C (68-77°F).
Check the seeds daily for germination. If mold or fungus appears, remove the seeds and wash them in warm water. Spray them with fungicide and re-sow in a fresh medium in a sterilized pot.
Keep the surface of the compost moist but not waterlogged. Patience is needed as germination is erratic and take from one to twelve months. Do not give up too soon!
When large enough to handle, transplant seedlings into 7.5cm (3 inch) pots, taking care not to damage the root system. Grow on in well-lit conditions, and pot on, into rich, well drained soil, as required. Water the plant thoroughly and every 1 to 3 days thereafter depending on the season. Do not soak! Remember moist soil, not wet, not dry.
The planting site should be chosen for protection from wind and cold weather, if possible, the south or southeast side of the house. Banana plants will grow in most soils, but to thrive, they should be planted in a rich, well-drained soil. Before planting, test your soil’s ability to drain properly. Dig a post-hole about 2 feet deep. Fill it with water. If it empties within two hours, the drainage should be ideal.
Their rapid growth rate makes bananas plants heavy feeders. During warm weather, apply a balanced fertilizer once a month. Spread the fertilizer evenly around the plant in a circle extending 4 feet from the trunk. Feed container banana plants on the same monthly schedule using about half the rate for outside plants.
Bring container grow plants indoors. Outdoor plants need protection, either wrap the trunk or cover with blanket if the banana plants are small and low temperatures are predicted. You can also dig up the roots, and store in a dark dry place inside until spring. (Foliage can be cut back to 6-8”) This is the best way for most.
Leaves are damaged at 0°C (32°F) but the plant will grow back from the root (corm)
- Additional Information
Packet Size 12 Seeds Family Musaceae Genus Musa Species balbisiana Synonym Banana Plant Common Name Japanese Fibre Banana Hardiness Hardy Perennial Foliage Green glossy leaves 1.5 to 1.8m (5-6ft) Height 3.6 to 6m (12-20ft) in its native environment. Position Full sun, sheltered Soil Rich and moist but well drained