If you ask me one plant that I would always like to grow in my garden that would be Strelitzia Reginae or Bird of Paradise. Indigenous to South Africa where it is known as Crane Flower, Bird of Paradise can be grown with a little effort in most temperate regions of the world. This evergreen, shrubby plant is popular because of their showy and very unusual flowers that actually resemble the Bird of Paradise (Paradisaeidae). Flowers usually appear in spring and summer though some species would flower in autumn and winter. Leaves are lush, long and broad. Flowers grow on long stalks and exhibit a rainbow of red, green, orange, purple, white and blue shades – just like a real bird of paradise.
Strelitzia Reginae tend to form dense clusters that require plenty of space to flourish.
How to Grow Bird of Paradise
All species of Strelitzia require bright sunlight, rich soil and plenty of air in a warmer spot. The best place for Bird of Paradise plants is garden beds where these plants are protected from strong winds. Water only when the soil is dry. Strelitzia can be propagated easily from suckers.
Bird of Paradise plants do not like to be disturbed, thus they should be allowed to establish themselves properly in a suitable spot.
Popular Varieties of Strelitzia
Strelitzia Nicolai also known as Wild Banana is a tree-like shrubby plant that bears lush arching leaves. Flowers closely resemble but are not as colorful as the flowers of Bird of Paradise.
Strelitzia Juncea forms dense clusters of long leafless stalks and bears bright orange flowers.