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Darjeeling Banana

Musa sikkimensis

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Darjeeling Banana (Musa sikkimensis) at Thies Farm & Greenhouses

Darjeeling Banana

Darjeeling Banana

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  12 feet

Spread:  10 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6b

Description:

An exceptionally hardy variety that dies back in winter but will re-sprout from the roots in spring; cut back in mid-fall and mulch; very fast growing; evergreen in warm temperate climates; a nice landscape accent or container plant

Ornamental Features

Darjeeling Banana is a wonderfully ornamental plant with characteristically tropical foliage and uniquely interesting flowers. Its attractive enormous oval leaves emerge purple in spring, turning green in color with showy dark red variegation throughout the season. This plant features showy creamy white flowers rising above the foliage in mid summer. The green fruits are held in clusters in early fall.

Landscape Attributes

Darjeeling Banana is an herbaceous tropical perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other garden plants with finer foliage.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should never be pruned except to remove any dieback, as it tends not to take pruning well. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Darjeeling Banana is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Darjeeling Banana will grow to be about 12 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

Bananas are curious plants in a botanical sense. Strictly speaking they are perennials, with individual shoots rising up from underground rhizomes and maturing in one to two years, then ultimately dying after producing fruit, to be replaced by new shoots from the base. However, given their ultimate size and coarseness they almost behave as small trees in the landscape. This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America.

Darjeeling Banana is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Texture 
Ornamental Features