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Ensete ventricosum AGM

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Conservatory/Greenhouse

Habit

Tufted

Resilience

Hardiness

H1c (heated greenhouse - warm temperate)

Colour

Flower

White and Dark Red in Summer

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

2.5-4 metres

Ultimate spread

2.5-4 metres

Time to ultimate height

10-20 years


Preferred common name

Ethiopian banana

Family

Musaceae


Ensete are robust evergreen perennials forming a short stem, with large paddle-shaped leaves and pendent terminal clusters of cup-shaped flowers, followed by dry banana-like fruits

E. ventricosum is a tender perennial with erect, narrowly oblong leaves to 3m in length, the midrib red beneath, and white flowers hidden amongst deep red bracts, but rarely produced in cultivation

Other common names

  • Abyssinian banana

Synonym(s)

  • Musa ensete

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing or West-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow outdoors in frost-free area in humus-rich soil in full sun or partial shade. Grow under glass in temperate greenhouse in loam-based compost with shade from hot sun. Keep well ventilated

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Loam or Sand

Propagation

Propagate by seed. Germination is erratic

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Architectural, City/Courtyard Gardens, Patio/Container Plants or Wall-side Borders


How to care

Pruning

Remove dead leaves, cutting no lower than the base of each leaf blade

Pests

Prone to glasshouse red spider mite and aphids under glass

Diseases

Generally disease free