Ensete, or Abyssinian Banana P H N
Musaceae:  Ensete ventricosum var. Maurelii
Ensete 2011
Ensete, September 2011
April 1: I checked my bulb. Its soil was wet and there is one pale shoot about 20 cm long. I potted it and brought it to the light.
May 6: It has done poorly. That first shoot turned brown and died and a new one is very thin.
June 6: Dead and discarded.

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Other Years

June 7: In the garden now and growing. There was one pale green shoot at the end of winter.
March 26: The plant is in the basement in a dark garbage bag. It has had no water this winter. It has one good-sized young leaf.
April 4:   I wrapped the root ball in newspaper, then surrounded that with soil and more newspaper, and put it in a tub and brought it upstairs and watered it.
24: Planted out. It has several new leaves.
September 28: I brought my plant in. First frost expected tonight.
March 31: I kept in in the basement in the dark without water. It has no green parts but some of the central leaves are still moist. Today I put some more soil around it and watered it.
April 10: There is new growth coming up in the centre.
25: Large leaves are forming.
April 5: I kept in in the basement in the near dark without water. It still has one green shoot. Today I put some more soil around it and watered it.
27: It has 2 leaves now.
June 3: I set it out in the raised bed. It has a few dark green leaves.
19: Coming along. Its old leaves are shredded and almost gone but new ones are developing.
June 20: I bought another one from Shelmerdines, $14.95, and set it out.
September 23: It grew a little and still looks good.
May 5: I tried to overwinter it in the house, hoping that the new lights would be enough. I watered it regularly but sparsely, but finally it died down to apparently nothing. Today I watered it heavily.
December 31: It did not grow.
Ensete 2011
Ensete, June 2011
May 28: Last year's plant died during the winter. It was overwatered. I found a fine specimen at Lacoste Nursery, $19.99.
June 5: I planted it near the pond.
September 27: It has flourished.
Ensete, 2010
Ensete (Abyssinian Banana) , 2010
May 15: I took it out to the front, shady porch.
June 28: I built a new raised flower bed in the centre of the garden and put the plant there.
July 2: I returned the last of the disturbed topsoil to that bed.
10: A new leaf unfurled.
12: I topped the bed up with some purchased topsoil, and planted some coleus and dusty miller around it.
August 6: It has been growing fast, with about 4 large new leaves. (It would die during the winter.)
Abyssinian Banana 2009
Abyssinian Banana, 2009
September 28: I drove out to Carman and brought back an ensete, which is in the banana family and resembles a banana with reddish areas on its leaves. I went in to Vanderveen’s Greenhouses there a few weeks ago looking for one. They didn't have any, but the sales clerk, Joan, said I could have hers from her garden. I went back yesterday and dug it out of its container and brought it home. Now to overwinter it! I plan on just potting it up and keeping it in the piano room.
December 30: It is doing fine. Most of the old leaves have died, but today a new leaf unfurled!