Musa Basjoo (Japanese banana)
You can enjoy the lush foliage of the bananas in the UK by growing Musa basjoo. It can make it through a UK winter unprotected if you're lucky and the weather is mild, however it is an expensive plant so it's worth making an effort to protect it.
Position: mainly sunny, with a little midday shade
Soil: rich and fertile or loam based compost in pots
Rate of growth: average to fast
Flowers: white flowers in bronze/red bracts
Hardiness: half hardy - will need protection in winter
An extraordinary, architectural plant with huge, green, paddle-like leaves that can each grow up to 3m long. It produces creamy yellow flowers in summer, that are often followed by yellowish-green fruit. These are not tasty enough to eat, however the plants look brilliant when incorporated into a jungle-style planting scheme, and can be potted up into large pots and treated as a dynamic feature.
Garden care: Though the root is fairly hardy, you should apply a thick layer of mulch to protect the crown in autumn and protect the foliage with a blanket of fleece or straw. In colder areas, or where the soil remains heavy in winter, they are best grown in pots, so they can be over-wintered under glass.