Red Trunk Popo'Ulu Banana (Musa popoulu)

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The Red Trunk Popo'ulu Banana (Musa popoulu) is a distinctive and eye-catching variety of banana plant, known for its unique red-colored trunk. This tropical plant often reaches a height of up to 10-15 feet, providing a striking visual presence in any garden or greenhouse setting. The trunk, which is the most remarkable feature, exhibits a deep red or maroon hue that contrasts beautifully with the lush green of its large, elongated leaves. These leaves can grow several feet in length and are broad, offering a dense canopy.

In terms of fruit, the Red Trunk Popo'ulu Banana produces bunches of bananas that are smaller and plumper compared to the common banana varieties. The fruit uniquely rectangular fruit is praised for its delightful sweet apple-like taste, distinctive salmon pink pulp, and creamy texture, making it a favorite among banana enthusiasts. However, the primary appeal of this variety is ornamental due to its vibrant trunk and lush foliage.

The plant thrives in warm, humid environments and requires well-drained soil. It needs regular watering, but overwatering should be avoided to prevent root rot. The Red Trunk Popo'ulu Banana also benefits from regular fertilization during the growing season to support its rapid growth and fruit production.

This variety is somewhat rare and is often sought after by collectors and tropical plant enthusiasts for its unique appearance and the aesthetic it brings to gardens and tropical landscapes. Initially mistaken for a Hawaiian banana, the Red Trunk Popo’Ulu has now been identified as the Tongan Banana known as Putalinga Kula, which journeyed to Hawaii alongside Tongans in the 1960s.

(Mature Popoulu Banana photo credit: A. Vécina, Bioversity)

Plant Type: 
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.

Harvest Season: 
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)

Mature 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. 

Light Requirements: 
Full Sun, Part Shade

Self-Fertile: 
Yes

Growth Rate: 
Fast, Very Fast

Zone Hardiness:
Outdoors 9-11 with frost protection; Patio/Greenhouse 4+

Propagation: 
Our bananas are grown from tissue cultures and are capable of fruiting within 1 year. 

5.0
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100%would recommend this product
1 review
  • D
    Diane
    I recommend this product
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    4 minutes ago
    5 Stars

    Always live my plants! Come safe and in good condition!

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