Strelitzia is a grassy evergreen perennial from the Strelitzia family. Its homeland is the mountain slopes, valleys and river banks of South Africa. The plant has a royal history, because its varieties are named after the royal people of England and Russia. Although the flower is associated with the royal families, it is by no means capricious in its care. Strelitzia is valued for unusual bright flowers resembling amazing birds. Such a plant will fill the interior with rich colors and delicate aromas.
Amazingly beautiful flower was first discovered by the British, who visited South Africa at the end of the 18th century. The plant so impressed their imagination that they gave it a name in honor of the wife of King Charlotte, virgin Sterlitz as a girl.
Strelitzia in nature grows along the banks of rivers on fertile sandy soil
In the wild, this two-meter long perennial bush grows along the banks of drying streams and small rivers, among tall grasses and shrubs that shade it from the scorching sun. The soil in those places is fertile, but at the same time loose, sandy. Without its paradise flowers, the plant is unremarkable.
The leaves are oblong-elliptic up to 45 cm long and up to 20 cm wide, held on a long petiole. The color of the leaves is dark green, the surface is leathery, veins are visible on the underside.
Strelitzia without its beautiful and unusual colors looks decorative, but not bright
The most amazing part of the plant is the unusual shape of the flowers. They appear only in adult plants and last up to several weeks. The inflorescence bud resembles a long straight beak, located horizontally. The upper part of the "beak" gradually opens and flowers begin to appear from the side of the petiole. In one such 15 - centimeter bud there are 10 - 5 flowers of bright colors with an abundance of nectar. An adult plant can alternately produce up to 7 peduncles, so flowering lasts up to six months, and when cut, the flowers will stand in a vase for up to a month.
Strelitzia flower resembles the head of a paradise bird with a crest
Strelitzia became an adornment of greenhouses, but easy enough to maintain and for indoor maintenance. The large size and long growth period before abundant flowering make it truly exotic.
Designers are very fond of adding Strelitzia to bouquets and interior compositions.
In nature, there are 5 types of strelitzia, which differ in size: from two to 10-meter height with leaves from 40 to 80 centimeters.
- Royal Strelitzia, the local African people nicknamed the crane. It reaches a height of two meters, 2 times a year in spring and autumn produces peduncles with orange and blue flowers. It is difficult to propagate, with rare lateral processes only from adult plants.
- Strelitzia is a reed, a hardy plant that can withstand extreme heat and drought, as well as lower temperatures, down to zero. The flowers resemble the royal Strelitzia in color, but differ in the shape of the leaves - they are needle-shaped. Distributed in eastern South Africa.
- Strelitzia mountain - tree up to 10 meters. Large leaves and white flowers. In indoor floriculture is not grown.
- Strelitzia Nicholas - was named in honor of the Russian Emperor Nicholas. It looks like a royal strelitzia, but reaches a height of 12 meters. Leaves 80 cm wide and up to 200 cm long, white and blue flowers.
- Strelitzia Augustus also called white Strelitzia. It features light green leaves and white flowers. It grows with a bush up to 1 meter in height, blooms from January to March, propagated by seeds and division of the bush. Often grown in greenhouses.
Photo Gallery: Strelitzia varieties
In open ground, Strelitzia can be seen not only in Africa, it is successfully grown on the Mediterranean coast, in Argentina, even in the USA - in Los Angeles. In Russia and other countries with frosty winters, Strelitzia grows only in greenhouses or in apartments.
Strelitzia grows outdoors in warm winters
The plant is large, but in the room rarely grows above 1.5 meters. Decorative all year round.
Strelitzia can be grown in a large enclosed florarium. But it will be necessary to pick up plants that need dry, cool contents in the winter. In this case, the pot with the plant can simply be put there.
To grow Strelitzia in the florarium, you will need a lot of space, for example, a shower
Table: containment conditions
|Parameter||Autumn winter||Spring Summer|
|Lighting||Bright light, direct sunlight, growing in partial shade|
|Humidity||Normal indoor, dust wipe|
|Temperature||14-15 degrees, but with additional lighting it grows at room temperature||Suitable room temperature, preferably outdoor|
|Watering||When kept cool, lean||Abundant|
Landing and transplanting
Strelitzia has large fragile rod roots, so you need to be careful when planting and transplanting. Adult plants are transplanted every 2-3 years, as needed.
Strelitzia prefers heavy loamy nutrient soil. For cooking, take sheet, turfy earth, compost, humus and some sand. On 2 parts of the earth and 2 parts of compost and humus add 1 part of sand.
Due to the nature of the root system, it is advisable to take a tall pot. Unlike other plants, Strelitzia blooms faster in a spacious flowerpot or tub.
Strelitzia will grow poorly in such a small pot
Since the roots of the plant are fragile, it is better to use transshipment instead of transplantation, especially for young plants. If Strelitzia is large, adult, and it has lateral processes, then combine the transplant with reproduction - dividing the bush.
- Choose a suitable pot, larger than the previous one.
- At the bottom we lay a layer of drainage from expanded clay, up to 4-5 cm thick. Then pour a handful of fresh soil.
- Turn the pot over and pull out the strelitzia, holding it between your fingers and holding the soil with your palm.
- We place the plant in a new pot, sprinkle with earth on the side. Water lightly.
About transplant after purchase
Strelitzia, sold in stores, is often grown from seeds in warm countries, and brought in a transport pot and soil, so transplant such a plant immediately. In this case, the "bird of paradise" is not pulled out of the pot, but cut the pot with scissors. Use caution if plant roots emerge from drainage holes. If the spine nevertheless breaks off, then sprinkle the wound with crushed activated carbon and let it dry. Further actions, as when transplanting a plant.
Strelitzia roots are large, fleshy and very fragile
As a rule, a properly planted plant keeps its shape well, leaves grow up and the bush does not fall apart, maintaining compactness and not needing support.
Despite the unusual flowering, Strelitzia does not require additional conditions.
Choosing a place in the room
If the "bird of paradise" is not grown in greenhouses, but in an apartment, then it is better to provide the flower with a bright, bright place, with direct sunlight. But it can be located a meter from the window. In summer, the plant is better to take out on the balcony, the street. It is advisable even in the room to create differences in day and night temperatures.
Watering and feeding
Watering should be plentiful and regular only in the spring-summer season, slightly drying the top layer of the soil, but it is important to prevent stagnation of water in the pot. In winter, when kept cool, strelitzia is rarely watered. It is important to observe the irrigation regime for young plants so that the root system develops faster.
Top dressing is carried out 2 times a month with fertilizers for decorative flowering plants. It is better to use liquid top dressing, combining them with watering. In winter, Strelitzia is not fertilized.
Liquid fertilizer for flowering plants is easy to use and very effective.
Flowering bird of paradise
A plant grown from seeds blooms for 5–6 years, and propagated by root processes for the third year. Abundant flowering occurs in adult 5-6 year old plants, and only with good lighting. If in winter Strelitzia has enough daylight, then flower stalks will be produced regularly, year-round.
It is very important to let a powerful root system develop. So, a 1.5-meter plant should be planted in a pot with a diameter of more than 25 cm.
Blooming Strelitzia feels good in a deep pot
When peduncles appear, they do not rearrange and do not move it. To stimulate adult Strelitzia to bloom, provide it with a cool, dry content for 2-3 months, this contributes to the laying of flower buds. This period coincides with the beginning of autumn and a reduction in the length of daylight hours. In February, the temperature is raised from 15 degrees to 22 and watered more often, and after 2 weeks the plant is fed.
Flower stalks appear gradually, buds also open: bright crests flare up one after another over a green bush. In nature, strelitzia is pollinated by butterfly nectarians, and in birds that fly up to feast on nectar, the plant “shoots” pollen, sharply revealing anthers.
Strelitzia flower attracts pollinators with brightly colored petals and sweet nectar
In a room, strelitzia is pollinated if several plants bloomed at the same time. Then pollen is transferred from one flower to another. Knotted seeds have low germination, only 1 out of 10 seeds will give a root.
Strelitzia seeds are quite large, located in a box that cracks after ripening
If the seeds are not tied, then the peduncle is removed immediately when the petals dry.
Also, exotic flowering is valued medinilla. You can learn about how to provide her with decent home care at https://diz-cafe.com/rastenija/medinilla-kak-obespechit-ej-dostojnyj-uxod-v-domashnix-usloviyax.html
Typically, the rest period occurs both in the wild and in apartments. Strelitzia, which grew on a balcony or on the street in summer, needs a warm room, since already at a temperature of 10 degrees a delicate plant is damaged, and at zero degrees it dies.
Winter cool content is useful for laying flower buds for the next flowering, therefore it is better to contain Strelitzia at 15–18 degrees Celsius with limited watering and without fertilizing. If it is not possible to lower the temperature to the required, then provide Strelitzia a long day, using the backlight in the evening with phytolamps, LED or fluorescent.
Indoor species do not have a trunk, leaves grow from the ground, root offspring are formed rarely and only in adult plants, so there is no need for any actions to form a bush. You can cut off dry, old, yellow leaves.
Table: Care Errors
|Does not bloom|
|Drops buds||Pot movement||During the extension of the peduncles it is not recommended to move the plant|
|Black or brown spots on the leaves, rotting of the stem||Watering with cold water, overflowing plants||Strelitzia is sensitive to stagnation of moisture in the soil. If rot stems are found, then the plant is dug up, the roots are inspected and the affected areas are cut out, sprinkled with crushed activated carbon. Then planted in fresh soil, watering rarely.|
Diseases and pests of Strelitzia - table
|Shield||Small tubercles of brown-golden color, settling on the petioles of leaves and peduncles. The juice is sucked, so the leaf is bent, the plant withers.||The shield is covered with strong scales, so spraying does not help much. It is necessary to remove pests manually, prying them with a needle, and wash the plant with soap and water, protecting the earth from this solution.||As a prevention of sucking pests, long-acting sticks, for example, Spark, Agricola, are inserted into the pot.|
Strelitzia is a small genus of herbaceous perennials. Although indoor specimens rarely exceed 80 cm in height, wild strelitzias are truly gigantic in size. They grow 2-10 m high and 1-2 m wide. The core rhizome goes deep into the soil. Oval or ovate leaves with a pointed end have a dense leathery surface of dark green color. On the leaf plate, lighter central or embossed lateral veins stand out. Each leaf 0.3-2 m long and 0.1-0.8 m wide has a dense petiole. Its length ranges from 50-90 cm.
Every year, and even several times a year, most often in spring and summer, Strelitzia blooms. On an erect, sturdy peduncle, flowers in turn bloom that look like an unusual crested bird. Only one plant contains up to seven buds. Each corolla is 10-20 cm long, it consists of 6 elements: three vertical stipules and three softer petals. In one flower, orange-yellow, blue, blue and purple shades are mixed. Inflorescence lasts up to one and a half months. A cut bouquet of Strelitzia will stand in a vase for about two weeks. Flowers are pollinated with tiny birds, so in a culture it is almost impossible to achieve fruit formation.
Types of Strelitzia
In the genus Strelitzia, there are only 5 species, the latter being discovered only in 2016.
Strelitzia royal. This plant is especially popular with gardeners. In the humid foothills of South Africa, the species grows to 2 m in height. The oblong foliage with a wavy gray-green surface is about 45 cm long. The leaves gather in numerous rosettes and grow on petioles 70-90 cm long. Pinkish strokes are located on the reverse side along the central and lateral veins. The flower consists of orange outer and blue-violet inner petals. The flower size is 15 cm.
Strelitzia mountain. The flower is found in desert mountain areas. The plant takes a tree shape and grows up to 10 m in height. Around the powerful stem in 2 rows are giant oblong leaves. Huge flowers resemble a boat with a white sail. Their length is about 45 cm.
Strelitzia Nicholas. The plant prefers mountainous terrain. It grows up to 3 m in height. Oval dense leaves resemble banana thickets. The plant gradually forms a stem similar to a palm tree trunk. The axillary peduncle is decorated with large flowers. The corolla is on average 17 cm long. It contains cob-shaped red-green bracts, under which are hidden the white outer and inner bright blue petals.
Strelitzia is reed. Cold-resistant and drought-resistant plant is found in the south of South Africa. It has large spiky leaves of a bluish-green color and bright orange-blue flowers. The diameter of the sheet outlet is 1.5-2 m.
Strelitzia white (Augustus). The lower part of the stem is gradually lignified; it is sheltered under a dense leaf outlet. Glossy light green leaves can grow by 1 m in length. Some of them have a heart-shaped shape.The axillary inflorescence is located on the peduncle. Under purple bracts are snow-white petals.
Strelitzia propagates by seed and rhizome division. Plant seeds quickly lose their germination, so it is best to sow freshly harvested seeds. Since the fruiting of indoor Strelitzia is rare, you should pay attention to the marking when buying. Before planting, the seeds are soaked for a day in warm water (35-40 ° C). Then prepare boxes with soil (sand, peat, compost). The soil is scalded with boiling water, and then the seeds are pressed into it. Sprinkle them on top of the ground is not necessary. Capacities are put in place with ambient light and air temperature + 20 ... + 24 ° C. The box is covered with glass, which is not removed until emergence. The first sprouts appear within 1.5-6 months. Shelter is removed gradually, starting with half an hour a day. Seedlings are sprayed with boiled water as the surface of the earth dries. Grown plants are carefully transplanted. It is important not to damage the long but brittle root.
A plant older than 5 years can be divided. The procedure is carried out at the end of flowering. When transplanting, the rhizome is carefully released from the soil and divided into parts or the lateral processes are separated. In each dividend there must be a segment of the root and at least one shoot.
Strelitzia propagates by seeds, root offspring and sometimes dividing the bush. But after such operations, the mother plant ceases to bloom for several years. The best way is seed propagation. They quickly lose their germination capacity, so when buying, see the date, and then immediately proceed to planting. Usually a tenth of the seeds germinate. Strelitzia seeds have a hard shell and a bright orange fluff.
Growing Strelitzia from Seeds
- Buy seeds at the store and prepare the pot and soil.
Strelitzia seeds can be bought at the flower shop
All Strelitzia seeds have an orange fluff
Each seed is planted in a separate pot
Pots are placed in a bag so that there is increased humidity and heat
Appearing sprouts gradually accustom to the dry air of the apartment
Propagation by side shoots
Sometimes lateral shoots appear on the plant. They can be carefully separated when the roots appear, and then transplanted into separate pots. The bottom of the pots is covered with drainage, then with soil, a plant is planted and kept at a temperature of about 22 degrees, monitoring the moisture of the soil and preventing overmoistening.
Strelitzia grown by dividing a large bush or from a lateral process grows slowly. Flowering can be expected no earlier than in 2-3 years.
Caring for Strelitzia at home is straightforward. Although the flower is called royal, it has to grow in not very favorable conditions.
Lighting. Strelitzia loves bright lights. It is exposed to the south or east window. In summer, indoor specimens are shaded from the midday sun or exposed to fresh air. Plants need protection against drafts.
Temperature. Strelitzia prefers cool content. In summer, she feels good at + 22 ... + 27 ° C, but in winter, she needs to be transferred to a room with an air temperature of + 14 ... + 15 ° C. Colds below + 12 ° C are harmful to the plant. By setting the flower in the open air, it is possible to provide the so-necessary Strelitzia diurnal temperature fluctuations.
Humidity. Normal room humidity for Strelitzia is tolerated normally. It is periodically recommended to spray the crown. Especially if the tips of the leaves began to dry out. In spring and summer, the flower is bathed from dust under a warm shower.
Watering. In spring and summer, Strelitzia needs abundant watering. It is advisable to take boiled or well-purified water. In winter, watering is reduced, but the soil should dry out only 1 cm from the surface. So that the water does not stagnate, the pan should be emptied after watering.
Fertilizer. Fertilize Strelitzia in spring and summer. Twice a week, mineral fertilizing for flowering plants is applied to the soil. It is recommended to use organic compounds several times a year.
Transfer. Strelitzia is transplanted every 1-3 years. The procedure is carried out in the spring. The flower prefers spacious flowerpots and tubs. In a tight container, flowering rarely occurs. The pot should be deep, but not very wide. At the bottom have a large layer of drainage. The soil for the plant should contain sand, leaf and turf soil, as well as humus.
Diseases and pests. The plant has excellent resistance to flower diseases. Only with constant dampness and stagnation of water in the pot does it begin to suffer from fungal diseases. The spider mite, scutellum and mealybug settle on the crown in hot, dry weather. Spraying leaves with ordinary water is a good prevention against parasites. If insects have already wound up, the plant is washed under a warm shower and treated with insecticides.
How to achieve flowering
Strelitzia over 5-6 years old blooms regularly, even several times a season. To ensure that you see flowers of a bird of paradise, you need to plant the plant in a spacious pot and provide a cool dormant period. For 2-3 weeks, the plant is kept at a temperature of + 12 ... + 14 ° C, and then brought into heat. After 3-5 months, the first flowers will appear. Cooling can be provided not only in winter. If you find a cool place in the summer, Strelitzia will open flowers for the New Year. Also, for flowering, bright lighting and regular watering are important.
She began to “transship”, and there she found rotten roots as well - in general, there was no “surgical intervention”, and since I had to gut the roots anyway, I planted them in different pots. And in the store such fellows — apparently the roots climbed through the drainage holes — and they just cut them off. As a result, the holes are clogged with roots, so she is poor thing and began to rot.
For several years in a row I tried to grow royal Strelitzia from seeds. Attempt No. 4 failed. Sowed a "bird of paradise" in July, after soaking the seeds for 5 days (or so). In general, I did everything as it was written on the package. Shoots were expected earlier than in 1-2 months, as to speed up the germination, she made a scarification. As a result, 3 months passed after planting, and no seedlings were expected. Once again, she was upset; they completely forgot about the pot of seeds. He was discovered in mid-October, in a corner under the sink. A small 0.5 cm was visible on the surface of the earth. A pale green spike! Joy knew no bounds. My Strelitzia sprouted my royal as much as 3.5 (.) Months. Of the three seeds, only 1 sprouted. Now the baby has grown stronger and drinks filtered water in moderation.
In the spring, she acquired several Strelitzia Royal Seedera brands. Royal Strelitzia propagates only by seeds, it is impossible to grow it from cuttings and it does not give layering or they do not take root. I planted each seed in a separate cup, I took special soil from the store. Well spilled the earth with settled water, immersed seeds about a centimeter somewhere, covered it with glass. She planted on May 15, after which she prepared to wait a long time, because according to some information of the seedlings, the seed may be in 4-6 months. Two sprouts emerged in a month and then a third. I transplanted them in larger containers and they began to slowly develop. Then one more pecked out. I hope at least one plant survives to adulthood.
I also grow my Strelitzia from a seed. She is now 3.5 years old. Height 55 cm, diameter of the pot 15 cm. No need to give free rein to the roots, otherwise it will really have to be transplanted into the tub very soon, and this will not accelerate growth and flowering. If you notice, she has all the carrot roots at the bottom of the pot, mostly located in rings (or do you still have one?), And in the upper part there are much fewer, and these are mostly thin roots. Let her roots “carrots” master the “upper” space! So feel free to plant in "tight" pots, but try not to damage the thick roots, they are fragile enough! In my opinion, the plant is almost seamless. It has never been affected by pests, spraying is not required, the tips of the leaves do not dry. One “but” should be watered carefully ... I transplanted mine into fresh ground at the end of August (it included peat, be it wrong!), After a month of the most accurate watering in the pan, I saw every creature crawling :(. I had to re-transplant into normal ground with made it on time - some of the roots have already begun to rot.
About four years ago I bought Strelitzia seeds: two sachets, they contained four seeds. And I did not process it with anything - I just put the seeds into the ground and that’s it. Three of them ascended quickly, and the fourth remained to sit in the ground. Now my Strelitzia is already big enough ... two years ago I bought a friend also two bags (four seeds), they came from her ... she needs light, regular watering and top dressing.
Strelitzia flower characteristic
The generic name Strelitzia was given in honor of the English Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, nee Duchess von Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Thus, the beauty of the plant was immortalized. But nerds didn’t think so. They introduced the royal title in the name of the species: Strelitzia reginae - Royal Strelitzia, now this name is from this native of South Africa. In everyday life, it is called a bird of paradise or a firebird.
Strelitzia are part of the Strelitziaceae family (Strelitziaceae). Strelitzia botany itself has 5 species, common in the eastern part of South Africa.
In the middle of the 19th century, one of the strelitzias was brought to Russia as a gift from the South African ambassador to Tsar Nicholas I. The emperor identified a "bird of paradise" in the greenhouse of the St. Petersburg Botanical Garden, where in 1853 Dr. E. A. Regel described then the first flowering Strelitzia of Nikolai (S. nicolai) in Russia. By the way, it is not known whether the name of this species has anything to do with Tsar Nicholas I. Strelitzia Nicholas is still rarely found in greenhouse collections. The stalk of this strelitzia grows up to 5 meters, leaves are gigantic in size, and the flowers are white and cream, as expected, of a very original shape. Other types of Strelitzia are much smaller, while the Strelitzia royal stalk is completely reduced, so that only leaves rise above the surface of the earth.
Strelitzia plants are subtropical forests, prefer wet and open habitats, clearings, river banks. Royal Strelitzia, despite its “royal title”, a pioneer plant, is akin to our coltsfoot, who is the first to fill any liberated territory. Under natural conditions, royal strelitzia grows quite quickly and is easily propagated by seeds. On tall petioles, she sits very large (up to 50 cm long), oar-like leaves. Strelitzia “shoot” their pollen at pollinating birds. Petals are fused so as to encompass a springy column. As soon as the bird tries to unclench the petals in search of nectar, the "spring" is immediately released and the elastic stamens, bending, shoot pollen, covering it with the bird’s breast.
Types of Strelitzia and its flowers
Royal Strelitzia (Strelitzia reginae) Perennial evergreen strelitzia of this species, whose homeland is forests on the low mountain slopes in South Africa, grows up to two meters high. In indoor conditions, it is often lower. This arrowhead does not have a trunk: long petioles of leaves depart immediately from the rhizome. Therefore, in an adult plant, not a trunk is formed, but a shortened stem, covering long (60 - 90 cm) and widened in the lower part of the leaf petioles. Leathery dark green leaves with a bluish tint resemble the oar of a boat in shape. Their windage is so high that in nature they remain intact only in windless places. The wind ruffles the leaves, and its gusts mercilessly tear the “fan” along the numerous lateral veins. Only young leaves folded into a tube remain intact. Therefore, adult strelitzia, growing in nature, looks untidy.
Strelitzia gained fame thanks to its unique flowers. At cost, the flower of royal strelitzia can exceed a beautiful orchid. The flowers are surprisingly similar to the heads of huge fabulous birds of paradise. More often they are compared with the head of a firebird. Even the shape of the bend of a powerful long peduncle resembles a gracefully curved bird's neck. Strelitzia flowers are large and bright. They are decorated with a green veil with red veins. The role of the bird crest of this fabulous “bird” is played by the petals: orange outer and dark blue inner. Royal Strelitzia flowers hardly smell.
Strelitzia Nicholas (Strelitzia nicolai) In addition to royal Strelitzia, it is interesting to get acquainted with other Strelitzia. The most interesting of them is Strelitzia Nicholas, for whom, according to legend, Tsar Nicholas I built a special greenhouse in St. Petersburg and personally observed the development of an expensive present for him. This large plant with a woody trunk grows up to 5 meters tall. He has huge blue and white flowers. The first time this exotic plant bloomed in 1853 in the St. Petersburg Botanical Garden. Strelitzia Nicholas can be seen in our country either in industrial greenhouses, or in botanical gardens. For indoor breeding, it is not suitable in size. In addition, this species rarely blooms in the house.
Ravenala (Ravenala) This is another famous plant of the Strelitzia family - equal to Madagascar. How to skip it, because many of us remember the drawn images and photographs of this strange plant in books about traveling to distant lands. Tourists are shown equal in the botanical gardens of tropical countries. Its tall trunk resembles a palm trunk. At the top of the fan are wide leaves of three meter length. This plant is called the "tree of travelers" (like the mighty Bengal ficus), under the shadow of which a tired traveler can take refuge and rest. It is believed that the water that has accumulated in the axils of the leaves of the equals is suitable for drinking a thirsty traveler. But this is not so. The liquid is more like a broth from numerous microorganisms, insects and even amphibians, it is unsuitable for drinking. It is interesting that in Madagascar the stalks of the equals are used very prosaically - for buildings and for fuel. Ravenala is a spectacular plant that can be grown in warm greenhouses and in rooms (until it gets too tall). Equal winters at an air temperature of + 18 ° C. The temperature at night should not fall below + 16 ° C.
Features of flowering strelitzia and pollination of its flowers
The flowering of strelitzia lasts for several weeks. Some flowers fade, new ones bloom instead. My Strelitzia opens the first flower in March. Flowering time is highly dependent on when the plant was at rest. This factor influences how and when flower buds will be laid. Florists use this opportunity to make Strelitzia bloom “on schedule.” In our climate, flowering over a wide period of time, from February to August, can be considered more natural.
Strelitzia has an incredibly interesting pollination process. She has an unusual flower explosion mechanism that fires as soon as a tiny nectaria bird sits on a horizontally located arrow-shaped bract.The stamens clamped by the petals are instantly released. Pollen is released, which immediately sticks to flakes and settles on the breast of a bird. There is no shortage of pollinators, as many birds are attracted by the bright color of the flowers and the abundance of nectar. Get seeds at home only after artificial pollination of flowers.
Caring for Royal Strelitzia during Growth
A place. Summer is an important period in the life of Strelitzia. In nature, it grows in the subtropics of South Africa. Where there are wet and open places: glades and riverbanks. Strelitzia is also found in the forest shade, it can be seen even on the overgrown slopes of the mountains. In order to make this plant comfortable in the summer, it must be abundantly watered and often sprayed with leaves. Strelitzia in summer can be left on the windowsill of the north window, on a slightly shaded place on the loggia and in the room. At this time, she does not get worse from some lack of light. However, Strelitzia should be provided with sufficient moisture, food, moderate light and heat.
Top dressing. It is better to alternate fertilizing with mineral and organic fertilizers. An excellent food for her is fermented slurry (once a month).
Caring for Royal Strelitzia at Rest
A place. Autumn is coming, the days are getting shorter. Strelitzia will feel much worse if she does not have the opportunity to relax in this dark autumn-winter period. At this time, it is more difficult to provide such a large plant with sufficient lighting. Without light, it stretches, its leaves turn pale. Pests attack on strelitzia: scale insects and spider mites. Of course, a plant exhausted by "insomnia" does not bloom well.
In the fall, under the pots with plants you need to put foam sheets or foam "troughs". They isolate the soil with roots from the cold. This simple trick helps prevent root system cooling. We Strelitzia winters on a glazed loggia, where it is cooler (at least + 13 ° C) than at home. There is no such dry air that happens in the room in winter. Strelitzia should not be put in the cool basement for the winter if it is dark. She definitely needs light, even if it is dim.
Watering and feeding. During the dormant period, watering is reduced (they do not allow the soil to dry out in the pot) and the feeding is completely removed. The leaves are wiped from time to time with a damp sponge so that the scab does not appear.
Strelitzia is transplanted in a month or two after flowering. While the seedlings are small, they are transplanted every spring. They grow quickly and tolerate transplants very easily. It can be replaced by transshipment. Adult plants are transplanted less often, every 2 to 3 years. Moreover, they only replace part of the old earth, trying not to greatly increase the volume of an already large pot. An adult is needed during transplantation of adult Strelitzia.
The soil mixture consists of humus, turf or leafy land, peat and coarse sand. It is advisable to add pieces of clay. A nutritious and sufficiently oily permeable soil should be obtained. The roots of Strelitzia are large, fleshy and brittle. In case of accidental damage to the roots, all wounds must be powdered with chopped charcoal or ash. It is better to choose a deep pot, on the bottom of which a layer of drainage is poured. This order is convenient: a little soil is poured into the drainage, after which the plant is set up "on stilts", keeping it on weight. Then gently pour the rest of the earth, spilling it from time to time with water, so that all the voids between the roots are filled. When planting, they try not to compact the ground with any garden tools, so as not to damage the root system. It is important not to bury the plant. Within two weeks after transplantation, the plant is not fertilized and shaded.
There is one simple technique that allows you to retain moisture and prevents dirt from splashing when watering. Pieces of sphagnum moss are laid along the inner edge of the pot on the surface of the soil. Moss additionally serves as a filter that collects excess salts. After a while, the old moss is thrown away and replaced with a new one.
Reproduction of Strelitzia
Strelitzia propagated in three ways - by seed, dividing the bush during transplantation and separation of the side shoots. Seeds can be found in the store. It is necessary to pay attention to the date of packaging, since only fresh seeds germinate. The seed coat is very hard, it is better to process it with sandpaper or hold it for 24 hours in warm water. Sow the seeds in a light loose soil mixture consisting of sand, peat and steamed sawdust. After sowing, the landing container is placed in a plastic bag. Seeds germinate within 1 - 1.5 months at a soil temperature of 23 - 26 ° C. Immediately after the appearance of seedlings, the pots are placed in a bright and warm place, a plastic bag is removed and watered abundantly with warm water. Over the course of a month, the air temperature is gradually reduced to room temperature. Young seedlings perfectly tolerate picking (later transshipment) in larger pots. They are growing fast. The first two winters are best spent in warmth. A cool wintering is only useful to mature and mature plants. Seedlings of royal strelitzia bloom in the fourth year, other species later.
When replanting in spring or summer, you can divide the overgrown bush. Each split must have at least one new shoot. A new plant will bloom for 3-4 years. This technique manages to rejuvenate old plants.
When propagating, side branches are also used, which turn into flowering plants after a few years.
Strelitzia has a wide root system and creates many suction cups, so they need to be grown in very large containers. A heavy, fertile and loamy substrate consisting of equal proportions of turf soil, sand and loamy garden soil should be prepared for cultivation. The flower pot should have many holes in the bottom and a thick layer of drainage that protects the rhizomes and roots from excessive moisture. Strelitzia is very insatiable, they should be fertilized every two weeks during the growth period, preferably fertilizers with a low nitrogen content and containing many trace elements. However, organic or nitrogen fertilizers should not be used as they cause flower weakness.
Strelitzia feels better in bright, airy places, on balconies or near windows. In hot weather, plants should be sprayed and watered abundantly, but the substrate should be slightly dry. Since October, watering is limited - at this time the plant should go through a period of rest, during which its vital functions are significantly slowed down. If this period is missed, it will bloom less abundantly in spring or even not bloom at all. Under natural conditions, during the entire period of rest, all the leaves often dry out, and the plant begins to grow only after spring rains.
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However, this is not allowed in the apartment, it is necessary to water with a small amount of water so that the topsoil is dry or slightly moist. Strelitzia loves humid air, and in winter it should be removed from radiators, preferably placed next to the humidifier. These are thermophilic plants, and the room temperature cannot drop below 10 ° C. They must also be protected from frosty drafts. The optimum temperature - during the growing season - 20-25 ° C, and in winter - during the rest period - 18 ° C.
In February, when the days get longer, the plants should be watered more. If the previous summer was hot and dry, they usually bloom not only in spring but also in autumn.
Of course, you can write that growing Strelitzia in a room environment is simple. So, by the way, do the authors of many directories. The only question is why grow it? For the sake of large and beautiful leaves, it’s really simple, but to enjoy the fancy flowers, oh, how hard it is. This requires patience. After all, only adult plants are blooming, full of vitality. If you grow Strelitzia from seeds, then, God willing, the plant will reach maturity in the greenhouse by the 5th year. But in the room at the same time, you will grow Strelitzia only 50-60 cm tall with leaves three to four times smaller than the maximum.
I had to put my seedling on the brightest window (southeast), regularly feed it and from May to October keep it on a glazed balcony. And he had to be provided with an optimal nutrient substrate. Strelitzia grew very well on a mixture of turf land, humus, leaf soil and sand (1: 1: 1: 0.5). In addition, the plant needs a deep pot, since it is at a young age that the roots grow in depth as much as the leaves are tall. Therefore, I replanted the plant at least once a year.
Strelitzia at home
However, despite the relatively chic conditions and the use of intensive agricultural practices (timely transplants, top dressing), the "bird of paradise" refused to bloom for 6 years after its birth. In the 7th year, the size of Strelitzia became such that its return to the windowsill after a summer spent on the loggia already provoked a protest among family members and other indoor plants. Some leaves fell apart from the pot by 40-50 cm, and the pot itself was already almost half a bucket ... In this regard, I had to get rid of such a bulky inhabitant of the apartment and send him to grow in the greenhouse.
That's where the vastness came to him! Expanse, leaves do not cling to anything, there is plenty of grace in the air! Therefore, it is in the greenhouses that the royal strelitzias bloom successfully. Easy growing from seeds allows you to cultivate this plant on an industrial scale. In greenhouses, they even learned to make Strelitzia bloom throughout the year, while in indoor conditions this can happen only in the spring.
Mostly flowers are used for cutting, many have seen various bouquets and compositions decorated with a “profile” of a firebird. But thanks to brightness and nobility, even one flower looks in a vase.
At home, the plant reaches a height of one and a half meters. Its oval, slightly tapering leaves about 40 cm long and up to 30 cm wide are very smooth and glossy, located on a powerful stiff petiole that grows up to 60 cm in length.
The flower has a very powerful developed rhizome, with the help of which this type of strelitzia can be propagated.
The inflorescence, partially hidden by a rigid bract of a greenish-brown flower, consists of flowers with bright orange-yellow and blue-violet petals. Each flower reaches 10-15 cm in diameter. Flowering begins in the spring.
We offer you to watch a video about the royal strelitzia:
This flower was dedicated to the Emperor of Russia Nicholas I. The birthplace of this species of "bird of paradise" is the coastal oceanic terrain of the south of the African continent.
The difference between this plant and other species in its power and grandeur.
Its growth can reach 10 meters in height, due to which this strelitzia is considered arboreal. The trunk of this strelitzia in natural conditions can reach four meters wide.
Purple-blue flowers are also quite large in size. The lower petals of the flower, similar to boats, seem to wrap around a "crest" of the upper snow-white and bluish petals.
Strelitzia Nicholas is not only a beautiful plant, but also very useful. Locals use the dry branches of this plant to make strong ropes. This is the only type of strelitzia in which all its parts do not contain toxic substances. Therefore, unripe seeds, valuable for their excellent taste, are used as food.
In nature, Strelitzia, thanks to the constantly active growth of rhizome layers, grows very quickly in areas suitable for it according to the microclimate. This plant is resistant to drought, but does not like the sharp difference in day and night temperatures. Therefore, she feels most comfortable on the river and sea coasts.
This is a fairly large plant, with a partially lignified stem. It has long, dark green, elliptical leaves.
From the axils of the leaves once a year, original inflorescences grow, consisting of large white, bright white flowers, which for the time being are hidden in lanceolate bracts of purple color.
Flowering begins in the month of May and lasts until mid-July. Until the 15-centimeter petals begin to fade, in the future to give life to the box-fruits ripening at the end of winter.
Another fairly large type of strelitzia. This herbaceous perennial reaches 10 meters in height. In the process of growth, its lower part of the trunk is exposed, making the plant look like a palm tree or an ordinary banana.
Flowers of this species have white and blue inner petals. Corollas, densely fused from below, are united at once in several pieces. They are covered with stipules of a reddish or dark purple hue and can be up to half a meter in length.
Care for the "bird of paradise" at home
- Lighting. Strelitzia is very fond of light. But direct sunlight damages the plant. Therefore, they must be shaded from direct sunlight. In summer, a flower grown in room conditions is recommended to be taken outside for fresh fresh air (open balcony, veranda).
- Temperature. Strelitzia is a plant from hot countries; therefore, it loves warmth. But even in winter, at a low temperature of 10-13 ° C, it will feel good. During the flowering period, which lasts from May to mid-July, the ambient temperature should not exceed 18-20 ° C.
- Watering. Strelitzia loves plentiful watering. In summer, it is necessary to carefully control the soil moisture; it should never dry out. In winter, watering is reduced, the plant is resting and it needs a cool place. But the earthen lump should be slightly moistened. Water the plant only with clean, settled water at room temperature.
- Humidity. The air around Strelitzia should be moderately humid. It is better to wipe the leaves of the flower with a damp cloth or gently spray from the spray bottle with warm water.
- Top dressing. This plant needs regular fertilizing with organic and mineral fertilizers alternately. This must be done 3 times a month.
At the end of flowering, the plant is at rest for about 3 months, no fertilizing is necessary at this time.
The step-by-step scheme for growing Strelitzia from seeds is as follows:
Soak the seeds before planting in warm water for 24 hours.
- Prepare a container (pot) and soil mixture for planting, consisting of peat, sand and compost in equal proportions. Disinfect the substrate with boiling water.
- Squeeze the seeds into the ground, do not fill the ground with soil.
- Place the seed container in a warm room with adequate lighting. You can cover the top with a glass cap until the first sprouts appear (after about 6-8 weeks). Young seedlings must be periodically watered or sprayed so that the soil does not dry out.
- In the process of growing plants dive twice. After 2 months, sufficiently strong seedlings can be transplanted into separate pots.
We offer you to watch a video on how to plant Strelitzia seeds:
Strelitzia landing and care (in short)
- Flowering: in the spring for a month and a half.
- Lighting: bright diffused light (western or eastern window sills).
- Temperature: during the growing season - usual for residential premises, but in winter - no higher than 14 ˚C.
- Watering: during the period of active growth - moderate, but frequent: the soil should be slightly moist all the time, in winter - no more than once every 10 days.
- Humidity: increased. The plant requires spraying the leaves in the heat.
- Top dressing: during the period of active growth and flowering three times a month, organic and mineral fertilizers alternately.
- Rest period: conditional, in the winter.
- Transplantation: young Strelitzia is transplanted annually, adults - once every 3-4 years.
- Reproduction: freshly picked seeds, lateral shoots and parts of those plants that are 6-7 years old.
- Pests: scale insects, mealybugs, aphids and spider mites.
- Diseases: the plant is generally stable, but root rot can develop from excessive moisture in the substrate.
Read more about growing Strelitzia below.
Pests and diseases of Strelitzia.
Sometimes strelitzia is affected by spider mites, mealybugs or scale insects. Worms and scale insects are destroyed by double treatment of the plant with actar with an interval between sessions of three weeks. Ticks eliminate acaricides. Strelitzia is very resistant to disease, and if you take good care of it, it will always be healthy and beautiful.
Vegetative methods of reproduction of Strelitzia.
For this type of reproduction, lateral shoots of strelitzia or parts of a plant that is already 6-7 years old are used. It is best to divide Strelitzia after it fades. The plant is taken out of the pot and divided in such a way that each split has at least one shoot. Delenki or lateral shoots, depending on their size, are planted in pots with a diameter of 16 to 20 cm, the composition of the earthen mixture is the same as for strelitzia seedlings. We remind you again: try not to damage the roots of the plant.
Royal Strelitzia (Strelitzia reginae).
Most often, a royal Strelitzia plant is cultivated in culture, which is also called small-leaved Strelitzia (Strelitzia parvifolia). This species lives in the Cape of South Africa, in mountain forests and reaches two meters in height. Large, up to 45 cm long, slightly wavy on the edges of the leathery leaves of Strelitzia royal, dark green in color, on petioles up to 90 cm high are collected in thick sockets. Peduncle tall, axillary, with a green veil with red veins. The flower's outer petals are orange, up to 15 cm long, and the inner ones are dark blue. Royal Strelitzia blooms twice a year.
Lighting and location
He loves light very much, because it can be put on the windowsill, located in the southern part of the room. However, it is impossible to sharply put the plant in the sun; it requires gradual addiction. In the hot summer months, the plant will need shading. Experienced growers are advised to place the flower on the windowsill, located in the eastern part of the room, as there is also a lot of light, but there is no scorching daylight.
In summer, the flower is best moved to fresh air (garden or balcony). Thus, you can make the future flowering more plentiful.
This plant in winter should be kept in a cool room (approximately 14-15 degrees, but not less than 12 degrees). In the warm season, Strelitzia feels good at ordinary room temperature. It is recommended to provide her at this time with a significant difference between night and day temperature. To do this, it is recommended to transfer it to fresh air.
Land for planting is chosen rich in nutrients. A suitable soil mixture consists of humus, leaf and sod land, as well as sand, taken in a ratio of 2: 2: 2: 1. And it is recommended to add a little peat. A mixture consisting of turf soil, humus leaf and sand, taken in a ratio of 1: 2: 1, may also be suitable. Do not forget about good drainage.
Strelitzia royal reproduction by dividing the bush
Reproduction can be carried out when transplanting mature bushes by dividing them, either in early spring at the end of the dormant period, or after the flowering period. We carry out this procedure carefully, due to the fragility of the roots of Strelitzia.
Delenki with at least two three points of growth, and if there are too small, they will have to grow too long. Sections before transplantation need to be slightly dried for half an hour and sprinkled with charcoal.
In the period of fifteen twenty days after dividing the strelitzia bush, watering should be limited. It is also possible to use the resulting lateral processes for propagation.
Planting Material Requirements
When buying seeds, you should pay attention to the expiration date indicated on the package. The main requirement for planting material is its age. It should be noted that the older the flower seeds, the seed germination will be lower, which means it is better to buy only one that was packed no more than 6 months ago.
Do you know? Today there are 5 types of strelitzia, one of which is named after Nicholas I.
In addition, you should pay attention to dryness, cleanliness, uniformity of seeds. Sowing material should be clean and without signs of various diseases, so it is better to buy seeds from trusted sellers.
Almost all amateur gardeners in our country grow Strelitzia at room conditions, so there are no specific allowable planting dates in this case. You can plant a “bird of paradise” as a houseplant in any month of the year, you just need to control the temperature, humidity and lighting in the room. However, if you plant seeds in open soil, you should already adhere to some recommendations and be extremely careful, since this plant is tropical, and without proper care will die in our harsh conditions.
Firstly, if you are going to grow a "bird of paradise" outside of the room, then make a special greenhouse for it, because if you plant a flower under the open sky, then in winter it will die due to frost. For Strelitzia, an air temperature below + 10 ° C is already considered harmful.
Secondly, in the greenhouse you need to maintain high humidity, twelve-hour lighting and air temperature in the range + 20 ... + 22 ° С.
Thus, if you plant such plants in the southern regions of our country, in a greenhouse, the best planting period will be the period from late May to early July, when the air temperature at night will no longer drop below + 18 ... + 20 ° С. Such a high air temperature will be needed so that the seeds can germinate successfully. In the summer, the greenhouse can be opened so that the flowers can enjoy the natural sunlight.
Familiarize yourself with the intricacies of growing tropical plants at home, such as: albitsia, hypoesthes, adiantum, cordilina, nepentes, aglaonema, clerodendrum, alocasia, echmea.
Soil selection and preparation
The soil for planting the seeds of this exotic plant can be made by yourself or purchased in a store. If you are going to independently prepare the optimal substrate for the "bird of paradise", then you will need: river sand, peat and compost. A mixture is made from these components. In order to prepare 1.5 kg of the finished soil, you need to mix 500 g of each of the components. Also, humus and leafy soil can be added to the soil mixture, but the main thing is not to forget about the construction of drainage.
Tips for self-breeding Strelitzia
There are several ways to get a new bush of a beautifully blooming “bird of paradise”: planting seeds, dividing the root, and planting side shoots that are already rooted.
For planting seeds at home, only very fresh material is suitable. It is necessary to clean the seed from the hair tuft of an orange hue, soak in water for 1-2 days. Then plant in a peat-leaf substrate, to a depth that exceeds the size of a seed and a half times. The temperature should be constantly equal to 25 degrees. As soon as the leaves develop 2-3 leaves, the first transplant is carried out. In the future, it is worth handling the plant, without waiting for the roots to become crowded in the flowerpot. Germination should go in a place with good lighting, but without bright sunlight. Blossom "crane" will be grown in this way only after 3 to 6 years have passed. This is how lucky!
When dividing the rhizome, and Strelitzia is quite large and fleshy, it is necessary to ensure that each part has at least two sprouts. The plant must be removed from the pot (it is better to combine this process with the transplant operation, so as not to disturb the “crane” once again). When carrying out such a separation, it is necessary to use a well-sharpened knife and carefully cut the rhizome, the roots large enough can easily break. Then carefully sprinkle the slices with powdered activated charcoal or charcoal. It is necessary to divide the rhizome after the "bird of paradise" has faded - this time begins from the end of winter until the first days of June until the buds appear. It should be noted that Strelitzia has a very low growth rate, therefore, when rhizome is divided, young plants will take about 2 years to make the bush powerful and beautiful.
When too lateral shoots are used for reproduction, it is necessary to carefully separate such a stem from the mother plant, and plant in small pots. The substrate is mixed from soddy soil, sheet soil, humus and coarse sand (in proportions of 2: 1: 1: 0.5). A drainage layer, expanded clay or broken shards of 1 cm are also laid on the bottom of the container. The rooting process will go well if the heat indicators do not become less than 22 degrees.
Location and lighting
Strelitzia is a large, spreading plant that needs a lot of space for full development when grown indoors. To preserve one of the decorative qualities (symmetrical fan-shaped arrangement of leaves) when transferring a container with a flower to another place, it is necessary to place it in the same direction as it was in the previous place.
Strelitzia does not like to be rotated in different directions with a flower container or moved around a circle. With such rearrangements, negative consequences are possible - curl of leaves and their random growth.