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PlantFiles: Dwarf Banana
Musa acuminata 'Super Dwarf Cavendish'

Family: Musaceae
Genus: Musa (MEW-suh) (Info)
Species: acuminata (ah-kew-min-AY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Super Dwarf Cavendish

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

13 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts
Tropicals and Tender Perennials

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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to view:

By Michaelp
Thumbnail #1 of Musa acuminata by Michaelp

By Wingnut
Thumbnail #2 of Musa acuminata by Wingnut

By Wingnut
Thumbnail #3 of Musa acuminata by Wingnut

By Wingnut
Thumbnail #4 of Musa acuminata by Wingnut

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Thumbnail #5 of Musa acuminata by GumboLimbo

By Wingnut
Thumbnail #6 of Musa acuminata by Wingnut

By ocimum_nate
Thumbnail #7 of Musa acuminata by ocimum_nate

There are a total of 11 photos.
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4 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative BayAreaTropics On Oct 7, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

This variety does not produce consistent fruit. As you might have noticed, not many mentions of picking ripe tasty bananas!...mine rotted on the plant after waiting two years for my 6" potted H.D. special to grow into a 3 foot clump. In a greenhouse.
And outdoors, it is cold sensitive...leaves blacken in cool frost free winters. Doesn't look very tropical then-ha.

Positive adavis On Jun 22, 2005, adavis from Loveland, CO wrote:

I Winter-Over my Super Dwarf Banana under fluorescent plant lights in the house. I have found that it takes a few weeks to harden off the plant when it goes back outdoors for the Summer, but it does acclimate after a while. I do get some burnt leaves and the plant doesn't look it's best for a while, but it eventually takes off. I do find that after the plant has adjusted to more sunlight, that I can eventually put it into full sun for several hours a day and it does just great. After it gets fully adjusted to the Summer sun and gets new growth, I just remove the old leaves that look bad. I suspect that the previous author may have just put the plant directly into the full sun without hardening it off.

I've read that this plant needs a lot of full sun to produce bananas, so this year I'm trying to keep it in full sun several hours a day. BTW, in my area we get intense sun and temps in the mid to upper 90's are common. In the past I've used Osmicote and regular Miracle Gro, but this year my Banana is doing great with the new time-released Miracle Gro "Shake and Feed."

Neutral wilycoyote1 On May 22, 2005, wilycoyote1 from Sun City West, AZ wrote:

First of all, please allow me to say I do not have a "green thumb." When I first saw the dwarf banana plant, I thought it was a pretty plant, but I suspected it was only going to survive inside the house here in the Arizona summer. Today is Sunday, May 22, 2005. On this past Wednesday evening, my wife put the banana plant on our back patio. Last evening, after being in a shadowy area, but exposed to 100 degree weather, I noticed the plant was in serious trouble. The leaves were starting to seriously wither and blacken on the edges, so I immediately brought the plant inside. I mixed a concoction of "good-old" Superthrive, two drops in a half-gallon container, and added a small, less than teaspoon, amount of Miracle grow, mixed it well, and gave the plant three feedings, spaced about 1 1/2 hour apart. I removed one leaf that was almost totally black.
My wife put the plant on a table in our breakfast nook, and it appears to be coming back!!! CAUTION: I STRONGLY URGE ANYONE ELSE IN THE PHOENIX AREA TO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, PUT THIS BEAUTIFUL PLANT OUTDOORS. ALTHOUGH THE LABEL, WITH A YELLOW PICTURE AND SHAPE OF A BANANA, WITH THE WORDS "Super Dwarf Banana," SAYS ".....for practical in home or patio enjoyment," MY RECOMMENDATION IS IN HOUSE ONLY!!!

Positive DaraMV On Aug 5, 2004, DaraMV wrote:

This particular banana is one of the fastest growing ones I've ever had.

Positive Wingnut On Jun 13, 2004, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a GREAT little banana plant! Stays short and compact so is easy to move indoors in winter. The biggest one I have is no more than three feet tall overall and about that wide.

Some other names for the Super Dwarf Cavendish are Novak, Kovac, Dwarf Nathan and Dwarf Parfitt. There is also a varigated form (white and green), one with quite a bit more red called 'High Color Mini' and a still smaller form called 'Little Prince'.

I bought four labeled 'Novak' last year and overwintered them in my greenhouse in three gallon pots. Sadly, the greenhouse froze a couple times (dipped just under 32 degrees) and three of them froze back. I simply kept the corms in their pots, kept them warm and cut back on the water a bit ~ within a couple months they pupped like crazy despite the cool temps in the greenhouse (around 40 at night and 50+ in the daytime) and short day lengths.

Once outside temps warmed up into the 50s at night consistently, beginning of spring, I transplanted them into half whiskey barrels and put them outside in the full, all-day sun. I used half composted cow manure and half regular potting soil (bananas are heavy feeders). I've fertilized every couple weeks with fish emulsion and liquid seaweed and they've gone crazy.

About two weeks ago, I divided all the pups off the three that froze back, leaving the one that didn't freeze alone, with all it's pups intact, just in case the others didn't make it. I ended up with nine plants that have already produced eight more pups! That's ***in addition*** to the one plant I left alone with it's four pups. So that's twenty two plants from four I started with early last fall, three of which froze back! Amazing.

I understand that the best configuration for getting fruit is three plants/pups total to a "mat" ~ one mature plant to fruit this year, one 1-yr. old that will fruit next year and a new pup that will fruit the year after that. I'll be removing atleast two of the four pups from the one plant that didn't freeze soon. I'm hoping if I take good care of that one, it'll flower and fruit this year. I may have to wait for next year, though.

I just LOVE these little things!

Positive Michaelp On Nov 8, 2003, Michaelp from Glendale, UT (Zone 5a) wrote:

This one is great-grows well indoors and outside-can produce fruit indoors and out too-beautiful ground cover-or standing alone--this is one of the best for inside or people without a lot of room-the fruit are real tasty-Florida-32182


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Lillian, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona
Sun City West, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona (2 reports)
El Macero, California
Fresno, California
Loveland, Colorado
Deland, Florida
Lake Alfred, Florida
Navarre, Florida
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
North Palm Beach, Florida
Maurepas, Louisiana
Las Vegas, Nevada
Emerald Isle, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Williamsburg, Ohio
El Campo, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spicewood, Texas
Warrenton, Virginia

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