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Musa sikkimensis


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Key information

Plant type

Tender perennial


Dramatic foliage


Half hardy

Skill level


photo by Howard Rice, copyright GAP Photos (163942)

Plant details

This hardy banana makes an excellent addition to the subtropical border or architectural planting scheme. It forms a strong vigorous growing green foliage plant with large oval leaves that have burgundy markings. It is tolerant of most growing conditions, although it will produce the best display if planted on a moisture-retentive but free-draining soil. It tolerates windy conditions and can be grown in the cool greenhouse or sheltered border. Plants can be raised from seed sown in spring, although they can be slow to germinate.

Family: Musaceae

Genus: Musa

Species: sikkimensis

Plant type: Tender perennial

Foliage colour: Dark green, Bronze

Feature: Dramatic foliage

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Sandy

Hardiness: Half hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 400cm

Spread: 300cm

Time to plant seeds: February to March

Reader reviews


You can germinate the seeds anytime, I prefer end Dec/Jan as germination can take months and when they do they are a decent size to plant out in late spring.

To germinate, soak in warm water for 48+ hours, changing the water every 6 hours as that removes germination inhibitors. Put the seeds in a zip lock bag with some damp sandy soil and place in a propagator/warm cupboard. Take out during day and place on sunny window sill. The temp differences and light will aid germination, which can take months. You should see germinated seeds within 1 month by this method.

Red Tiger is a good colorful variety of M. sikkimensis.

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