Earth–Kind® Plant Selector Home
Start a Search

Common Name:

Banana

Scientific Name:

Musa x paradisiaca

Family Name:

Musaceae

Description:

Bananas are effectively giant herbs with pseudostems composed of clasping leaf bases that can reach small tree size. Bananas are one of the defining plants of a classic bold tropical landscape. Musa spp. are the source of the bananas of commerce. The above ground portions are subject to damage in even moderate frosts, but the roots are usually cold hardy into USDA zone 8. Also makes an excellent tropical accent as a summer annual in cooler climates. Forms with attractively variegated leaves are available in this taxon and the related Muxa acuminata (Chinese Banana), Musa balbisiana (Plantain), and Ensete ventricosum (Abyssinian Banana).

Plant Habit or Use:

Large shrub, small tree, tropical, interiorscape

Exposure:

sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Red-purple, only produced in tropical environments

Blooming Period:

Spring, summer

Fruit Characteristics:

6 inch to 12 inch long bananas borne in drooping clusters several feet in length, stem dies after flowering

Height:

10 ft to 25 ft

Width:

indefinite, forms a suckering slowly spreading clump of pseudostems

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: High Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Medium Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

7.00
Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

8, 9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

While cold is the primary limiting factor, leaf feeding insects, leaf shredding winds, banana wilt (Fusarium oxysporum), spider mites, and scale insects can be problems. Salt damage and micronutrient toxicities are possible. Use only banana wilt resistant cultivars in infested areas.
Click for Larger View Click for Larger View Click for Larger View Click for Larger View

A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.