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Bird of Paradise


By balcony


Bird of Paradise

No, it’s not the bird but the plant!

My son brought me back a packet of Strelitzia reginae ‘Bird of Paradise’ seeds when he went back to Spain to visit his in-laws (with his wife & their daughter) in 2018.

After a few months I eventually sowed them in small pots & put them on the kitchen windowsill:

Well I forgot about them as they took months to show any signs of life! I forgot to keep the pots damp & only one seed germinated! Whether the other seeds rotted or dried up or what I don’t know, as I said I’d forgotten all about them. I may have used the compost in the pots for something else, I don’t remember now. I hadn’t put a label in the pots either!

Anyway I potted up the only seed to germinate & it started to grow into a little plant:

A year later & the plant had not only survived but it had grown bigger:

The following year it had produced more leaves & had got bigger so I put it in a bigger pot where it conituned growing & putting out more leaves:

That then brings us up to today when I took a couple of more photos. The curious thing this year is that for the first time it has produced a twin set of leaves when every leaf up to August this year has always been single!

Now those leave are almost as big as the older, single leaves:

So this is what it looks like now:

I suppose I will have to wait a few more years till I see the first flower but in the meanwhile it makes a decorative evergreen plant in the kitchen.

Just added the last photo for 2022.

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In the third photo from the end you can see I had the blinds lifted up a little & the brown you can see through the window is the parched grass outside our flat!

We were still in the middle of the extremely hot summer we had had when we reached a new record high of 40.2C! The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK!

This picture also shows up the twin leaves much better than the photos I took today!

15 Sep, 2022


Balcony, it’s a good job that all the seedlings didn’t germinate, your kitchen would be overgrown; as it is, it looks rather like a greenhouse. :-). You have done well with the one that did germinate, no idea how long before you get a flower, but it is an imposing plant.

15 Sep, 2022


Well done, Balc! A touch of Spanish exotic in your kitchen. Looks healthy indeed. I guess Josee is right, maybe it's a good thing (?) They all didn't'd be over come with them, albeit lovely plants. I'll hope it flowers for you sooner than expected 🀞

16 Sep, 2022


Thanks for your comments on this blog. There were only three or four seeds in the packet. I should have looked online for information on sowing them and I might have had more germinate.

The plant is taking up a fair bit of space but as the leaves are sparce and held high more would have fit there. It will be a problem eventually and so I might not be able to keep it many more years. Unfortunately it's not a plant that will be able to live outside on the balcony so though it could be put outside from May it would need to be brought back inside from October, the same as other tender plants that are not hardy.

I don't think it will flower for some years yet, but who knows?

Just two days ago I noticed that at least one more leaf is starting to appear, maybe be another set of twins?

17 Sep, 2022


Well done you! Let us know when it flowers!

19 Sep, 2022


Will do, just don't hold your breath! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

20 Sep, 2022


A few weeks after writing this blog I discovered that the "twin" leaves were not twins at all - they were forming a division in the stem! Now I have 2 stems!

As the plant's roots are starting to push the rootball out of the pot my thought of repotting it next year look right on the ball!

23 Dec, 2022

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