Video: Strelitzia - Growing In An Apartment
Strelitzia is an amazing plant for spacious rooms and offices. Few growers can admire and boast of the marvelous flowers of the exotic - the royal Strelitzia (Strelitzia reginae) from the Strelitziae family, which appear in her in the winter-spring period. The name of the flower matches its appearance as well as possible: from the sharp leaves peep out sharp, like arrows, and bright, like a flame, petals. Strelitzia is graceful and exotic - a rare flower that combines purple and orange petals at the same time.
It is rare so far to find strelitzia because this large perennial plant (1-1.5 m high), and it comes from the humid mountain forests of South America, needs a rather large space for growing. From its shortened stem, 7-8 hard, long (up to 33 cm), almost monumental oar-shaped (broadly elliptic) green (with a bluish tint) leaves depart. The leaves (the upper side is dark green, the lower side is lighter in color) are characterized by pinnate venation, somewhat concave in shape and extend almost from the rhizome, located on long petioles.
A strong peduncle (up to 1 m high), as it were, rises above the leaf rosette of the plant. Large single flowers resemble the head of a bird of paradise. They appear one after another from a pointed scaphoid sheath. Each flower has three outer orange sepals, like wings, enclosing three inner blue arrow-shaped petals, inside which are hidden stamens and a pistil. The flowers are pulled out of the cover in turn, as the previous one fades.
Strelitzia blooms annually only in bright, warm, spacious rooms, so the plants are preferably placed in tubs. But in general, it is unpretentious and even considered an uncomplicated culture for indoor cultivation.
It can also be used as an ornamental deciduous plant, kept with strong shading, but then it will not bloom. In this case, it can even be placed near a north-facing window, in hallways, dimly lit corridors, on wide staircases in rooms with steam heating. During the period of active development, the plant is demanding on abundant watering (excess moisture in the soil is unacceptable) and regular nutrition. In winter, the optimum temperature is 20 … 22 ° C. The plant is very beneficially influenced by frequent feeding in May-July (every 10 days) after the end of flowering. In order for the plant to actively bloom again in winter, during the dormant period, which after flowering lasts about 2-2.5 months (falls on July-August), the plant is found in a cool place (15 ° C), watering and feeding is stopped.
Also for this purpose, strelitzia needs a long daylight hours, so it is preferable to keep it on a south-facing window, protecting it from the direct rays of the hot sun in summer. After the end of the dormant period, strelitzia is watered abundantly and fed regularly (every 10 days), alternating organic and mineral fertilizers. It is better to grow this tall plant in tall containers of a narrow shape, commensurate with its age and the required volume of soil substrate. For better growth and development, young strelitzia plants are transplanted annually.
It is preferable to keep adult plants in wooden tubs (a drainage layer is necessarily arranged at the bottom), replanting no more than 2-3 years later. When transplanting, it is necessary to carefully handle the fleshy rhizomes of Strelitzia, as they are very fragile and break off easily. In case of serious damage to them, it is recommended to process the sections with crushed charcoal. The plant blooms for the first time at 3-4 years of age, giving 2-3 flowers.
In subsequent years, it increases the number of flowers to 20-25 pieces. If they want to use them for cutting, to put them in a vase, it is recommended to cut the peduncle at the moment when the flower is just beginning to open. In this case, you can admire the revealed miracle - a flower-wondrous bird for up to three weeks, periodically changing the water. Of the pests, spider mites are considered the most dangerous for strelitz, which are destroyed with the recommended chemical preparations (acaricides) or herbal products. In this case, the plants are supposed to be processed at least twice with an interval of 7-10 days.
Young plants can suffer from Fusarium fungal disease when excessive moisture is allowed. As a result of the disease, growth is delayed, brown spots appear on the roots, as a result of which the latter can dry out. More often, experienced florists believe, plants sick with fusarium die, so it is better to have a new instance of strelitzia.
Strelitzia is usually propagated in spring and summer (but preferably in May) by dividing the bush (mainly old 7-9-year-old plants). For this purpose, after flowering, the plants are cut into several parts so that there are at least a couple of growth points in each segment. Each cutting is planted in a pot with fertile soil, consisting of a mixture of sod, leaf and humus soil and sand (in a ratio of 1: 1: 1: 0.5) of a neutral reaction (pH 6.8-7.0). In summer, cuttings are fed every 3-3.5 weeks with a weak solution of complete mineral fertilizer, not forgetting to spray them periodically, but in winter, watering is reduced, young plants are kept at a temperature of 12 … 13 ° C.