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August 30th, 2023

Orange bird of paradise: a show stopper

by R.S. Walsh

Orange Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is one of the most recognized tropical plants in our island plant palette. This plant is so closely associated with island life that the blooms are a favorite subject in tropical floral arrangements, fabrics and island style decor.

The orange bird of paradise is a slow grower and makes a great accent plant in any tropical garden. It forms a thick clump about 4-6 feet wide and tall when fully grown, with large grey-green leaves on upright stems. The blooms are also on upright stems and the flowers look like a bird in flight. The showy blooms are a combination of blue petals and orange sepals that grown out of a bract or modified leaf. This plant blooms periodically throughout the year and the cut blooms can last up to two weeks.

Orange bird of paradise will grow in full-sun but seems happiest in part sun or part shade, they do well in containers and do not drop their leaves making them a great choice for pool decks and patio areas.

To get the most flowers out of your orange bird of paradise, it will require regular fertilization with a good slow release fertilizer. While they like regular watering, they do not like to be wet all the time. For an instant tropical feel in your landscape, try an orange bird of paradise.

This plant column is a joint effort by all at In The Garden, a Sanibel garden center, located at 3889 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel, Florida.


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