The Musa ornata is a perennial herbaceous plant native to Asia; it is the only species of banana that blooms and bears fruit even if grown indoors. The thick stem, erect, is yellow-green or green-pink, the entire plant usually reaches 150-200 cm high, quite quickly, the long oval leaves, waxy, thick, are carried by long yellowish petioles, are dark green, opaque, and have particular pink veins very evident on the bottom page.
In spring, at the apex of short stems, this banana produces a rosette-like inflorescence, formed by long bracts of an intense fuchsia pink colour, at the base of which do bloom the small yellow or orange flowers. In summer, at the base of the bracts, ripen the fruits, small bananas with three ribs, purple pink, covered with a very thin down that makes them velvety to the touch.
The fruits of ornate muse are edible, even if the taste is slightly acidulous and the pulp, with a floury consistency, contains several big seeds; usually, these plants are cultivated only as ornamental specimens. The very particular aspect makes them unusual apartment plants, but only suitable for those who have enough space to grow them.
These plants need a very bright position, far from heat sources. These plants can bear even very cold temperatures, a few degrees below zero, those who wish to grow them in the garden should remember to locate them in a place sheltered from the cold wind and heavy rains, in addition to covering the canopy with tnt in case of very cold winters, and repair the roots with a thick layer of peat or dry leaves. Usually, they prefer minimum temperatures close to the 10°C.
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Water regularly from March to October, keeping the soil slightly moist, but without stagnant water. During the cold months, watering can be thinned out, allowing the soil to dry slightly between one watering and the other. During the vegetative period, provide fertilizer for flowering plants, or for fruit plants, every 15-20 days, or granular slow release fertilizer every 3-4 months.
Banana trees prefer soils that are soft and rich in organic matter, which slightly retain moisture without being too heavy. A good mixture can be prepared using peat mixed with compost soil and a little finely chopped bark. These plants grow quite quickly, so it is a good idea to repot them every year for the first 4-5 years of the plant’s life.
The seeds of ornate muse germinate easily if previously immersed in water for at least 24-30 hours, it is also possible to divide the heads of stems that form over the years, during this operation is good to remember to maintain a well-developed root system for each portion practiced.
Banana – Ornate muse: Parasites and diseases
The plants in the apartment are afraid of cochineal and powdery mildew; those placed in the open air in the ground are afraid of chlorosis and larvae miners.