Though it may appear exotic, the Blood Banana has only basic care requirements. Those interested in growing red bananas should learn about the plant's water, soil and light requirements and pest and disease control methods. Potassium-rich fertilizer is great, and you could even consider adding compost and manure to help boost the plant's nutrient intake. The Red Banana or Blood Banana (Musa zebrina) is an ornamental banana tree originally from Indonesia. Bananas require moderate amounts of water to perform well. Use a standard 9-3-27 fertilizer, available from all nurseries and garden stores. If the top inch of soil is dry, then water the plant. The plant reaches a short height of four to 10 feet and will grow in USDA hardiness zones eight through 11. Should I Cut Off the Old Bloom on Hot Pokers? Keep in mind that plants may suffer from winter rot if kept too wet during their dormant period, so take care not to overwater your red banana plant. Blood Bananas require a light, well-drained soil. Red banana care is fairly simple once you've learned what the plant needs. It's recommended that you use 1 pound of fertilizer for a younger plant and up to 2 pounds for a mature plant. When planting your red banana tree, it's important to choose a location that gets plenty of direct sunlight because bananas love heat and sun. Propagate the Blood Banana tree if you wish to grow new banana trees. Average landscape size:Quickly reaches 6 to 8 ft. tall and wide. In terms of the soil itself, note that red banana trees do best in well-drained, mildly acidic soil. This banana can be grown in containers and is suitable for small spaces. Originally from Southeast Asia, these plants typically have leaves of about 6 to 10 feet tall. If growing the plant outside, select a growing area that receives full sun or trim back surrounding trees and plants to expose more of the plant. All types are fast growing, and caring for banana plants isn't difficult. Apply at a rate of three cups of fertilizer for every cubic foot of soil surrounding your banana plant. The red banana plant (Musa Acuminata) is an ornamental plant with tropical foliage, reddish-purple skin and bold, scarlet-colored stems. Fertilize outdoor dwarf banana plants once per month with an 8-10-8 fertilizer. 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. Watering Needs:Water regularly to maintain evenly moist soil - weekly, or more often. Blooms may appear on mature plants. Allow the surface dirt to dry to a depth of one-half of an inch before watering again. Chop off these rhizomes with a spade and plant them in a new location to start more Blood Banana trees. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. First, the soil should always be moist, so be sure to keep the plant well watered and do not let the soil go dry. Even with good treatment, the plant will probably decline. Red banana trees are ideal for temperate climates like in Texas, Louisiana, Florida and Southern California. First, the soil should always be moist, so be sure to keep the plant well watered and do not let the soil go dry. Her work has been published in Forbes, USA Today, Fodor's, Marriott Traveler, SAS Airlines, the Austin American-Statesman, Austin Monthly, and dozens of other print and online publications. 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. Justine Harrington is based in Austin, where she writes about current trends in health, wellness, community, gardening and sustainability. Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. How to Care for Blood Banana Plants The Red Banana or Blood Banana (Musa zebrina) is an ornamental banana tree originally from Indonesia. Propagation From offsets or seed. Though they do not typically produce edible fruit, red banana plants make for an attractive, standout addition to any home garden or landscape. Generally, red banana trees are pest-free and disease-free in temperate gardens. Plant the Blood Banana tree in the appropriate soil. If you're growing the banana tree in a pot, set it in an area that is exposed to sunshine. Give the Blood Banana a minimum of six to eight hours of sunlight. Though it may appear exotic, the Blood Banana has only basic care requirements. The foliage is green with random reddish purple blotches. The banana tree requires large amounts of nutrients to grow successfully. All Rights Reserved. Soil that has a pH between 5.5 and 6.5 is best. If you have a red banana that’s a manageable size, bring it inside before autumn temperatures start to drop and place it in as bright a window as you can find and water it regularly. Fertilize the Blood Banana tree weekly. The best way is to check the top soil, before watering the banana plant. You will notice a general schedule over time. Standing water can rot the root of this plant. The more sunlight the plant receives, the brighter its foliage colors. Do not allow the planting area or container to completely dry out. They can survive winters in the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 10. The Red Banana or Blood Banana (Musa zebrina) is an ornamental banana tree originally from Indonesia. You could also support the plant by staking it to prevent it from toppling over during storms. Design IdeasThis Banana can turn a neglected backyard corner into a lush jungle of stems and leaves. On mature plants, orange or red flowers develop into inedible orange fruits. It should survive until spring, though. Use a standard 9-3-27 fertilizer, available from all nurseries and garden stores. Use a 6-2-12 or 9-3 … Every year, the banana tree will sprout new rhizomes, or stem nodes with their own roots, off of the side of the main tree. At the same time, be careful not to saturate the ground, as this could lead to root rot. The Blood Banana makes an attractive alternative to more common ornamental plants. Gardeners grow the tree for its mottled, red foliage rather than its banana fruit. You may need to irrigate during times of prolonged drought, but bananas do tend to be resilient. Banana trees need a long, sunny growing period of around nine to 15 months. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Water the base of the tree thoroughly until the soil is moist. Ornamental red banana trees can include tall, medium-size and dwarf plants. Fertilize your banana plant regularly as well. Give the Blood Banana a minimum of six to eight hours of sunlight. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, "Hot Plants for Cool Climates: Gardening Wth Tropical Plants in Temperate Zones;" Dennis Schrader; 2005, University of FLorida: About Ornamental Tropical Plants. Red banana plants, with their fiery spikes of red and bronze foliage, are particularly stunning. -Julia Jones, Designing with annuals, Fine Gardening issue #120. Amend your outdoor dirt with compost or peat moss as needed. There are several types of red banana plants, including the Zebrina Banana, the Siam Ruby Banana and the Bordelon Banana. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. This plant requires only occasional upkeep and maintenance and very little pruning. Red banana trees are hearty, big eaters and need plenty of nutrients, especially for flower and fruit production. If you're growing the Blood Banana in a pot, use three parts of a standard soil mixture and one part vermiculite or perlite. Banana plants grown in wet and shady places, require less water than those grown in sunny places. The time it takes for the soil to dry varies according to your climate. Though it may appear exotic, the Blood Banana has only basic care requirements. Ample mulch is helpful for maintaining soil moisture in outdoor banana plantings. Water the dwarf banana regularly, keeping the soil moist but not flooded. In containers, mixes of up to 50 percent peat moss are often used to help bananas retain water. Keep container grown plants moist, but not soggy. Care Provide full sun and humusy soil in a sheltered location, away from wind. Chop off these rhizomes with a spade and plant them in a new location to start more Blood Banana trees. You can simply uproot any pests you see and trim off dead leaves when you see them about to sprout. Water the base of the tree thoroughly until the soil is moist. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening. Overwintering a Banana Tree Outside Water the banana tree. Banana trees add a lovely, tropical element to any landscape, and they even occasionally produce delicious, edible fruit. Red banana care is fairly simple once you've learned what the plant needs. When you're wrapping up your plants outdoors for winter, you may need to cut some stems back from your red banana tree.