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Bird of Paradise is native to South Africa and makes a good summer potted patio plants in B.C.
This is now the third summer I have been gardening in San Miguel de Allende, and the novelty of actually having a garden of my own is still quite amazing. Just like all of you other gardeners out there, the challenges are endless, and putting plants in the wrong place a constant learning process.
However, today I am happy to share with you a shot of one of my Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) successes, which has the added bonus of two flowers on one stem. I bought five small plants just over two years ago. They are planted in a pretty sunny spot where they get a bit of late-afternoon shade in the height of the summer. They seem to grow quite happily with the New Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax) as seen in the background of this shot.
Bird of Paradise is native to South Africa and makes a good summer potted patio plants in B.C. Even when not in bloom, the strong large spoon-shaped glaucos blue-green foliage is quite striking. The plants themselves are quite bulky and large and have to be overwintered in a cool greenhouse.
The best way to deal with them is to place the pots, saucer and all on one of those low plant stands with rollers. This makes them easy to move around. They prefer a fairly well-drained soil with compost added. And once established respond well to monthly feedings of a liquid fertilizer, either fish or kelp based, during the height of the growing season.
If growing them on your patio is too much of a challenge, I well remember cut blooms of these turning up in my favourite corner grocery store and market in Kitsilano. If you purchase them while they are fresh, their vase life is quite long, especially if you change the water frequently and give the stems a fresh cut.