Home care for strelitzia

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Home care for strelitzia
Home care for strelitzia

Description of the type of strelitzia, recommendations for care and cultivation, advice on transplanting, feeding and reproduction, interesting facts, main varieties. Strelitzia (Strelitzia), or as it is sometimes called Strelitzia, is part of the family bearing the same name - Strelitziaceae. About 5 more species of representatives of the green world of the planet are also ranked to it. Areas of South Africa are considered the birthplace of this exotic flower. Often this plant can be found in literary sources under the names "crane", "bird of paradise", "zarpitsa flower". All these names vividly describe the appearance with which people associate the colors of strelitzia. Indeed, from a distance, the flower is very reminiscent of a bird's head with a beautiful and bright tuft, which has a long beak. So what has the "arrow" to do with it, what does this word mean? It turns out that the plant was described by a Swedish botanist who found it in South African lands at the end of the 18th century. He decided to give this unique flower a name worthy of a queen, and named the plant in honor of the wife of King George III of England, Sophia-Charlotte, who bore the title of the German Duchess of Maclenburg-Strelitz, famous for her beauty and extraordinary love of her subjects.

If you visit the coasts of the Mediterranean, as well as the lands of Argentina or Los Angeles, you will be amazed by the blooming strelitzia, which grows there everywhere and pleases the eye with luxurious flowers of various shades. Naturally, in our latitudes, this interesting flower will not be able to withstand the harsh winter, but it perfectly lends itself to growing in rooms or conservatories. With the arrival of summer, the tub with strelitzia can be taken out into the open air - a balcony or terrace, a garden, where it will bask until the cold weather. When cultivated as a tub culture, it rarely reaches one and a half meters in height.

In natural conditions, for example, the royal strelitzia variety reaches 2-3, 35 m, and a similar type of Nikolai's strelitzia can approach 10 meters in height. The petioles of the leaves differ in sufficient height and due to the fact that they are located very densely and densely, they form the so-called "false trunk". Drying and falling off, the leaf plates leave scarring marks, which make this pseudo-trunk look like the trunk of a banana palm. The leaves are quite leathery, wrinkled, have a rich emerald hue, on which the vein of the petiole appears well. They can reach a little more than half a meter in height, with a leaf length of 40 cm.

Basically, the flowering process in strelitzia is very long and can drag on throughout the year. Sometimes it is believed that Strelitzia bears its name because of the method of "shooting" pollen at the birds touching it. The petals of the flower are spliced ​​in such a way that they completely cover the pistil and stamens, similar to springs. Since the rook leaves are filled with sweet nectar, their pollination takes place with the help of small birds of the Nectariniidae family, then at the moment when the bird flies up to the flower and tries to open the petals and get to the sweet juice, the spring pistil is freed from its natural "captivity", and anthers-stamens shoot pollen at the bird.

When a plant is grown under artificial cultivation conditions, in order for the seeds to set, it is necessary to self-pollinate the flowers. This process is recommended for the first seven days after the flower is fully opened. It is required to take a soft brush or a brush with delicate bristles.

The result of such pollination is the fruit in the form of a box with dense, like wooden walls. Ripening lasts about six months from the moment of pollination of strelitzia.

Recommendations for growing Strelitzia

Strelitzia in flowerpots
  1. Lighting. This flower loves good lighting, only the direct rays of the sun can harm its leaves. Windows of the eastern or western location will do, on the southern directions of the windows you will have to shade the strelitzia in the hottest hours of the day. There will not be enough lighting on the windows of the northern direction and additional lighting with phytolamps or fluorescent lamps is necessary, otherwise the flowering of the "bird of paradise" will not wait, and the leaf plates will turn pale, the petioles will stretch out.
  2. Content temperature. It is required to create different heat indicators in the winter and summer months of the year. This will be the key to the future successful flowering of the "zarptitsa". In spring and summer days, heat indicators should not exceed 20-24 degrees, and with the arrival of cold weather, it is necessary to reduce the temperature regime to 14-15 degrees. The minimum that a strelitzia can endure without compromising its appearance and life is limited to 12 degrees.
  3. Air humidity when growing a flower "crane" at home, according to some sources, it does not matter much, but experienced florists still recommend daily spraying when the thermometer rises above 24, and during the autumn-winter days it is necessary to wipe the leaf plates from dust. Water needs mild room temperature.
  4. Watering. Soil moisture should be abundant enough when spring comes and late autumn does not come. And in winter, Strelitzia begins a period of rest and watering is significantly reduced. It is important to adhere to the rule that the soil in the flowerpot is always moist and does not allow waterlogging or overdrying of the soil. Water is taken only soft with a temperature in the range of 20-24 degrees. Such moisture can be collected from rain or melted snow, and then bring its indicators to room level.
  5. Fertilize the "bird of paradise" it is necessary twice a month with fertilizing for flowering indoor plants. Organic solutions are also used - for example, mullein diluted in water. They are alternated with mineral complex dressings. During winter dormancy, such fertilizers are completely stopped.
  6. Transplant and soil selection. The plant requires transplanting at home only if all the soil is rooted - usually every 2 years. The pot is chosen more spacious - this is the key to a successful future flowering. The size of the container must exceed the old one by 2 cm in diameter. Tall flowerpots or tubs are suitable. It is important to provide drainage and holes for excess moisture to drain. For drainage, it is necessary to use moisture-retaining materials - expanded clay of fine fraction or pebbles, some growers crush bricks to this size. When the “bird of paradise” becomes an adult bush, it no longer requires frequent changes of the pot and soil, it is possible to carry out transplanting-reloading once every 3-4 years. It is recommended to add a small amount of bone meal or superphosphate to the substrate.

The soil should be very rich in nutrients. You can compose a substrate yourself from the options:

  • sod soil, humus, leafy soil, river sand (in proportions 2: 2: 2: 1) and a little peat;
  • sod, leaf humus, coarse sand (in a ratio of 2: 1: 1).

Self-breeding tips for Strelitzia

Young sprout of strelitzia

You can get a new bush of a flowering "bird of paradise" in several ways: planting seeds, dividing the root, jigging lateral shoots that have already taken root.

Only very fresh material is suitable for planting seeds at home. It is necessary to clean the seed from the orange hair tuft, soak in water for 1-2 days. Then plant it in a peat-leaf substrate, to a depth that exceeds the size of a seed by one and a half times. The temperature should be kept constant at 25 degrees.As soon as the parostoks develop 2-3 leaves, the first transplant is carried out. In the future, it is worth rolling over the plant, without waiting for the roots to become cramped in the flowerpot. Germination should take place in a place with good lighting, but no bright sunlight. The "crane" will bloom, grown in this way, only after 3 to 6 years. How lucky!

When dividing the rhizome, and it is quite large and fleshy in the strelitzia, it is necessary to ensure that each part has at least two shoots. The plant must be taken out of 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 division, it is necessary to use a well-sharpened knife and carefully cut the rhizome, the roots are large enough to break easily. Then sprinkle the slices with activated charcoal or charcoal crushed into powder. It is necessary to divide the rhizome after the "bird of paradise" has faded - this time begins from the end of winter and until the first days of June, until the buds begin to appear. It should be noted that strelitzia has a very low growth rate, therefore, when dividing the rhizome, young plants will take about 2 years for the bush to become powerful and beautiful.

When too overgrown lateral shoots are used for reproduction, then it is necessary to carefully separate such a stem from the mother plant, and plant it in small pots. The substrate is mixed from turf soil, leafy soil, humus and coarse sand (in proportions 2: 1: 1: 0, 5). A drainage layer, expanded clay or broken shards of 1 cm is also laid at the bottom of the container. The rooting process will go well if the heat indicators do not become less than 22 degrees.

Problems when growing strelitzia

Strelitzia affected by the scutellum

Basically, the flower can be affected by the scabbard or spider mite. In both cases, the leaf plates will begin to turn yellow and deform, but the scabbard gives itself out with a sticky sugary bloom, and the mite with spiderweb formations that cover the leaves and petioles. Spraying with soap, oil or alcohol solutions can be carried out. For soap, you need to dissolve 30 gr. laundry soap in a bucket of water, leave for a couple of hours and then strain. Oil is made using rosemary essential oil - a couple of its drops are diluted in 1 liter of water, and calendula tincture is bought as alcohol.

If the treatment with folk remedies did not bring a positive result, then modern systemic insecticides are used to combat these pests. When the strelitzia has buds and flowers, it is not recommended to rearrange it and even turn the pot, this threatens to discard the color.

Interesting facts about Strelitzia

Flowering strelitzia

The plant must be carefully examined when buying. Acquire if the inflorescence of strelitzia has closed bracts (they seem to be slightly "swollen") or those in which they have slightly opened. You also need to pay attention to the flower petals - they should be only slightly visible. In this case, the plant will bloom well, and the adaptation process will go well.

Flowers that are cut in the condition described above can stand in a vessel of water for almost a month if they are given the necessary care - the bouquet is placed in a well-lit place with room temperature and the water in the vase is regularly changed.

Attention!!! Almost all varieties of strelitzia are distinguished by poisonous sap of the leaves; flowers are also unsuitable for food. It is necessary to place the pot with the plant in such a place that it is not accessible to small children or pets.

Types of strelitzia

Strelitzia blooms

Royal Strelitzia (Strelitzia reginae) was the most common Strelitzia flower in the Royal Botanic Gardens, which was founded by Her Majesty Sophia-Charlotte, grandmother of the current Queen Victoria. She was a fairly educated lady and was interested in natural sciences.

The plant has a herbaceous form of growth and never changes the color of its leaf plates - such an evergreen bush! The leaf plates are attached to long petioles, which are clearly visible on the back. Their shape is in the form of an elongated ellipse, very much like the leaves of a banana palm. The length approaches 45 cm. At the base, the petioles grow so densely and densely that they resemble a stem, but it is false. The flower is characterized by an asymmetrical perianth with 6 members. The outer leaves of this design are orange in color, and the inner ones are dark blue. The flowers are 15 cm long. The flowering process extends over the spring and summer months. And the bud itself is kept on the peduncle for several weeks. The flowers do not smell at all, but they are strongly filled with nectar juice, there is so much of it that it completely fills the “boat” of the flower and starts flowing down with shiny sweet drops along its outer part. When the “bird of paradise” grows in its natural environment, small nectary birds that belong to the Nectariniidae family fly to it. It is they who pollinate the plant. At that moment, when a birdie touches the flower's boat with its beak, the anthers explode quite strongly with pollen, throwing it out with great force, as if “shooting” it.

Strelitzia nicolai. The plant is named in honor of the Emperor of Russia Nicholas I. The homeland of this species of "bird of paradise" is considered to be the coastal oceanic areas located in the south of the African continent. This type of strelitzia is distinguished by its power - rising above other green inhabitants to a height of 10 meters, because of this it is considered to be arboreal. These are such long stems-petioles at the leaf plates, which, like “green” caps made of carved feathers, crown their tops. "Trunks" can reach 4 meters in width and on them, as well as on palm trunks, "scars" remain - the remains of fallen leaves. Due to the coastal wind gusts and air currents prevailing in those areas, the leaves of strelitzia are strongly torn and in their appearance begin to resemble the huge feathery wings of a large bird. Flowers are also large in size - boats-boats, which wrap the "tuft" reach a height of half a meter and are painted with purple-blue shades. They contain 3 snow-white sepals and blue petals.

This is the only type of strelitzia that is used for food and agriculture in those regions. The dried "stems" of the plant are used for making strong ropes by the local population. Unripe seeds are used for cooking.

Strelitzia Nikolai, due to the fact that she has well-developed rhizome processes, quickly captures the land areas provided to her, in those areas where the microclimate contributes to its growth. But the plant does not tolerate fluctuations in daily temperatures at all and therefore the flower prefers to settle on the shores of seas, oceans and rivers.

Strelitzia reed (Strelitzia juncea). The plant somewhere resembles a royal variety, only now its leaves grow vertically and in outline they are narrow, resembling needles, take the form of a rosette in the form of a fan. It is very similar to reed, for which it got its name. Flowers are yellow and orange in color, the flowering process takes the period from May to mid-autumn. This species is drought-resistant.

Strelitzia white (Strelitzia alba). It has several stems that grow up to 10 m in height, slightly branched. Leaf plates grow in bundles on long petioles, elliptical elongated, reaching up to 2 m in length and 40–60 cm in width. Single bluish flowers, reaching 25–30 cm in length, approximately 8 cm in height and about 5 cm in thickness. The petals of the flower are snow-white, the upper has the shape of a lancet, the lower boat-like. The filaments of the stamens are 3 cm long, with anthers up to 5, 5 cm.

How to grow strelitzia from seeds, see here:

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