Are vareigated musas (banana trees) available in Australia?

Variegated banana trees have some of the most striking variegation patterns of any plant. Perhaps you, humble Aussie, have spotted these beauties on Instagram or YouTube and are wondering how to acquire on of your very own. Well strap in, because I have some bad news for you: Variegated banana trees are not available in Australia.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

The production, distribution and planting of banana trees is tightly controlled in Australia. In Queensland and New South Wales, you actually need a permit a plant a banana tree in your own backyard. This is done to control the spread of banana diseases that could threaten Australia’s commercial banana industry.

What’s a good vareigated musa alternative?

While not quite as stunning, variegated canna lilies bear a striking resemblance to variegated banana trees. Here’s an image that show’s what they can look like. Canna lilies don’t tolerate indoors quite as well as banana trees (not that bananas trees love it either), but they’ll happily grow outdoors in most Australian climatic zones.

Will we ever have variegated bananas in Australia?

Australia has millions of banana trees growing throughout its tropical regions. There’s a pretty good chance that someone out there has a variegated specimen growing on their property.

Whether that person notices the tree, recognises it’s value, is able to successfully propagate it on, and is permitted to sell it, remains an entirely different question. Chances are variegated bananas will be readily available in Australia somewhere between a few decades time and never.

Shane Gowland

Hi! I'm a plant enthusiast from Adelaide with a passion for sharing my plant knowledge and experiences. You can check out my collection on Instagram or learn more about me on my website.

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