Red Abyssinian (Ensete maurelii)
Red Abyssinian is a very attractive perennial plant that adds a brilliant pop of color to any landscape. It's closely related to banana plants and has a very tropical, with the added bonus of cold tolerance to Zone 8! It's sometimes referred to as False Banana, Enset, or Ensente. Red Abyssinian is cultivated for it's highly ornamental red to burgundy foliage and edible root. Although the root is rare to consume in the U.S., it's a very important food crop in Ethiopia.
It grows quickly and effortlessly. Like bananas, these plants spread through suckers and produce a banana like fruit, although these ones aren't very edible. Also like bananas, Red Abysinnian's aren't fruit trees, but rather monocarpic perennial herb plants! They can grow up to 10 feet tall in temperate areas and up to 20 feet tall in sub-tropical areas. Best planted in full sun, which will bring a brighter coloration in the leaves, but it's important to provide protection from strong winds as they can damage the leaves. Fun Fact: Native to Eastern Africa, Abyssinia is actually an older name for Ethiopia, which, along with Kenya, is the heart of what we now call East Africa.
Fruit Tree / Evergreen Perennial Herb
Did you know? The banana plant is actually an evergreen perennial fruiting herb, not a tree! The large ‘trunk’ is actually a pseudostem, which is made of bulky, leafy layers that emerge and wither over time. Banana plants are fast-growing, and prone to reproducing new plants through mini clones known as suckers.
Year-round, but most predominantly in the warm summer months. With good care, bananas are capable of producing fruit within the first 15-18 months of planting. It will take 9-15 months before the tree starts flowering and an additional 2-6 months before the bananas are ready to be picked.
(Expect approximately 3-6 months less time from planting to fruit for Banana plants in our XL Pot Size)
Really varies depending on variety. Some dwarf banana varieties grow only to 2-3 ft where other banana types reach up to 40 ft tall. Most banana plants can be grown easily in containers and overwintered indoors if needed. We recommend a minimum 7 gal. planter size.
Banana plants are fast-growing, and prone to reproducing new plants through mini clones known as suckers.
Soil & Moisture:
Thrives in ample humidity! Bananas like to be planted high on a mound in rich, moist well-drained soil, nitrogen-rich soil, and humid conditions similar to their native areas tropical and subtropical regions. In well-drained soil, bananas can almost never get too much water, sunlight, and nutrients. Water regularly to maintain leaves and promote fruit production.
Full Sun, Part Shade
Fast, Very Fast
Outdoors 9-11 with frost protection; Patio/Greenhouse 4+
Our bananas are grown from tissue cultures and are capable of fruiting within 1 year.