Banana Seeds

Big Leaves for Exotic Effect

Banana seed

The Bananas - probably my favourite Exotic for a stunning effect, and easy to grow from banana seed (if you know how to break the natural seed dormancy), with plants to 4’ in the first year if sown early! They have few rivals for subtropical effect with huge leaves gently waving in a soft breeze. Some varieties can be treated as bedding perennials if the root stocks are protected in winter with some sacking or other suitable material. (See the Winter Protection Tips Page on our Web Site.) Others are best grown as summer bedding with one or, at most, two years winter protection in a Conservatory or Greenhouse if you have the room! Don’t forget to follow the special germination instructions on all of our Musa seed packets.

Ensete glaucum


Snow Banana

Ensete glaucum is a larger version of the Abyssinian Banana not so well known, sometimes called Musa nepalensis or Ensete giganteum, or Ensete wilsonii. It grows in China up to 2600-8800ft, Nepal, India, Burma, and Thailand.  It has a thick, waxy and blue, solitary trunk with huge bluish leaves up to 10ft/3m long. An extremely fast growing banana given heat, but after trials it has proven not to be so hardy as the Abyssinian Banana. (I have had a Ventricosum survive unprotected out of doors in an open border here in Oxfordshire, regrowing from the trunk after cutting back the frost damaged material.) Easy to raise from seed and very different with its swollen bulbous base and large leaves

Ensete ventricosum


Ensete ventricosum the Abyssinian Banana 10 seeds

The Ensetes are a separate species and only a relative to the Musa family, bearing strong attractive light green to grey green stiff leaves, some with a red mid rib and white bloom to the reverse side of the leaves. The plant shown depicts a 2 year old Ventricosum plant in July after over wintering in a frost free Greenhouse. I have been growing these from seed for many years now so that I always have older plants for a continuous dramatic display, after that they just get too large!

Leaves are not frost hardy but suffer minimal damage down to 0°C or minus 1°C but the root system can take up to minus 5°C if protected. Usually the plant would be dug up and kept on the dry side in a frost free environment until the following year. (A frost free conservatory is ideal!) I have had some success with larger plants by digging them up, lightly trimming the roots, placing into a large pot, cutting off the main trunk and allowing it to regrow. The seed grows readily though if fresh in a temperature of  27°C to 30°C.

Musa acuminata

Wild Banana 10 seeds
Musa acuminata is one of the parents of many of todays cultivars not least Musa cavendishi, the other being Musa balbisiana. Although the fruit looks like an ordinary yellow banana and is edible it has seed within the fruit. I have not tried growing this variety yet but. If you want to try this one out please let me know how you get on I would appreciate the feedback.

Musa balbisiana Atia Black


Musa balbisiana Black 10 seeds җ

This variety has much darker ornamental stems when mature and with its dark green leaves plus fast growth rate it makes an excellent ornamental from seed. It produces large fruits but these are full of seeds so inedible. Quite a tall plant to 18ft but can be cut back to over winter under glass. Quite a tough banana possibly as hardy at the root level as Musa skkimensis if the root crown is protected.

Musa balbisiana X

Musa balbisiana  the Plantain Banana 10 seeds 
Our edible cultivated bananas are derived from two species, acuminata and balbisiana, the seed we offer here are a seeded cross of Musa balbisianna making a fast growing tree to 15ft. Seed comes from plants growing in the lower foothills of the Himalayas so should be reasonably cold tolerant.

Musa cheesmani


Cheesman's Banana 10 seeds

A vigorous, large, wild banana from Northeastern India and closely related to Musa sikkimensis. Large attractive pale green leaves with attractive purple midrib/stems and worth trying outside for the summer. Not as hardy as Sikkimensis to survive our winters at the root level so they will need a frost free glass house to over winter.

Musa itinerans Yunnan banana

Yunnan Banana 10 seeds
Musa itinerans Yunnan banana is a semi-hardy Musa variety coming from high altitudes in China‘s Yunnan province. We thought that it could be grown in the same way as Basjoo or Sikkimensis i.e. hardy down to the root stock if protected. So far though I have not successfully over wintered any outdoors in our frost prone location. Seedlings from the previous two years have grown quickly with a pale bluish tint to the leaves and stems on delicate tall slim plants that add a touch of elegance to the garden border with very thin tall stems. Over winters ok in a frost free well lit location if kept on the dry side.

Musa sikkimensis

Himalayan Banana 15 seeds җ җ 
Musa sikkimensis is still a relatively new plant introduction to the UK proving to be as hardy as Basjoo, but I think more attractive. The leaves are a darker glossy green, with new leaves producing a  lovely pink flush to the underside as they open up. Some seedlings have markings almost as striking as Zebrina, and quite spectacular as a large plant. (We source our seed only from plants showing strong red markings growing wild in the Himalayas.) Since Musa Basjoo cannot be grown from seed, this hardy alternative grows quickly, and once established can be further propagated by suckers. Originating from 6,000ft in the Himalayas, it is tolerant to frost at the roots. Good resilience to wind, and continues to grow in cool weather when Basjoo halts. Fairly easy from seed at 30°C with about 50%+ germination rate, and easier to over winter under cold glass than Basjoo from my experience.

Musa sikkimensis Daj Giant


Back in Stock!

Giant Himalayan Banana (Musa griersonii) 10 seeds җ җ 

Often described as a sikkimensis hybrid its correct name is Musa griersonii. This large, fast growing banana is just as hardy as sikkimensis at the root level and has proved to be excellent for our own summer displays with huge leaves often with a purple hue to the reverse and a silvery bloom to the pseudostems. Germination not brilliant but well worth the effort.

Musa sikkimensis x paradisiaca


Hardy Hybrid Himalayan Banana 10 seeds җ җ 

Musa sikkimensis x paradisiaca is a fast growing hardy banana to 6m with reddish pseudostem and large dark green leaves with a hint of purple on the underside on young leaves. This natural hybrid between M. sikkimensis and M. paradisiaca comes from altitudes of approximately 2000m in India and trials lead us to believe that it is as cold hardy as Daj Giant and true sikkimensis at the root level.

Musa velutina

Pink Banana 10 seeds
Musa Velutina is an interesting novelty for planting out in summer as bedding or keeping in the conservatory. A small slender plant with narrow leaves to about 4ft, which flowers at a very young age (usually in the second year) producing a very attractive red and cream flower spike that stays reasonably upright. The novelty is the hand of small pink velvety bananas which form quite a talking point. In my youth when I first grew Musa velutina I would ask my girl friends if they would like to come and see my pink furry bananas! This banana suckers readily from the base to produce a nice clump for next year, or you can cut them off for additional plants to grow on. It will need a warm greenhouse (15°C), or Conservatory for successful over wintering but is hardier than commonly believed. Musa velutina grows readily from fresh seed at about 30°C.



Symbol Codes

Germination -- Easy Moderate and Challenging

Backlog for Fresh Seed Flavour

Hardiness - To -5°C җ To -10°C җҗ Fully Hardy җҗҗ

Needs Shady Position Sunny Position Water Loving