Bird of Paradise - 4 seeds
The Bird of Paradise plant - Strelitzia reginae is so named due to the resemblance of its flowers to the genuine birds of paradise found on the island of Papua New Guinea. It is arguably one of the most exotic flowering plants that money can buy, and because of its relative hardiness, it is like to be the MOST exotic flower that you grow in your garden. However it will need to come in under protection over winter if temperatures get below freezing for prolonged periods.
They are fairly tolerant of most soil conditions and will need little water once established making them ideal for drought tolerant conditions. hey do well in full sun to semi-shade and respond well to regular feeding and a seasonal top dressing with a rich compost.
Remove the seeds from the refrigerator and remove them from the paper towel. Sterilize a sharp knife or razor blade with rubbing alcohol, then use the blade to nick each seed. This technique - called scarification - will allow them to germinate.
Fill small planting pots or a planting tray with a mixture of equal parts moss peat and perlite. Press one seed into each pot or tray section to a depth of 1/2 an inch. Cover the seeds with some more of the compost mix and water until completely moist.
Place clear plastic planting tray covers on the trays. If you used pots, wrap each one with a clear plastic bag or cover the tops with plastic wrap. This helps retain moisture and heat, both of which are needed to get Strelitzia seeds to germinate. Place the trays or pots in a warm room with indirect sunlight.
Water the soil regularly to keep it moist while the plants are germinating. Transplant the Strelitzia seedlings to larger pots or to a permanent location outdoors after two to three months. If you transplant them outdoors, dig holes as large as the containers and space them about 2 to 3 feet apart. Fertilize the area with a slow release fertilizer such as osmocote, and always dose according to the instructions on the packaging.
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