Musa siamensis or Thai Gold Banana is a quite recent discovery: it was discovered in the east of Thailand in 2002, soon exported to the West and was first described by Häkkinen, M. & R. H. Wallace in “Folia Malaysiana” in 2007.
It is related to Musa rosea by a similar growth and numerous suckers which grow far from the parent plant, up to 50 cm.
Musa siamensis is, like most musa’s, easy to grow: give it lots of water and fertilizer and it will reward you with a rapid growth. It can be grown both indoors and outdoors in the garden. A thick layer of mulch should protect it from colder temperatures but you can also grow it in a pot and bring it inside for the winter.
The pseudo-stem measures 1.5 m, it is green and slender.
The leaves can be up to 1 m long and 30 cm wide. They are green and shiny, the petiole is up to 30 cm long.
The inflorescence is erect, 30-35 cm long, the bracts are pale yellow.
The fruit measures 7 cm long, 1.5 cm in diameter. It is green when mature and yellow when ripe.
Seeds are dull black, irregularly indented and 4 mm in diameter.
Thai Gold Banana
Musa: from the Greek mousa (banana)
Siamensis: New Latin for “from Siam, Siamese”
USDA Zone 9-11, -5 °C
This is a quite recently commercialized species, exact figures about hardiness are not quite sure yet.
Nutritious and well drained
Sun, partial, shade
Needs plenty of water during growing season
Fertilize weekly with universal liquid fertilizer during growing season
In USDA zone 8 or colder it is probably best to treat as an orangerie plant: outside during summer and indoors during winter.
- soak the seeds for 1-2 days in tepid water
- sow in a light substrate
- maintain a constant temperature between 20-25 °C
- germination: a few weeks to a few months
- repot when the seedlings or plants are big enough to handle