Can You Name This Week’s Featured Houseplant?

The game of Name-That-Plant has been fun, so let’s continue. Can you identify this one? Read the entire story and you’ll not only learn the plant’s identity, but also its preferred care.

The brightly colored, pointed flower bracts stand above the foliage on tall stalks. This plant is often found growing outdoors in warm, tropical regions, but it also makes a nice houseplant if you have enough room and bright sunshine. Or maybe you’ve seen this plant in botanical, glassed-in conservatories that exhibit jungle-like plantings. Its lush growth forms a plant about 3 feet tall.

bird 2If you’d like to try growing this plant indoors, special care will keep it producing lush leaves and maybe reward you with outstanding flowers.

  • It blooms only when mature, after 5 years or more in spring or summer.
  • The plant likes to be “root-bound” with roots solidly filling its pot.
  • Each flower last about a week, but each stalk produces several flowers that bloom in succession.
  • Direct sun for at least four hours a day is needed.
  • Repot each year into a slightly larger pot, until the plant is 3 years old. Then let it stay in the same pot, so it becomes nicely root-bound.
  • Water as you would most houseplants, allowing the soil to dry out, followed by thorough drenchings when watering.
  • Fertilize monthly spring, summer and fall.
  • They thrive with a summer vacation outdoors in a location receiving morning sun and afternoon shade.
  • Good for large corners of sunrooms.bird 3

I’ll bet you’ve got this one identified already. Yes, you’re right. It’s Bird of Paradise, whose botanical bird 5name is Strelizia reginae.

Until next time, “Happy Gardening!”