Despite its sensitive, tender nature, the Abyssinian Banana, Ensete Maurelli, is becoming increasingly popular as a summer bedding plant in Ireland. It’s well suited to growing in tropical garden schemes, bearing giant, jungle-like paddles of rich red and green leaves from its thick, leafy trunk.
Ensete Maurelli is extremely fast growing, and will quickly grow into a space, as the focal point of the display. For best results, grow in a warm sunny, sheltered spot, away from strong winds, which can damage the leaves and make them look unsightly. Water regularly and feed with a nitrogen-rich fertiliser once a fortnight.
In autumn, cut the plants down and either dig them up and transfer them into pots, which you can move indoors until late spring. In some areas, it may be possible to wrap the plants with a thick later of horticultural fleece and mulch around the roots with well-rotted manure or compost. However you overwinter them, Ensete Maurelli plants should regrow quickly from late-spring onwards.