Strelitzia – bird of paradise – care

Seeing such a miracle, even in a photograph, not a single fan of indoor flowers will remain indifferent. A rare plant in terms of showiness can be compared with royal strelitzia. Royal Strelitzia is a beautiful South African flower that has conquered the whole world with its exotic form. The flower of this magnificent plant looks like a bird’s head with a bright tuft and a long beak. Hence the other names of the plant: “firebird flowers”, “bird of paradise”. In their historical homeland, strelitzia is simply called “crane”.

Strelitzia is a bird of paradise. Farmer Raul654

At the end of the XNUMXth century, the Swedish botanist Per Thunberg found this plant in South Africa and named it in honor of the wife of King George III of England, Sophia-Charlotte, née German Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, a beauty and favorite of the people.

In Argentina, Los Angeles, as well as on the Mediterranean coast, strelitzia grows in the open field, striking tourists with the luxury of its delightful flowers. It is not surprising that flower growers from more northern regions, including Russia, began to grow it as a houseplant in winter gardens or in a tub culture, bringing it out into the open ground for the summer. In a pot or wooden box, strelitzia rarely grows above 1,5 m.


Description of strelitzia

Strelitzia Korelevskaya is an evergreen herb with leathery petiole leaves of an elongated-oval shape 45 cm long, reminiscent of banana leaves. The petioles form a low dense false stem at their base. The flower has an asymmetrical 6-membered perianth, its outer leaves are orange, the inner ones are dark blue.

Large flowers, 15 cm high, bloom in spring or summer and do not wither for several weeks. They are odorless, but rich in nectar. The amount of nectar is so great that it overflows the boat, dripping and trickling down the outer edges. In nature, flowers are pollinated by small nectary birds. When a bird touches a flower with its beak, its anthers seem to explode, “shoot”, throwing out pollen with force.

Royal Strelitzia (Strelitzia reginae)Royal Strelitzia (Strelitzia reginae). Farmer Raul654

Natural habitats of strelitzia

Although strelitzia is called royal, but in nature it is a very unpretentious plant. In the wild, it grows abundantly in South Africa in the Cape and Natal provinces, where the climate is very mild and the amount of rain is sufficient throughout the year. It grows along the banks of rivers, the first to occupy areas cleared from the forest, burning, in a word – any vacant territory.

Reproduction of strelitzia

The “bird of paradise” propagates by seeds, dividing the bush and jigging rooted side shoots.

With seed propagation they use only very fresh seeds, since they quickly lose their germination – within six months after ripening. Seeds for sowing must be prepared: cleaned of orange hair tuft. Before sowing in the ground, they are soaked for 1-2 days in water, but it is better, to accelerate germination, to soak them in a solution of phytohormones, then plant them in a well-drained soil from a mixture of peat and leafy soil to a depth of 1,5 times the size of a seed …

When soaking and germinating, it is necessary to maintain a constant temperature of at least 25 degrees. A lower temperature delays the germination process. But even under such conditions, they germinate unevenly and for a long time: from 1 month to 1 year and even more.

The first transplant into well-drained soil is carried out in the phase of 2-3 leaves. Further transshipments of growing specimens are done depending on the filling of the pots with roots, without waiting for a very dense entanglement of the earthen coma, which can adversely affect the growth rate. It is necessary to transplant carefully, without damaging the very vulnerable fragile fleshy roots, this also affects the growth rate.

Only in the second year are seedlings planted in a permanent place. They are kept in warmer conditions compared to adult plants. Young plants should be protected from direct sunlight as they can burn sensitive leaves.

The first flowering of plants grown by the seed method can be expected no earlier than in 3-4 years, or even in 5-6 years.

African beauty can be propagated dividing the rhizome, which in strelitzia is very fleshy, like all plants of the order of ginger. When dividing, you need to ensure that each part has at least one shoot, preferably two. The division begins after flowering, which in indoor conditions can begin in late winter – early spring and lasts until May-June.

When propagated by lateral rooted shoots they are carefully separated, keeping the roots, and planted in separate pots. The soil mixture is made up of 2 parts of sod land, 1 part of leaf, 1 part of humus and 0,5 part of sand. A crock or drain is placed at the bottom of the pot, and then the potting soil. Rooting takes place at a temperature of 22 degrees.

Strelitzia – pretty slow growing plant, and, after the separation of a part of the rhizome, a young plant needs at least two years in order for it to grow into a powerful, abundantly flowering bush.

StrelitziaStrelitzia. Farmer Papillus

Features of strelitz care

Young plants are transplanted into a new pot every year, the diameter of which is 2 cm larger than that of the previous one.

Older plants are transplanted less often, after 2-3 years, adding a little bone meal or superphosphate to the soil mixture. It is very important that there is no stagnant water in pots or containers. In case of damage to the roots during transplantation, they are treated with crushed charcoal.

Strelitzia needs tall pots, since the root system develops predominantly in length.

During budding and flowering, it is impossible to disturb (move, rotate) the strelitzia.

When growing strelitzia in a room culture, it needs to provide good illumination; abundant watering with water at room temperature (it is necessary to constantly keep the soil moist, but not to allow stagnation of water); frequent spraying with lukewarm water (to create increased air humidity); from spring to autumn, it is necessary to periodically feed – 2-3 times a month – with mineral and organic fertilizers for flowering plants, in turn (only within 2-3 months after flowering, when strelitzia has a dormant period, this is not necessary).

Lettom Strelitzia growing in the room needs an inflow of fresh air, it can be taken out into the open air, it can be put on the balcony. If this is not possible, then it is necessary to often ventilate the room in which the plant is located. In the open air, the plant is quite unpretentious to light: it develops well both in partial shade and in open areas with direct sunlight.

Winter is a dormant period… The plant must be indoors. Watering is carried out rarely, when the top layer of the earth dries out, but do not allow the earthen coma to dry out. The optimum temperature for keeping in the winter is 12-15 degrees. In winter, indoors, the plant sometimes suffers from dry air, it is recommended to periodically spray the leaves and wipe the dust off with a wet sponge. It is necessary to protect strelitzia from sudden changes in temperature and hypothermia of the roots.


Strelitzia can be damaged by a scab and a kidney mite.

With your desire and diligence, this “bird of paradise” may well settle in your house.

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Anna Evans

Author ✓ Farmer

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