Musa ‘Ae Ae’ or Koae is one of the most remarkable species because of its variegated leaves and fruit.
It is also one of the most expensive and hardest to grow bananas.
It is difficult to find because only 25% of the suckers are variegated and propagation by tissue culture has not yet succeeded.
It is found originally in Hawaii, where the banana consumption was reserved to the nobility.
Growth is quite fast: up to 4-5 m height in 2 years.
Musa ‘Ae Ae’ is a banana that grows up to 4-5 m high.
The leaves are 2 m tall and striped with white, cream and dark green.
The fruits are also striped white and green and edible as dessert banana.
Koae (Hawaii), Royal variegated banana
They are found in Hawaii where there are no native bananas, so it is not known where they actually originated.
USDA zone 9-11
Well drained and nutrient but especially slightly acidic
Light, shade or partial shade
Avoid direct sunlight as it may burn the leaves (as with all variegated plants).
Requires lots of water during growing period, keep substrate moist
Weekly fertilizing with universal fertilizer
The most important factor is temperature: ideally, the nighttime temperature in winter should not fall below 15-18 °C otherwise the roots may rot
At low humidity the leaves turn brown