Strelitzia juncea or Narrow-Leaved Bird of Paradise is from South Africa.
It is a very sculptural plant with its reed-like leaves.
Is slightly hardy and prefers overwintering indoors.
Can be grown as a house plant.
Growth is very slow.
In the juvenile stage small leaf blades appear at the top of the petiole but later the leaves consist only of a tubular petiole. These leaves are 1 to 2 m tall.
It does not produce suckers but division takes place in the middle of each group.
The plant doesn’t produce suckers like other Strelitzia’s but subdivides from the center of each fan.
Flowers are similar to those of Strelitzia reginae: the bracts of the flowers are green with red tones, the flowers are orange yellow with blue tongues. They appear at the top of the flower stalk that protrudes above the plant. The inflorescence is perpendicular to the petiole and serves as support for sunbirds that pollinate the flower. Flowering occurs from May to October.
Strelitzia juncea is native to a relatively dry region and needs less water than the other Strelitzia’s.
Narrow-Leaved Bird of Paradise, Crane Flower
Strelitzia reginae var. juncea
Strelitzia: in honor of Charlotte van Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of King George III
Juncea: from the Latin juncus (bulrush)
USDA zone 9-11, -5 °C during short periods
Nutritious and well drained
Young plants do not like direct sunlight, this can lead to burning of the leaves. A mature plant prefers full sun since this will promote flowering
Doesn’t need a lot of water
Fertilize every 2 weeks, from March to September
Repot annually to obtain a solid growth
May spend the summer outdoors but has to be brought inside during winter from USDA zone
- remove the orange tuft from the seed
- soak 1 day in tepid water
- sow in a mixture of topsoil, sand and peat moss
- doesn’t need a very high temperature to germinate: 25 °C. A lower temperature will slow down germination.
- germination time: 4-8 weeks