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Growing Banana Plants Indoors or Out

Add a bit of the tropics indoors or out with a banana plant. 

The large leaves are great for screening views and creating a bit of privacy on a balcony, patio or in the yard.  Add a wicker planter or chair and you have your own tropical get-away.

The fiber banana (Musa basjoo) is hardy in zones 5 to 11.  It grows in full sun.  It will die back to the ground and benefit from winter mulch in northern areas of its hardiness zone.

Less hardy and smaller, the blood banana (Musa acuminata ‘Zebrina’), has large leaves with red markings on 6 to 8 foot plants.  It’s only hardy in zones 10 to 11, but can be overwintered as a houseplant or allowed to go dormant in other areas. 

Combine these tropical beauties with palms, ginger and bird-of-paradise.  Or add some hardy tropical look-alikes such as Japanese forest grass, large leaf hostas and trumpet vines.

A bit more information:  Push the limits of your growing region with special wintering techniques developed by Dr. David Francko, author of Palms Won’t Grow Here and Other Myths: Warm-Climate Plants for Cooler Areas. And for those in warmer regions check out Creating the Tropical Look.

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