Growing Bird of Paradise plants is easy as long as the plants receive proper care. Locating Strelitzia reginae in full sun will encourage production of the tropical, orange flowers these plants are celebrated for.
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The striking bloom resembles a bird in flight and is sometimes referred to as a crane flower.
They make excellent cut flowers and sell for high prices in the cut flower trade.
Strelitzia foliage is also very desirable in the landscape. The big, bold tropical leaves are much like those of its close relative the banana plant only they emerge directly from the soil instead of at the top of a thick stalk. Both plants grow from underground rhizomes.
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Orange Bird of Paradise plant care consists of giving the plants what they most desire which is food, water and sun. This will cause the rhizomes to grow and spread quickly. Give them plenty of room. The larger the clump is allowed to get, the more it will flower.
To keep the clump to its allotted area, slice around it with a sharp spade periodically.
This will sever any roots that are spreading out of bounds. It won't hurt them main clump but will keep it from taking over the entire bed.
If you plant one and later decide to move it, bundle the leaves and tie them together before digging the root ball up. Small clumps are fairly easy to move. A large clump will have to be moved in sections. Alternatively, you could remove all the top growth and just dig and replant the tubers. If you have the heart to do it.
There are two forms of this plant. One will grow to 5 feet tall. The dwarf form to less than two feet. The dwarf is the superior houseplant just for this reason.
Even out of bloom, Strelitzia reginae makes a big impact on this New Smyrna Beach front yard landscape design.
If you are growing Bird of Paradise plants in USDA zones 8-10, no special care is required.
In ground plants in zone 7 will need to be heavily mulched if they are to survive.
In colder areas, keep these South African natives in large pots and move them indoors before the first frost. A greenhouse is perfect but any cool sunny room will serve. Keep plants very dry at this time of year so as not to rot the tubers.
Here, a neat clump of orange Birds is planted beside the much taller white Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia nicolai)
Use an organic food for best results.
Something with a high middle number will promote bloom.
Top dress the planting area with compost each spring and add more each time you divide a clump.
Strelitzia reginae likes to eat often, so feed it twice a month.
Propagation is by division of the rhizomes. I also sometimes see seeds of this plant for sale.
Growing Bird of Paradise plants from seed is possible but seedlings may take as long as six years to bloom.
Giant White Bird of Paradise, Strelitzia nicolai
The Traveler's Palm, Ravenala madagascariensis
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Heliconia rostrata, the False Bird of Paradise
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