Strelitzia: Do you know the bird of paradise?

We’ve all heard of the bird of paradise, this beautiful exotic plant with so eccentric looks that they earned him this pretty nickname. Strelitzia is one of the flowering plants to discover absolutely and to have at home to color everyday life . Follow the guide to learn how to maintain the Strelitzia to enjoy its original aesthetic.

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  • Strelitzia, a plant like no other
  • Specifics of Strelitzia
    • Flowers Strelitzia
  • Caring for Strelitzia: an extraordinary bird of paradise
    • Growing Strelitzia Reginae in pot
    • Choosing the substrate and the soil for a bird of paradise
    • The potting of the Strelitzia
  • Maintaining the Strelitzia in pot
  • Multiply the bird of paradise?
  • Diseases of Strelitzia Reginae

The Strelitzia, a plant like no other

The bird of paradise is a fascinating plant. With its beautiful colorful flowers with amazing shapes, as well as sculpted, the Strelitzia Reginae is part of the Japanese Musaceae and Banana family , against all odds.

For the short story, it was Sir Joseph Banks who would have given him his name in order to honor the memory of Charlotte Mecklenburg-Strelitz , then queen and wife of King George III of England.

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The Strelitzia or bird of paradise is a plant that can’t really be called rustic. Rather fragile, it pleases more in pot than in open ground. It can grow in an environment very similar to its original growing conditions, such as the Mediterranean rim or the Atlantic coastline (oceanic climate, mild), but you take risks with this plant quite capricious.

In a very large pot, the Strelitzia can please itself and last for years if the cultivation and maintenance are done well.

Specifics of Strelitzia

the Strelitzia is recognizable between a thousand. If grown in open ground, it can easily go up to 2 meters in height. Composed of a perennial cluster of evergreen leaves similar to banana leaves, Strelitzia Reginae has shades of blue in its leaves.

Each sheet has a large rib visible in the center, which comes in smaller ribs on the side. The leaves are large, large and relatively fragile in the face of the wind (prone to tearing).

Flowers of Strelitzia

Very peculiar, the flowers of Strelitzia are actually horizontal spathes. The petals are adorned with extremely bright colours according to specimen: blue, purple, purple, red, orange, yellow, etc.

The shape of the flowers of Strelitzia gave the nickname to this magnificent plant that seems at all times to be on the verge of taking off . The flowers of Strelitzia Reginae have a very colorful bird profile that stretches its wings upwards: a tropical plant in all its splendor. In South Africa, birds pollinate the Strelitzia.

The delicacy and complexity of the flower and colored spathe strongly contrasts with the large evergreen leaves. The flowers give fruits, which are in reality capsules containing seeds . The seeds contained in a Strelitzia Reginae are highly toxic, so be careful not to leave them within reach of children.

Caring for Strelitzia: an extraordinary bird of paradise

Coming from the tropics, Strelitzia Reginae loves the sun but can as well bear to be grown in half shade. The plant appreciates rich but fresh and airy substrates . With the roots cool, it tolerates dry and drought periods very well.

In the open ground, we find the Strelitzia in the botanical gardens located on the coastline. In the absence of possibility of frost, the plant grows very well and loves oceanic climates.

Growing Strelitzia Reginae in pot

If you live in a rather cool or cold area, it is better to grow Strelitzia in a pot, without forcing adaptation. Choose a pot with a large diameter (up to 50 cm) so that the plant has its place, without however “swimming”.

For wintering the plant, a bright shelter is suitable very well. A veranda, cold greenhouse or shelter are sufficiently illuminated in indirect light so that the plant spends the winter in good conditions. Avoid the direct sun , on the other hand: the plant would suffer from wintering this way.

Choosing the substrate and land for a bird of paradise

A draining mixture is recommended to grow your Strelitzia:

  • 1/3 of special trade soil Mediterranean plants;
  • 1/3 of land from your garden;
  • 1/3 sand

With the right conditions, Strelitzia can bloom if it has regular watering. In winter, it is important to reduce water intake in order to promote the rest of the plant. As soon as the milder temperatures are back, gradually accustom the plant to outdoor air so as not to subject it to stress and temperature shock.

The potting of the Strelitzia

Strelitzia can be repotted every 2 to 3 years , depending on its growth. If you notice that roots begin to want to go out, it’s a good time to repot.

Maintaining the Strelitzia in pot

Practical: Strelitzia requires little maintenance. It observes its growth phase between April and October and can bloom in late spring . Then she takes care of putting her energies into the production of new leaves. Winter rest begins as early as October, when Strelitzia Reginae is already preparing for the next flowering.

In spring, starting in March, compost intake is recommended to promote flowering and annual spring growth. The operation is to be renewed during the summer, while maintaining a good fresh substrate.

Cut dry flowers and dead leaves as you go for optimal and aesthetic care.

Multiply the bird of paradise ?

It is possible, as with many plants, to divide the Strelitzia Reginae and make it a new plant, to offer ! The system is similar to a conventional cuttings and it is also simple (and necessary, incidentally) to follow:

  • At the arrival of autumn, bleak around the root, taking care not to damage it. A circle of at least 20 cm around the plant and its tuft is recommended.
  • Clear the clod and cuttings you want to take.
  • Then repot in the same type of draining mixture so as not to stress the plant.
  • Cuttings should be protected from the sun and will please in a warmer place, like a greenhouse.
  • A wet substrate is needed to create the future roots.
  • It will take about 2 months for the cuttings to make new roots.
  • Once you see a recovery in growth, the plant can be placed in the open air, always protected from direct sunlight.
  • For the winter, protect the young plants and replace them at the arrival of spring in a larger container.

Diseases of Strelitzia Reginae

Strelitzia Reginae is unfortunately not immune from weakness and disease attack. This plant is rarely affected: poor growing conditions and improper maintenance can promote the appearance of accordion leaves .

This happens when watering is too large or the atmosphere is too hot in the room where the Strelitzia is located. It is advisable to place your Strelitzia Reginae in a cooler, unheated room or in a veranda (also not heated).

Roots can rot if watering is too hearty. The leaves deform, the plant can then die if no intervention is done. Overheated indoor wintering is not good for this plant which, remember, is a tropical plant that enjoys having fresh feet .

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