Musa Acuminata AKA. Dwarf Cavendish / Chinese Cavendish / Southeast Asian Banana

Bananas grow on bushes, not trees – let’s just get that out of the way straight off the bat. In fact, they grow on these attractive little evergreen perennials, which you can love and care for in the comfort of your own home! These striking plants work brilliantly in a free standing planter, or as part of a lush tropical terrarium and are celebrated for their stunning tropical foliage in a rich, deep green colour. Relatively easy to care for too – these little guys are a win, win, win!

Where Does It Come From?

This particular species of banana plant is native to Southeast Asia and grows naturally in hot and humid climates. Of course the full-size version of this plant is farmed for its fruits all over the world, having since been domesticated in other hot countries around the tropics. 

Why Should I Get One?

  • Known as excellent air-purifiers, these plants are useful as well as easy on the eye!
  • Another big plus is that they are fairly resistant to disease and common pests, meaning that as long as you can keep them adequately warm and moist, there isn’t a lot of specialist care involved with them at all.

How Big Can It Grow? 

Whilst it is difficult to accurately recreate natural conditions for this plant without a specialist greenhouse, in this case – that’s actually a great thing! These plants are greedy growers and with the UK operating at lower average temperatures than their homeland, it means we are able to keep them at the perfect size to be quirky houseplants. In an open planter (like a moderate-sized freestanding pot), these banana plants can still grow a couple of feet high, whilst in a terrarium, the restricted space keeps them cute and tiny. 

Where Should I Keep It? 

These miniature banana plants need to be quite sheltered and prefer to be kept well away from any cold air or wind. They LOVE the sunshine and plenty of bright light is important. In general partial shade or full sun near a south- or east-facing window is perfect for them. These banana plants tend to thrive in temperatures between 18-27°C but can tolerate as low as 10°C in the winter. 

How Often Should I Water It? 

Due to their tropical origins, these are pretty thirsty plants and need to be watered regularly. Make sure that the plants are kept moist but well-drained to avoid root-rot. As a general rule, once the top 4cm or so of the soil feel dry, the plant needs another good drink. Overly dry conditions (often associated with the heating in our modern homes) can also damage the delicate leaves of these plants, so make sure to keep humidity high for them by standing them over a wet pebble tray, or misting them regularly. When the plant is young and growing, applying a balanced liquid fertiliser twice per month can help to keep the plants at their best! This isn’t necessary during the colder winter months. 

Whilst you certainly can’t expect waking up one day to find a bunch of bananas growing in your living room, these plants are well worth having! They’re so easy to care for and their lush tropical leaves bring a gorgeous fresh scent into your home. Perfect for open planters or your glass terrariums, these perfect little perennials are a must-have for beginner houseplant collectors! 


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