Musa (Banana plant) - Care tips
Musa, also known as the Banana (tree) plant, is a very tropical looking plant. This plant gives many people a real holiday feeling and this is probably why she is so popular as a houseplant.
Information about the Musa
The Musa, also known as the banana (tree) plant or the Musa Tropicana, is native to South-East Asia and Australia. Musa belongs to the Musaceae family and there are about just above 60 known species of Musa. Although they grow as tall as trees, banana plants are not woody and their "trunk" consists of the bases of their enormous leaf stalks. Technically, they are giant herbaceous plants and therefore cannot be called trees.
A banana plant can make an excellent houseplant, just don't expect it to produce fruit then. To produce fruit, the plant needs the tropical conditions outside. As a houseplant, therefore, it needs a lot of water and light, but in return you get a fantastic addition to your home!
The banana plant has been cultivated since the 6th century, making it one of the oldest commercial indoor plants. The first banana nursery was established in Costa Rica, but originally, as mentioned earlier, they come from South-East Asia and Australia. Today, however, it is grown in many tropical countries and in many homes in less tropical countries. The banana plant owes its name to William Cavendish, the man who brought it to Europe.
There are several species in the Musa family. At PLNTS.com we sell the Musa Dwarf Cavendish. This species is known as the Dwarf Cavendish because it does not grow very tall (compared to plants in the wild), at most about three meters and since, as mentioned above, William Cavendish was the man who brought this plant to Europe he named it after himself. It is a beautiful plant that, with its unique form and sometimes purple print on the leaves, turns any room or garden into a piece of paradise.
The banana plant which is mainly used for consumption is Musa Balbisiana and the most hardy banana plant is the Musa Basjoo. She can tolerate temperatures down to -7 degrees. So in our opinion, this is also the best banana plant to plant in your garden.
Musa Care Tips
A banana plant needs optimal conditions (indoors or outdoors) to thrive. Giving your banana plant lots of water and light are the key to helping it grow strong. The banana plant is a fast grower and therefore it is advisable to repot every two years. Always repot in the spring so that the plant can recover from any damage that may have occurred during repotting. Put the plant in a pot that is 20% wider than before.
Light and placement for Musa
Most varieties of banana plants prefer to grow in full sun, which means that they need at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days. However, some varieties can scorch quickly and so do better in the semi-shade or in a place with plenty of indirect light. These plants thrive in warm, humid conditions, but they don't like temperature extremes. Cold temperatures and dry conditions can cause the plants to quickly die back. To increase the level of humidity, mist the leaves daily.
The Musa is a tropical plant and originally come from rainforests, which means they need a lot of water and will appreciate the moisture in the air. They do best if placed in groups fairly close together, as this helps to retain the moisture in the leaves. Water regularly to ensure the soil stays evenly moist (especially in the summer months), but not soggy. Avoid over-watering!
Banana plants (Musa) are very fond of plant nutrition. Use a balanced fertilizer regularly during the growing season and follow the instructions on the fertilizer label. Also, mix compost into the soil annually to increase the organic matter content.
The best method of propagation is dividing. To divide banana plants, separate the offshoots from the rhizome (horizontal underground stem) with a sharp knife. Wait until the offshoots are at least 0.5 meters tall and have their own roots. Once you have separated an offshoot from the mother plant, let the surface of the rhizome section dry for a day or so. Then it is ready to be planted out in a suitable location.
Most common pest on Musa
Musa owners should remain alert to the many pests and diseases that can affect your banana plant. For the Musa's that are placed indoors, watch out for root rot, leaf spot, wilt and mildew. We recommend that you visit our PLNTS doctor page to make sure which pests are infecting your Musa and how to control them.
Are Musa’s toxic for pets or children?
The Musa has a lot of great qualities and one of them is that it's non-toxic to pets and also does not harm people if eaten. In fact, the leaves of the banana plant are used in kitchens all over the world, and the flowers are considered by some foodies to be delectable.
Buy your new Musa at PLNTS.com
At PLNTS.com you can buy your new Musa online, for example the Musa Cavendish.
Whether you like your Musa big from the start or prefer to grow them from tiny BabyPLNTS into full-grown PLNTS - we’ve got you covered!