Short answer, no you can’t grow a fruiting banana that you can actually eat. You can have it one of two ways, grow an ornamental fruiting banana that is inedible but full of seeds, or grow any other type of banana that grows no fruit. The edible banana you get at the supermarket is a clone, it’s not grown from seeds at all, and the fruit that it does grow has no seeds! 

Musa basjoo - Hardy Japanese Banana Plants

Musa basjoo – Hardy Japanese Banana Plants

Are there any types of banana plants or banana trees that you can get to fruit in the UK?

It’s just not warm enough here, nor enough ‘sun hours’ in the year to get to that stage of growth where they are anything more than tiny. Even if you do manage to get some kind of ‘fruit’ it’s not going to be at all edible. I think there have been cases where people have got to a fruiting stage of something half resembling edible, but this is certainly not in the scope of 99% of gardeners in the UK. With enough space in a glasshouse, heated, probably with extra lights it may be possible.. but I think it’s best to just enjoy them for the massive paddle shaped leaves instead. 

Fundamentally the Musa Basjoo Root Hardy banana plant will produce small fruits in the UK but they are pretty inedible. Lots of seeds and not very tasty!

In theory the Musa acuminata ‘Dwarf Cavendish’ produces fruit, but also doesn’t like to get much colder than 18c.. So good luck with that (unless you have a very sunny room in a constantly heated house)!

Musa lasciocarpa the chinese yellow banana is a nice one to grow as it does produce large yellow flowers that are a joy to finally see after a number of years. 

Just grow one of the many types of Musa, or Ensete and don’t worry about it!

 “There a very few hardy bananas that can crop outdoors in the warmer regions of the UK, but the supermarket banana is strictly a plant for heated greenhouses or warm, frost-free climates. Even if hardy bananas survive outdoors they often crop infrequently, if at all. Worse, the hardiest ones are deeply unrewarding to eat, although good fruit from less hardy bananas can be grown in a heated greenhouse.” Guy Barter, Chief Horticultural Advisor for the Royal Horticultural Society

Summary: Yes, you can grow banana trees in the UK, but no, not realistically can you grow edible banana fruit as a normal tropical garden enthusiast!

Further reading:

Other types of banana trees / banana plants you can buy and grow in the UK

Other great banana trees or banana plants to grow and buy in the UK are of course the Musa Basjoo, Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’ – Red Abyssinian Ethiopian banana, Musa lasiocarpa, Musa Sikkimensis and Musa Acuminata Dwarf Cavendish.


Last Modified: September 3, 2022