Strelitzia Reginae seed Bird of Paradise

 

Bird of paradise is a spectacular accent plant and again really needs little introducion. With its banana-like foliage and its striking and singular blooms it is rightly a firm favourite as a landscaping feature or as a containerised accent plant indoors or out – handsome flowers aside, this is also a very attractive foliage plant. With its paddle-shaped leathery leaves to about 20 cm in length and 15 cm in width in clumps to a metre high, bird-of-paradise lends a romantic tropical tone to any landscape.

This is an easy to grow, very non-messy, low maintenance plant that is a good choice for use near pool and patio. It is grows quite quickly and is a great choice when you want tough, durable beauty for a new home landscape in warm areas. Used with care and imagination it can be a great addition to the minimalist style gardens that are so popular at present.

Strelitzias like enriched moisture-retentive soils and responds well to fertilizer – feed about once a month during the warm growing season to stimulate rapid growth. When plants attain the desired size you can withold fertilizer to slow growth and keep the plant in scale. Site it in full sun to part shade. Plant in full sun for the most flowers, in shade for fewer flowers but the best looking foliage – shifting shade is a good compromise. Water when dry but remember it does not like saturated conditions. This plant is reasonably hardy and it can handle brief periods of frost with no damage although leaf damage can occur at temperatures below -2C – unsightly, but rarely fatal. Propagation is easy from from seed but note that plants require many years of growth before they begin blooming.