Musa basjoo 'Shakalin'- Japanese Fiber Banana. We associate bananas with tropical climates, but for us it is interesting to know that there are also some (botanical) banana species in temperate regions of Japan, China, Himalayas and Tibet. The 'Japanese' fiber banana is the most reliable species and best choice. At our nursery this plant is growing in our garden since 1993. At temperatures of around +20 degrees this species makes one leaf per week and pushes the stem 10 to 20 cm in height! The largest basjoo’s grow annually upto 4 to 5 meters height. This tour de force requires a lot of energy and water in the form of regular fertilization and irrigation. Musa basjoo produces small (non tasty) fruits and is grown as fiber crop. A banana can be regarded as a giant perennial. Musa basjoo has no aboveground woody parts. The pseudo-stem has a flowering timer and produces after a certain number of leaves (approximately 25 to 30), the inflorescence. After fruit production this stem dies, leaving new shoots to taken over future growth. The best way to grow this plant is to plant the rhizome at sufficient depth (down to -30 cm, but always above the groundwater table). In the tropics, bananas are always deeply planted to prevent blowing over. An additional advantage in our region is improved frost resistance; rarely severe frost penetrates that deep into the ground. At our nursery the northernmost form ‘Shakalin’ is usually available. All plants are traditionally propagated by divisions from our original motherplants. We have not the problem with weak tissue culture plants that pop up in regular trading.
Sometimes there are also other types of bananas available like Musa sikkimensis 'Red Tiger', Musella lasiocarpa and Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii'