Musa sp. 'Dwarf Red'- One of the most beautiful of banana plants and many red-skinned cultivars. A strong, vigorous plant which produces a medium-sized bunch of bananas that are a brilliant red and gold upon ripening. Fruit is very aromatic with creamy orange pulp. Most red bananas are much esteemed for good tasting fruit, and this one is no exception. This cultivar also has red pseudostems. A favorite small banana, this cultivar takes 20 or 30 months to bear fruit the first time, then every year thereafter. The skin should be almost black before it is ripe enough to eat. Sometimes the red will mutate from red to all green resulting in Dwarf Green Red.
Bananas are a versatile plant in any landscape. Bananas can add a lush, tropical look to any area. Although everyone knows the fruit, few people have experience growing the plant. Bananas are suitable for all climates given the appropriate care. They have large, exotic tropical leaves and can grow from a few feet tall to nearly 40 feet (12m), depending on the variety. The fruits are delicious ripe from the plant or can be shipped great distances; some varieties must be cooked before eaten. Other varieties are strictly ornamental. Banana plants are fast growing, generally putting out one new leaf once a week. Banana plants can either form clumps by suckering or they can remain solitary, like the popular Ensete maurelii. Banana leaves, pseudostem (trunk) and fruiting stem (raceme) grow from the underground rhizome (or pseudo bulb's) top surface and the roots grow from the lower surface of the rhizome. The fleshy stems sheathed with huge broad leaves can grow from 2 to 35 feet in as little as 1 year, depending on variety and growing environment. Each pseudostem produces one flower cluster, which develops fruit, then dies. In addition each parent banana plant during its life cycle, will produce as many as 10 suckers which grow into new plants. New pseudostems then grow from the rhizome. Bananas grow best in a uniformly warm environment and need 9 to 15 months of frost-free conditions to produce a flower stalk. In the subtropics, fruit ripens in 2-3 months. In cooler climates it may take several weeks longer to ripen. Plant growth stops when temperatures drop to 57 degrees F. Stokes Tropicals Banana Blend (6-2-12) is the best fertilizer source for these fascinating tropical giants.