Bird of Paradise Flower Facts
image by MorgueFile.com
Bird of paradise, or Strelitzia reginae, is a dramatic plant with a distinctive appearance. The flowers are iridescent orange and midnight blue in color and look like a tropical bird peeking through leaves. Despite its tropical appearance, it is native to South Africa. Bird of paradise has been exported throughout the United States, though, and florists use it as a cut flower in arrangements.
The plants leaves come from a stalk that can reach up to 2 feet in length. They are oblong, leathery and stiff. Each flower has three blue petals and three orange sepals.
Bird of Paradise is commonly a clump-forming plant with fleshy roots. The leaves grow from the bottom of the plant, opposite from each other, which flattens the clump somewhat.
For the best growing conditions, keep the plant's soil moist when outdoors in the summer, but let the soil dry out between waterings when the plant is kept inside. Fertilize every 2 weeks in the summer and once a month in the winter months. Use a water-soluble fertilizer.
Bird of paradise can be grown inside during cold climates as long as it's in a sunny spot. It won't bloom well if it's in insufficient light. It thrives if it's moved outside during the summer, but should be acclimated to the stronger light or may get sunburned
Once the exotic flower dries up, it can be removed as newer growth emerges. They can also be allowed to shrivel up and fall off. Sometimes there will be a second spathe growing from the primary one, which gives a double tier of flowers.
- University of Wisconsin
- The Garden Helper
Bird of paradise, Strelitzia reginae, exotic flower
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Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.