Banana Plants for UK Gardens (Banana Trees)
Banana plants are one of the most exotic looking tropical plants you can grow in your UK garden. They produce large and beautiful dramatic leaves that just give the right burst of tropics to your garden.
In my own garden my banana plants have grown really fast, from small 3″ plug plants to 4m in about 4 years! I expect my Musa Basjoo banana plants to get to 5m within the next year or so. It’s reported that banana plant leaves can grow 25mm in a day, and that seems right to me!

Musa Basjoo in July in the UK

The broad green leaves of the humble Musa Basjoo Root Hardy Banana creates a canopy of shade for all kinds of interesting jungle plants you can grow as companion plants underneath. Click here to find out how to care for banana plants, or how to over winter banana plants.
Tropical banana plants such as Musa Basjoo grow super well in the UK, despite our climate. You just have to be a little careful (creative) in the winter if you want to maintain the height. They grow massive, quickly, and totally change the look of your garden in a good way if you let them, but that is what we want right?!
BUY: Banana Plants here from UK Sellers

Types of Banana Plants (Commonly grown in UK)
Most common banana plant you’ll see growing in the UK and the easiest to grow is the Musa Basjoo, but there are many types of Musa that exist.

The main types of 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.
Another banana plant you’ll see in the UK through the summer months (As it’ll be overwintered inside) is the Ensete. (Usually the Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’, which is a large purple type of banana plant) Technically it’s an Ensete, not a banana, but in the gardening world it’s most certainly referred to as a banana, and a must have tropical plant in your UK exotic garden!
Bananas are some of the most ridiculously exotic plants that can be grown in your garden giving it a truly tropical feel – what could be better than a canopy of really enormous leaves nodding above your head while you sit underneath with a gin and tonic surveying your personal paradise!
These plants are by far, in my opinion the best wow to WOW your friends and neighbour’s, and truly separate your garden from yet another standard garden. Endless conversation starters, and endless joy looking up at them towering over you reminding you of what the tropics are like!
I grew mine from tiny plug plants just 3 or 4 years years ago, and now they are already massive beasts! Banana plants like the root hardy musa basjoo need very little care all really, if you want to maintain the height through the winter they do need to be wrapped up with straw and fleece, but the inconvenience of just an hour or so wrapping pays dividends the following year when you have a much larger stem to start from.
It’s 100% worth it and it’s certainly something I suggest you do! Don’t panic, it’s really not complicated. Alternatively if you really can’t be bothered, they will just grow from the roots next year if you get freezing / snowy days.
Some bananas like the fabled Musa basjoo are hardy as well and with a little attention can live for decades outside!

Musa Basjoo – Root hardy, Japanese Banana Plant
Musa Basjoo in the snow in the UK
Musa Basjoo overwintering in the snow in the UK
Musa Basjoo – The root hardy Japanese banana: This is a Japanese species of banana plant that is root hardy. It is one of the most obtainable banana plants in the UK and also one of the hardiest.
They grow large in size so are not ideal for indoor plants but make perfect garden plants for your jungle garden. The best tropical backbone plant!
We have a dedicated page to all things Musa Basjoo, so if you want to learn more please check out the link below which hopefully covers everything you need to grow Musa Basjoo in the UK.
Fundamentally it’s one the the best root hardy banana plants to grow in the UK as it grows without much fuss, and is pretty hard to kill. There is no chance you will be able to over water or over feed a musa basjoo, they will just take it all day long.
Yes it is best to wrap the basjoos over winter, but this is primarily just to maintain the height for the next year, not to keep it alive. It’ll be alive regardless whether the frosts and snow chop it to the ground, it’ll re grow the next year regardless from the roots, hence ‘root hardy banana’. It’s a winner. If you don’t have one in your garden already get one now! READ MORE : About Musa Basjoo
READ MORE: Musa Basjoo

Musa Basjoo for sale from UK suppliers – Where to buy.

Musa Red Abyssinian Banana – Ensete ventricosum Maurelli
Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’ – Red Abyssinian Ethiopian banana. 
A huge purple beast of a banana plant for your UK garden! Dig up and keep +5c through the winter and you’ll be amazed how quickly they grow the next year.
Ensete ventricosum Maurelii – Red Abysinnian Banana
Ensete are great banana plants to grow in your garden, they are way more tropical than the common Muss Basjoo, but they are more impressive when they get large – and this really doesn’t take very long. You’ll see two types of Ensete the majority of the time, the Ensete Ventricosum Maurelli (purple and dark) and also just the standard green Ensete Ventricosum. These Ensete’s are also known as Ethiopian banana, Abyssinian banana, pseudo-banana and false banana.
READ MORE: Ensete Ventricosum

How fast does Ensete Ventricosum Maurelli grow in the UK and how fast does it grow?
They will grow from a 1L plant to a 1.5m – 2m beast in just a couple of years, reaching a max height of about 3m with about 2m in width in 3-4 years. The growth rate is astonishing, the bulk up very quickly and even growing from a small plant you’ll be struggling to move it within a few years in winter time.
How do you over winter Ensete?
A little more effort than over wintering your common Musa Basjoo, the Ensete does need a bit more attention. Fundamentally you cut all the leaves off, dry it out and leave it in a warm place (above 5c) until the spring when it’ll shoot back into life again. It won’t need any water all winter.
MORE: Read more about over wintering bananas here. 
I thoroughly recommend that every garden has an Ensete for incredible tropical effect. It really is a stunner!

Where to buy Ensete Ventricosum Maurelli in the UK?

Musa Acuminata Dwarf Cavendish
Seen often in your garden centre or Dutch importer, a very tender variety than need more warmth. Musa acuminata bananas are a non hardy species of tropical banana plants that you can grow around your home, or outdoors in the summer (10c+) They thrive well in direct sunlight and require a lot of water to stay alive. They need a lot of attention, but the most important thing to note is to keep the soil of this plant moist at all times.

READ MORE: Musa acuminata Dwarf Cavendish

Where to buy Musa Acuminata Dwarf Cavendish

Musella lasiocarpa
Also known as China yellow banana and golden lotus banana. A stunning small  shrubby banana forming a dense clump 1.2–1.5m high with a similar spread.
Musella lasiocarpa – Hardy Golden Lotus banana
READ MORE: Musella lasiocarpa

Where to buy Musella lasiocarpa

Musa Sikkimensis red tiger
Musa sikkimensis ‘red tiger’ Purple banana is also known as the Darjeeling banana, and is a tall, slender and upright perennial banana that grows up to 4m. Large, wide paddled shaped leaves glow dark purple and red. Grows 2.5 – 4m, and spreads about the same. Takes about 5-10 years  to reach ultimate height. Prefers Acidic or Neutral solid, moist but well drained.
Musa Sikkimensis
Full sun, or partial shade is best for these large banana plants. Ideally in a sheltered, non exposed spot. Tolerant of low temperatures, just not freezing. Ideally keep above 5c, although they can be ok down to 1-2C if you’re careful.
You can underplant Musa basjoo with all kinds of shade loving moisture loving plants such as hostas, or ferns.
READ MORE: Musa sikkimensis

Musa balbisiana ‘Thai Black’

Musa balbisiana bananas are a striking banana that grows in the wilds of Thailand. They are tender plants and need winter protection indoors / in poly tunnel at +10C if you’re growing them in the UK.
Read more:
How to overwinter banana plants through the winter months
GROW GUIDE: How to grow banana plants
What Should I Plant with Musa Basjoo?
Can you grow a banana plant indoors?
Can you grow banana fruit in a UK garden?
Learn more about growing banana plants
  • Wrapping banana plants for winter

OVERWINTERING BANANAS – How to care for banana plants through the winter. 

January 22nd, 2022|Comments Off on OVERWINTERING BANANAS – How to care for banana plants through the winter. 

There are really a few main types of banana plants that most people grow in the UK and they require slightly different approaches to over wintering them, but hopefully we have covered enough here [...]

Common Questions about Banana Plants
What is the difference between a banana tree and a banana plant?2022-02-04T15:42:47+00:00

There is no difference, the banana plant is not actually a tree. Although the banana plant is often referred to as a banana tree, it is related to ginger and actually classified as a herb. The plant has a succulent stem rather than a woody ‘tree’ trunk. You might say the banana is a tree-like perennial herb.

How to grow banana plants in the UK?2022-01-22T20:49:37+00:00

You can either grow banana plants outdoors or indoors but the most important thing is to plant it in organically rich soil that will supply all the nutrients that are needed. They are pretty easy to grow. Musa Basjoo are the best to grow in the UK as they are root hardy, and only require protection from a straw / fleece wrap to get them through the winter. Ensete bananas require being brought into a heated area to survive an average UK winter. 

Can you plant banana seeds and germinate banana seeds?2022-02-02T21:52:26+00:00

Yes, some Musa and Ensete varieties can be grown from seed quite successfully. Musa Basjoo can’t be grown from seed though, just from suckers. Ensete are easy to grow from seeds, and I have had quite good results, as long as you have someone warm to get them started. A small propagator is sufficient to keep the warmth and humidity suitable for growth. Try it, it’s not as hard as you might think! Make sure you buy from somewhere reputable, Jungle Seeds is great place to buy them from.

How fast does a banana plant grow?
Banana plants grow very fast, whether you are in the tropics or here in the UK. My own banana plants Musa Basjoo has grown from a tiny 3” plug plant to over 4 metres in just 4 years. If you water and feed your basjoo throughout the growing months you can expect a good 1m of growth per year. It always staggers me how fast my banana plants grow from unwrapping them in April through to cutting the leaves off in November or December for overwintering.

How fast do banana leaves grow in the UK?
Musa Basjoo banana leaves grow exceptionally fast, I have found that if I cut the stem in the morning, there can often be 25mm+ of growth by the end of the day even here in the UK. Some people report that musa basjoo banana plant leaves grow around 10mm a day, which I can very well believe.

How tall does musa basoo grow in the UK?
Musa basjoo banana grows up to 4.5m – 5m here in the UK quite happily, even without much care and attention. However you’ll only see this size if you protect your banana plants over winter by wrapping the trunks, unless you’re growing them in a very sheltered spot, or in a large greenhouse or solar room.

How wide do banana plants grow in the UK?
Musa basjoo banana plants at full height (4.5m-5m) will take up about 2-3m of room in your garden. The stems get pretty thick, easily 1ft wide ‘trunks’ in 4 years if you keep feeding and watering them

What is the difference between and banana tree and a banana plant?
There is no difference, the banana plant is not actually a tree. Although the banana plant is often referred to as a banana tree, it is related to ginger and actually classified as a herb. The plant has a succulent stem rather than a woody ‘tree’ trunk. You might say the banana is a tree-like perennial herb.

Can you plant banana seeds and germinate banana seeds
Yes, some Musa and Ensete varieties can be grown from seed quite successfully. Musa Basjoo can’t be grown from seed though, just from suckers. Ensete are easy to grow from seeds, and I have had quite good results, as long as you have someone warm to get them started. A small propagator is sufficient to keep the warmth and humidity suitable for growth. Try it, it’s not as hard as you might think! Make sure you buy from somewhere reputable, Jungle Seeds is great place to buy them from.

What is the difference between a banana plant and a banana tree?
There is no difference between a banana plant and banana tree, there is no such thing as a banana tree. It seems like the banana plant has a ‘trunk’ like a normal tree, but it is in fact a pseudostem, which is basically like a big water container! If you’ve ever hacked one around and given it a squeeze there is just so much water in there. So due to the high water content and fleshy stem, any freezing temps will just burst it into mush. A tree is something with a trunk, and the musa basjoo has a soft fleshy pseudostem. A banana plant is technically a herb, not a tree!

Can banana plants grow outside?
Yes banana plants can grow outside here in the UK, and as we have discussed previously on this page, all bananas can be grown through the summer whilst no chances of frost, and then once the frost arrives it really does depend on the type of banana plant as to whether you can leave it in the ground. Broadly, if you have a musa basjoo, your best bet is to wrap and protect and leave in the ground, and if you have a more tropical Ensete it is best to dig up and place somewhere 5c+ through the winter months.

Are bananas perennial plants?
Banana plants are a herbaceous perennial plant, it will constantly produce suckers or pups that sprout up from the side of the root / bulb / rhizome, As a banana plant gets older it will produce ‘fruit’, and when the flower appears it means that this is the last year for this particular pseudostem. Fortunately the suckers then just take over and keep growing.
In my own garden in the UK, each stem will get a good couple of pups each year, so I just leave them in the ground and let them do their own thing, as one day to be replacing the main taller stems in the garden.

Are banana plants annual plants?
As written above, banana plants are herbaceous perennial plants, which form a number of suckers (or pups) that grow out from the main bulb / rhizome which then take the place of the parent plant when the parent plant dies back after fruiting.

How to over winter banana plants in the UK
How you overwinter bananas is dependent on the type you have. Fundamentally it’s usually one of two ways:
For Musa Basjoo you either leave unprotected and leave nature to do its thing – which will result in them rotting to ground level after snow fall and freezing temperatures. Alternatively you can wrap them (as most people do including me) and protect the fleshy pseudostem from the ice to maintain the height.
For Ensetes they need to be brought into somewhere warm, dried out and left without water until the spring. I have a full writeup about overwintering bananas here which describes everything in far more detail!

Hardy banana plants for sale in the UK – which to choose?
If you just want to grow and buy hardy banana plants that you can grow in your UK garden without any fuss, then the root hardy Musa Basjoo would be a great choice for a set and forget tropical banana plant. If you plant it in a sheltered spot, like next to a warm house wall, or somewhere sheltered from the elements you may be able to keep it growing all year round. I would always advise wrapping your hardy banana plants, as this almost guarantees you keep the height to build upon next year. Ensete wouldn’t be a good choice for a hardy banana plant for the UK, they need keeping somewhere warmer over the winter and won’t survive being wrapped at all. Stick with the root hardy musa basjoo banana plant!
Banana trees for sale
It’s often not easy to buy banana plants online or even find cheap banana plants as they are not always ‘in season’ so therefore hard to find.  People are always asking us where to buy banana plants online, so we have created a dedicated page here helping you do just that.  These suppliers are all based in the UK and have stock most of the year round.

Let us help you find and buy banana plants online – Find cheap banana plants to buy today.

Which banana plants do we like to grow?

Our favourite banana plant has to be the Musa Basjoo, the most common addition to any exotic garden, quick growing and stunning to look at. We also grow the Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’ red Abyssinian, Ethiopian banana for sale, as well as the popular and stunning Musa sikkimensis – Red Tiger and the Musella lasiocarpa – China yellow banana, Golden lotus banana – all a great choice when adding banana plants to your upcoming exotic garden.

We have created pages about a number of banana plants that can be grown and enjoyed in the UK, and with a bit of love, care and attention you can get them through a cold winter ready to grow even bigger in the next season.

Other Banana plants you might be interested in!

Musa 'Siam Ruby' – A Dazzling Addition to Your Tropical Garden

Musa 'Siam Ruby' is a stunning banana plant cultivar admired for its ruby-red leaves with green speckling, which adds an exotic touch to any garden. This eye-catching plant is native to Southeast Asia and is a delightful addition for gardeners seeking to create a tropical paradise in their own backyard. In this article, we will explore the features, care, and cultivation of the magnificent Musa 'Siam Ruby.'

Origins and Characteristics

Musa 'Siam Ruby' was first discovered in the wild in Papua New Guinea and is believed to be a natural mutation of the wild banana species Musa acuminata. The plant quickly gained popularity among plant enthusiasts for its striking, colourful foliage. The large, paddle-shaped leaves of the Musa 'Siam Ruby' are predominantly ruby-red, adorned with contrasting green speckling, which creates a dazzling visual effect. The plant can grow up to 8-10 feet tall, making it an ideal centerpiece for tropical-themed gardens.

Cultivation and Care

Musa 'Siam Ruby' requires specific growing conditions to thrive and maintain its vibrant coloration. The following tips will help ensure successful cultivation:

  • Soil: Like most banana plants, Musa 'Siam Ruby' prefers well-draining soil with a slightly acidic pH level of 6.0 to 6.5. Adding organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, can help improve soil quality and fertility.
  • Light: This plant thrives in full sun, requiring at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to achieve optimal growth and maintain its vibrant colours. Partial shade is tolerable but may result in less intense coloration.
  • Water: Consistent moisture is essential for Musa 'Siam Ruby.' Water the plant regularly, ensuring the soil remains consistently moist but not waterlogged. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.
  • Fertilisation: Provide a balanced, slow-release fertiliser to the Musa 'Siam Ruby' during the growing season (spring through summer) to support its growth and coloration.
  • Winter Care: Musa 'Siam Ruby' is not frost-tolerant and should be protected from freezing temperatures. In colder climates, consider growing the plant in a container and moving it indoors or to a heated greenhouse during the winter months.


Musa 'Siam Ruby' can be propagated through division by separating the offshoots, or “pups,” that emerge from the parent plant's base. Carefully remove the pups from the parent plant and transplant them into a new location or container. The best time for propagation is during the spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing.

Landscape Use

The Musa 'Siam Ruby' is an ideal focal point for any tropical or exotic garden due to its bold, colourful foliage. It can be used as a specimen plant, combined with other tropical plants, or even incorporated into mixed borders for added visual interest. Its captivating colour and texture can also make it a striking addition to patios or poolside areas when grown in large containers.


Musa 'Siam Ruby' is an exceptional banana plant cultivar that adds an exotic touch and vibrant color to any garden. With proper care and attention, this beautiful plant can thrive and serve as a focal point in a variety of landscape settings. By following the cultivation tips outlined in this article, gardeners can successfully grow and enjoy the dazzling beauty of Musa 'Siam Ruby.'



Musa 'Zebrina'

Musa 'Zebrina,' also known as the Blood Banana, is a captivating banana plant cultivar celebrated for its red and green striped foliage. This stunning plant, native to Southeast Asia, is perfect for adding a tropical touch to gardens.

Musa 'Zebrina' is a cultivar of Musa acuminata, originating from the Indonesian region. Its remarkable foliage, featuring red and green stripes, resembles zebra stripes, giving the plant its unique appeal. Growing to a moderate height of 6-8 feet, it is suitable for a variety of garden settings.