The special thing about this banana tree is that it blooms outdoors in Central Europe. I have already seen perennials, but in milder areas in Germany. In addition, the plants are well packaged in winter. They cannot survive without protection, unless winter fails. You can hardly harvest bananas because our short summer is not enough to let them ripen.

A very popular cultivated form is Musa basjoo ‘Nana’, also called ‘Sakhalin’. It is a so-called dwarf form and is even more hardy than the original species. This banana tree is only about 3 meters high and is therefore easy to pack. The leaves usually freeze to death, but that doesn’t matter. In a very short time these grow back again in spring and in summer the perennial is the highlight in the garden again. Musa basjoo ‘Sapporo’ is also quite hardy. All of these plants are offered as hardy to -15 ° C, but you shouldn’t take that seriously.

The Musa basjoo var. Variegata, a cultivar with variegated white leaves, is also very interesting. However, this plant is rare. There is no mass increase. This variety is obtained exclusively from Kindel.


Musa basjoo is quite easy to care for. It needs sufficient space, humus-rich soil and a lot of water. These bananas only really start growing at temperatures above 20 ° C. As long as they are not more than 12 to 15 ° C at night, not much happens. The Musa basjoo likes it warm. It also needs a high level of humidity. This plant is doing really well in full sunshine and great heat, but for which it needs a lot of water, on the one hand for growth and development, on the other hand for sufficient humidity. Bananas in the tub sometimes have to be watered several times a day. With good care, the plant will usually flower for the first time after 4 to 5 years. After the musa has formed fruit, it dies. There is nothing to worry about. It drives new offshoots from the rootstock, usually several at the same time. The perennial becomes denser and denser. You have to be careful that the garden does not become overgrown, because the growth is enormous, both in height and in width. Container plants are better to contain. Their growth is not so abundant.


The fiber banana likes it sunny and warm. It gets along just fine in a full sun. Wind is unfavorable, it tears up the large leaves. The plant quickly looks completely torn. So it should be given a very sheltered place. This is also better for wintering if you have planted specimens. The fronds can be two meters long and half a meter wide. So you have to plan space accordingly. If the fronds hit everywhere, it doesn’t look particularly nice, especially since it then breaks them. You shouldn’t have to walk too close to the fronds, because this kind of contact also damages the leaves.

  • Sunny
  • Warm
  • Sheltered from the wind

Plant substrate

The substrate is important for a banana plant to develop well. However, a distinction is made between planted specimens and those that are kept in buckets.

  • For vessels – humus-rich soil, which is interspersed with coarse-grained parts, e.g. lava gravel, gravel, expanded clay. It has to be loose and airy.
  • In the garden – loose, permeable and yet nutrient-rich soil. A mixture of humus, some clay and coarse sand or gravel is ideal.

Plant and repot

There is nothing special to consider when planting other than the times. The specimens must not be planted out too early or too late. When it comes to potted plants, the timing is not so important.

  • If you want to plant the banana out, it must be planted by August at the latest.
  • You shouldn’t plant before the end of May, preferably after the ice saints.
  • The leaves are damaged by night frost.
  • The planting hole must be correspondingly deep and well loosened at the bottom.
  • The earlier you plant, the more long-term fertilizer you have to add to the planting hole. The later the less, because otherwise the plants will not mature.
  • Repot as needed. When the plant is about to blow up the pot, it’s time.
  • The best time is in spring, especially when the winter is outside.

Watering and fertilizing

Pouring is important. The large leaves evaporate a lot of water. But you shouldn’t drown the plant. Much doesn’t help much. Over time you learn how much water the perennial needs in order to feel good.

  • Water abundantly, but do not keep the substrate permanently wet
  • The top layer of soil should be dry first.
  • It is better to water the planted specimens thoroughly two to three times a week than just a little daily.
  • Under no circumstances standing moisture (with potted plants)
  • Fertilize weekly from May to October – potted plants
  • Fertilize with complete fertilizer
  • Provide the bananas in the bed with ripe compost in the spring and fertilize them organically two or three times in the summer.

To cut

A cut is not necessary, but sometimes makes sense. This will separate the withered leaves when they are fully retracted. If the specimens are planted out, that’s all. Then it makes sense to cut the trunk. This is favorable for wintering. In spring it is necessary anyway, because the banana will only sprout again from the green center. The brown material all around has to go. The more often you cut a trunk in this way, the faster it becomes strong and thick and survives the winter unscathed. A diameter of 25 cm and more is ideal for holding a high banana plant (up to 5 m).


The easiest way to overwinter the Musa basjoo is when it is cultivated in a tub. However, you can also try to overwinter a planted banana tree. That makes no sense in the mountains, where the winters are too long and too frosty, but it can work in normal locations. There should be the fewest difficulties in the wine-growing climate. As a rule, the plant freezes back to the ground and sprouts out of the rhizome again, usually in May. However, older specimens keep their trunk if it has been well protected.Keep container plants drier in autumn. However, the root ball must not dry out completely. The bucket is best overwintered at 10 to 12 ° C. A light location is important because the banana is evergreen. Every now and then you have to water so that the plant does not dry out. Do not fertilize. Keep warm again from February. Only clear out after the ice saints. First put in the shade, otherwise there is a risk of burns. Get used to the sun slowly.

Planted banana
At temperatures below -3 ° C, the leaves of the plant turn yellow and the banana retreats to a kind of hibernation. It doesn’t look great anymore, but doesn’t need any protection yet. The leaves withered or destroyed by frost are cut off close to the trunk. However, it is always advisable to cover the soil above the roots with a layer of leaves or straw. This not only protects against the cold, it also ensures that the soil around the roots is not too wet for a long time. If the temperatures drop below -10 ° C, the trunk should be protected. You wrap it in jute or something similar. Protecting the heart of the plant also makes sense. That’s why you can pull a jute sack over the banana. Tie everything up well, but not so tight that the cords cut into it. Alternatively, you can set up a frame around the trunk and fill it with leaves or straw. You can wrap reed mats or the like around the outside, but it is better to keep the sides open for ventilation. It is important that the roots are well protected. Also secure against moisture from above, but do not close airtight! Therefore leave open sides, at least two opposite sides.

Of course, the winter protection can also be put in place in autumn, before the temperatures drop too low.
I have also read that some owners of a planted Musa basjoo chop off their specimen to 50 to 60 cm. Then the root area is well covered and a wooden box is placed over the stump to prevent moisture from penetrating. The best thing to do is to put a plastic bag over it. In spring the banana sprouts from the rhizome and not from the stem, like the banana described above. The plants get bigger, lush and denser with each passing year, really a feast for the eyes.
Warning – young banana trees are not hardy and should be overwintered in the bucket in the house.


The planted banana can also be taken out of the ground in autumn, the roots and leaves can be severely cut back and the whole part can be overwintered in the cellar, in cool temperatures and in the dark. This is usually done by crazy plant lovers whose palms have grown too big to be able to pack them up. However, it is a logistics problem. You need a hand truck and some strong helpers and of course a large cellar. The banana is then replanted in May and gets bigger and bigger every year.


The easiest way to propagate it is to use cuttings with sufficient roots.

Propagation by seeds should not be possible. If you still want to try, here are a few tips:
Soak the seeds in lukewarm water for about 24 hours in order to shorten the long germination time. It is also beneficial to sand the seeds a little, but only the upper, smooth layer. This is to ensure that water can penetrate better. The germination time is usually a few months. Loose, nutrient-poor soil, ideally sowing soil, is suitable as a growing medium. It needs to be kept slightly moist. Cover the vessel, because water vapor is important. Nevertheless ventilate from time to time. Cover the seeds with 2 to 3 cm of soil. Keep warm. It is best to put a bag over it, as this increases the temperature and reduces evaporation. Just place the vessel in a bowl of water and wait until the soil becomes moist due to the capillary effect.

Diseases and pests

Bananas are not particularly sensitive. Illnesses are rare. Pests aren’t common either. If the tubs are not overwintered correctly, spider mites will appear. It is essential to ensure a higher level of humidity here. Brown leaf margins or leaf tips also indicate that the air is too dry. But they can also be an indication of insufficient water. Planted out Musa basjoo are usually very robust and hardly susceptible to any pests or pathogens. Too much moisture and too much cold are dangerous. Wind makes the leaves unsightly, but not sick.

Musa basjoo is a so-called entry-level banana. It is easy to care for and easy to overwinter. If we didn’t live in a wind tunnel like this, I would have planted one long ago, but with our wind here it doesn’t make any sense. For everyone who would like to have a banana planted in the garden and do not live in the mountains, the plant is worth a try. It is quite cheap to buy, so you can buy a multi-year copy. These are more robust in winter. Very young bananas cannot be planted yet. First of all, they spend the winter in the bucket. All in all a recommendable banana plant.

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