Banana Shrub

Michelia figo

Fragrant, creamy-yellow blooms shaded with purple have a banana-like scent. Compact densely branched shrub displays narrow, glossy leaves. Use near the front of borders, so fragrance can be enjoyed.
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Your climate might be too cold for this plant:


Full sun, Partial sun

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


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Botanical Pronunciationmy-KEE-lee-a FEE-go
LoreThe fragrance of its flowers resembling the scent of bananas led to its common name, banana shrub. Be aware that NO part of the plant is edible.
Average Size at MaturitySlow growing to 6 to 10 ft. tall and wide.
Bloom TimeAll season, heaviest in spring
Design IdeasIts scent rivals the highly fragrant Plumeria used in Hawaiian leis. What this shrub lacks in bright color it fully compensates for in heady fragrance. This is a big and bushy foundation plant that will grow along fence lines. Create a hedge of them for privacy and their perfume will fill the whole area. Plant near windows and doors, where its fragrance will waft indoors. A choice selection for around swimming pools and fountains. Blend other big and beautiful semitropical plants such as bronze flax, bird of paradise, and Japanese aralia, and accent with colorful spreading lantana and bougainvillea.
Deciduous/ EvergreenEvergreen
Flower AttributeFragrant, Showy Flowers
Flower ColorYellow
Foliage ColorGreen
Garden StyleMediterranean, Tropical
Growth HabitRound
Growth RateSlow
Landscape UseContainer, Hedge, Specimen
Light NeedsFull sun, Partial sun
Soil NeedsTree & Shrub Food
Special FeatureTolerates Acidic Soil, Year-round Interest, Compact Form
Water NeedsModerate
Watering NeedsNeeds regular watering - weekly, or more often in extreme heat.
Companion PlantsNew Zealand Flax (Phormium); Giant Bird Of Paradise (Strelitzia nicolai); Japanese Aralia (Fatsia japonica); Lantana (Lantana hybrids); Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea)

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring. For a formal appearance, shear annually after flowering.

This Plant's Growing Zones: 8-11

Your USDA Cold Hardiness Zone:

Your climate may be too cold for this plant