You may know these stunning plants as Birds of Paradise. The strelitzia reginae is a sculptural plant, used to add a tropical feel to landscapes with its striking exotic flower heads and large banana-like leaves. The brilliant orange and bright purple colours contrasted against the green foliage is indeed eye catching! And they last a long time so they make wonderful cut flowers.
They flower throughout the year, with most of the flowers being produced in spring and summer.Streliztias are popular as they are both drought tolerant and very low maintenance. Old flower heads are best trimmed off after flowering which will encourage more flowers to come.
Strelitzias can be easily divided to produce multiple plants by dividing the main clump into smaller clumps with a spade. When planting Birds of Paradise, add organic matter to the planting hole and fertilise in spring with a general purpose fertilizer.
Strelitzias prefer a sunny spot, but will grow in part shade in free draining soil. They will reach a mature size of around 1.8m high by 1m wide. They will tolerate some salt spray and are suited to coastal gardens and around swimming pools.
Birds of Paradise are suitable for pots and containers and look amazing under planted with a purple flowering groundcover like a convolvulus sabatias, scaevolas or in a border amongst some equally sculptural echiums, where the orange and purple will contrast beautifully.
Some other varieties of Strelizias include Strelitzia nicolai which grows much larger in size and has huge leaves and dark purple and white flowers. Strelitzia juncea is another variety. It has a different appearance due to its spike-like leaves, rather than the large banana-like leaves of the reginae and nicolai. The flowers are however quite similar to Strelitzia reginae.
So if you’re looking to create impact in your next project through shape and colour, you should definitely consider Strelitzias, available at Plantmark in small 14cm pots up to large established sizes.