Musa sikkimensis ‘Bengal Tiger’

Darjeeling Banana

(2 customer reviews)

£18.95

Musa sikkimensis ‘Bengal Tiger,’ also known as Bengal Tiger Banana or Darjeeling Banana, is an extraordinary ornamental banana plant originating from the eastern Himalayas, specifically the Sikkim region in India. Belonging to the Musaceae family, this unique banana species showcases captivating features that make it a sought-after choice for landscaping.

Elevate your garden’s aesthetics with the mesmerizing ‘Bengal Tiger’ banana, adding a touch of the exotic to your outdoor space.

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Origin: Eastern Himalayas
Genus: Musa
Species / Cultivar: sikkimensis 'Bengal Tiger'
Common Name: Darjeeling Banana

Plant Biography

Musa sikkimensis was discovered by western horticulture in the late 19th century. British botanist Sir George King was instrumental in identifying this striking banana species during his exploration of the Sikkim region in the eastern Himalayas. In 1886, he officially described and named it “Musa sikkimensis” to commemorate its origin. Its distinct maroon-red undersides of leaves caught the attention of botanists and horticulturists worldwide, leading to its introduction to botanical gardens and subsequent cultivation as an ornamental plant, treasured for its unique beauty and cold-hardiness.

The standout characteristic of ‘Bengal Tiger’ lies in its large, paddle-shaped leaves adorned with a striking and vibrant colour pattern. The prominent maroon-red stripes running lengthwise across the leaves resemble the majestic coat of a Bengal tiger, hence the name. As the plant matures, these patterns become more pronounced, adding to its visual appeal.

Musa sikkimensis 'Bengal Tiger'
Soil: Moisture Retaining
Soil that drains at a slower rate due to higher organic matter content.
Growth Rate: Fast
Expect to see prolific growth, especially during growing season.
Water Requirement: High
Likely to require supplementary watering in warmer months, even once established.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Full Sun to Part Shade
Enjoys direct sun most of the day, but tolerant of fewer sunlit hours or light dappling.
Eventual Height: 3-4.5m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 2-3m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Hardy
Survives unprotected in an average winter. May need protection in extreme long frosts.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

For plants grown directly in the ground, cut stems back to 60cm after frost kills the leaves, wrap stems with hessian, horticultural fleece, or any other breathable material, and apply a thick mulch to the ground to protect the roots. Plants in containers may be kept in a dry, unheated area over winter.

Whether kept indoors or outdoors, it’s important to consider that the Darjeeling Banana is a large plant when it matures, and thus requires a spot with enough space.

Expert Tip

During the growing season Musa sikkimensis 'Bengal Tiger' is almost impossible to overfeed or overwater and can repay your care with a new 3-metre long leaf every week!
Banana & ginger care

Banana & ginger care

Bananas and gingers are heavy feeders and require plenty of water and fertiliser throughout the growing season to achieve maximum results.

For more information, check out out care guide for outdoor banana plants.

2 customer reviews for Musa sikkimensis ‘Bengal Tiger’

Yet another excellent plant from the Palm Centre. Musa Sikkimensis in 2 L pot up to the usual high standard and great value. From my experience you can buy with confidence.

Steve (verified owner)

I brought this plant in the sale. However the plant wasn’t in the best condition and looked like it hadn’t been taken care of properly before it arrived. Also it was much smaller than expected. Not sure I would buy another one from here. I was disappointed because I’ve had beautiful plants from here in the past.

The Palm Centre reply: Hi Samantha, we’re sorry you were disappointed about the size of this banana plant. We will be in touch shortly to discuss options.

Samantha Stewart (verified owner)