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How to Care for a Red Banana Plant

The red banana plant (Ensete ventricosum) produce large leaves that range in color from simple green to a deep burgundy. Each green leaf normally appears outlined and highlighted with red for a striking overall appearance. Long flowers appear on 4 foot stems in the spring. The fruit dry and inedible but banana-like in appearance. The plant easily grows 30 feet in height with each leaf measuring 20 feet in length. Considered to be a herbaceous perennial in mild areas. The red banana plant does not tolerate frost well and must be lifted or moved in areas of cold weather.

Plant in full sunlight to partial shade. The red banana plant prefers well-drained slightly acidic soil with abundant organic matter. When planting add peat moss, leaf debris or aged manure to the soil. The plant flourishes in containers or in tropical to sub-tropical regions.

Water the red banana plant every other day. The soil needs to be kept moist, but not saturated.

Fertilize the red banana plant using a 8-10-8 general purpose fertilizer. Apply 1 to 2 lbs. around the base of the plant. Water it thoroughly into the soil. Apply monthly in the spring and summer.

Dig up the red banana plant in areas with freezing temperatures. Cut away all the top foliage but three or four leaves. Remove any large roots. Pot the plant in a container until spring and move it into a greenhouse or house. The plant can also be stored in a dark garage or basement until spring.

Plant Care For Red Bananas

Banana trees add a lovely, tropical element to any landscape, and they even occasionally produce delicious, edible fruit. The red banana plant (Musa Acuminata) is an ornamental plant with tropical foliage, reddish-purple skin and bold, scarlet-colored stems. Originally from Southeast Asia, these plants typically have leaves of about 6 to 10 feet tall. Blooms may appear on mature plants. All types are fast growing, and caring for banana plants isn't difficult. This plant requires only occasional upkeep and maintenance and very little pruning. They can survive winters in the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 10. The earliest that you should plant a new banana is three to four weeks after your last average frost date, and new plants should not be exposed to temperatures below 57 degrees, as this could hinder their growth. Red banana trees are hearty, big eaters and need plenty of nutrients, especially for flower and fruit production. Banana trees can be sensitive to strong winds, and their leaves are easily damaged by hail or wind, so to combat this, it's best to plant your tree in a site that's protected by a windbreak. You could also support the plant by staking it to prevent it from toppling over during storms.

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