Bird of Paradise ( Strelitzia reginae & nicolai)

These were some of the very first plants I planted in Houston. It’s taken 4 years, but my first blooms arrived this spring.

It’s about 5′ tall and in time more plants will come up from the roots and it will form a very tight clump of plants.

It is recommended you grow Birds of Paradise in full sun. Mine started in full sun but is now in part shade.

Requires protection from frost. I haven’t protected mine and I’ve lost a few leaves over the years but it seems to hold its own. This year we had several hard frosts, I ended up cutting these back to the ground, both appear to be regrowing from the roots.

Note: Survived the 3 months of 100’F heat and no rain of summer ’11, no blooms that year.  I might have lost it during the deep freeze of 2021. I’ve cut it back to the ground and am hoping it re-appears in the summer.

Watering needs are average. Mine is in an area that is neither especially dry or wet. It is reported to do well in droughts, it’s certainly held up with with our months of no rain and restricted watering. Does not do well in very wet areas according to reports, yet in South Africa it grows along the banks of rivers.

The traditional plant has orange and blue flowers, mine has white.

Propagate by division.

Toxic, seeds contain tannins which may be destroyed by roasting, but you probably shouldn’t eat them any way.

Totally care free plant to grow.

Native to South Africa

Strelitzia reginae is the orange and purple flowered variety, nicolai is the white flowered version.

Previously Known as Animal-Only Pigment, Bilirubin Now Confirmed in Bird of Paradise Flower