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AdotKarl 02-24-2018 09:50 AM

Musa Balbisiana 'Atia Black'
Hi all,

Some time before last Christmas I ordered and sowed some 'black atia' seeds which have started sprouting this month. So far 3 have properly taken off, with a fourth one which has shed its plug and should go off soon. (Not visible in the picture)

The order was a bit a spur of the moment thing, in which I decided to be oblivious to the fact that they grow to be 18ft tall in good conditions, more than twice the max height I usually limit myself too :D

Anyways, could someone clarify whether or not atia black is the same as thai black? And does anybody have experience with this musa. Specifically in term of cold hardiness. (I'm in zone 9a here)


Kind regards,


jmoore 02-24-2018 11:18 AM

Re: Musa Balbisiana 'Atia Black'
I've been growing these for a few years now. I have always over wintered them in a greenhouse, but this year I left one outside. Time will tell about how it has done. I'm in a coastal location so a bit warmer than most places. I'm not sure about the provenance of these seeds, I've always bought my seeds from a place in India. I've always thought that it is different from Thai Black. Not much help sorry.

AdotKarl 02-24-2018 12:06 PM

Re: Musa Balbisiana 'Atia Black'

Originally Posted by jmoore (Post 313280)
I'm not sure about the provenance of these seeds, I've always bought my seeds from a place in India.

Thanks for the reply. Mine came from Mark Davies Seeds in the UK, who seems to enjoy a good reputation. Not much to find about 'atia black' apart from the same reformulated basic info on seed vendor pages..

Lancelot 02-24-2018 07:26 PM

Re: Musa Balbisiana 'Atia Black'
I've been growing the Thai Black here in WI for about 5 years now, in a very large container. One thing I've noticed is that the purple (black) p-stem gets the color even when very young. I have one pup that is now as tall as the mother plant, but has never been cut down to fit in the house in the winter. The mother plant I have cut down to 4 ft. twice now, but gets to its allowable height of 7 ft. quite quickly when back outside for the summer.

AdotKarl 02-25-2018 08:29 AM

Re: Musa Balbisiana 'Atia Black'
Thanks, Lancelot! Good to know that container growing is an option for these plants. Even though it doesn't get as cold here as where you live, cutting and over wintering in the ground seems risky.

hydroid 02-25-2018 06:19 PM

Re: Musa Balbisiana 'Atia Black'
I bought one of these "Balbisiana" on a visit to "Going Bananas" and if my memory serves me right, Don said they are one in the same as Thai Black. I am in 9a and mine seems to do ok in the ground but so far has not had that dark color on the p-stem.

Tytaylor77 02-25-2018 10:42 PM

Re: Musa Balbisiana 'Atia Black'
My TC Thai black are the same as yours Bo! They get about 4’ then start turning black. At the end of the year they will be 12’+ easy and look very black! I try to keep the lower leaves trimmed. It makes the black stand out more.

Everyone that visits my place walks past all the different variegated bananas. Past the AEAE. And say their favorite is the Thai Black hahaha. They really are pretty plants. I would love to have a pup from the “seed Atia Black” if anyone has one. So i can compare the 2. Thanks for the post! You found me another project hahaha.

hydroid 02-25-2018 10:52 PM

Re: Musa Balbisiana 'Atia Black'
I have been away from home for quite some time and have not had a chance to see the Thai Black as a mature plant but I come home next week and hopefully be home to pamper my plants. The pics I've seen show them to be absolutely beautiful.

AdotKarl 02-26-2018 06:10 AM

Re: Musa Balbisiana 'Atia Black'
thanks for the replies everyone! I'll definitely keep this thread updated with pictures, so you can all compare these atia's with the the thai blacks you are growing.:bananas_b

AdotKarl 04-19-2018 10:10 AM

Re: Musa Balbisiana 'Atia Black'
About two months later, I have 4 small plants from 50 seeds. All 4 sprouted from seeds close to each other and have been growing in a bunch ever since. They might be holding each other back a bit but since the smallest two seem so fragile, I want to wait a bit before transplanting them to individual pots.



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