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 it is grown in an apartment. The thick stem, erect, is yellow-green or pinkish-green, the whole plant usually reaches 150-200 cm in height, quite quickly; the long oval leaves, waxy, thick, are carried by long yellowish petioles, are dark green, opaque, and have particular rosy veins very evident on the lower side. In spring, at the apex of short stems, this banana tree produces a rosette inflorescence, consisting of long intense fuchsia-pink bracts, at the base of which small yellow or orange flowers bloom. In summer at the base of the bracts ripen the fruits, small bananas with three ribs, of a purple pink color, covered with a very thin hair that makes them velvety to the touch. The fruits of ornate muse they are edible, although the taste is slightly acidic and the pulp, with a floury consistency, contains numerous large seeds; generally these plants are cultivated only as ornamental specimens. The very particular appearance makes them unusual houseplants, but suitable only for those who have enough space to grow them.
These plants need a very bright position, far from heat sources. These plants can also withstand very harsh temperatures, some degrees below zero, those who wish to grow them in the garden should remember to put them in a sheltered place from the cold wind and abundant rain, as well as covering the foliage with tnt in case of very cold winters, and repair the roots with a thick layer of peat or dry leaves. Generally they prefer minimum temperatures close to 10 ° C.
Water regularly from March to October, constantly keeping the soil slightly damp, but without stagnant water. During the cold months the waterings can be reduced, leaving the soil to dry slightly between one watering and another. In the vegetative period, provide fertilizer for flowering plants, or for fruit plants, every 15-20 days, or a slow release granular fertilizer every 3-4 months.
Banana specimens prefer soft soils rich in organic matter, which slightly maintain 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 have a fairly rapid growth, so it is good to repot them every year, for the first 4-5 years of plant life.
The seeds of ornate muse they germinate easily if immersed in water for at least 24-30 hours; It is also possible to divide the tufts of stems that are formed over the years, during this operation it is good to remember to maintain a well-developed root system for each portion practiced.
Banana - Ornate Muse: Pests and diseases
The plants in the apartment fear the cochineal and the oidium; those placed in the open ground fear chlorosis and mincing larvae.