The Strelitzia or Bird of Paradise is one of the plants with which you can have a garden or a very well decorated patio. Its cultivation and maintenance is very simple, so much so that it only needs to be in an area exposed to direct sun and one or two weekly waterings to grow and develop without problems.
Perhaps for this reason many people wonder how to sow Strelitzia seeds. If you are one of them, discover how can you get several copies at a very low cost.
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How are they sown?
Strelitzia are beautiful plants, producing brightly colored flowers. Although their growth is very slow, it is interesting to see how they germinate and grow. So, if you have the opportunity, do not hesitate to sow seeds of these plants. Here we explain all the steps you must follow:
Get the seeds
To obtain several small plants of Strelitzia, the ideal is to get the fresh seeds, directly from the plant, in summer or early autumn. But this is often very difficult, so We will have no choice but to buy the envelope with seeds in spring, which is sold in garden stores, nurseries and even on websites where they only sell plants and / or seeds as long as the seller and / or the business have received positive opinions from other buyers.
I do not recommend buying them in souvenirs or similar places, as these places are unreliable to buy them.
Check if they are viable or not
Once at home, We put the seeds in a glass of water for two days, changing the precious liquid and cleaning the container every day in order to avoid the proliferation of bacteria. This way we will know which ones will serve us, and which ones will not. The first will be those that sink, while those that remain floating are most likely not viable. Anyway, if you don't want to throw them away, you can plant them in a separate seedbed. Although it is not normal, sometimes it does germinate some of those that at first we thought were not useful.
Prepare the seedbed
After that time, it will be time to prepare the seedbed. As such we can use almost anything: flower pots, seedling trays such as this, milk containers, yogurt glasses… The only thing to know is that it must have at least one hole for drainage; If you do not have it, we will do it with a serrated knife or with scissors; and if we opt for a food container, it has to be clean before sowing the seeds.
Sow the seeds
Then we fill the seedbed with universal culture substrate (for sale here!), mulch or compost and water it thoroughly, so that all the earth is well moistened. Now, you have to sow them, but depending on the seedbed we will have to put a maximum number of seeds. For example:
- Seedling trays: 1 or 2 in each socket.
- Yogurt glasses, milk containers: 1 or 2.
- From 5,5 to 6,5cm in diameter: 1 or 2.
- From 8,5 to 13cm in diameter: 2 or 3.
- From 14 to 20cm: from 2 to 4.
Y in all cases they must be separated, as much as possible. This is very important, because if they are close together and they all germinate, then it will be more difficult to separate them and get both seedlings to continue growing.
On the other hand, and since they cannot germinate if they are exposed to the sun directly, We will cover them with a layer of 1 centimeter or less of substrate.
In order to prevent the appearance of mushrooms, We will add copper or sulfur and water again. In this way, the seeds will be in the best seedbed, because not only will they have water, but they will also not have to worry about anything.
So that everything continues to go well, it is necessary to place the seedbed in a very bright place outside and not let the soil dry out. Thus, they will germinate after a maximum of two months.
When are Strelitzia seeds sown?
These are plants of tropical and subtropical origin, for this reason, they need heat to germinate. A) Yes, the ideal time is spring or even early summer. Temperatures must be high, at a minimum of 20ºC, and a maximum of 30ºC. In this way, if they are viable, they will germinate in a short time.
Then, once they germinate, they will have the opportunity to continue growing throughout the remainder of summer, and until the cold returns. When this happens, if there are frosts we will protect them inside the house, but if there are no frosts or they are very weak (down to -1 or -2ºC) and punctual, we can leave them outside in an area protected from the wind.
What types of Strelitzia can be grown?
La Strelitzia reginae It is the most common variety, but there are other species that also make fantastic garden or terrace plants. Check out:
strelitzia alba (before strelitzia augusta)
La strelitzia albathe strelitzia augusta, is a plant that reaches 10 meters in height. The leaves are 2 meters long, and its flowers are white. It can be easily confused with S. nicolai, especially when young, but differs from it by being much taller. Withstands frosts down to -2ºC.
La Strelitzia juncea is a plant that has needle-shaped leaves, and is 1,20 meters tall at most. Its flowers are similar to those of S. reginae, but perhaps with a darker orange color. Undoubtedly, it is the most curious species of all those of the genus, but also the one that resists the least cold: only down to -1ºC and only if it is for a short time.
La Strelitzia nicolai is a plant that can be 4-5 meters tall, and develops a main stem and large green leaves with a long petiole of the same color. Its flowers are reminiscent of exotic birds, and they are blue and white. It produces several suckers from an early age. Of course, it takes years to flourish.
I have had one since 2015 and at the time of writing this article it has not yet bloomed once, it has not even developed its false trunk even though it is already over 2 meters tall. But it lives very well in tropical and subtropical gardens, withstanding occasional frosts down to -2ºC without suffering any damage.
It is the most common. The Strelitzia reginae reaches a height of 1 meter, and develops lanceolate dark green leaves. Their flowers are orange, and they sprout in spring, and even if the weather is warm enough, they can do so in winter. Resists up to -2ºC.
Enjoy your little plants!