Musa acuminata ‘Dwarf Cavendish’

Canary banana, Chinese banana

Musa ‘Dwarf Cavendish’ is the most commonly grown indoor banana. It enjoys the full title of Musa acuminata (AAA Group) ‘Dwarf Cavendish’ (F).

The biggest challenge, other than remembering the full scientific name of the otherwise called ‘Canary Banana’, is to get it to produce its sweet, firm edible bananas – though it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility!

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Origin: Canary Islands
Genus: Musa
Species / Cultivar: acuminata 'Dwarf Cavendish'
Common Name: Canary banana, Chinese banana
Synonym: Musa sinensis

Plant Biography

Musa “Dwarf Cavendish” was named after William Cavendish, the 6th Duke of Devonshire, and it accounts for almost a half of the bananas that are grown for fruit in the world. The Cavendish bananas accounts for 99% of the banana exports to developed countries.

In mass cultivation, the banana plants are propagated by cloning most of the time to preserve the flavour and shelf-life of the fruit.

Musa 'Dwarf Cavendish'
Light: Bright Indirect
This plant likes sun, but keep out of direct sunlight. Best placed in an area near a window.
Soil: Indoor Potting Mix
Enjoys moist well drained soil with composted organics and some drainage material.
Temperature: 12 - 26°C
Temperature range at which this plant is healthiest and grows best.
Growth Rate: Fast
Capable of prolific growth, especially during growing season.
Final Size: Tall
Final size will work as a large stand-alone specimen plant.
Water Requirement: Regular Watering
Water when soil surface is dry to the touch. Water must draining easily away.
Humidity: High
Provide moist air via daily misting or trays of wet grit. Keep away from drafts and heaters.
Eventual Height: 1.5 - 3m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 2 - 2.4m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.

Expert Tip

Bring the plant out in summer for a quick shower to clean off the dust build-up on the leaves. Mist every other day to prevent brown tips from forming.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

The plant can be kept outdoors in summer, albeit in a sunny sheltered spot.

Any multipurpose compost would do, but it’s preferable to use an mix designed for indoor plants. Feed with full strength balanced organic fertiliser, as indicated on the product label.

As a tropical plant, the Musa much prefers a hot spot in the sun. The ideal temperature for the Musa would be a stable 20 degrees throughout the year. There are not many who would object to that.

Expert Tip

The Musa 'Dwarf Cavendish' does not enjoy being pot bound. As a result, when the plant becomes pot bound it will slow down its growth rate or stop growing altogether. Repot in larger pot as soon as the roots coming out at the bottom of the pot reach 5-10 cm.


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