Strelitzia, the perfect plant for anyone looking for one of those fairly easy to grow and who are able to resist even in situations other than their original one. Strelitzia is the scientific name, we will see that over time this plant has also earned some nice nicknames, predictable given the bizarre shape of its flowers. We find it both shaped bush, a maximum of one meter high or so, both shaped tree.
It is called Reginae not by chance but because it is a Strelitzia dedicated to Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of King George III of England, who died in 1818 and was very fond of botany. Another name that we find associated with the same plant is that of "bird of paradise". We are faced with perennial evergreens belonging to the genus Strelitzia, originally from southern Africa.
The Reginae variety shows elliptical leaves with a silver color which can be 30 or 40 centimeters long. In general, it grows quite slowly, has large roots and flowers with a particular shape. They sprout sequentially for long periods from a spathe that looks like a bird's beak, of a heron. We find them bright orange, deep yellow or deep blue.
There Strelitzia Nicolai it is another variety that always comes to us from South Africa but with an upright posture. Its woody stems grow slowly but can also reach 8 meters high. The leaves look like those of the banana tree, in proportion they are longer than those of the variety Reginae, they even reach 3 meters.
THE flowers however, they always have a similar heron beak shape, they are usually blue but can also take on other shades when they become fruits form capsules with seeds black inside and "feathery" outside.
We have already talked about the heron-beaked flower, but at this point it is important to specify the timing. The season of flowering of this plant goes from autumn to spring but you have to wait until it turns 5 years old.
This genus of plant belonging to the Strelitziaceae family includes different species including the two views and two others to remember. To be combined with Strelitzia Reginae and Nicolai, there are the S. Alba and S. Juncea.
Here we are finally discovering some tricks to better cultivate our Strelitzia. This plant must be watered abundantly, on a regular basis, but with a stop in the months of June and July, the period in which it “rests”. In general, it is always better to wait until its land is dry and, since it loves humidity, spray the leaves.
As it grows, it should be repotted, going to increase the size of its pot. This operation must be done in spring and only for the first 5 years of life, then the Strelitzia is officially adult and begins to bloom. Enough repotting, therefore, but be careful of the soil that can be partially replaced with the arrival of spring, so that it is fertile, enriched with fertilizer and coarse sand for the drainage watering. Let us remember that for Strelitzia, stagnation is intolerable, which is why it is better to arrange shards at the base of the vessels that house it to allow the water to drain better.
In areas where there is a mild climate, this plant, despite being of African origin, gets along very well, it is important that the temperature does not drop below 5 degrees, even if the ideal one should be between 13 ° C and 20 ° C. In winter as a precaution it is better to put sheltered the plant and keep the leaves clean with a damp cloth.
As for the pruning is to be avoided. It doesn't need it, but we absolutely have to clean it, eliminating dry leaves which are likely to increase the risk of parasitic diseases. Speaking of pruning, moving on to flowers, they deserve special treatment. Let's not throw them away, if possible, or before doing so, let's take a good look. From the spatula check the classic yellow or orange tuft, cut it gently with scissors and go to look in the sheath. Surprise, there will be new flowers.
In Africa, they would pop up on their own, in our country we have to give them a hand to go out with a stick. Without detracting from the flowers, even the leaves of the Strelitzia they can become decorative once dehydrated and perhaps intertwined.
On line you can find specimens of Strelizia Reginae in pots (7 × 7) for less than 10 eurosEven in garden centers and shops, the prices are similar.
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