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If you live in a cool temperate, northern European climate but want to evoke the tropical look of banana plants in your back garden then you are in luck. Several of the hardiest banana species found so far are available at the 'Seeds of Eaden' Seed shop.
The hardiest species is the 'Tough as Old Boots' Musa basjoo, but don't confuse cold hardy with frost hardy as there are no banana species will be able to tolerate a proper freeze and survive intact. However Musa basjoo is root hardy which means that while the lush, exotic foliage may well die back over the winter, fast growing shoot will appear in the spring once the soil warms up. Unfortunately it is not possible to obtain Musa basjoo seed and so pot grown stock is your only option.
Second in line in hardiness is the far more ornamental Musa sikimmensis.
Native to the mountains of the Himalayas it is one of the highest altitude banana species discovered which goes a long way to explain how it copes so well with our miserable British winters.
While Musa basjoo with survive all-year-round with little looking-after, you need to protect Musa sikimmensis by keeping the roots as well mulched and as covered as possible. Musa sikimmensis seed is available.
Like Musa sikimmensis, you will need to overwinter Musella lasiocarpa by keeping the roots as well mulched and as covered as possible. Musella lasiocarpa seed is available.
The Hardy Snow Banana
Again, keep the roots well mulched and covered as possible over the winter.