Strelitzia – The bird of Paradise in your yard and garden
Perennial and evergreen shrub with extremely striking flowers that look like an exotic bird, which is why the African-born Strelitzia is also known worldwide as “Paradise Bird“. The most common varieties, Reginea and Nicolai differ in shades, with petals in bright orange-purple or white respectively, but also in the height that the plant can reach. A developed Reginea plant that is the most common variety in our country does not exceed 1-1.50 meters while the white Nicolai can reach 4 meters in height and its foliage is strongly reminiscent of that of banana.
Contrary to the initial impression formed by an … amateur gardener that it will be particularly difficult to enjoy the beautiful flowers of Strelitzia in his garden or balcony, this is a plant without any special requirements and needs.
It needs regular watering, 1-2 times a week during the spring and every 2-3 days and after the soil is completely dry during the summer, while its needs for fertilization are reduced, compared to many other ornamental species. . A common grain fertilizer every 2-3 weeks from the beginning of spring and as long as the flowering period lasts, from early summer to late autumn, is enough.
It is a relatively slow growing plant and so can be kept just as well in large pots for several years but also planted directly in the ground. Both the flowers and the foliage that stays green throughout the year make Strelitzia a real “ornament” for any garden.
It needs sun at least half hours of the day and protection from the north winds for this reason and place it in a similar position, while the only conditions it may not be able to withstand are the extreme cold. In case of frost-snow, if possible, move the plant to a more protected place or cover the foliage with nylon and soil around the roots with a thick cloth.
Signs that your plant is suffering from either excessive watering or drought are the torn leaves and the appearance of brown spots, while in general it is a plant that is very difficult to infect due to diseases.
If while your foliage is healthy your Strelitzia does not bloom, then it needs more sun than it receives at the point where you have placed it.
Each flower blooms twice, if you cut the first one when it withers from below another one will come out.
Its multiplication is done by dividing the roots. Take the plant out of the pot, divide the root vertically into two or more pieces and then plant each one separately.
The beautiful flowers can withstand even more than a month cut and placed in jars, if you change the water often and every 3-4 days lightly cut the stalk at the bottom.
Due to their exotic appearance, the flowers of Strelitzia are especially suitable for compositions using a floral sponge, which they will also withstand for a long time.
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