Named after honour of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744-1818) Queen of George the 3rd of England. Strelitzia Reginae is the only species that is grown indoors. The flowers are shaped like the crest of a bird of paradise and are orange and violet. This plant is for a patient gardener, for it is reluctant to flower until it is about 5-6 years old. If it is repotted too frequently, the delay may be even longer.
Water moderately during active growth, allow it to remain dry for a little longer in Winter, but prevent it from drying out completely.
Feed every 2 weeks in Spring and Summer with standard liquid fertilizer.
Re-pot in Spring using soil-based potting mixture in 8-12 inch maximum size pot and then it should be left pot bound to encourage flowering. Top dress annually every Spring but do not disturb mature flowering plants. They are likely to stop flowering for a year or 2 if subjected to any sort of displacement.
Divide mature plants by gently separating a section with 2 or 3 leaves with some roots attached. Pot in 5-6 inch pots of soil-based mixture and place it in a warm spot in bright filtered light. Do not feed. By the sixth week the roots will have become active, so treat as a mature plant. It can also be grown from seeds but it is an extremely slow process. Flowers are produced after 10 years.
Keep Strelitzia in good light all year round. Protect it from burning Summer sun.
Mealy bug and scale insects can be a problem for Strelitzia. Badly damaged leaves should be removed at the base of the stalk with a sharp knife. Clean dusty leaves by simply wipe them gently with a damp sponge.
Feature plant for conservatory or next to patio window.
Scientists were able to revive a flowering plant from the fossilized fruit found in the stomach of an Arctic ground squirrel who was trapped in ice around 32,000 years ago.