Abyssinian Banana

Ensete ventricosum

Medium to large tropical ornamental. Huge (10-15 ft.) bright green leaves with red midrib rise from tall pseudotrunk. Most attractive when protected from strong winds. An indispensable tropical.
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Full sun

Needs regular watering - weekly, or more often in extreme heat.

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Botanical PronunciationEN-se-te ven-tri-COH-sum
LoreAlthough this plant is called a banana and falls into the same family, its fruit is not edible.
Average Size at MaturityFast growing to 15 to 20 ft. tall.
Bloom TimeInconspicuous
Design IdeasThe overall form of this single fat-trunk Banana actually resembles some long-leaved Palm. A valuable plant for high-density coastal gardens on the lee side of buildings protected from onshore breezes. This plant can reach tree-sized proportions, which may overwhelm smaller sites. It is unmatched for bringing down the scale of multistory walls and even offers a good deal of shade when mature. Best planted as a single specimen for drama or in small groves to create a more lush effect. This is a perfect plant for in between buildings.
Deciduous/ EvergreenEvergreen
Flower ColorRed
Foliage ColorGreen
Garden StyleContemporary, Tropical
Growth HabitErect
Growth RateFast
Landscape UseContainer, Poolside
Light NeedsFull sun
Soil NeedsAll-Purpose Plant Food
Special FeatureDramatic Foliage Color, Easy Care, Tolerates Acidic Soil, Tolerates Poor Soils
Water NeedsModerate
Watering NeedsNeeds regular watering - weekly, or more often in extreme heat.
Companion PlantsThis Banana calls for big burly shrubs to keep it in scale with the surroundings. Good with the highly fragrant and large Satinwood (Murraya paniculata) or Jack Fogg Michelia (Michelia x foggii 'Jack Fogg'). Blends well with the similar form of Queen Palm (Arecastrum romanzoffianum), Giant Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia nicolai) and the strongly vertical Giant Timber Bamboo (Bambusa oldhamii). Increase shading potential by planting with the contrasting blue-green Fern Podocarpus (Podocarpus gracilior)

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring.

This Plant's Growing Zones: 10-11

Your USDA Cold Hardiness Zone:

Your climate may be too cold for this plant