Darjeeling Banana, Hooker's Hardy Banana

Musa sikkimensis

Family: Musaceae
Genus: Musa (MEW-suh) (Info)
Species: sikkimensis (sik-im-EN-sis) (Info)
View this plant in a garden


Edible Fruits and Nuts

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


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:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

This plant is monocarpic

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Granite Bay, California

Martinez, California

Mountain View Acres, California

Rancho Mirage, California

Clayton, Georgia

Cordele, Georgia

Vinton, Louisiana

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Stilwell, Oklahoma

Portland, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 25, 2014, siege2055 from Stilwell, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have grown 3 of these from seed that germinated last December. I planted 1 in a pot, and 2 in the ground, all 3 plants are fed, and watered like my other Musa species, and cultivars. They seem at least for me to be a slower growing Musa, and they are all around only 3 feet in height from a full summers growth. This is much slower than my other bananas, both divisions, and tissue culture plants. They look good, but I am giving them a neutral rating because of slow growth, which might not be good for a more northern gardener with a short season.


On Apr 27, 2011, CrispyCritter from Clayton, GA wrote:

Out of 10 seeds planted in the winter of 2010, one plant came up.
Last spring I put the plant in the ground and it was about 1 foot tall then.
By Fall, it was about 7 foot tall and had large 3 foot leaves.
In late fall I cut the pseudostem back to about 4 foot, put a wire cage around it and filled it with leaves. I covered this whole thing with a teepee made of 4 mil plastic sheet and bamboo poles.
(I think it would be fine with much less protection, but I just wanted to be sure for its first winter in ground)

This Spring 2011 I uncovered in early April and the stem was still green 3 foot up. Right now at the end of March it has grown 1 1/2 feet already and has two large leaves and 4 pups that appeared at its base over winter.
The lowes... read more


On Apr 26, 2008, Cordeledawg from Cordele, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I just received this plant from Agristarts so I can only give it a neutral until I actually experience growing in my gardens. According to the seller, its zone hardiness 5-9. Sounds like a great cold weather tolerant banana plant. Its wind tolerant and needs full sun with no less than 30% shade. Foliage growers should use 30% to 60% shade. Soil requirements: need good water holding capability so I will use water sorb crystals in my planting hole. Mature height is 15'. Sikkimensis is the same cultivar a hookerii according to the description on Agristarts.


On Nov 15, 2005, wallaby1 from Lincoln,
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

15 seed bought from jungleseeds in UK, selected from plants with most red in the wild 6,000 feet up in the Himalayas. Soaked 5 days, sowed I think in April/May 2004, kept in sunny greenhouse to start, when got too hot moved to shaded greenhouse. 4 germinated mid July in cooler spell around 17C, another 4 germinated late September when cool. Compare the two lots in photo, 2nd lot slow to catch up. Kept in spare bedroom over winter 16 -18C, then cold greenhouse, and outside in summer. Cool summer 2005 they grew very well whereas musa basjoo hardly moved. Leaves also much broader, darker, stronger. 4 colour-ways in both lots, green top/light maroon flush back; green top/maroon midrib on back; some colour on top and back; very strong colour on top and back almost purple and covering mos... read more


On May 15, 2004, Soonarmy from Ludlow, Shropshire, UK.,

I have managed to grow this plant from seed, but my success rate was only 1 seed out of 8. I soaked the seed for 2 days in tepid water on a radiator, then transferred it to a propagator. The seed germinated in about 6 weeks in a 3 inch pot. I was very careful not to damage the root system or over water it until it became established. Once it was growing well, it could be potted up without any worries. It is a wonderful plant, with slightly reddish undersides to the leaves, and is growing nicely outside in Shropshire, UK.


On Apr 24, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This banana is one of the more exciting ones in the nursery trade as it is probably one of the most cold hardy species available, and it's relatively new. Some forms have very ornamental reddish to maroon variegation on the leaves. It is a tall banana and it's a fairly rapid grower. Not sure if the fruit is all that edible but it gives a great tropical look to those gardens that see a lot of frost that otherwise couldn't support bananas. From the high elevations of India and nearby.