|Botanical Name||Musa Basjoo|
|Mature Height||10 Feet|
|Mature Width||4 Feet|
|Light Requirement||Full Sun to Part Shade|
|Hardiness Zone||Zone 4|
Love the look of lush tropical foliage? There is a plant that can totally transform your garden landscape into a bit of the Hawaiian tropics! Even if your winters tend to be less than balmy. Musa Basjoo are cold hardy banana plants that grow well and over winter up to plant hardiness zone 4 !!! With lush green tropical leaves as big as 2 feet long!!! The hardy banana tree is actually an herbaceous perennial (the world’s largest!) despite being referred to as a tree. What looks like a trunk is actually tightly bound banana tree leaves. This “trunk” is botanically referred to as pseudo stem, which means false stem. The interior of the banana tree pseudo stem is where all the growth of the plant takes place, similar to a canna lily. The pseudo stem of the hardy banana has a short lifespan, living only long enough to flower and fruit. This process can often take more than a year, so when planting in colder climates, you will be unlikely to see any fruit. If you do see fruit, consider yourself lucky, but the fruit will probably be inedible. The clump will spread slowly or you can speed the process by dividing clumps with a spade shovel, to create your own little banana tree grove! These hardy banana tree species have been grown in the Ryukyu Island of Japan since the 13th century and the fiber from the shoots are used in the weaving of textiles or even to make paper. For our more purely ornamental purposes, however, the hardy banana is lovely combined with bright colored annuals or other tropical plants like canna and elephants ear. Banana trees winter care is simple. Once the first frost hits, the hardy banana will die back. To over winter your hardy banana, prior to first frost, cut back stems and leaves, leaving 12-24 inches above ground. The hardy banana will then need good heavy mulch piled over the top of the remaining crown. Sometimes, depending on the size of your banana tree, this pile of mulch may be several feet high. For ease of removal the following spring, make a chicken wire cage to lay over the crown prior to mulching. Hardy banana trees can also be container planted, which can then be moved to a frost free area.