Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: False Banana, Red Abyssinian Banana, Wild Banana
Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii'

Family: Musaceae
Genus: Ensete (en-SET-ee) (Info)
Species: ventricosum (ven-tre-KO-sum) (Info)
Cultivar: Maurelii

Synonym:Ensete edule
Synonym:Musa ensete
Synonym:Musa arnoldiana
Synonym:Ensete arnoldianum

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

16 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

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

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us


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

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 42 photos.
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7 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive BayAreaTropics On Dec 5, 2013, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Always a eye catching plant. Easy to grow. Best protected from winds,and given steady watering in summer.
Now,as far as hardiness? It will show leaf damage at 36f, blackened leaves at 33f. Yet, no big deal as it comes back early in spring. You can try covering in near frost temperatures,but its a big plant to tuck under sheets.

Positive shirleyk1 On Oct 26, 2013, shirleyk1 from New Orleans, LA wrote:

A beautiful and rapid growing plant. My only problems with it have been leaf damage due to winds. The trunk gets huge: right now after one year in the ground the base is a good 20 inches in diameter. But it is blooming--death follows. I am going to remove the incipient bloom hoping to delay the plant's decline.
And yes, I will get another!

Positive MrBeaker On Apr 25, 2012, MrBeaker from Lathrop, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Mine has survived two winters in the ground. I'm in zone 9B, but last winter was exceptionally cold, and we hit 23F one night. It is usually one of the first bananas to come back. The leaves turn brown and drop, but that is to be expected from any banana in this climate. The pseudo stem survives without any trouble here.

Positive hmbgerl On Apr 18, 2010, hmbgerl from Folsom, CA wrote:

California Zone 9 - We bought ours in the summer of 2009 and it flourished even in our hot summer months. Then in Winter, after a few days of harsh frost, the leaves became burnt and brown. The ground was also pretty wet from continuous rain and even with amended soil, the clay-like substrate retained lots of water. We read online that you can completely pull the banana plant from the ground, and "overwinter" it in a crawl space or garage. So, we dug ours up & kept ours without soil, water, and sunlight until no chance of frost. Upon the return of warm days (mid-March) we replanted it. Two new leaves have emerged already and it seems to be doing well.

Positive zillabug On Aug 16, 2009, zillabug from Cato, NY wrote:

A very easy to grow tropical. Japanese Beetles love to munch on the leaf tips. It is a 'Mite Magnet' in the greenhouse. Reacts very well to steady food and water during warm temperatures- we water 2-5 gallons daily at 100 ppm 15-5-5. Does well in containers, the bigger the better, does very well in the ground. We cut ours down to 12'' above the ground, dig up and put in nursery containers prior to the first frost, and leave in a 64 degree greenhouse until mid May. The root system is minimal, it is just a large 'bulb'. The new leaves start to appear from the stump in a month or so after cutting. The growth really starts to takes off in February, when the daylight hours begin to get longer. Plant in a protected area because a moderate wind can rip the leaves. We have had second (and 3rd, 4th) year plants grow 15' in one summer, the plant demands space and full sun. It can produce a large (12-18") black and orange flower... but then the plant will die. This plant has been a lot of fun to grow, and we have gotten many compliments on it.

Neutral albey30 On Nov 27, 2007, albey30 from Christchurch
New Zealand (Zone 9a) wrote:

I used to have this plant, and are getting another 3 very soon, as it is just starting to get into summer here. The plants leaves will die back as soon as the temperature drops to zero degrees celcius ( 32 F ). As is the case with most bananas, but will grow back in the spring. I dont know what the ultimate low temperature is before the plant dies ??? But I live in ( ZONE 9a - 9b ) in New Zealand and the plant survives right through winter outside and sprouts up again in the spring.

Positive wallaby1 On Aug 31, 2006, wallaby1 from Lincoln
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

Although I have not had this plant for long, the quick growth and deep colouring of the leaves make it a desirable plant to own.

I will bring this inside when colder weather arrives. In answer to those who are perplexed by it's cold hardiness, most musas or ensete stop growing once below a certain temperature, I have read 56F.

Musas and Ensetes often will not lose their stem if kept frost free but leaves will wither, I kept an Ensete ventricosum inside last winter and it started to regrow in spring, with older leaves dying back gradually. The room temperature was not less than 59F (15C), mostly a little above.

Ensete Maurelli is said to be quite hardy, I know of a grower of tropicals here that kept his in a polytunnel for the first winter and planted it out the next summer to establish, losing it's stem over the next winter but regrowing the following year. It had achieved a good height, but the roots must be well mulched to protect from frost.

Because of the size this plant can grow to, if growing in an area which gets frost in the winter you either need to be able to grow it in a very large conservatory, or risk it in the ground and mulch it well. It is supposed to make pups, I would prefer to have some before I try it in the ground but may just have to plant it and take the risk.

The red colour is enhanced by colder weather, greening out in hot climates.

Positive koolkatken On Jan 19, 2006, koolkatken from Auckland
New Zealand wrote:

I have this in my garden in Auckland NZ. It grows pretty big and is pretty. BUT, I don't quite think it is as hardy as listed here. Last winter we had a night where it was about 38-39F and all the leaves got brown spots and began to die. It warmed up again and quickly recovered, but a long time of below freezing? Don't know...

Neutral kviolette On Feb 15, 2004, kviolette from Raleigh, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Last fall I purchased an Ensete maurelii and plan to put it out into my Raleigh, NC garden in the spring. My understanding from other websites (including Plant Delights Nursery) is that this plant is hardy to Zone 8 and so is more cold tolerant than is listed here. I will find out more before leaving it in the ground next winter - does anyone out there have any experience?



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

Mobile, Alabama
Baywood-los Osos, California
Folsom, California
Fresno, California
Hayward, California
Lathrop, California
Martinez, California
Northridge, California
San Diego, California
San Leandro, California
Temecula, California
Vallejo, California
West Hills, California
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Navarre, Florida
Lake Charles, Louisiana
New Iberia, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Natchez, Mississippi
Las Vegas, Nevada
Rochester, New York
Calabash, North Carolina
Clemmons, North Carolina
Perrysburg, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
New Ellenton, South Carolina
Liberty Hill, Texas
Richmond, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

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