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Musa acuminata (AAA Group) 'Dwarf Cavendish' (F) AGM

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© RHS 1999

Characteristics

Plant type

Conservatory/Greenhouse or Herbaceous Perennial

Habit

Suckering

Resilience

Hardiness

H1b (heated greenhouse - subtropical)

Colour

Flower

Purple and Yellow in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Fruit

Yellow in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

2.5-4 metres

Ultimate spread

1.5-2.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

10-20 years


Preferred common name

banana 'Dwarf Cavendish'

Family

Musaceae


Musa are suckering evergreen perennials with very large, paddle-shaped leaves whose stalk-bases form a false stem, and clusters of tubular flowers with colourful bracts, followed by edible cylindrical fruits

'Dwarf Cavendish' is an evergreen perennial to 3m tall, with oblong leaves to 1.2m long; drooping spikes of yellow flowers with purple bracts open sporadically through the year, followed by edible yellow fruit

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

As a summer bedding plant, grow in humus-rich soil in a sheltered position in full sun. In a container, use John Innes No 3 and apply a balanced liquid fertiliser monthly. At the end of the season, pot up to overwinter under cover or protect in situ with straw and chicken wire. Keep just moist in winter

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Loam, Sand, Clay or Chalk

Propagation

Propagate by seed as soon as ripe at 21-24°C (70-75°F). Pre-soak spring-sown seed for 24 hours . Separate suckers in early spring, removing older leaves. Divide established clumps every 5 years

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Patio/Container Plants


How to care

Pruning

Under glass, none required. Outside, cut away old leaves at end of season

Pests

Glasshouse red spider mite, mealybugs and aphids may be troublesome, especially under glass

Diseases

Usually trouble free