The plant Strelitzia, also called Strelitia, is a type genus of the family Strelitaceae. This genus includes 4 species that occur naturally in Madagascar and South Africa. This plant was named after the wife of King George III, Queen of Great Britain, Charlotte-Sophia Mecklenburg-Strelitz. One of the species was named Strelitsia royalis, the other - Strelitsia Nicolas, in honor of the autocrat of all Russia Nicolas I. Folks call this plant "bird of paradise", this name is due to the unusually beautiful flowers of this plant.
Brief description of growing
- Flowering. In spring for 6 weeks.
- Brightness. Scattered but bright light is necessary, so it is best to choose an eastern or western window sill.
- Temperature control.
During intensive growth, the plant does well at normal room temperature. During the winter, the room should be cooler than 14 degrees.
- Watering. During the growing season, water frequently but moderately, with the soil mixture in the pot being slightly moist all the time. During winter time, watering shall be done approximately once in 1.
- Air humidity. It must be higher. On hot days, moisten the foliage with a sprayer.
During the growing season and during flowering, fertilize the bush regularly once every 10 days, alternately using mineral fertilizer and organic fertilizer.
- Period of rest. Conditional, in winter time.
- Transplanting. While the bush is young, it is transplanted once a year, and older plants once every 3 or 4 years.
- Propagation. By seeds (must be freshly harvested), by side shoots and by parts of bushes that are already 6 or 7 years old.
- Pests. Scabies, mealybugs, aphids and spider mites.
This plant is highly resistant to diseases. However, due to regular overwatering of the soil mixture in the pot, the root system can rot.
Special features of strelitzia
In natural conditions, strelitzia is a herbaceous evergreen perennial plant. The largest specimens in the wild can be more than 10 m tall, and the average shrub is 2-3.5 m tall.
The tap root system goes deep into the ground. The oval, large, leathery to the touch, green leaf plates have a bluish-blue patina on the surface. Leaves can reach a width of 0.1-0.8 m and a length of 0.
3-2 m, looking very much like banana leaves but with longer petioles of 0.5-0.9 m. On a long flower stalk there is a horizontal inflorescence, which looks like the tuft of a fancy bird, it consists of purple or orange flowers, which reach 10-20 centimeters across. A single flower stalk can hold up to 5 to 7 flowers, so that a plant can bloom for up to 6 months.
If the plant is well looked after, it will give pride of place to its long and luxuriant blossoms several times a year. In a cut, the flowers of this plant stand relatively long - from 15 to 30 days.
Strelitia Nicolas, history of the plant. Transplanting in a cachet with auto irrigation into Strelicia soil
Home care for Strelicia
Home cultivation of Strelicia is quite easy, as it is unpretentious and undemanding in its care. Since it grows best under bright, diffused light, you should put it in a window to the west or east.
Do not allow it to be exposed to direct sunlight.
This plant is heat-loving, but during its dormant period in winter it should be cool (no higher than 14 degrees). At other times of the year it grows and develops perfectly well at temperatures typical of living quarters. During the warm season if possible move it outside (garden or balcony), but choose a place which will be well protected from wind gusts and direct sunlight.
Moderate but frequent watering during the spring and summer period.
Make sure that the soil mixture in the container is slightly moist all the time. But do not over-water, as systematic stagnation of liquid in the root system can harm the plant. In winter, watering is done about once every 10 days. Water either filtered or still water at a temperature close to room temperature. So on hot days you should sponge the leaves with a moistened sponge or spray them with a sprayer.
Home cultivation of Strelitzia usually takes place once every 1.5 weeks during flowering and during the growing season. Both mineral fertilizers and organic fertilizers are used for this purpose, and they should be introduced into the substrate alternately. After flowering, the plant is not fertilized for 2-3 months, while the dormant period is observed. Before moving the bush to a cool room where it can rest well, all flower stems should be cut off.
Repotting the Arrowroot
If young plants are repotted regularly once a year in the springtime, this will have a positive effect on their development. Mature shrubs are only repotted once every 3 or 4 years because their roots are very brittle and can break easily during transplanting.
But some growers have learned to transplant the arrowroot in such a way that its root system is not stressed. To do this, first prepare a special loose and nutritious soil mixture: combine sand, peat, mulch, leaf and sod soil (take in equal parts). A container for planting is taken high and on its bottom make a thick drainage layer, it is covered with a layer of prepared substrate.
Then carefully transplant a healthy bush into a new pot and slowly fill all the voids with fresh earth mixture, which is regularly compacted. If, however, the bush has root problems, first remove it from the old pot and carefully remove all the old substrate. After that, carefully inspect the root system and cut out any diseased areas, and then sprinkle the cut sites with charcoal powder. The bush is then planted in a new container.
Transplanting Strelitzia reginae (Strelitzia reginae)
Diseases and pests
The plant may have mealybugs, spider mites and scale mites.
To get rid of the mites and mealybugs the bush is sprayed with a solution of Actara, the second treatment with the same agent is carried out after 20 days. Mites are treated with acaricide pesticides. Strelitzia is highly resistant to diseases, but only if you care for it properly and provide it with optimal growing conditions. However, it can happen that the arrowroot is old enough, but it still does not flower. To fix this, for the flower arrange a temperature stress.
To do this in winter or in early spring, bush briefly transferred to the loggia, insulated balcony or unheated veranda, and the air temperature there should be 10 to 12 degrees. Then the bush is again returned to a permanent place, which should be well lit. Then take care of it as usual and wait for it to flower.
41 Useful Evening Strelitzia Channel
Growing from seed
Strelitzia seeds lose their germination rate very quickly after harvest. It is recommended to use freshly collected seeds for propagation, but you will have to resort to artificial pollination of the plant in order to get them.
If you decide to grow from purchased seeds, then pay special attention to the labeling on the package. Remember, however, that only one of ten seeds can germinate from a six-month old seed. The seeds you buy can be sown immediately at any time of the year, but they are subjected to mandatory pre-sowing preparation. To do this, place the seed for 24 hours in warm water (from 35-40 degrees), as it cools, change the water to fresh. After the seeds are well swollen, remove the remains of the fruit, if any.
Prepare a special soil mixture for sowing which should consist of compost, peat and river sand (1:1:1). It is filled to 2/3 of plastic cups of 0.25 l, and in their bottom make a few holes, in a cross of 0.5 cm. Well spill the substrate with just boiled water and tamp it down.
After it cools, its surface is covered with a layer of sand about 20 mm thick, then place a seed in each cup and press with your finger so that only its back is visible. The seeds are placed in a warm (22 to 24 degrees) and well-lit place, protected from direct sunlight. Do not forget to cover the cups with film, and then leave them alone until the first leaf plate appears on the surface of the substrate. As a rule, you have to wait quite a long time (from 1.5 to 6 months), all this time do not remove the cover from the container.
When the seedlings will show the first leaf plate, they begin to ventilate, removing the cover for only 15-20 minutes a day. When the seedlings appear, they will need to be watered after drying of the top layer of substrate, for this use boiled water. When the plants will grow and get stronger, they are carefully transplanted into larger pots. During transplanting, you should take into account that the long tap roots of this plant are very fragile and thick, if they are damaged, it can lead to stunted growth of the bush or to its death. As long as the bushes are young, they should be watered moderately and raised in a well-lit place at a temperature of about 22 degrees.
How to grow strelitzia from seeds? / paradise flower
Raising by splitting bush and side shoots
If the bush is 6-7 years old then it can be multiplied by splitting bush and often side shoots are also used for propagation. The dividers will most successfully take root after the plant has finished flowering. The bush is pulled out of the container and divided into parts, and each partition should have at least one shoot. Part of the bush or lateral shoots planted in a pot measuring 16-20 cm across (the size of the container depends on the size of the partition or shoot). Substrate for planting is used the same as for growing seedlings (see above).
When transplanting the seedlings, try not to injure the roots.
Species of Strelitzia with photos and names
Little-leaved Strelitzia (Strelitzia parvifolia). This species is most popular with florists. This plant is naturally found in the mountain forests of the Cape Province of South Africa. The bush can reach a height of about 200 cm.
The luxuriant rosettes are made up of large, leathery to touch, dark green leaf lamellae that reach up to 0.45 m in length and have a wavy edge. The leaf stalks are very long, up to 0.9 m. The axillary long peduncle is green with red streaks.
The inner flower petals are dark blue and the outer petals are orange, reaching a length of about 15 centimeters. The shrub blooms twice a year.
Strelitzia nicolai (Strelitzia nicolai)
This species can be found in nature in the Cape Province and prefers to grow in ravines, tropical forests and mountains about 300 meters above sea level. Its appearance is very similar to that of a banana, which is why it is also known as the "wild banana of Natal". This species is arboreal because it can reach a height of 10 meters.
The "trunk" of such a plant is similar to a palm tree, as its surface is covered with scars left by dead leaves. During flowering, an axillary peduncle appears with four beak-like covers of greenish-red color, the flower has white outer petals and blue inner petals, reaching a length of about 17 centimeters.
Strelitzia mountain (Strelitzia caudata)
In the wild, the species is found in the southernmost point of Africa. This rather rare plant is referred to by locals as the "desert banana." This tree-like plant can be up to 10m tall and is adorned with very large leafy plates that grow in two rows and girdle the lower part of the trunk.
The large white flowers have pointed red bracts, are boat-like in shape, and reach about 0.45 m in length.
In nature, the species is found in eastern South Africa. It is resistant to prolonged droughts and abrupt changes in temperature (up to minus temperatures). Its flowers are very similar in appearance to those of Strelitzia royalis, but the foliage is narrow and needle-like and it grows in a dense rosette which can grow to 2 m across.
Strelitzia Augusta or Strelitzia alba
This plant is native to the Cape province of South Africa. In this perennial, the underside eventually becomes woody. The glossy long (about 100 cm) leaf plates are elliptical in shape and pale green, heart-shaped at the base. The axillary peduncles have two lanceolate bracts with a single purple veil. The flowers are white in color.
Flowers also grow a hybrid of Strelicia white and Strelicia royal.