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The Strelitzia is an exotic flower that you can get in almost all flower shops and is used for decorative purposes in your own home. It scores with its striking flower, which is why the Strelitzia is particularly popular as a cut flower. The flowers are so unique in shape and color that they resemble the feather crests of birds of paradise. For this reason, the flower is colloquially called the bird of paradise flower. This is sure to bring a strong dose of southern charm to your home when cultivated as a container plant in a bright and spacious room or in the conservatory. You will soon find out what else you should know about this exotic flower and what you need to consider when caring for it.
The Strelitzia is rightly called the bird of paradise flower.
- Origin, Appearance and Location of Strelitzia
Originally, the exotic comes from the southern part of Africa, but is also widespread on the Canary Islands. It was first described in Europe in 1773 by the English botanist Sir Joseph Banks and named after Queen Sophie Charlotte, née Princess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
The bird of paradise flower is quite unique in appearance.
Today, florists are aware of five types of Strelitzia, which mainly differ in wax and flower colour. The king's Strelitzia (Strelizia reginae) is undoubtedly very popular. It has an eye-catching appearance and distinctive large greenish bracts. But the six petals are quite striking, the outer ones are orange and the inner ones sky-blue. With their flower colors and shapes, the Strelitzia attracts everyone's attention. The other species are no less beautiful, but colored differently and can grow between two and ten meters high, depending on the species. For example, the Strelitzia alba enchants us with its exotic white flowers, but these are difficult to grow at home because it grows quickly and can reach 10 m in height. This species is more suitable as an exotic decoration for public spaces.
The King's Strelitzia scores with its striking flower.
But the King's Strelitzia can be cared for at home. The plant likes temperatures between 8 and 18 degrees C. Choose a sunny spot for this exotic species and do not move the plant once it has formed flowers. When changing location, it no longer forms flowers. For the demanding beauty, you need to prepare loamy and nutrient-rich soil that is still well-drained. When planting for the first time or repotting, be sure to provide a drainage layer to prevent waterlogging.
You'll have to be patient for this bloom though.
- Important care tips for the exotic plant at a glance
The Strelitzia is a perennial and the following applies to its care:
Watering: In summer you can water generously as needed, in winter moderately. Keep the soil in the pot slightly dry during the cold months. Avoid waterlogging, as this can cause the roots to rot quickly.
Fertilize: From May to October it is advisable to supply the plant with suitable fertilizer for potted plants.
Repotting: The best time for repotting is March/April, i.e. late spring. Every three years you have to repot the Strelitzia and always get a 20% larger container. When repotting, be careful not to damage the fleshy roots.
The Strelitzia thanks you for the right care with an exotic flower.
Wintering: The Strelitzia is best wintered in a bright and sunny place where the temperature does not fall below 10 degrees and not 18 Grade C skips.
Extra Tip: Withered or older leaves should be removed regularly. In this way, the remaining green foliage gets enough light and air to continue growing he althily. It's also good to know that the exotic plant's lush green leaves are slightly poisonous, potentially dangerous for small children and pets.
Propagation: The Strelitzia can basically be propagated by division or seeds. When dividing, you must ensure that the side shoot has already taken root and has at least three leaves. Propagation by seeds is also possible, but you need a lot of patience for this, because germination will only start in a few weeks, but it can also take months. In such a case, do not expect your Strelitzia to flower in the next few years. You can learn more about sowing the bird of paradise flower in the attached video:
Depending on the climatic conditions, the Strelitzia can also grow in the garden…
… and being an exotic highlight outside.
Last care tip: Leaves and flowers of the bird of paradise flower are robust and rarely susceptible to plant diseases. However, dry room air and too much moisture could lead to problems. With proper care, this can be avoided.
Red spots on the flowers are a clear sign of disease. This bird of paradise flower is unfortunately infested with spider mites and septoria fungi.
The Strelitzia has rich green leaves arranged in two rows, large and leathery.
But its beautiful flowers are a good testament to the infinite creative power of nature.