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New This Week

June 20, 2023

Plant of the Week: Hardy Banana Tree

Add a touch of the tropics to your garden with these remarkable plants, known for their ability to withstand colder temperatures

If you've always dreamed of creating a tropical paradise in your garden but thought it was impossible due to your climate, think again! These remarkable plants, known for their ability to withstand colder temperatures, offer a touch of the tropics even in regions where bananas wouldn't typically thrive.

The hardy banana plant is a true showstopper. Its large, broad leaves can grow up to two feet wide and six feet long, creating a lush and tropical ambiance in your garden. The vibrant green foliage, deeply veined and elegantly shaped, is a striking sight to behold. Even when not in bloom, the hardy banana's foliage alone is enough to bring a touch of the exotic to your outdoor space.


One of the most remarkable aspects of the Hardy Banana plant is its ability to thrive in Western North Carolina's colder climate. While most banana plants are sensitive to frost and require warm, tropical conditions, the Hardy Banana has developed a remarkable hardiness (zones 5-11). With proper protection during the winter months, such as mulching or wrapping, these plants can survive temperatures as low as -10°F (-23°C).


Not only does the Hardy Banana plant bring a touch of the tropics to your garden, but it also requires minimal care. It prefers well-draining soil and benefits from regular watering, particularly during hot and dry periods. These plants also appreciate full sun exposure, though they can tolerate partial shade. Additionally, they can adapt to various soil types and are relatively resistant to pests and diseases.


The Hardy Banana is a fast-growing plant, capable of reaching heights of up to 10 to 20 feet within a single growing season. Its rapid growth makes it an excellent choice for filling empty spaces in your garden or adding a touch of verticality to your landscape. As an added benefit, these plants produce offsets, or "pups," which can be easily divided and replanted to propagate new banana plants.


In Western North Carolina, the Hardy Banana plant can be a key element in transforming your outdoor space into a tropical oasis. Pair it with other cold-hardy tropical plants, such as palms, elephant ears, or cannas, to create a stunning display that evokes the feeling of being on a distant island. Combine different textures and heights to add depth and visual interest to your garden.

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