Ever wondered why are the plants from the genus strelitzia called bird of paradise plants? The plants belonging to this group are called bird of paradise, because the flowers of these perennial plants resemble the actual bird of paradise. A male bird of paradise has a plumage which has long feathers of yellow and white shades, this bird has blue beak, brownish body feathers which have a hint of orange in them. The strelitzia group of plants have flowers which have colors which match the yellow, blue, and brown shades and hence the resemblance. However, a white bird of paradise (Strelitzia nicolai) has got maximum white-colored petals and few blue petals. This plant is not as popular as the plant which has yellow flowers, but still is favored for gardening due to its banana-shaped leaves.
Plant Care Instructions
The care factors for growing the white bird of paradise plant whether indoors or outdoors are similar. However, if you want to grow flowers on the plant then you need to plant it outdoors. The flowers appear after few years of growth. You can grow this plant in a garden or near a poolside. For indoor gardening you will need to keep the plant in a container and it can be placed inside a room, on the deck, or patio.
- The plant can grow well in full sun or partial sun. If you are planting it outdoors then select a sunny site, and for indoor container gardening keep it near a sunny window.
- Soil requirements need not be specific, as this plant can tolerate clay, loam, acidic, or slightly-alkaline soil. But, it is important that you ensure the soil is well drained as it can't grow well in extremely wet soil. You can add perlite to planting soil. If growing the plant in pots, make sure there are enough drainage holes.
- Keep watering the plant regularly, however don't over water the plant. Don't provide it any fertilizers, as the plant doesn't like salts.
- Not many pests or diseases are associated with the plant, but in case you observe any pests then wash the leaves clean.
- You can prune the plant to get rid of the dead leaves. Pruning will also help to thin out the surplus growth sprouting at the base of the trunk.
- To propagate this plant, division of the suckers can be done. The plant is also propagated by dividing the root ball or by germinating the seed in a damp paper towel. You can bag the seed heads to capture the ripe seeds or allow the seed heads to dry on the plant itself and then collect the seeds with hands.
Many people plant multiple plants to get a fuller growth. When planted indoors in pots of 14 inches, the plant can reach a growth of 7 feet. When planted outdoors, this plant can reach an impressive height of 20 to 30 feet and spread up to 6 to 10 feet. The bird of paradise flowers appear on outdoor plants after few years and are in exotic colors of blue and white.