Growing Ornamental Banana (Musa and Ensete)

Ornamental Banana plants are members of two different genera—Musa and Ensete. They are native to parts of Asia, Africa, and Australia. All species prefer to be planted in average to moist soil in full sun after all danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed to 60°F. They do not tolerate drought. Plants are grown for their impressive foliage and only a few species produce edible fruit.

Ornamental Bananas grow well in large containers and are very attractive near pools. Place in a location that will receive a bit of shade from the hottest of afternoon rays and allow ample space (3-6', depending upon the variety). Choose a site that is sheltered from wind so the leaves will not shred.

Plants may be wintered over indoors, but if you plan to do this with E. ‘Maurelii,’ you’ll want to pot it in a container in spring and not the ground as this particular variety, once settled, does not like to be disturbed; other varieties may be removed from the ground and potted up before frost. Bring indoors to overwinter in a sunny room with temperatures above 50°F.