Strelitzia reginae

Bird of Paradise or Crane Flower

Strelitzia Flower
Strelitzia Flower

One of the most stunning and attractive flowering plants, Strelitzia reginae or ‘Bird of Paradise’ Plant is also a popular easy care garden plant as well as a cut flower.

Growing well in full sun to part shade, with long lasting flowers, ‘Bird of Paradise’ Plants can also be grown in pots or containers.

They can reach 5 ft tall, although often smaller. And with new dwarf varieties now available, you simply have no excise not to buy outstanding ornamental plants.

Also known as the ‘Crane Flower’, and indeed you can see the resemblance to a Cranes silhouette.

Strelitzia reginae has been in cultivation for nearly 250 years. Flowers are not only architectural marvels, but also colorful, orange red and green, all set out in an amazing pattern.

It is the structure of the flower itself that makes this such a fascinating plant. The flower forms on a tall stalk and consists of a spathe, which is the green bit that looks like a birds beak. The flowers actually appear in a sequence, 3 blue petals and 3 orange sepals.

Each flower spathe will form a number of flowers each flowering period, usually 4 – 7. So the plant appears to flower over a long period, however it is actually a number of different flowers, following one after the other over a month or more.

Originally from southern Africa, they do not grow well in outdoors the colder zones, frosts and freezes will kill them. However, if given protection over winter by bringing indoors, they will survive.

By planting in a protected position Strelitzia plants are reported to be hardy to zone 9, however we would bring them inside in winter.

Strelitzia reginae is indigenous to South Africa. (picture right), they are readily available for sale both online and in many local nurseries and even the Big Boxes.

Strelitzia Care

Strelitzias are fascinating plant with the large fascinating blooms being sought after both in the garden and by the cut flower industry.

Generally a hardy plant preferring full sun to part shade and a well drained soil they require little extra care, be careful with fertilization of Strelitzia as over fertilization can result in excessive foliage growth and less flowering.

  • Winter hardy USDA Zones 10 – 12.

When growing in containers and indoors

  • Temperatures of 65 F and higher are required.
  • Good strong filtered light
  • Water during active growth, summer. However ensure that drainage is excellent
  • Use a general purpose slow release fertilizer in spring, and again in late summer
  • Indoors consider raising the humidity by placing the pot on stones in a water filled saucer, the pot should sit above the water, not in it.
  • Keep away from cold drafts


Propagation by division of clumps is easy. Best carried out in spring. Propagation from seed is also possible.

Strelitzias Varieties

  • Strelitzia reginae,
  • Strelitzia reginae Miniature
  • Strelitzia Dwarf
  • Strelitzia alba
  • Strelitzia nicolai
  • Strelitzia juncea
  • Strelitzia caudata,
  • Strelitzia mandela Gold
  • Strelitzia parvifolia.