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Care Guide for Musa Red Abyssinian Banana

The Musa Red Abyssinian Banana, also known as Ensete ventricosum Maurelli, is a stunning perennial plant belonging to the Musaceae family. With its exotic appearance and lush, colourful foliage, this plant is gaining popularity as a summer bedding choice, especially in British gardens. Its thick, leafy trunk produces large, vibrant red and green leaves resembling those of a tropical jungle.

Musa Red Abyssinian Banana

Plant Overview

  • Scientific Name: Ensete ventricosum Maurelli
  • Common Name: Musa Red Abyssinian Banana
  • Family: Musaceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Ultimate Height: Up to 2 meters
  • Ultimate Spread: Up to 1 meter
  • Foliage Color: Brown, red, green
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Aspect: South-facing, west-facing
  • Position in Border: Middle
  • Soil: Well-drained, light, sandy
  • Planting Season: May and June

Growing Conditions

  1. Sunlight: Place your Abyssinian Banana in a warm, sunny location that receives full sun exposure. Ensure it is sheltered from strong winds, as they can damage the leaves.
  2. Soil: Plant your Musa Red Abyssinian Banana in well-drained, light, and sandy soil. Good drainage is crucial to prevent root rot and other issues.

Care Instructions

  1. Watering: Maintain regular watering to keep the soil consistently moist. During the growing season, it’s essential to provide ample hydration. However, avoid waterlogged conditions, as this can lead to root problems.
  2. Fertilisation: Feed your Abyssinian Banana every two weeks with a nitrogen-rich fertiliser to promote healthy growth and lush foliage.
  3. Pruning: Prune the plant in autumn by cutting it down and carefully digging it up. Transfer it to pots to overwinter them indoors. This step is essential to protect the plant from frost and cold temperatures, as it is tender. In southern regions, you may also wrap the plants with horticultural fleece and mulch around the roots with well-rotted manure or compost for added insulation.
  4. Overwintering: In regions with milder winters, you can overwinter the plant outdoors with protective measures. In colder areas, it’s best to move the plant indoors to a frost-free environment. Allow the plant to rest during the winter months.
  5. Spring Growth: As late spring arrives, your Abyssinian Banana will start to regrow. Resume regular care, ensuring it receives adequate sunlight, water, and nutrients.


The Musa Red Abyssinian Banana is a remarkable and fast-growing plant that can thrive in the right conditions. By providing it with full sun, well-drained soil, regular watering, and appropriate winter care, you can enjoy the beauty of its striking red and green leaves in your garden or tropical landscape. With proper care, this plant will become a captivating focal point in your outdoor space.

Read more about How to Create a Jungle Garden here. Or view our Top 10 Tropical & Exotic Plants list.

Updated on October 2, 2023

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