Ensete Ventricosum Care Guide


Also known as the red false banana plant or Ethiopian black banana. The red false banana plant is native to Mozambique, Malawi and Kenya. 


 Marcel loves the sunshine and can be placed by a south facing window or in a bright conservatory. The more sunlight the better for Marcel and he will reward you with plenty of new growth over the spring and summer months. Lighting-wise Marcel pairs perfectly with Sasha, Roger and Alex.


Watering Marcel will depend on how much light he receives. More sunlight and warmth will result in a thirsty plant. Water him 2-3 times a week or whenever the first two inches of soil are dry. In the winter, reduce your watering schedule as Marcel will be less thirsty.


Marcel doesn’t need a humid environment to thrive. If placed outside, avoid misting his leaves as the water on his leaves will burn his foliage once the sun gets hot enough.


Marcel prefers warm temperatures and should be placed in a room that is 18ºC-30ºC. He can be placed in the garden over the summer months provided temperatures don’t dip lower than 14ºC at night.


Marcel is a fast growing plant and will benefit from a houseplant fertiliser once every 2-3 weeks in the growth season. Do not fertilise Marcel in the winter months.


Marcel will need repotting once every 1-2 years when his roots start sticking out of his nursery pot. When it does come time to repot him make sure there are lots of drainage materials mixed in with the soil such as perlite and bark.



Yellow spots -  Yellow spots on Marcel could be from two things

  1. Marcel has been over fertilised and it is upsetting his root system. 
  2. Water has been left on the foliage throughout the day and the sun has burnt the leaves. Only mist the foliage early in the morning before the sun is too strong to warm the water and burn the leaves.

Leaves curling - Marcel will start to curl his leaves for two reasons.

  1. When he’s ready for a drink. Check the first few inches of his soil and only water when it is dry. 
  2. He’s cold. Marcel will curl his leaves when temperatures are too cold for him and he will try to protect his foliage from the cold. 

Browning edges - Browning edges could be a sign that Marcel is ready for a drink. It’s important to only water him when the first two inches of soil are dry. This will help prevent overwatering and root rot.


Top tip 1: Marcel is a non-toxic plant and will not cause any harm to young children or pets if ingested.

Top tip 2: Thoroughly soak his soil with a hose or kitchen tap a couple of times a year to wash out any bacteria, extra fertiliser or any soil lacking in nutrients.

Top tip 3:  Take a damp cloth to his leaves every couple of weeks. Clean leaves will help to absorb more light.

reggie barry strelitzia fortifying-houseplant-fertiliser peat-free-soil