Musa acuminata ‘Dwarf Cavendish’

Source: Own work

Musa acuminata ‘Dwarf Cavendish’

Musa acuminata ‘Dwarf Cavendish’ or Dwarf Banana is a cultivar of Musa acuminata, which, as the name suggests, is much smaller: 2-2.5 m.

It is much easier to grow indoors and you can even harvest bananas if the conditions are good: lots of light throughout the year, in winter and a south-facing window, and a fairly warm place.

The bananas are sweet and less curved than the ‘Chiquita’ banana (cv. Grand Nain), which we usually find it in store.

In the summer it can stand outside in full sun and sheltered from the wind so the leaves do not tear.

It produces suckers freely, so after the first year you have got a nicely filled pot.

The easy care, edible bananas and rapid growth make it a very nice plant that is also very suitable for beginners.


Although Dwarf Cavendish is a dwarf, it reaches about 2.5 m at maturity, which is still small compared to the normal Musa acuminata height of 9 m.

The trunk is fairly thick and sturdy. The leaves are up to 4 m long, the petioles are relatively short. Young leaves may be tinged with red but a normal leaf is bright green.

The flower is quite large. The button is purple and appears at the top of the stem between the leaves. The flowers are small and white. An easily recognizable feature of this cultivar is that the male bracts are not shed.

Bananas are formed after flowering. They are 15-25 cm long, less curved than the “Chiquita” banana, with a thin skin and sweet edible flesh.

Indoors, there will only produce bananas if the plant is in a suitable location: full sun in the summer, a window to the south in the winter and enough heat.


Common names:

Canary banana, Cavendish banana, Chinese banana, Dwarf Cavendish banana


Musa acuminata Colla (Cavendish Group) cv. ‘Dwarf Cavendish’, Musa x paradisiaca L. cultigroup Dwarf Cavendish, Musa cavendishii var. nana, Musa acuminata, Musa nana, Musa chinensis, Musa sinensis


Musa: is said to be derived from the Sanskrit word muca, via Latin and Arabic.
Cavendish: Cavendish bananas are named in honor of William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire, who got an early specimen and whose greenhouses developed the cultivars used for commercial exploitation around the world.


Asia: China, Vietnam


USDA zones 9-11, 0 °C



Nutritious, moist and well draining.


Sun, light


Water daily during the summer.


Fertilize weekly during the growing season with universal liquid fertilizer.


Repot in the spring, when the pot is too small.


Only by suckers. The suckers may be removed from the mother plant when they are 1/3 to 1/2 the height of the mother plant.