Non Flowering Strelitzia

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by algy1943, May 30, 2010.

  1. algy1943

    algy1943 Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Upminster,UK England
    My Strelitzia was purchased in a pot in 2003, has flowered in 2006 and 2007, but has not flowered since, there were 3 in the pot but 2 have died leaving just the one, I feed with tomato food during the growing season and with 0:10:10 No Nitrogen in the winter, any suggestions?
     
  2. Harry Homeowner

    Harry Homeowner Active Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Wash DC
    I don't know a whole lot about Strelitzia but from my small amount of experience with them they bloom better when slightly pot bound - don't know about others experience. Did you up pot it maybe around late 07 or early 08?

    Did anything culturally change since 07?

    Do you keep it outside in summer or as a house plant all year?
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,515
    Likes Received:
    456
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Maybe the same condition that killed the other two is keeping this one from flowering.
     
  4. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,455
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Siloam Springs, AR, USA
    These plants prefer very bright light. Most growers in Florida as well as at the Fairchild Botanic Tropical Garden in Miami grow them in direct sunlight. At the old entrance to Fairchild there is a stand of 50 or more and they almost always have clusters of inflorescences.

    I tried growing 8 of them in our tropical atrium for 8 years with only one inflorescence ever seen. Our plants finally reached 15 feet high before we cut all but one down. I have checked with several tropical botanists and they always say give it direct sunlight, a regular dose of fertilizer and frequent water in a pot of fast draining soil that will not remain soggy.

    If you growing this as a potted plant in a home the chances are high the lack of sunlight is the problem. I just checked the State of Florida site Floridata and they recommend full sun to partial shade but the partial shade is best only in the heat of the day. They also recommend lots of fertilizer with soil that does not remain soggy.

    The plants are related to banana plants that love bright light. All species come from South Africa.
     
  5. algy1943

    algy1943 Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Upminster,UK England
    Thanks Harry, the plant is pot bound and yes it's kept in a north facing conservatory all year, and it has been re-potted around 2005, so does not get much sun only heat

    algy1943 (Allen)
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,515
    Likes Received:
    456
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Maybe the other plants/parts rotted off. Plant grows outdoors in full blazing sun even in Honolulu.
     
  7. Harry Homeowner

    Harry Homeowner Active Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Wash DC
    Ron has a point - do you know why the 2 others didn't make it - that could give light as to why the 3rd isn't flowering.

    Is it putting on new growth or just kind of hanging on?
     
  8. algy1943

    algy1943 Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Upminster,UK England
    Plenty of new leaves, always 2 at a time, the other pair rotted at the base, it has quite a bit of scale insect on the leaves, cant seem to rid it of this pest.

    see avatar thats my Strelizia in my conservatory.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2010
  9. algy1943

    algy1943 Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Upminster,UK England
    Thanks for that Steve, do you think June is the safe month to bring the plant out and leave out until end of September in the United Kingdom? and will they flower?

    algy1943
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  10. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,455
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Siloam Springs, AR, USA
    These species can easily tolerate temps down to 10 C (low 50 F) range with even lower temps for brief periods of time. I would not risk a temperature anywhere near freezing. If the plant has been in consistently lower light for most of its life I would move them into the brighter light slowly to avoid the risk of sunburn, and yes, plants can and do sunburn.

    If introduced to brighter light gradually the natural reproductive processes will trigger blooming, just be sure and give it a regular dose of fertilizer and in my personal experience while having a front yard full in Miami, FL when we lived there for 20 plus years, use a fertilizer with a mix close to 14-14-14. That recommendation came from a gardener friend at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in about 1995. I have seen Bird of Paradise species in Singapore, Miami, in Mexico and on many tropical islands growing in full direct sunlight, often with a clusters of inflorescences.

    For one night during the 20 years we lived in Miami we did see a temp that dropped below freezing and all of the plants suffered but in a few months did recover. Bring them back in when when late Fall returns.

    I have grown tropical plant species for many years and my personal practice to seek the advice of "Mother Nature" and follow it closely. Some of her rules can't consistently be broken. We now maintain a large collection of rare tropical species in Arkansas (USA) and the weather here is far too adverse during the winter to place anything outdoors but as long as I follow Nature's rules in the atrium it always works. Only once were we ever able to see one of these produce an inflorescence but still they grew to a point they were trying to push our 5 meter high roof off the building. They were simply seeking the sun so we finally removed all of them save one and gave them away. That single plant has still never bloomed.

    Steve
    www.ExoticRainforest.com
     
  11. algy1943

    algy1943 Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Upminster,UK England
    Thanks for that valuable advice, have now moved the Bird of Paradise into the garden now that there is no chance of night frost and will watch for sunburn to the leaves.

    Allen
     
  12. Paintedlilli

    Paintedlilli New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    East Yorkshire UK
    Hi Everyone, I have 2 Strelitzias and both are in flower at the moment and are growing well. We split the Mother Plant 2 years ago and it has doubled in size. At the moment it has a flower spike with 4 flowers on it and the other one has a pod that is as fat and I think will do like wise is this a common event ?? it looks fab and we love it but am Gobsmacked how well it is flowering. It is in a conservatory well watered and we put granular feed in the pot think it may need some more what do you all suggest ??
     
  13. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vero Beach, Fla., USA
    My neighbors across the street have a large old clump of Strelitzia. It's on the north side, so is a bit shaded in winter, but gets full sun in summer. It's survived a number of freezes with only temporary damage. The main maintenance is to restrain the clump by clipping leaves. I've seen them grown outdoors in Jacksonville, wrapped up in winter to survive the inevitable hard freezes.

    My best guess is that scale insects need attention. I think the usual remedy is horticultural oil or perhaps neem oil (scale insects and mites are a regular problem here, on a variety of plants). Then, come summer, a warm sunny spot.
     

Share This Page