When we think of tropical settings two plants seem to come to mind quickly, Palm Trees and Bananas.
We see different varieties of palms indoors, but seldom do we see bananas.
They are thought to be too tall or large for the indoor areas most people have available for plants or we dont think that there is enough light.
That is beginning to change with the introduction of the Super Dwarf Banana. The dwarf Banana has been available in Europe for a couple of years, and has been a great success.
There are many varieties of bananas grown. Most are for either cooking or food and some for ornamental use. The super dwarf is a great improvement over the bananas that have been produced for ornamental use in the past.
In the plant zones of zone 9 and zone 10 the super dwarf can be used in the landscape as both an accent plant or in mass plantings reaching a maximum height of 4-5 feet.
For zone 8 and higher the plant can be used indoors or as a patio plant during the spring and summer months.
The Super Dwarf Banana has a heavy caliper stem but remains compact and is very symmetrical.
The leaves when they are young often have reddish patches or blotches and when mature bear small sweet fruit. You will find the Super Dwarf in 6, 8 and 10 pot sizes and occasionally larger.
Culturally the super dwarf is pretty easy to maintain. Remember, bananas have high water requirements so, dont allow the soil to dry out. The soil should be light, well-drained but have a high water-holding capacity.
Normally we see bananas growing in full sun. The Super Dwarf grows best under lower light conditions. As your light levels go up the plant will become more compact and have red spots; moisture may also be more difficult to maintain at these levels.
The Super Dwarf responds very well to liquid feeding and spider mites are the main insect problem. Check out the leaves for any mites and dont forget the undersides!
It is hard to think that a banana could be used as a desktop plant but I have seen some used in that fashion. Keep on the look out for the Super Dwarf Banana in your local garden center soon.