Deb Cook, Columnist Published 2:37 p.m. ET May 4, 2020
Master Gardener Deb Camp (Photo: Submitted)
Fortunate to be wintering in Southern Texas, I’m able to adore some beginning plants that can alone be developed in containers up arctic and brought in to a brilliant admitting warmer ambiance in the colder months.
While walking by a Bird of Paradise plant, the lyrics from Jimmy Dickens song came to mind: “May the Bird of Paradise fly up your nose, May an albatross drove your mother toes, May your wife be bedeviled with runners in her hose, May the Bird of Paradise fly up your nose.” This amusing lyric was consistently a fun song to sing and as such I absitively to address this commodity on this admirable plant. I abstruse a lot about it as able-bodied as the abounding songs that accommodate it in their lyrics.
Also accepted as Crane flower, the Bird of Paradise bulb is built-in to South Africa and derives its name from the abnormal flowers that resemble a a blithely black bird in flight. The ample course-textured blue-green leaves of the bulb are evocative of the assistant bulb and are a admirable accomplishments for their beauteous blooms. The blooms are fabricated up of abounding altered parts. The abject of the annual — the “beak” is a blade or a adapted leaf. The chichi orange petals at the top aren’t accurate petals, but absolutely sepals or adapted petals. The accurate petals of the Bird of Paradise are the dejected petals. These consciousness-expanding blooms are absolutely different and as anniversary blossom can aftermost up to two weeks, they accomplish absurd cut flowers.
The circuitous blooms of this bulb not alone attending like close birds, but await on birds for pollination. If buried indoors, they will never set berry as they are not pollinated by insects but rather by sun birds. A bird sits on the lower blade of the blossom and the weight of the bird levers the pollen of the bloom. When the bird goes in for the nectar, pollen is deposited on the breast of the bird and back it visits addition flower, the aforementioned action happens again.
Bird of Paradise plant (Photo: Submitted)
In Zones 10 and 11, they can be developed as perennials with the white Bird of Paradise, Strelitzio nicolai, growing like a timberline with a fan of 5 foot leaves and a acme of up to 30 feet and 15 feet wide. The Strelitzio reginae in the chicken or gold array can accept flowers on a 3 foot stalk and blossom in spring, summer and winter and abound up to 6-fott alpine and 3-foot wide. Up north, they can be maintained as a houseplant and will advance in a conservatory in a abridged alembic in the algid months and brought outdoors during the calefaction of the summer.
The bulb brand to be close in its pot and will aftermath best of its blooms on the alien growth. Do not bulb too deeply. It’s said some basis acknowledgment promotes flowers. They charge a well-drained, rich, amoebic soil. Water beneath the leaves or back foliage is dry afore nightfall. Once established, baptize thoroughly again acquiesce to dry to touch. Abstain over-watering to anticipate basis rot. Reduce baptize to bisected in winter.
Ideal temps are 65 to 70-degree canicule and 50-degree nights. Keep abroad from absolute southern acknowledgment to abstain burning. Feed bulb in aboriginal bounce and about every two weeks in summer with a acrid bulb food. Repot every three years in bounce and increase pot admeasurement only if roots are acutely awkward or if you appetite added plants by division, amid at roots.
Keep new capacity clammy till rooted, 3 to 6 months. New capacity may not rebloom for several years.
Note: Dogs adore nibbling on these but as the seeds are toxic, causing belly affliction and vomiting, beware if you accept pets.
Deb Cook is a Master Gardener with the Sandusky and Ottawa Counties addendum offices.
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