How to Care for the Red Abyssinian Banana


The red Abyssinian banana (Ensete ventricosum) is a cousin of the banana plant. It grows outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9 and 10, which includes the areas of the United States where the temperature does not drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The tree can grow from 8 to 20 feet tall. Growing the red Abyssinian banana at home can add a tropical flair to your yard.

Step 1

Plant the red Abyssinian banana tree in a sheltered area with full sun and well-drained soil. The plant needs protection from both wind and frosts. It may be best to plant the tree in a tub and bring it inside for the winter or particularly stormy days if you cannot provide adequate protection.

Step 2

Water the plant regularly after planting, keeping the soil evenly moist. Do not soak the soil, however, as this will inhibit the growth of the plant. Even after the red Abyssinian plant is established in the ground it needs consistent, even moisture.

Step 3

Fertilize the Abyssinian banana with a banana fertilizer. This may be difficult to find in stores. Alternatively, look for a fertilizer with the numbers 6-2-12 on it. This means that the fertilizer contains six percent nitrogen, two percent phosphorus and 12 percent potassium, with other fertilizer products within. Any numbers close to that ratio will do the trick for this tropical banana plant. Follow the directions on the package for application instructions.

Tips and Warnings

  • The fruit of this plant is inedible. Do not try to eat it.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Fertilizer


  • Plants for a Future: Ensete ventricosum
  • HGTV: Banana
  • Purdue University: Banana

Who Can Help

  • Stokes Tropical: Ensete maurelii Red Abyssinian Banana
Keywords: red Abyssinian banana care, caring for red Abyssinian bananas, watering red Abyssinian bananas

About this Author

Sarah Morse recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature. She has been freelancing for three months and got her start writing for an environmental website.