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Care of the plant Strelitzia reginae or Bird of paradise.

Care of the rhizomatous plant Strelitzia reginae or Bird of paradise

The genus Strelitzia, family Strelitziaceae, comprises 5 species of perennial plants native to southern Africa. The species are: Strelitzia reginae, Strelitzia alba, Strelitzia nicolai, Strelitzia caudata, Strelitzia juncea.

Common names: Crane flower, Bird of paradise. This species is native to South Africa.

They are perennial plants with a fan-shaped bearing that reach 2 meters (6.56 feet) in height. The leaves are lanceolate and leathery. The beautiful inflorescences are formed by a horizontal terminal bract shaped like a purple basket with a reddish border; from it sprout the flowers formed by 3 narrow orange or yellow sepals, a smaller orange petal and 2 bluish arrowhead-shaped petals. They bloom in spring and early summer. The flowers can last up to a month and a half.

They are used to form groups, as isolated specimens, in pots and planters for terraces and as indoor and greenhouse plants. They are widely used as cut flowers for floral decorations and bouquets.

Strelitzia reginae grows in full sun and light shade exposures (especially in Mediterranean climates). In order for them to flourish, the temperature must be above 10 ºC. They do not resist cold below 5 ºC (41 ºF).

The soil must be deep, contain abundant organic matter and be well drained with coarse sand.

Water moderately throughout the year waiting until the soil has completely dried.

They are quite resistant to pests and diseases but can be attacked by aphids (indoors) if ventilation is not adequate.

They are propagated by division of adult plants (10-11 years) or from seeds, but it's not a simple process.

Images of the rhizomatous plant Strelitzia reginae or Bird of paradise

Strelitzia reginae
Strelitzia reginae
Strelitzia reginae
Strelitzia reginae