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Strelitzia reginae

Orange Bird of Paradise

This georgeous, small Strelitzia has short, dividing, underground rhizomes that produce a dense cluster of leathery, glaucous leaves, creating a bushy appearance. The Orange Bird of Paradise carries a plethora of long spikes with stunning orange and blue, birdlike flowers (hence the common name), which are often seen as cut flowers. It does well in temperate and subtropical climates, preferring a spot in full sun, and is fairly drought and frost tolerant.

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germination comments by our visitors
For general germination instructions click here.

Also see plant cultivation comments below.

Seeds from this species ...

... are easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Strelitzia reginae seeds will usually germinate in 30-180 days, even under good conditions germination may be erratic. Sow Strelitzia reginae seeds on the surface of a Sand seed sowing mix at about 22°C. Remove the fluffy tufts and soak in warm water for a few hours before sowing, keep the sand moist and the seed tray in a warm dark place (about 25°C) Soak for up to 3 days changing the water daily
Submitted on 21/05/2009 by one of our visitors

... are average to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
I've now planted over 70 different strlitzia seeds and the variability of germination is incredible! Despite a consistant approach to planting the seeds:Sealed container with sterile sandy medium placed in the airing cupboard after soaking for 2 days in warm water in the airing cupboard, germination has varied from nil to 100% in different batches of seeds.Germination has varied between 1 month and 1 year, with the seeds only being thrown out when the seed is no longer firm.I therefore have to believe that the 'quality' or 'freshness' of the seed is vitally important to the success rate, as seeds that have been taken fresh from a plant have an over 80% success rate. As a result, always try and get the seeds from a reputable source, and if possible find out the history of the seeds in question.
Submitted on 30/08/2006 by Peter Edmond hailhenet[at]cb.ws

...easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Soaked the seeds in water for 24 hours. Placed seeds in a ziplock back with sphagnom moss and soaked well. In two weeks I have noticed sprouts already. Will wait about another week or two and plant in a pot. This was my first time trying to germinate.
Submitted on 10/10/2005 by one of our visitors

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Use Smoke Primer to germinate Strelitzia seeds. It triggers germination. Sow at a depth of one and a half times the size of the seed. A constant temperature of 25 ºC is most suitable for germination.
Submitted on 09/12/2004 by one of our visitors

...easy to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
These were sown in a mix of peat moss, ericaceous compost and lime free gravel. They were soaked for 2 days before sowing in standard propagators. They were then left out subjected to the rigours of an Irish spring. The first germinated outdoors 6 months later.
Submitted on 27/08/2004 by one of our visitors

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Grown from seed "Nurtured" & Germinated in just 4 weeks! in england! how about that. Will be potting on when roots look strong enough to tackle whats in store for them, in the meantime I will be discovering the world & wonders of palm growing from seeds.
Submitted on 10/06/2003 by Jovan Angel jovan@hoshiar.fsnet.co.uk

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
seeds from this species are easy to grow they take up to 3 months to germinate but well worth the wait
Submitted on 21/02/2003 by Elaine Terry elaineterry@ns.sympatico.ca

...easy to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
Not so diffucult, seed in spagnum-moss& cacti-dirt( mix). 20-25 celcius..
Submitted on 19/02/2003 by Tomas apollo006@hotmail.com

...easy to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
Remove the pink tuft and plant seed in a mix of 50% compost and 50% sand. I fine an airtight clear plastic container is best for the seeds to be planted in. Seed should be pushed into the medium, with just the tip that had the orange tuft showing. Damp down, do not overwater.Provide some heat from a propagator or airing cupboard(20°C-25°C), cover with glass or the lid. Keep it humid. My rarepalmseed.com seed germinated freely within 1 months and will continue for the next 4 months. When you see the seed starting to show a little white tip cover with a small amount of the growing mix and ensure that there is light.Plant up into a small pot.Can be grown and flower easily in the house, does in the UK.
Submitted on 22/05/2002 by Richard Evans richard@strelitzia.co.uk

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
soaking the seeds for 3 days germination started after four weeks in peat moss.and after 5 months they ate about 4in high and still growing. they love the full sun.
Submitted on 07/08/2002 by Gail Henard Thehenards@aol.com

...very difficult to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
Remove orange tufts and soak overnight. Plant in a moist sandy mixture and seal inside a polythene bag and keep them in a dark and warm place. (I kept mine in an airing cupboard.) Check seeds regularly. (I had to wait 9 months for 1 out of 7 to germinate so be patient!) As soon as seed has germinated plant up in a seed compost. Once seed has germinated it is easy to look after. In its forth year it has grown to about 50cm and has flowered for the first time. Keep plant slightly pot bound and feed throughout the growing season. It will tolerate cold weather but not frost.
Submitted on 09/08/2002 by Christine Salamon Nic_Montgomery@lineone.net

...easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Found them reasonably easy to germinate in a heated propegator, free draining soil/grit mix kept moist. Temperature of around 28C (82F). Seeds germinated within a couple of weeks, seedling growth rate is fast with warm temps and plenty of water.
Submitted on 27/08/2002 by one of our visitors

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
These seeds are very hard, and takes some time to germinate. But if they are fresh, it's not so difficult. I just nicked off the orange "feather", and soaked them for 4-5 days. The seeds were then placed in plain mosture peat (although,it prefers clayey soil) in at pot on the bathroomfloor. Whitin 6 weeks, 5 out of 8 seeds had germinated and were repotted. As soon as the plant reach 8-10 cm you'll have to place it in a large container to give room for its lengthy roots. Flowers after 3-4 years. It likes to spend the winter in a light and fairly cool place, but don't expose the plant to temperatures below 10 C. The plant requires a lot of light and heavy watering. Shower the leafes now and then. Perfect for the wintergarden. Plants can be brought out on to the patio in summer in warm and sheltered areas.
Submitted on 31/08/2002 by one of our visitors

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
Also see germination commnets above.

Plants from this species ...

... are of excellent ornamental value
In long island in USA they need much care and grow slow.
this plant has been growing for one year since germination. it is rather slow, however, the leaves are wonderful to look at. it is on a decorative container. Definitely recommend this plant for even the foilage to grow, it likes full sun but hates sudden changes. take it outside SLOWLY. i lost a plant this way. water little when getting established.
Submitted on 19/06/2013 by vsk

... are of excellent ornamental value
In Galicia in Spain they need little care and grow slow.
Strelitzia reginae is an easy plant to grow in the garden. Plants do well in full sun to semi-shade, love a rich loamy soil and plenty of water throughout the year. They respond well to regular feeding with a slow release fertilizer and compost. They are however very tolerant plants and will thrive in most soils and can survive with very little water once established. The plants are also wind resistant and grow well in coastal gardens. Strelitzias are sensitive to cold and would need a sheltered position in areas with frost as the flowers and leaves are often damaged by frost. In very cold climates it is better to grow them in pots that could be moved indoors when freezing temperatures are expected. From seed, plants given ideal conditions will flower within 3 years. To get a mature flowering plant from seed takes about three to five years. For best results sow fresh seed in spring. Before sowing, remove the bright orange tuft of hairs attached to the seed (aril of each seed) and soak in a aqueous solution of ethrel at a concentration of 2000 ppm active constituent, for 48 hours. In practical terms this entails making up 6ml ethrel (39. 5% active ingredient) to a litre of water. Sow in seedtrays filled with a well-drained soil medium at a depth of 1,5 times the size of the seed. A constant temperature of 25 C is most suitable for germination as low temperatures retard germination. Germination takes four to eight weeks. Seedlings should be a good size before transplanted (two to three leaves) into a well drained medium. Young strelitzia plants must be grown in shade, for the leaves tend to burn in direct sunlight. Regular repotting allows the young plant to develop rapidly. Restricting the root development retards growth.
Submitted on 21/05/2009 by one of our visitors

win € 75 worth of seeds
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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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