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Red Banana Tree, Variegated Blood Banana 'Rojo'

Musa sumatrana

Family: Musaceae
Genus: Musa (MEW-suh) (Info)
Species: sumatrana (soo-MAH-truh-nuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Rojo
Additional cultivar information:(aka Sumatrana)
View this plant in a garden


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage

Good Fall Color

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



Gold (yellow-orange)

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

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

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


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

Dothan, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Garden Grove, California

Hayward, California

Martinez, California

Oceanside, California

San Bernardino, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Ventura, California

Apopka, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Deltona, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Miami, Florida

Miami Beach, Florida

Palm Coast, Florida (2 reports)

Port Charlotte, Florida

Trenton, Florida

Umatilla, Florida

Venice, Florida

Winter Haven, Florida

Marietta, Georgia

Midville, Georgia

Richmond Hill, Georgia

Deridder, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana (2 reports)

Vinton, Louisiana

Violet, Louisiana

Zachary, Louisiana

Saucier, Mississippi

Clemmons, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio

Lorain, Ohio

Greeneville, Tennessee

Telford, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Boerne, Texas

Bryan, Texas

Canyon Lake, Texas

Cedar Park, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

Galveston, Texas

Grand Prairie, Texas

Hockley, Texas

Houston, Texas

Jacksonville, Texas

Missouri City, Texas

Richmond, Texas

San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

Smithville, Texas

South Padre Island, Texas

Winnsboro, Texas

Kalama, Washington

Orchards, Washington

Puyallup, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 2, 2015, jv123 from Washougal, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This banana stays fairly small compared to many others that you can commonly find. It has a nice blood-red coloration that shows up brightly when it gets enough sun. I have to disagree with the cold hardiness of zone 8a though. I have never been able to get it to overwinter in zone 8b, and even this winter (which has been a zone 9a winter) has killed it completely. I'd venture to guess it is much more of a tropical banana. Great for large pots, though!


On Apr 18, 2013, CharSC92 from Charleston, SC wrote:

Hello, I just re-registered because I could not retrieve my info to get my original account back.

Anyhow I purchased 4 of these Musa Rojo (red banana plants) in containers about a week ago. I'm right on the border of 8b/9a, literally 1 mile from the other Zone and being on the ocean I think we have a microclimate, right here in my yard, which is close to the marsh (lots of reflected sun)

So, I came here looking to see what everyone said about growing this plant. I rated this as "positive" because so far I think they appear like they will do well, even though I've only had it one week. I've seen the regular green (non-variegated) banana plants growing on this street for years so, I suppose mine will do all right if I get a little more information on how... read more


On Aug 4, 2010, the_howards10 from Lorain, OH wrote:

My husband and I have two in our front yard. This is our second year of having them. They are big and beautiful!They set off a awesome tropical theme!


On Jun 27, 2010, donnacreation from Sumter, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I planted several of these last year and none of them survived winter 2010. Since they're supposed to be cold hardy to zone 8a, I didn't protect them. I'm trying 2 more this year and plan to mulch them. If they don't survive in ground with protection, they are not reliably cold hardy in zone 8a and their cold hardiness zone should be changed to 8b or 9a. Plants that can't survive in ground year round should not be listed as viable in zones where they only spend time outdoors during the warm season. Thanks!


On Feb 19, 2010, bonsai94 from Palm Coast, FL wrote:

I have 2 of these banana trees in my landscape. They die back in winter ,but when the warmweather roles around they are great tropical acent plants.


On Jul 19, 2007, Trussell from Stanfield, NC wrote:

I bought this plant because i wanted a tropical feel to my pool. I immediately had to separate it because there were 8-9 sprouts around the mother plant. I live in North Carolina, and placed the plants around the pond and pool. However it isn't growing as rapidly as I thought it would. I planted some in containers and some in the ground.


On Oct 30, 2006, Ula_Ashore from Corpus Christi, TX wrote:

When we first brought this plant home, we gave it room, sun, shade, great soil, food, love and water, but it didn't thrive. Two years later my husband and I decided to gut the patio so we bundled up our puny banana tree in a black garbage bag and placed in the front garden with no further thought. The thing took off like a weed! Now two trees over fifteen feet tall, the base sends up tiny banana trees with frightening regularity. Also, for the very first time, we have a stalk of about 30 fruits. The local nursery said the fruit aren't edible, but since no one says the fruit are poisonous, I may just have a bite to see for myself. The flowers have a wonderful, subtle scent. This banana is so gorgeous, my neighbors are clamoring for cuttings!


On Aug 18, 2006, soulbloom from Richmond, VA wrote:

I've had my 'Rojo' banana for about 3 weeks. I planted it in my garden in the front yard. I live in Zone 7a but I supposedly have a microclimate of about 8a or 8b. So far so good. This specimen stands out planted with my other flowers. Next spring I will surround it with low growing annuals.


On Jul 26, 2006, YankeeCracker from Vancouver, WA wrote:

I planted the red banana tree in the spring. The first couple of weeks, nothing, didnt seem to grow, but now its been growing fast! If any change i will let you know.


On Jul 19, 2006, cereal_tiller from South Padre Island, TX (Zone 10a) wrote:

Our banana trees grow like weeds; they love heavy, organic feedings (I feed fish byproducts and shells from shell fish. harvested many delicious fruits sweeter than grocery store produce. The "blooms" are large and exotic.


On Oct 14, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Since it does not rain all summer here in the San Francisco Bay (California) area it was interesting to see a yard of these growing like a giant ground cover of 2-3 foot plants in a Berkeley yard that was not very well watered....


On Aug 16, 2005, eizus from Apopka, FL wrote:

We live in Apopka, Florida and our banana trees are five yrs old. This plant is outside in part shade/part sun area. We have oak trees in our yard which keeps the ground fertile. I have never fertilized the banana trees, nor do I know what kind it is. They stand 7 - 8 ft only and we now have a huge bunch of bananas our two trees now, they are thin bananas about 1 1/2 inch round and 4-5 inches long, they have been out for about 2 months now, I don't know when to harvest them. I will wait a few more weeks and harvest them I guess. Also around the bottom there are five or six new plants coming up; they just reseed or shoot up by themselves.

--- Going bananas in Apopka...


On Feb 13, 2004, gotmel from Lone Jack, MO wrote:

Banana trees contain a certain enchantment about them maybe because they are a tropical not often seen in my home town of Missouri. I placed mine outside during the summer and they grew and grew. I have noticed that these trees must have a constant supply of water to keep their leaf color green. In the winter if you don't have room for them in your house, Wait until the first few frost or until the leaves turn brownish black. Chop off the top of the plant and leaves and remove from ground. Wrap bare stem and roots in newspaper and cover with a plastic bag. Place in a cool, moist, dark place above freezing. Plant again next spring and see the green leaves pop out of the dried up stem


On Nov 6, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, Tx.
This banana can be grown in containers and is suitable for small spaces. Use a 6-2-12 or 9-3-27 fertilizer.


On Jul 7, 2003, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

Also known as the Blood banana.


On Sep 15, 2002, tiG from Newnan, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

One of the easiest, most enjoyable things I've ever grown. Feed and water heavy, and enjoy!


On Aug 31, 2002, Horseshoe from Efland, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Collect and sow seed as soon as they are ripe. Warm soil (inside)70-75*.
Can also be propagated by removing the suckers from the parent plant and potting them.
Note. Many banana "trees" will die after they've produced fruit. The stalk that has produced the fruit is usually cut away and the sucker or suckers that grow up from the base are then allowed to grow.