The Strelitzia nicolai, also known as ‘The Giant Bird of Paradise’ for its shape, is a magnificent and rare plant to bring into any home or garden. Native to South Africa, this imposing plant can grow up to 5m tall and makes a striking impression like no other.
This beauty boasts two sets of waxy green leaves, each over 1m long and ribbed as if shaped by a master hand. Clusters of spectacular, elegant flowers emerge from the center, each lasting up to 8 days, with an arresting display of pastel florets and a unique beak-like shape. In its natural habitat, the Strelitzia nicolai basks in a warm and humid climate, with bright but indirect sunlight, free-draining sandy or loamy soil, and plenty of water.
Tips for nurturing your very own Giant Bird of Paradise:
It needs plenty of indirect sunlight throughout the day to thrive. Place it near to a large window or pot near the front door.
It is well-suited to warm climates and likes temperatures between 18 and 30°C (65-85°F).
Soil type and drainage
It loves free-draining sandy or loamy soil, with a good ratio of organic matter and plenty of sand.
Keep the humidity around the plant above 40% to keep it healthy.
Water generously during the summer and reduce to just occasionally during the winter.
The leaves and stems of the Strelitzia nicolai are toxic to humans and animals if ingested, so it is unsuitable for areas with children or pets.
Feed your Strelitzia nicolai every two weeks during the warm months with a balanced liquid plant food for the best results.
Troubleshooting Pests, Diseases, and Common Problems
The Strelitzia nicolai can suffer from mealybugs, aphids and spider mites, as well as root rot if under-watered.
If you wish to propagate your Strelitzia nicolai, the simplest way is to take softwood cuttings in the summer and plunge into moist soil immediately.
The captivating nature of the Strelitzia nicolai will genuinely enhance any indoor or outdoor environment. Its exotic beauty is only amplified by its exceptional rarity, so providing you can provide the right environment, you should have yourself a happy and healthy Giant Bird of Paradise that will surely be the envy of your neighbors.