Strelitzia is an unusual flower with amazing, unique beauty.
Strelitzia flowers can remain fresh in the cut for about a month, and while remaining on the plant, they wither faster than in a vase.
You should know that strelitzia juice is poisonous, so keep the plant away from children and animals.
Strelitzia flowers are shaped like a bird with variegated plumage, and if you want to grow this treasure on your windowsill, read our article. From it you can learn:
Read more about growing strelitzia below.
Plant Strelitzia (Latin Strelitzia), or strelitzia - a type genus of the Strelitziaceae family, consisting of only four species, the range of which is located in South Africa and Madagascar. The Strelitzia flower was named in honor of Charlotte-Sophia Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Queen of Great Britain, wife of King George III. By the way, one of the types of strelitzia was named "royal", and another type was named the strelitzia of Nicholas in honor of the all-Russian autocrat Nikolai I. Such is the royal pedigree of Strelitzia. In common parlance, strelitzia is called "bird of paradise", and this name most fully reflects the extraordinary beauty of the flower.
Strelitzia flowers in nature are evergreen herbaceous perennials, the largest of which reach a height of more than ten meters, and the rest - from two to three and a half meters. Strelitzia has a pivotal root system that goes deep into the ground. Strelitzia leaves are large, oval, leathery, green with a bluish bloom, 30 to 200 cm long, 10 to 80 cm wide, strongly resemble banana leaves, only with longer petioles - from 50 to 90 cm. Flowers on a long peduncle with orange and purple petals in a horizontal inflorescence, similar to the crest of an outlandish bird, reach a diameter of 10 to 20 cm.One peduncle reveals from 5 to 7 flowers, and there can be six or more peduncles on one plant, therefore strelitzia bloom can last up to six months. Indoor strelitzia, with proper care, can bloom not only for a long time and abundantly, but also several times a year. Strelitzia flowers are cut for a long time - from two to four weeks.
Strelitzia at home is not whimsical at all, despite its exoticism. It is best placed on the east or west side under bright, diffused light, but protected from direct sunlight. Strelitzia is thermophilic, but likes to spend the winter in a cool room, where the temperature does not rise above 14 ºC. The rest of the time, she will be comfortable at the temperature that suits you.
The houseplant Strelitzia loves fresh air, and if you have the opportunity to take it out to the balcony or garden in the summer, use it without fail, but remember that Strelitzia must be shaded from the bright sun and protected from the wind.
Strelitzia is watered in the warm season so that the soil is slightly moist all the time - often, but not too abundantly, avoiding stagnation of moisture in the roots. In winter, it is enough to moisten the soil once a decade. Water for irrigation is defended or filtered and, if necessary, warmed up to room temperature or a couple of degrees warmer. Home strelitzia prefers slightly high humidity, so in the heat its leaves should be sprayed or wiped with a damp sponge.
Strelitzia care provides for alternate application of organic and mineral fertilizers three times a month during the period of active growth and flowering. When strelitzia fades, feeding is stopped for 2-3 months, while the rest period lasts. Before placing the plant to rest in cool conditions, it is better to cut the flower stalks.
The annual spring transplantation of young plants accelerates their development. Adult plants are transplanted not so often - after 3-4 years, since the fragile roots of strelitzia are often injured during transplantation. How to plant Strelitzia to relieve stress from the root system?
First, let's prepare the soil for the strelitzia: loose fertile soil is made up of leafy, humus and sod land, peat and sand in equal proportions. A pot for strelitzia is chosen high and deep, a thick layer of drainage material is placed on the bottom, then a layer of soil, and then the plant is carefully transferred, if it is healthy, into a new container. It remains to add a little soil to the pot and tamp it until there is enough soil.
If the plant has problems with the root system, then planting strelitzia in a new pot is preceded by removing all unhealthy and suspicious areas from the roots and treating the wounds with crushed charcoal.
Sometimes strelitzia is affected by spider mites, mealybugs or scale insects. Worms and scale insects are destroyed by double treatment of the plant with Aktara with an interval of three weeks between sessions. Ticks are eliminated with acaricides. Strelitzia is very resistant to diseases, and if you take proper care of it, it will always be healthy and beautiful.
The plant begins to bloom when it reaches four to five years of age, but what if the strelitzia does not bloom, although it is already mature enough for this? Arrange temperature stress for her: take the plant out in winter or early spring for a while on an insulated balcony, loggia or on an unheated veranda, when the temperature there is kept within 10-12 ºC. After that, move it to its usual conditions, put it in a well-lit place, resume normal care and wait for flowering.
Strelitzia seeds lose their germination very quickly. It is best to propagate the plant with freshly harvested seeds, but at home they can only be obtained by artificial pollination of the plant, therefore, when buying strelitzia seeds in the store, carefully look at the marking, since only every tenth seed is viable from seeds that are six months old. After purchasing, sow the seeds, without delaying and regardless of the season, but first soak them in warm water (35-40 ºC) for a day, changing the cooled water to warm water all the time. Then remove the remnants of the fruit pulp from the swollen seeds, if any.
While the seeds are swelling, prepare a soil mixture of peat, compost and river sand in equal proportions, fill it 2/3 into plastic cups with a capacity of 250 ml, making several holes with a diameter of 5 mm in the bottoms of the cups. Spill the soil abundantly with boiling water, compact it, let it cool down, pour a two-centimeter layer of sand on top, then put a seed in each glass and press it into the sand so that the "backs" of the grains remain visible. Now place the cups with crops in a bright, warm (22-24 ºC) place where direct sunlight does not fall, cover with glass and forget about them until you see the first leaf.
This will not happen soon - you will have to wait from one and a half months to six months - but try to overcome the temptation to remove the glass before the shoots appear. And even then, when some shoots give the first leaf, you can remove the glass from them only for 15-20 minutes a day, while the rest of the glasses should remain under the glass. Sprouted seeds require moistening the soil with boiled water, which is carried out only after the top layer has dried. The grown seedlings are carefully transplanted into larger pots. Remember that the roots of Strelitzia are taproots, long, thick and fragile, and injury to them is fraught with growth retardation or even death of the plant. Young Strelitzia are grown at 22 ºC, good lighting and moderate watering.
For this type of reproduction, side shoots of strelitzia or parts of a plant that is already 6-7 years old are used. It is best to divide the strelitzia after it has faded. The plant is removed from the pot and divided in such a way that each cut has at least one shoot. Delenki or side 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 once again: try not to damage the roots of the plant.
Most often, the plant grows in culture the royal strelitzia plant, which is otherwise called small-leaved strelitzia (Strelitzia parvifolia). This species lives in the Cape province of South Africa, in mountain forests and reaches two meters in height. Large, up to 45 cm long, slightly wavy at the edges, leathery leaves of strelitzia royal, dark green, on petioles up to 90 cm high, are collected in dense rosettes. The peduncle is high, axillary, with a green veil with red veins. In the flower, the outer petals are orange, up to 15 cm long, and the inner ones are dark blue. Strelitzia royal blooms twice a year.
Also grows in tropical forests, gorges, in the mountains at an altitude of about 300 m above sea level in the Cape province. The plant resembles a banana in appearance, which is why it is sometimes called "Natal's wild banana". Strelitzia Nikolay grows in height up to 10 meters, therefore it is a tree species. Its "trunks" are similar to those of a palm tree due to scars from fallen leaves. The flowers are as monumental as the plant itself: on an axillary peduncle, with four beak-shaped red-green veils, with white outer and blue inner petals up to 17 cm long.
It grows in the very south of Africa. It is a rare species called the "desert banana" locally. Mountain Strelitzia is a tree-like plant, reaching ten meters in height, with giant leaves growing in two rows and clasping the bottom of the trunk. The flowers are also large, white, with pointed red, boat-shaped bracts up to 45 cm in length.
It grows in the east of South Africa, tolerates prolonged drought and sudden temperature changes, up to minus subzero. In flowers, it is very similar to the royal strelitzia, but its leaves are narrow, needle-like, growing in a dense rosette with a diameter of two meters.
Originally also from South Africa, from the Cape. It is a perennial plant with a lignified lower part. Its long, elliptical, glossy, light green leaves are one meter long, heart-shaped at the base. Peduncles axillary, with two lanceolate bracts, with a single purple veil. The flower petals are white.
There is also a hybrid of the Royal Strelitzia and the White Strelitzia.
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The homeland of strelitzia is the "bird of paradise" in the south of Africa and Madagascar, where it grows on the slopes of the mountains, in the river valleys. The flower received its scientific name about three centuries ago in honor of the wife of King George III Sophia-Charlotte, nee von Strelitz (grandmother of Queen Victoria) from the British pioneers. A beauty and everyone's favorite, the titled lady, being a collector of exotic plants from all over the world, helped found the country's first Royal Botanic Garden. At home in South Africa, this flower is called "crane".
The Strelitzia family - evergreen, herbaceous perennials - has only 5 plant species, the last of which was studied only last year.
Tamarind fruits are considered edible and eaten by the inhabitants of Asian countries. They are dried, salted, frozen or candied. Unripe beans have a sour taste - they are used in spicy dishes. Ripe fruits are much sweeter and often serve as desserts. Sometimes the plant is called "Indian date". The pulp of its beans can also be used for household purposes - for example, it can be used to clean brass products. In addition, due to the content of many useful substances, beans, like other parts of the plant, are used in folk medicine, as well as in the cosmetic industry.
Tamarind wood has a pronounced red hue and is highly durable. Furniture and parquet boards are made from it.In the tropics, a tree with a beautiful spreading crown is also used to decorate streets.
Strelitzia seeds are now sold in many stores, but it must be borne in mind that they lose germination relatively quickly.
I somehow got hold of a colorful bag with the strelitzia seed enclosed in it. It looked very much like a date bone and rose without any problems. For germination, he was provided with a sufficient amount of moisture and heat (25-28 degrees). On the back of the bag it was said that no more than 5 years will pass from the moment of germination to the first flowering. Unfortunately, this period turned out to be somewhat longer. After all, in her homeland, Strelitzia lives in conditions of constantly high air humidity, with an average annual illumination much higher than in an ordinary apartment and, moreover, without any cold drafts there!
Taking care of a plant is not very difficult, but exotic requires a lot of light and space. Care rules:
In summer, the unpretentiousness of Strelitzia allows it to feel great at normal room temperature. In the winter season, the plant prefers to stay cool - at temperatures from 12 to 14 ° C. Strelitzia practically does not grow during the winter dormant period, but at this time it is gaining strength for flowering.
With regard to lighting, strelitzia requires one thing - the absence of direct sunlight. The plant can grow and thrive in bright, diffused light as well as in partial shade or even in the shade.
For strelitzia, the spaciousness of the room is very important, because it is a rather large plant, the size of which sometimes reaches 1 meter in girth. Strelitzia needs a lot of air and light.
It's great if in the summer there is an opportunity to expose the strelitzia to fresh air - on the balcony or in the garden - this will maximize the health of the plant.
From the beginning of spring to the end of autumn, strelitzia should be watered very abundantly (once every 3 days), making sure that the soil remains moist. With the onset of winter, watering should be gradually reduced to once every two weeks.
Strelitzia likes high humidity, so you need to regularly spray it with a spray bottle. Wiping the leaves with a damp cloth will also help. To maintain moisture, it is helpful to place the plant pot on a pallet of damp pebbles.
Water for irrigation and spraying should be soft and settled, and not colder than room temperature.
The exception is spraying in winter (preferably everyday) - cool water is ideal for it.
Strelitzia has large fragile tap 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 leafy, sod land, compost, humus and a little sand. Experienced growers can create the perfect blend for her from:
Due to the nature of the root system, it is advisable to take a tall pot. Unlike other plants, strelitzia begins flowering faster in a spacious flowerpot or tub.
Since the roots of the plant are fragile, it is better to use transshipment instead of transplanting, especially for young plants. If the strelitzia is large, adult and has lateral processes, then combine the transplant with reproduction - dividing the bush.
It is necessary to take into account the fragility of the roots and transplant very carefully. If the roots are still damaged, you need to sprinkle them with charcoal.
Mineral, organic fertilizers are well suited for feeding.
In order for strelitzia to bloom, you need to make sure that its leaves are healthy, and you can not skip the winter dormant period, which begins in August or September and lasts from two to three months.
Strelitzia blooms in spring or summer. Beautiful flowers can be colored white, blue, yellow, orange, lilac, purple or blue.
The flowers grow up to 15 cm in length. If pollinated, you can get Strelitzia seeds for growing young plants. Florists often use strelitzia flowers to create bouquets or spectacular compositions.
Reproduction of the plant occurs by dividing the bush during transplantation and separating the shoots that have sprouted on the sides. You can also propagate by planting seeds. Seed propagation is more common, since the first two methods are very complex.
Considering that adult plants produce a very small number of lateral shoots, seeds are practically the only way to reproduce Strelitzia.
But there are also several nuances here. For example, the maximum germination rate is typical for freshly harvested seeds. If more than six months have passed since the moment of their collection, then only every tenth seed can grow into a new plant. Therefore, before buying seeds of such plants, you should carefully read the labeling of their bags.
It is necessary, if possible, to sow seeds immediately after purchase, after leaving them for a day in rather warm water, which must be changed periodically.
You can grow a royal flower from seeds at any time of the year.
By the time the seeds are planted, a place should already be prepared for them. For this, plastic cups are quite suitable, at the bottom of which holes of 5-6 mm should be made.
Compost soil, peat and coarse river sand mixed in equal parts should be used as a substrate.
The soil for planting strelitzia seeds must be poured abundantly with boiling water, then allowed to cool, and covered with a two-centimeter layer of sand on top.
One seed should be placed in each such cup, and it is not necessary to place them too deeply. After disembarking, the glasses must be covered with any means that will prevent contact with air. Glass is most suitable for this purpose.
The need to limit the ingress of air is explained by the rather long growing time of the flower, which takes from one and a half months to six months. During this time, fungi can completely destroy the food supply for the plant.
When the "Bird of Paradise" gives its first shoots, even one leaf, it will need air baths for 15-20 minutes a day and watering, which is done as the topsoil dries up.
Sprouted seeds of the Bird of Paradise.
Once the seedlings have developed, they are transplanted into a large bowl. For the normal development of the root system of a flower, pots need to be taken deep. They must have drainage.
If the strelitzia is provided with the proper level of care, then the occurrence of diseases and its defeat by pests is extremely unlikely, but no one is immune from the occurrence of difficulties. Among the pests that Strelitzia can attack, it is worth noting mealybugs, spider mites and scale insects.
To fight the worms and the scabbard, you should use Aktara. Indoor flower should be treated twice with an interval of three weeks.
Removal of mites is achieved with acaricides.
My first adenium seed mixture was far from perfect: ready-made cactus soil, vermiculite, brick chips, sand, charcoal and (oh my god) shell rock. The seeds were divided into two "teams" for the growth promoters that we used. I got the Ribav team, my husband got Zircon. After disembarkation, it was necessary to organize heating. It was possible to use a battery, but due to inexperience I did not know that during germination the seeds can do without light. Therefore, I was looking for a warm and bright place. The first shoots appeared at the end of the third day, when my excitement almost turned into panic.
In general, I keep the mini in the same way as the rest of the adeniums. I water it after the substrate has dried, even in summer, since the weather is hot and you don't notice how quickly the substrate dries out, sometimes the caudex is quite soft. When buds appear, I try not to overdry. I meant "harder", that the mini seeds germinated in 60 days, especially mini red, the first shoots appeared in 4 days, you need to have a lot of patience to wait for all the shoots. There are mini seedlings quite dwarfs, which even at two years old are 5–6 cm in size (the whole plant). My mini hibernates at the age of 8 months or more at a temperature of 15–20 ° C and, due to a lack of light, shed some of the leaves and become like a mini bonsai. Additionally, I do not highlight them. The mini seedlings of autumn sowing stand under the lamps until the spring sun appears.
She fell ill with adenium in winter, studied literature, looked closely. I soaked the ordered seeds all at once. And you can't be in such a hurry. Out of 5, only 2 hatched, moreover, of one variety. The second batch was soaked in the summer. Probably, the warmth and an abundance of light helped, but out of 3 all 3 sprouted. True, it flooded several times and one disappeared. Soak the seeds in a cotton pad. In the lid and in the bag. I drop in 3-4 times a day. Well, as soon as it hatched, I plant it in pots. Land for cacti, and versatile is not bad.
For all the manipulations with the adenium - pinching, pruning the crown, grafting - do not forget that this plant is very poisonous. Wash your hands thoroughly after working with adenium, do not let its juice get on the mucous membranes. Keep adenium away from small children and pets. And may your plants always delight you!