Giant Bird of Paradise
An iconic plant with a striking architectural form, Strelitzia nicolai, or the ‘Giant Bird of Paradise’, is a banana-like evergreen perennial that is perfect as a statement plant for sunny interiors.
Strelitzia nicolai differs from Strelitzia reginae in its larger size, and its magnificent flowers which appear in gorgeous white and blue tones.
Strelitzia reginae and Strelitzia nicolai are both indigenous to South Africa. There they are pollinated by birds, and it’s their stunning floral morphology that they’re beloved for that is also crucial to their survival.
The colour of the flower attracts birds looking for nectar, whilst the shape of the flower makes sure they can only reach it from a particular spot – the fused blue petals. When sunbirds perch upon it to drink the nectar the petals open, covering their feet with pollen which the bird will take with it to the next plant.
The Bird of Paradise Flower
Strelitzia nicolai is difficult, though not impossible, to bloom indoors in the UK climate. Strelizia reginae, the smaller Bird of Paradise plant with orange flowers is easier, though still not easy.
Strelitzias need to reach maturity before they can flower, which takes several years if grown from seed (often 6-8 years). If you’re hoping for it to flower soon, we recommend buying the most mature plant you can afford.
Care & Size Guidance
Giant Birds of Paradise are a brilliant choice for bright rooms, as they require a large amount of bright, indirect sunlight and warmth. That said, too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, and they prefer cooler temperatures at night.
In their native environment they can grow 6 metres tall, but grown indoors in the UK their ultimate height is usually about 3 metres, whilst their leaves can eventually grow to reach an enormous 2 metres on mature plants
To prevent yours from growing so tall, they can stay root bound happily in the same size pot for many years.