The bird of paradise or STRELITZIA with the scientific name “STRELITZIA REGINAE” is a species of evergreen and perennial herbaceous plant and is native to South Africa. Sterlitzia is also known as the bird of paradise.
It has relatively bright, leathery, oval-shaped inflorescence leaves with a green spot with purple and boat-like veins that turn horizontal when the flowers open. The flowers have an orange bowl and a blue cup, and on the whole, they look like birds’ heads.
Light: Heat and light are important factors in the cultivation of Sterlitzia. This plant needs a lot of light (at least 6 hours of full light). Do not risk exposing it to direct sunlight in the summer as it dries quickly.
Temperature: It is sensitive to cold and should be grown in a greenhouse in temperate regions. A suitable temperature is 10 to 13 ° C at night and 20 to 22 ° C during the day. The ideal temperature for the plant is between 16-19 degrees Celsius and it does not tolerate temperatures below -3 and above +30 and disappears.
Irrigation: In temperate weather, watering should be done two days a week, but when the plant is resting, which is from mid-July to late August, watering should be stopped completely or rarely done. Always keep the potting soil moist. Do not allow the soil to dry out. Whenever you see the soil is drying, just moisten it with a glass of water.
Soil: Nutritious soil mixed with one part garden soil, 1 part coarse sand or perlite, 1 part wet peat soil or humus is suitable for growing the bird of paradise. The soil should be strong (with animal powder, meat powder, etc.) and slightly sandy. In order for the plant to flower early, it is necessary to plow the ground to a depth of 80 cm in August and add animal manure to it. The suitable acidity for the plant is about 7-8.
Fertilization: Needs a lot of fertilizer in early summer. The plant responds well to the application of manure and compost and increase the fertilizer to irrigation water about once a month during the summer. Livestock manure should be added at the rate of 5-24 Kg / m during soil preparation. Consumption of fertilizer containing NP-K with a ratio of 5-1-3 and 3 grams of potassium nitrate per liter of water with an interval of 10 days is very effective. This treatment should be done regularly for 3 months
Pruning: Pruning the leaves of previous years and separating the mother leaves
Propagation: One of the propagation methods of this plant is its seed cultivation. But to get the seeds, artificial insemination must be done. Usually, each inflorescence produces about 50 seeds. Cultivation is usually done in the spring at a temperature of 18-21 degrees Celsius. Irregular seed growth takes 3 to 5 months.
We reproduce the bird of paradise if it is quite strong and full of growth. In older varieties, small bushes grow next to the main plant. In spring or summer, we separate these young seedlings with some roots from the main base and plant them in another pot. In this way, the bird of paradise reproduces.
In the first year, the plant remains weak and it is better to transfer it to a pot and keep it in the greenhouse. But in the second or third year, it can be transferred to the desired location. These new plants produce stubble in the fourth year and flower in the sixth or seventh year.
Another method of propagation is plant division. Which can be done from spring to summer. The resulting stems grow slowly and flower after two or three years, and in turn, produce seedlings two years after propagation. Of course, we recommend the plant division method for families that like to propagate. Because it is simpler and painless.
Diseases and pests
The Bird of Paradise is almost a no-drop plant. Insect pests that can attack this plant include oysters, mealybugs, whiteflies, and aphids. These pests can be controlled with systemic insecticides.
Diseases that can damage this plant include: bacterial wilt and root rot. Root rot is a fungal disease that is transmitted by seeds and can be controlled by soaking the seeds in water (at room temperature) for one day and then soaking the seeds in water for 30 minutes at 57 ° C. Plant to cool and dry in a sterile culture medium.