The Strelitzia reginae is a herbaceous plant that finds its origin in the area of Baja California and is widely known for its unique and striking flower in bright colors, which looks like the bird that precisely gives its name to the plant. It is a very popular tropical species in greenhouses and among fans of gardening and botany.
If you are interested in having it at home, learn with this practical guide all about the care of the bird of paradise plant, its transplantation and reproduction , among other aspects.
Bird of paradise plant care – practical guide
There are many who dare to include one of these spectacular plants in their garden or interior, and although the bird of paradise plant is not particularly delicate, there are some things that must be taken into account to keep it in good condition. These are the basic care of the bird of paradise plant :
Lighting and temperature
The first is that, as a tropical plant , Strelitzia requires good lighting to develop properly, so you should avoid planting it in areas with long exposures of shade or where the sun does not reach.
Also due to its natural environment, it is a plant that does not tolerate frost or harsh winters, so if you live in an area where the temperature falls below 5 ºC in winter, you should keep the plant indoors, protected from cold. In fact, its ideal temperature to be strong and healthy is between 12ºC and 25ºC .
Watering the bird of paradise plant
Regarding watering, the plant needs a slight but constant amount of humidity, without ever getting waterlogged but without allowing its substrate to dry out completely. It is recommended to maintain an irrigation every 24 or 48 hours in summer, and every 72 hours in winter.
We also recommend the use of fertilizers just before the flowering season of the plant, applied every 15 days. On the one hand, a fertilizer rich in nitrogen and potassium will be especially beneficial and, on the other hand, a supply of magnesium will help its leaves to remain bright and bright green.
Transplant the bird of paradise plant step by step
This plant requires an annual transplant that must be carried out at the beginning of spring, until it is 5 years old. It will be enough to prepare a pot somewhat larger than the previous one, without large jumps in the dimensions of the container, until a pot of about 30 cm in diameter is reached in its final container. When you go to transplant the bird of paradise plant, follow these steps:
- Remove the root ball being very careful not to damage the roots.
- Use your fingers to remove the pieces of soil that are hooked to the roots.
- Prepare the new pot with a suitable substrate mixture. For this, it is a very good option to use manure mulch and some coarse sand that provides good drainage to the mixture, which is necessary to avoid puddles that can do a lot of damage to Strelitzia .
- Plant it in the new pot and voila!
After the first five years have passed, the bird of paradise should no longer be transplanted. Instead, what you should do when the warm months arrive is to remove the top 2 to 3 cm of the substrate layer and replace them with new mixture. Of course, carry out this operation with great care not to damage the upper part of the plant or its roots.
Reproduction of the bird of paradise plant
The bird of paradise can reproduce in a traditional way, that is, through seeds, but the growth process of these is slow and it will take at least five years to be able to enjoy the first flowers of your Strelitzia. For this reason, the most common and used method is the reproduction of the bird of paradise plant by division . To do this, keep these tips and steps in mind.
- The best time to carry out the division by bushes is in early spring.
- As in the transplanting process, it is important to prepare a pot or container with a suitable size and a substrate rich in organic matter, mixed with compost or organic compost and some sand that provides better drainage.
- It is essential that the pot has drainage holes and that it is kept a few centimeters above ground level so as not to be in contact with excess moisture.
The multiplication or division process to reproduce the bird of paradise plant is very simple:
- Separate a clump or section of the plant to take to the new container. We advise you to do it with a shovel, nailing it vertically and as deeply as possible where you want to separate, to be able to lift it later, damaging the root system of the plant as little as possible.
- After the separation of the bush and its subsequent planting in the new pot, water both abundantly but without causing waterlogging.
- Be especially vigilant about the health of the separated plants.