He really enjoys a moist environment, so mist him regularly to keep his leaves in tip-top condition.
He loves the sun. Loves it. Put him somewhere that will get him as much light as possible. He’s not made for shade.
He likes his soil moist, particularly in the warm months. Give him a drink whenever his top two inches of soil are dry.
He’ll enjoy some time outdoors at the height of summer, but introduce him to the outside gradually, so he can adjust to the stronger sun.
Wild banana; white bird of paradise
Evergreen perennial, indoor
Plant height (including pot)
90-100cm; 110-120cm; 150-160cm
Mildly toxic if ingested
Nursery pot size
19cm; 24cm; 35cm
About wild bananas
Despite the name, this is not a banana tree. It gets its popular name because its leaves look very similar to those of a banana tree, not because it bears any yellow fruit.
Its other, more fitting, nickname is white bird of paradise, because of the enormous, exotic flowers that bloom on very mature plants in the wild. It’s rare for plants to flower indoors, but it is possible. If you’d like a flowering bird of paradise, we recommend Nicolau’s cousin Reggie.
In the wild, this plant grows on hot, coastal parts of Africa and Mexico. It likes to bask in full sun, so when growing it at home keep it somewhere that enjoys lots of natural light and doesn’t get too cold. It’s a fast grower, so may need repotting about every three years. It will also benefit from a feed with a liquid fertiliser once per month in spring and summer. It's a big plant that needs food to grow.
Did you know?
It takes a very long time for wild bananas to flower. Typically a plant won’t bloom until it’s at least six years old.